DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Jim At The Uptown Theater

September 6, 2011 3:00 AM

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“I’ve been working on vehicles for a long time, since I was a kid on the farm.”

dyr minn DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Jim At The Uptown Theater

“It’s a license to scream and be loud.”

The Ride
The Driver: Jim
Car in Question: 2006 Pontiac GTO
Spotted at: Uptown Theater, 2906 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Odometer: 16,000 
Car’s Nickname: The Goat

THE DEFENSE:

Q: What brings you to the Uptown area?

A: Mostly the bar. I go to Cowboy Slim’s a lot. And I know a lot of people that live around here, friends. I have friends who live on the lake and we go to the beach too.

Q: What’s your main use for the car?

A: Leisure.

Q: Where do you take it?

A: Car shows. Friends’s houses. Just driving around.

Q: What’s the furthest you’ve ever taken it?

A: I drove it down from Northern Wisconsin. That’s where I got it.

Q: Have you ever taken it anywhere strange or unusual?

A: No. It’s more for play. I don’t drive it in the rain. I don’t drive it in the snow. Basically I just drive here or the lakes, Lake Calhoun or Lake Minnetonka.

Q: Do you have any rules about the car?

A: I don’t let anybody drive it besides the prior owner. No smoking.

Q: What about food?

A: I don’t eat in. I never really had anybody in there that long. I just take them out for a joyride.

Q: Do you listen to anything when you’re in the car?

A: Yeah. It’s a mixture. Mostly hard rock, ’80s rock, blues, and jazz. Those are the main things.

Q: Do you ever sing along? 

A: I usually sing along. You can probably hear me unless the engine drowns out the noise.

Q: If your car had a theme song, what would it be?

A: I have no idea.

Q: Could “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” work?

A: No! Oh shoot. Probably something from Metallica. Maybe from Reload.

Q: If your car had a human emotion, what would it be?

A: Anger. I don’t know. It’s a license to scream and be loud.

Q: How long do you think you’ll keep it?

A: As long as I can. Hopefully a long time.

Q: If you get another car, what will it be? It won’t replace this one, I take it?

A: No. The car I drive right now for the winter is a Mazda3. I want to get an all-wheel drive vehicle. Maybe an Infiniti. They have all-wheel drive.

Q: Is that your dream car?

A: No, that’s a Ferrari F150…either silver or black. That or an old classic car. The Chevelle ‘71 with a 454 in it. Black with white racing stripes. Or a ’68 Camaro.

Q: What are some of your favorite features of the GTO?

A: The engine. It’s fast and it has the LS2 engine. It’s a Corvette engine. Comes stock with 400 horsepower. I put a supercharger in it, custom exhaust, and a new pulley system, which added a little more horsepower.

Q: Do you do a lot of work on the car for yourself?

A: Yes and no. I usually send it off to get the tune-ups done because I don’t have a computer to do it. I get it tuned and stuff. But the supercharger, me and my mom’s husband did that. I’m a diesel mechanic for the military. I’ve been working on vehicles for a long time, since I was a kid on the farm. Partially in Iowa. Mostly up here. I grew up in the country. We had a hobby farm. We bailed hay and what not. We had horses, chickens, and a pot-bellied pig.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: Chicago Lakes. Northeast of here. North of Stillwater. But I was in Iowa until seventh grade. I was born in Mason City, Iowa. I lived in Clear Lake, Ankeny, Des Moines, and Manly. I joke with my mom that she’s a nomad.

Q: You were a mechanic in the military? Did you say Kuwait earlier?

A: Well…I was in Kuwait for about three weeks or so, but it was mostly in Iraq. Anaconda or Balad. I got back in May or June of 2009.

Q: Did you go in right after high school?

A: No, I went in after 9/11. I thought about it for a couple of years. I joined January 30, 2004. I debated on it for a while, but finally I decided if I didn’t do it, I’d probably regret it. I’ve enjoyed it since. I’ll be done January of 2013 in about a year and half. So it’ll be nine years. I re-enlisted a couple of times. I wanted to go on this deployment that left this last month in June. But with my injuries, they kind of shot me down. The snowmobile accident I got into really deterred them from letting me go. Before that, I had shoulder surgery last September.

Q: Did you get to drive any fast vehicles in the military?

A: No, I usually drove fuelers and humvees. I got trained on the MRAPs. There’s a Caiman-style that I drove. I drove a lot of stuff. Nothing was that fast. There’s a lot of weight to pull around.

Q: Anything else you want to share about your GTO?

A: The LS2 motor is actually a lot easier to find parts for than for most muscle cars because the Corvette has the same engine. The newer style anyways. Before I bought it, I wanted to get a Corvette or this GTO. I knew the owner prior to purchasing. I knew it had been babied. He bought it brand new. If you look on eBay I could probably sell it for 36 to 40. And I paid 24 for it. He gave me a deal. I plan on putting some headers on it. Adding a little more juice. I probably shouldn’t do much more than that besides like the transmission, the rear end, and stuff like that, so it doesn’t rip apart.

Q: You mentioned car shows. Do you put it in car shows?

A: Yeah! There’s an autoshow every Saturday in Chanhassen. It’s a big auto complex [called AutoMotorPlex]. The first weekend of June, there were probably 400 cars in it. People show off their cars. They do crazy stuff with it. It is really cool. It is like an apartment for your car. People drive in, park their cars in the lots, and then everybody walks around admiring the other cars. There are a lot of really fun cars there. That and the garages that are there are just phenomenal. It’s crazy! That’s basically what an autoshow is, a beauty pageant for cars. Show off the muscle. It’s kind of a guy beauty show I guess.


Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email localautos@cbs.com with “Defend Your Ride MN” in the subject line for submission details.

Photos and interview by Marla Geary

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