Hoarders: Automotive Edition

My wife occasionally tunes in the A&E TV show Hoarders. I really don’t share her uneasy fascination with the bizarre and dysfunctional behavior of compulsive hoarders, but when I pulled up next to this Ford Escape at a local grocery store, I couldn’t help but pull out my cell phone and snap a couple of pics. All I could think was, wow — those people really are out there, right in my neighborhood. Another image after the jump.

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48 responses to “Hoarders: Automotive Edition”

  1. VeeArrrSix Avatar

    That has got to be illegal. But with unemployment/foreclosure/economic problems lately maybe Cops are going easy on people.

  2. Thrashy Avatar

    I knew I'd been saving these pictures for something!
    <img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2604/3834276729_c1b4a40e47.jpg"&gt;
    I've got a bunch more of this heap up on flickr.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Yeah, but Haagen-Dazs. Classy.
      Maybe it's Howard Hughes' whip?

      1. Black Steelies Avatar

        Perhaps upper white-trash.

    2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      post more of those pictures, and we'll have to rename you "Trashy."

      1. Thrashy Avatar

        Just one:
        <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5055/5426016585_3ab575b2bb.jpg"&gt;
        When I first saw this thing, I thought it had suspension modifications. Not so much…

    3. jjd241 Avatar

      This one looks like garbage, the other one looks like stuff. They probably lost their place and are living out of it.

  3. facelvega Avatar

    Well, there are hoarders who stick stuff in cars, and then there are the real automotive hoarders, the ones with twelve old cars in the yard, garage, and barn, maybe four of them working, and parts for another half-dozen sitting around. Anybody got some pictures handy of those? Of course, it won't be pictures of your own yard, just a friend of a friend.

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      …would 10 vehicles, 3 operational, and random parts in every room of the house suffice?
      Not that I know anyone like that. (Removes engine bearing set from microwave cart)

      1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

        Whatcha got there in the yard?

        1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

          67 Datsun (SSS), 67 Polara, 72 MGBGT, 77 Ironhead, 77 MGB Lemons racer, old Dodge RV tow rig, 79 MGB, 83 GPz 550, late R/T Dakota, and wife's itty-bitty teeny-weenie smart car. 🙂
          Of those, only the wife's car, Lemon MGB and Motorhome are able to drive to the store with half an hour's notice.
          I also have a pair of antique single-wheel trailers just to be different. One has a flat, which is kind of a big deal on a one wheel trailer.

          1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

            Cool collection, I'm jealous. (well, minus the Smart car, but then, it's not yours, so……)

          2. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            Well, I did put an intake and exhaust on the smart so at least it gets out of it's own way now. That plus the latest chip-flash and I'm surprised at how fun it is to drive… nothing confuses the masses like flying past them doing 90 on the freeway in a smart car. Or loading it with a full shopping cart at Costco (always draws a crowd).
            I also beat a couple Corvettes at an autocross last summer. For those points alone the little bugger has grown on me.
            <img src="http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs060.snc4/35383_1526438765469_1369652107_1383065_4404130_n.jpg&quot; width="500" />

          3. dukeisduke Avatar

            They make hop-up parts for the Smart? Do they fit anything else, or are they specifically for the Smart?

          4. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            Yup, there is even a "smart-cup" racing series in Europe. (Crazy French whackos).
            The motor is a Mistubishi, but everything is pretty much smart specific. There are even turbo kits. Wife says I have to wait till the warranty expires before she lets me do anything else.

          5. mdharrell Avatar

            Seems like there's a racing series for nearly everything nowadays….

          6. Smells_Homeless Avatar

            They may need some waking up, but look at it this way. Datsun rides Polara. 77 Sporty tows 77 Lemons racer. RV swallows 72 MG. GPz makes the 79 MG shake it's head, but MG allows itself to be pulled along. And the Smart rides in the R/T. Everybody's matched! It's like a Valentine's Day miracle.

          7. facelvega Avatar

            I know it's all pairings, but when you string them together like that it sounds like an automotive turducken or cherpumple.

          8. Smells_Homeless Avatar

            Naa, just an automotive square dance. Break out the banjo music!

          9. Deartháir Avatar

            /Anyone who says anythin' 'bout anyone havin' a purdy mouth is gettin' shot.

          10. dead_elvis Avatar

            Pix of that GPz would be great – maybe appropriate tomorrow, for Two-Wheel Tuesday?

          11. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            I've actually posted it before a few times, but here's a link…

          12. dead_elvis Avatar

            A beauty! I had an '81 KZ750, precursor to the GPz, and now ride a ZRX1100 (liquid-cooled, but a descendant of that line).

          13. ChuckyShamrok Avatar

            Whats wrong with the R/T? I love mine and their pretty dependable truck. The transmission wasn't designed to be flogged like it is in the R/T though

          14. ZomBee Racer Avatar

            Nothing really, it's been a great truck. I just put too many @#$%& miles on it.
            It's a 98 1/2 so I wanted to kinda keep it in somewhat collectible condition. Then I started dating a crazy college exchange chick hundred's of miles away and put a gazillion miles on it (worth every mile). Then I got thumped in the front & rear bumpers. Then I got hit by an owl. Then a deer, and another owl. Then it hit 100K, developed a slight gas smell and wore out the tires so I decided not to fix it so I couldn't possibly drive it anymore. 🙂
            I keep it parked right outside the kitchen window so I can stare at it and remember the crazy exchange chick. I may put it back on the road next year.

      2. mdharrell Avatar

        I'm only up to eight vehicles, three operational, and random parts in every room of the house and chicken coop, so you've got me beat!
        You'll have to decide for yourself whether to feel good or bad about that achievement.

        1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

          2 words… "Chicken coop".
          When you factor in that one of my 10 isn't actually mine, plus the fact that one of your cars can fit INSIDE said chicken coop with room to spare for the chickens, I think you have me beat.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            I'm pretty sure the coop hasn't actually seen a chicken in decades (hmm, though there is room…), so these days I use it for storing some of the larger, quasi-weather-resistant MG, Plymouth, and SAAB parts.

        2. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

          OK, same question…. whatcha got in the yard?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            The list is revealed by hovering your mouse pointer over my avatar photo (which itself is one of them), then for even more info, following the appropriately-named "An Accumulation" link will lead to an article on everything except the disassembled Skyliner (currently at my father's place) and the HMV Freeway (acquired subsequently).

        3. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

          Three vehicles, one of which is a storage shed of parts for the other two. I think I'm okay for now.

      3. logume1881 Avatar

        Were up to 11 here (stocked up for winter) with 9 that run, but "only" 5 are insured to be driven.

  4. Black Steelies Avatar


  5. blueplate Avatar

    The strange thing to me is how often the car-stuffing type of hoarder is driving a relatively new vehicle. Neither of the pics above is a rusty junker.. both are relatively new, somewhat shiny paint .. filled with junk.

    1. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

      The Escape came out as a 2001 model, so it could be 10 years old, that's more than enough time for one of these people to fill it up. (of course, I highly doubt that they bought it new….. rather I hope they didn't, because can you imagine the smell after it's been holding garbage for 10 years? ewwwwww

    2. ptschett Avatar

      Around here the car of choice for these folks seems to be the 1st-generation Mopar minivan. There used to be one that I saw every time I parked in the lot behind my favorite Chinese restaurant downtown.

  6. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    I used to go out with a girls who had the trunk and back seat of her Accord absolutely packed with stuff. A lot of it was random outdoorsy stuff, so she could stop and go for a swim or a bike ride at any moment. I kind of admired that, but boy was she tweaked.

  7. Maxichamp Avatar

    I've got a friend with this problem, and it is a mental health issue. He's got so much stuff, even on his bed, you can literally see the outline of where he sleeps because it's the only part without junk (think snow angel). It's not good.

  8. $kaycog Avatar

    I am astounded at the conditions the people actually live in on "Hoarders". Animal Planet has a show about animal hoarders which is always unbelievable and appalling. This picture is from 2009 in Texas where a woman was living in her car with 22 dogs. The SPCA said that the car was soaked with urine and covered in feces. The ammonia level in the vehicle was 23 parts per million even after the doors had been opened for several minutes. As a frame of reference, humans start experiencing health issues at 12 parts per million.
    <img src="http://www.inquisitr.com/wp-content/22-dogs-in-car.jpg"width="500"/&gt;

    1. Jackie Avatar

      As a dog lover, that makes me instinctively both cringe and grind my teeth at the same time.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        I agree! It's one of the most pathetic things I've ever seen. Good morning to you! 😉

        1. Jackie Avatar

          Good morning!
          (Looks at clock…. 10:17pm. Oops.)
          …er, good evening, m'lady. 🙂

  9. bboxy Avatar

    my 40-ish neighbor a few doors down has a YJ Wrangler, soft top, with only her seat and the stick shift area not covered by floor-to-ceiling boxes, bags, books, trash, clothing, etc. and it looks like her dark dungeon of a condo is similarly decorated the time or two I've caught a glimpse through her curtain-crack. I'm always like, buy a bigger car than a YJ if you need it to hold all your collection of boxes full of plastic coat hangers and tattered paperbacks

  10. Ryans92L Avatar

    While I admit to tossing the occasional bottle or food packaging article in the back seat some times, I dont think that there is ever a way for me to let that happen…

  11. Alff Avatar

    Not that I'd let it ever get this far, but I do have a standing date every month to completely empty each vehicle. This is to prevent certain items (like the boxes of left over marble and granite tile currently taking up space in the back seat of the pickup, or the TV in the wagon's way back) from becoming permanent fixtures.

  12. alcology Avatar

    There was a woman with a car like this in massachusetts, she was at a gas station when some trash got stuck on the gas and under brake pedal. She flew across 4 lanes of traffic and into another building across the street.

  13. Addilyn J. Burke Avatar

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  14. Zion Gerald Fisher Avatar

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