Find What Drives You...
By Patrick Krook
Being 15 years old, for me, brought with it a long walk. Three miles each way in the dark to work and back to close, then open, shifts at my local McDonald's. Like most teenagers, I longed for a car, mostly to turn four hours of walking between shifts into five minutes of driving. But it was those daily journeys that lit the fire for muscle cars.
About two-thirds of the way to work on a long stretch of road between neighborhoods, was a small gray house with a detached garage that opened with a single panel overhead door. Inside and parked around the yard, loitering like barn cats, were '67 – '70 Mercury Cougars. No matter the time of night or how early in the morning I walked by, the light in that garage was on, usually accompanied by sounds of the Steve Miller Band emanating from speakers too small for such a large space. One day I was walking by after an open shift when I heard the same music bleeding into the street from the garage and I decided to walk in. The trajectory of my life changed.
The gray house and garage were owned by a Ford mechanic that spent most waking hours restoring his old Cougars. I found out that he had been wrenching on them since he was a boy, my age at the time. He taught me how to evaluate a good car and spot problems. I bought my first car, a '79 Mercury Capri and he showed me how to maintain it. He even showed me how to do an alignment with little more than a pickle bar, some chalk and a tape measure. That is where I learned, not just wanting to own a cool muscle car, but the ideal of being the current caretaker of these vintage car.
From there, I had rescued, wrenched and driven everything from vintage Mopars, to Mustangs, and GTO's. Each car was a learning experience, and not always a positive one. There is little in this world worse than being taken advantage with something you are passionate about.
I started Show Your Auto LLC in 2003 after a career as an Executive Recruiter within the Information Technology sector during the "tech-boom" that began in the mid-90's. The subsequent “dot-bomb” bust led me to downsize my life, selling our first house, and liquidating my modest car collection. As an I.T. Recruiter and Consultant,
I taught companies to use best practices in marketing and selection so they could build high-performance teams in mission critical business units. My greatest personal satisfaction in my recruiting career was finding the people who were both talented and passionate about their work.
Starting Show Your Auto was an opportunity for me to do the same for myself, to marry my skills honed in the business world with my God given passion for automobiles which began in the gray garage with the big overhead door. The problem, however, was that I was busted flat, living in a four flat apartment, and underemployed. My Uncle heard of my plans to bootstrap an online automobile brokerage and offered to help by giving me a 1967 Buick Wildcat that was brown and rusted. There was only one condition, I could not keep it. Selling the car for $750 was the seed money I used to start www.ShowYourAuto.com.
Since then, my work has taken me around the world. I've driven a Shelby collection through the streets of Paris, sold cars to Arab Royalty, and handled the sale of some of the rarest muscle cars ever produced. What I've learned from that Ford mechanic as a young man still holds true today. To pursue and purchase a rare collectable car is not merely a buying choice, or even just an investment decision, it is about fulfilling a heart's desire. If you're like me and so many that I've met along the journey, it is one that has been there since you were a boy. 2013 will be the 10th anniversary of my business www.ShowYourAuto.com and the best is yet to come.