Jerri, my better half, told me
way back in 1969 when we were first married
that I could
buy all the cars I wanted so
long as they didn't cost her anything. What a bride! She recognized my
addiction (at the time, I owned a '65 MGB, a '56 Studebaker truck, and '67 Ford Galaxie 2-door hardtop; she had a
VW 'Bug'!), and had figured out a way to co-exist with it.
But, wow, was that ever a challenge. How would I buy every car I wanted without
spending any money? I mean, there are sooo many cars and so little time...
Then I hit on an idea. Why not sell any extra parts & cars that I didn't want to
keep, and use that money to buy cars & parts I wanted to keep! Wow, now I could keep
my bride happy AND feed my addiction. The best of both worlds!
there are lots of companies out there making big bucks off car nuts like us who are trying
to keep little orphaned cars on the road. And, there's a place for them. But, I
figured, there was also a place for a guy who didn't want to make
any money but
just wanted to own a lot of cars; a fellow car nut who's in it for the love
of the car. (When I had this flash of brilliance, I was an Army officer, and Jerri was a school teacher;
so, opening an automobile dealership wasn't my goal. Even after retiring from the
Army in 1993, that still wasn't my goal; owning lots of little British cars, however,
For a long time, I traveled to car shows ("auto jumbles" I believe are
what the Brits call them) selling or swapping the used MG parts I found and collected to
support my 'habit'.
advertised any of my extra little British cars for sale in local newspapers or through
friends in our local club. And, my permanent car collection slowly grew.
Then, back when our daughter was just moving beyond Judy
Blume books, one of her friends said to her, "Shannon, your dad is
weird. He has all those old cars everywhere."
was simple, "Oh, he's not weird, he's just an autoist."
Without knowing it, she had coined a new
phrase, to me at least. Being a father to whom
education was important, I gave her an assignment: define "autoist".
Her results definitely describe me (and possibly you):
A specialist in automobiles. 2.
One who produces, makes, operates, plays with, or is connected to automobiles. 3. A car nut."
So, in 1984, when Shannon coined the term, we adopted
as the name of my little MG
rescue venture and museum.
And, in 1998, when we finally gave in and purchased a computer, theAutoist
my computer identity.
Finally, in 2000, we succeeded in getting our web site up and running
so everybody else could enjoy our collection (I know a
lot about cars, MG's in particular, but this computer-thing is driving me
crazy!), and theAutoist.com became
our web site address.
And, even though I'm now retired, I still can't walk away from an abused or abandoned little orphan
British car ("Jerri, look
what followed me home today!"). And I love to talk MG's with
other like-minded fanatics.