B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/4/23 6:11 p.m.

You Can't Take it with you when you Go... 

As of June 1st my Dad Rex has been gone for 6 months. Unfortunately cancer took him far too soon. My dad was my best friend. We were two peas in a pod when it came to our love for cars and motorcycles. While this thread is not about him and his life, (I already started another THREAD for that where ill be doing my own therapy by telling great automotive stories about my dad) this thread will tell the story of how I, along with many friends and family members, will be taking care of the collection my Dad left behind.

Out of all 3 of my siblings im the only one that really went all in on the automotive stuff alongside my dad. I know everything about each car, its story, what it needs. That's going to make this process easier and harder all at the same time. My goal is to carry out my Dad's wishes with each vehicle. Selling what he wanted us to sell, fixing what needs to be fixed, and keeping / preserving what we have decided to keep. 

My dad has had a very cool collection of cars over the years. Again, all of that will be covered in time in the thread mentioned above. My Dad loved ALL cars. Early in his life is was all about American muscle and European stuff. In the early 90's however, my Dad fell in love with Japanese cars and fast ones at that. My dad was well known for his love of cars and speed and.... for being a doctor. As a result he earned the nick name... 

The Speed Doctor.  

And so, today I start this thread as I begin the process of preparing and preserving my Dad's car collection. This process is going to be a lot of work. Its also going to be full of great memories as well as hard for me to say good bye to some of these "Old Friends." My Dad always talked about himself of as an automotive care taker. He knew all of his cars would only be his for a season and that one day... someone else would get the chance to be a care taker too.  I guess now its my turn. To care for these cars the way my Dad did and to hand some of them off to the care takers after me....  Because as Mike Love rightly sang..

Just remember happiness can not be bought or sold
And you can't take it with you when you go

Children listen please, let me say my piece
Growing up is a disease, don't you catch it

Can't take it with you when you go
No you can't take it with you when you go
Collect your silver, collect your gold
But in the end what will you have to show
'Cause you can't take it with you when you go

You can take my Love with you when you go

Love you Dad. Ill take it from here. 

"The Speed Doctor"

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/4/23 6:39 p.m.

Here is what we are working with: 

The 1965 NSU Wankel Spider - A write-up on him and this car was in Classic Motorsports a while back.


The 1968 Nissan Silvia - A write-up on him and this car was in Classic Motorsports a while back. 


Both of these cars will be sold. They are both probably one of the top three examples in the world and I will never be able to provide the level of care they need. Frankly, they both belong in a museum. 

We will also be selling my Dad's 64 Datsun 411 Wagon, 64 Datsun Cameo pickup, 64 Datsun 320 pickup, his 1954 Ford C500 Cab Over, 1990ish D-sports racer, 1995 honda CBR 600 Smokin Joe Race Bike, 1975 RD 400 Race bike and other less notable vehicles. 

We plan to keep and preserve his 1996 Nissan Skyline GTR V-spec , 1972 LS3 powered Datsun 240z Race car, 1969 Datsun Roadster, 1964 Honda Dream 305,  1975 RD 350 


All of the vehicles are in need of various things so this will be a long process. But im excited to start the journey and bring you all long for the ride along the way. I know ill need the typical wisdom and encouragement I usually find in this forum to get through it all. And who knows, maybe someone here will be the next care taker of one of the vehicles next. 

As always, Thanks for reading along.

Now, Go Get Busy Living. 

ShawneeCreek GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/5/23 6:04 a.m.

That is indeed a very cool, and diverse car collection. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

- Sean

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) Dork
6/5/23 7:42 a.m.

You're Dad must have been a heckuva guy. His collection is awesome. Ive always been a big Japanese car fan, Nissan/datsun primarily. 

good luck! 

Ranger50 MegaDork
6/5/23 8:22 a.m.

I love the mullet pickup.

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/5/23 10:00 a.m.
TJL (Forum Supporter) said:

You're Dad must have been a heckuva guy. His collection is awesome. Ive always been a big Japanese car fan, Nissan/datsun primarily. 

good luck! 

He sure was. He was very proud of all the cars he had accumulated over time. Thanks for following along. 

ExcessKuma Reader
6/5/23 4:20 p.m.

Excited to see the "less notable" vehicles, all vehicles deserve love haha

That's quite the collection and all seem to be very nice examples! 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/27/23 9:21 a.m.

Two weekends ago I got started on this whole process. It was hard. I wasn't really prepared for how emotional it would be to starting cleaning up. My dad was always a pile maker.... So as I went through the organized chaos of piles there were so many things that brought back memories and dumb things that needed to be thrown out but were hard to throw out. 


We got a TON done. Half of the hanger is cleaned up and organized and all Three vehicles and the trailer were moved from Orlando to where I live in Gainesville.There is still a bunch of stuff that needs to be throw out off to the side but Im waiting until I can get a tow away dump trailer in there. 

On Thursday I rented an enterprise truck until Monday AM. I have done this before and its actually a good deal... especially if they have diesels on hand. I guess all their Cummins trucks are on recall because they are catching on fire... never heard of that one. So I got stuck with a Ford Gasser.... which sucks... GAS. On Thursday I loaded up my Turbo Miata to get it tuned down in Orlando and came back Thursday night. Trip #1. 

Friday at 6am I picked up my good buddy Tom and We went to Orlando to pick up the first of the four vehicles we needed to move that weekend. Tom was the MVP of this trip. He isnt a car guy... just a hard worker and even better friend. There is no way I could have gotten as much done without him and my other buddy mike who linked up with us down in Orlando Saturday. 

Truck #1 was the v6 F150 my dad has had rolling around for a while. To keep his mechanic busy enough they would flip vehicles on the side. This F150 is on of them. Its a great little work truck. Interior is really nice. exterior is ok. fresh pretty much everything. 180kmiles will be for sale soon for $3500

The haul back to Orlando went smooth. But man do I miss havig a diesel truck. When I rented the Cummins last year from them I was getting 20ish MPG hauling an enclosed trailer with a boxter in it at 80..... This thing was getting 12MPG hauling at 70. Beggers cant be choosers I guess. 

Truck #2 is my dad's 2500 Duramax. Unfortunately when his mechanic was doing the glow plugs on it right before my dad passed away a piece of the glow plug broke off and dropped down in the head. We haven't been able to get it out. SO. A flat bed came to get it and its at Souther Diesel performance in Sanford to have the head pulled... I will be keeping this truck... At least for a while. 

Truck #3 and Trip #3 back and forth to Orlando is my dad's Silverado. This is a really cool truck. It was his daily for a while and also was the truck he took on some overland trips with me. Its got a great Billstein HD setup on it and runs like a top. He yanked out the push button 4x4 and went to the manual shift setup. Unfortunately... My dad was utterly convinced you could shift on the fly with that transfer case - you cant - and he nuked the transfer case. It needs to be replaced and then this truck will be for sale. Not sure for how much. My buddy Tom took the only photo with the truck on the trailer. I think he was over driving at that point. 


We got home late Friday night and we made plans to leave early Saturday morning to get to the hanger for trip #4.....

As always, Thanks for reading along.

Now, Go Get Busy Living. 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/27/23 12:36 p.m.


Man I understand. I just got all of my uncle's tools. It was an awesome and very hard experience at the same time. 

What an awesome collection overall. Reading through all of your posts, I read your dad's stuff on NICO in the day. Watching in honor of a great man in the community. 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/27/23 1:31 p.m.

In reply to bmw88rider :

Thanks man. Those words mean a ton to me. It's cool you are a NICO guy. My dad was so proud of that idea and the effort in the early days to lay the foundation for what NICO became. My dad birthed the idea. Greg and Torry are really the reason NICO grew the way it did. I'm grateful that they are close friends of mine to this day. 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
6/28/23 6:11 a.m.

Trip #4

That Saturday we got a later start. There was the typical I75 Accident that I may as well just plan into every trip I make down to Orlando these days and we had to make a few stops to buy a few things. Mainly BURGERS for making lunch at the hangar and a bunch of totes to begin sorting and organizing all the STUFF. There is alot of stuff.......

My primary Goal for Saturday was to move a much stuff around on the left side of the shop to make room for a dump trailer, move all the engines and transmissions etc into one corner, and clear as many paths a possible through the shop. 


Get the Silvia off the lift, into the trailer, and take both back to Gainesville. 

My childhood friend and fellow Gearhead Mike joined Tom and I at the shop. It was special having mike there. We have been best friends since first grade when my family and I first move to Florida. Mike's Dad and my Dad raced together growing up and our families are very close. Mike, like me, has memories connected to most of the cars and motorcycles in that shop. There were a few moments where  I got emotional about little things to do with certain cars. Mike got it. He knew exactly what I was thinking about and encouraged me to press on with a that nod you give a buddy letting him you know what up and that you got their back. We had some great laughs along the way and just told stories and remembered our childhood while cleaning. It was exactly what I needed. 

TOM was a beast. He is the sole reason we got some much done. He admittedly knows nothing about cars. He just started clearing paths and moving engines and transmissions to what we now call "Drivetrain Island".  When Tom would find something that he could identify he would just hold it in the air and with his brash military voice say "WHAT IS THIS" or "KEEP OR TRASH" it made for a good laugh throughout the day where he would often be surprised by what was trash and what wasn't... 

We were able to get Drivetrain Island built pretty quickly which will make loading all of those onto the trailer at a later date to come up to my shop much easier and frankly, just helped the hangar feel more organized. We also put other large car parts over there that I plan to take with me. the picture below is probably of half the area and there are still 3 more engines we have to move but couldn't. Did I mention there is alot of stuff? 

While the guys were cleaning I was able to spend some time taking inventory of the various things that were missing or stuff we needed to find for the motorcycles. As I mentioned earlier we plan to keep 2 of the 4 bikes - selling the two race bikes - and getting them out of the shop and to their new homes will create more space AND make it easier to get the 411 wagon out of its current spot. If you know anyone looking for a CBR600 or RD400 Race bike. Let me know! 

Because this is a hangar at and active airport there are very strict rules about what you can and cant do. In the case of a dump trailer we have to make room for it IN the hangar. It cant be outside the hangar - not even for a few hours. So getting the trailer out of the shop was a must. 

The last and Final and frankly most nerve racking part of our day was getting the Silvia off the lift and into the trailer. My dad had already been preparing the car for transport out to Arizona where our good friend Greg lives. My dad knew Greg was one of the only people in the country we could trust and had the knowledge and ability to prepare the Silvia for bring a trailer. The silvia is probably the nicest one in the country, if not the world. With only 544 ever made and each body panel being hand made and unique to the car... you can understand my concern. We got the wheels back on the car got it on the ground and tried to push it out. (I didn't even want to start the thing - just get it to Greg was all i kept saying to myself)

But as tends to be the case here in the humidity of Florida the rear driver brake drum was locked up. This seems to happen alot. We worked together to carefully free up the rear drum and got the car out into the sunlight for the first time in 9 months. 

Sorry for the glare on my photos.... one of the lenses on my brand new phone is already broken... anyway... I love this car and so did my dad. Finding it and getting it to the states back in the early 2000's was one of the things I felt like he was the most proud of from a car perspective. But this car made him anxious too LOL. I think that wore off on me. Im just not cut out to own collector cars like this. Even sitting in a car like this makes me nervous to break something or wear the leather wrong etc. And when we are talking about a 1 of 544 car.... any wear... any "anything" really impacts the car. So, as much as this car is a huge part of my dad's story and our "families" car collection I will be so glad when it finds its new home. 

We got Silvia on the trailer and ties her down really well. Tom could sense my worry about the whole thing and legitimately offered to ride and the trailer from Orlando to Gainesville. While we didn't go that route I did stop about every 30min to just check the straps. I think I still have PTSD (kidding) from when my dad didn't strap down my dirt bike as a kid and it fell of the trailer and was ruined.... after I said " hey dad should this be strapped down differently?" I was never the same HA! 

It was a late night push by the time we got home to my house. My good friend and neighbor Rob came over to help us get Silvia off the trailer and into my garage. Once we were done I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for all my friends who helped me that weekend and honestly... I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I can't explain it other than I knew I had done exactly what my Dad would have wanted me to do with many of the people he would have wanted me to do it with. While my humble little garage is not the right place for a car of this caliber. I know its in the right spot for now. I think my dad is keeping eyes on it ;) 

A vehicle transport company will be here July 7th to take the car out to Arizona. From there Greg and a few other guys will prepare the car for auction. I have some prep stuff I still need to do to the car to get it ready for transport but at this point... I feel like I can check the Silvia off the to-do list. 

As always, Thanks for reading along.

Now, Go Get Busy Living. 

ExcessKuma Reader
6/28/23 2:28 p.m.

If you're coming down this weekend let me know! I'll be working on the green Q to getting it running right again. Glad to hear everything these last trips went smoothly!

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/28/23 3:45 p.m.

I've never seen a Silvia like that.  Sweet little car!

759NRNG PowerDork
6/28/23 7:23 p.m.

B13Birk what's the number on this pm becahill5@gmail.com thanks

SpeedRacer41 New Reader
6/30/23 12:51 a.m.

Christ man, I thought I had a ton of work when my dad passed with getting two shops organized but your mountain of cars, trucks, bikes and tools is insane! 

Time will heal your wounds but there's always gonna be an occasional scab there, every now and then you'll nick it on accident and a few tears will come out, but that's just a part of living. With every project finished that scab will get a little smaller. 

That DSR would make for a great historics project for someone, and that Ford COE deserves to be placed on a new 450/550 chassis for a restomod. If I didn't have 10 different projects myself I'd pick it up off of you. 

Best of luck man and I'll be following along your journey through this! 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/1/23 12:41 p.m.

In reply to SpeedRacer41 :

HA! Yeah its going to be a ton of work - and it has been. But im truly proud to do it. You are right about the cycle of grief. I have definitely experienced it. It was explained to me as like waves on a beach. It comes and goes in sets. Sometimes the waves are small and other times they crash in. 

The DSR is very cool. Its very tempting for me to keep it as it doesn't need much to be finished. But I just don't have the room or frankly, the resource to keep and maintain all the stuff Id love to keep plus what I already personally own. Im already selling my Built Turbo Miata to make room in the garage and in the budget. The COE is just too big. I cant get rid of that thing soon enough LOL

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/23 9:38 a.m.

In reply to 759NRNG :

Not 100% sure yet. I just got it to my house Monday. Going check fluids compression etc and then try to track down some 112 octane locally to get her running. I have had a ton of interest in the bike from folks on FB groups for this bike because it's a Harry Barlow bike. Probably makes 75ish HP which is INSANE 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/23 11:26 a.m.
B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/23 11:53 a.m.

Monday I took the day off to make a trip down to Orlando to get some work done. My dad's hangar is inside an airport. I have been working to get all the background stuff completed and take the test so I can get in and out without needing an Ford Econobox to get in and out and do work in the bay. I had an appointment to get fingerprinted Monday Morning so i figured it was time to kill multiple birds with multiple stones.... or something. 

So, the first order of business was to get my Dad's 411 Wagon delivered to its new home. My dad bought this car out of mexico a long time ago. I love the body lines on these wagons. I would have loved to keep this car and restore it but my dad had already agreed to sell it to one of the guys who worked at the airport shortly before he passed away. It was a much finer example of a 411 when he first bought it back in 05-06. unfortunately, my dad made the mistake at one point of storing a few of his Datsuns in a shipping container for about 9 months. The Florida humidity that got trapped inside that container really took and rust on the cars and put it into hyper drive. In 2010 or so my youngest brother Jeremy loved the idea of rat rods. My dad thought they were cool too. So my Dad and my then, middle school aged brother turned the little wagon into a rat rod. The obvious choice of the day became RATaDAT. They lowered it on coilovers, Put some cool moonies wheels on it planned for a turbo and did some other wild stuff to the interior... My dad drove the car to work for a while.... to his private practice doctors office. No wonder his patients loved him. 


We also loaded the RD400 and the CBR600 to bring them back to my house. The RD400 is a race bike - built by the best RD builder probably in the world named Harry Barlow. So im kinda hesitant to even attempt to start it after its been sitting for about a year. But i have a buddy who is a 2 stroke expert and he is going to take a look at it. It only runs on 112 octane. So i need to track that down and get a mix going and make sure she starts for the next owner. The CBR Roared to life immediately. While this is also a race bike it can easily be made street-legal again. After taking it for a ride... Smiling and just thinking about my dad and his love for this bike... I'm leaning toward keeping it. 

After we delivered the Wagon about 30 min away from the hangar we circled back to pickup my Dad's 1964 N320 Datsun Cameo pickup. They only made 1000 of these and I just love this little truck. I think its the best looking Datsun Pickup they made. This truck needs the brakes looked at but she starts up at the first turn of the key. Its about 90% original and is a truly great example of this truck of which, very few ever made it to the States. Id love to keep this one too. But unfortunately, it's just not in the cards. It's so hard to say goodbye to these cars or even think about it... but It's part of the process. 

Everything is all tucked away for the time being


B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/23 12:00 p.m.

I was also very pleased that we were able to get "Big Green" as my dad called it running and driving. My dad loved this 1954 Ford F500 COE. He has big plans to build this into the ultimate tow rig for the race cars and trailer. This is a very nice low mile example. It needed a new carb and some minor brake adjustment and she is ready to rock and roll. I need to figure out the title situation on this one which is going to be annoying. However, I have heard that Florida makes it easier than most states! Once the title work is done (and hopefully soon) Big Green will be ready for her new home. This sucker is BIG so id love to be able to get it sold before I have to be out of the hangar and avoid both the hauling and the storage of this beast! But it may not work out that way. 


B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/5/23 12:28 p.m.


The Silvia got picked up and is on its way to Arizona to be cared for and prepared for sale. MAN WAS THIS HARD. 

I got a little emotional when I dropped off the wagon. But sending the Silvia off wrecked me. I say this all the time. Its not about the vehicle itself. Its about all the memories associated with the car. The Silvia has been in our family for nearly 20 years. My dad was the second owner. We worked on this car together. Took it to car shows. We even drove it in a parade lap at road Atlanta together. 

I prepared the car by wrapping all the extra parts and bumpers in bubble wrap. This car is 100% original and man does that make me nervous. 

My buddies Tom and Rob cam over to help me out. They have both been so awesome through all of this and have been really supportive. 

We got the Silvia loaded on the truck safely and she should arrive in Arizona on Friday. 

I dont remember this photo being taken but my buddy sent it to me. I just stood in my neighbor's yard and had a good cry for a bit. All I could think was I wish my Dad was here. I wish we were doing this together. Every car thing I ever did my dad was always somehow involved. To be doing all of this without him feels wrong. Its taken the joy out of cars for me. I know that that feeling wont last forever and I know its absolutely the last thing my dad would want. I know Ill get it together. But for now. Its a bunch of heartache. Saying goodbye to Silvia in an odd way kinda felt like saying goodbye to my dad all over again. She isn't even sold yet. But its probably the last time ill see it. I think my Dad would be proud for how im managing all of this. I think he'd be proud of the way im balancing work and life and my marriage all while doing this alone. But man. Id love to be doing it with him. I say all of that to say.... Cherish the people you have with you now. Make the memories. Take the time. Pickup the phone. Get Busy Living. 

Anyways.... the Silvia is off to get taken care of by some of the best folks in the US for this type of thing. Here's to goodbyes, and great memories. 




Datsun310Guy MegaDork
7/5/23 12:38 p.m.
Lof8 - Andy said:

I've never seen a Silvia like that.  Sweet little car!

Super rare - a lot of parts are from the early roadsters - engine, seats, gauges......once again this is a rare one.  Nissan should buy it for their museum, or lack of a museum. 

B13Birk GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/6/23 4:50 p.m.
Datsun310Guy said:
Lof8 - Andy said:

I've never seen a Silvia like that.  Sweet little car!

Super rare - a lot of parts are from the early roadsters - engine, seats, gauges......once again this is a rare one.  Nissan should buy it for their museum, or lack of a museum. 

You are correct! Tons borrowed from the roadsters! 50ish of the cars were shipped to Australia 10 or so to southeast Asia and of course Zero to America. Some of them became cop cars in Japan. I got to see one of the cop car versions 15 years ago in person. Today there are three known Silvia in the states including this one that I'm aware of. 

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