Home » A Ferrari-Porsche-Mercedes-Buick Dream Garage We Can All Admire: Members Rides

A Ferrari-Porsche-Mercedes-Buick Dream Garage We Can All Admire: Members Rides

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If you’re reading this website, chances are, you’ve daydreamed of a garage full of cars that could satisfy your every whim and fancy. “What’s in your dream garage?” is even a question on our Member Rides survey. So, when member Jack Beckman answered “I’m pretty close to it now, just needs a Ferrari,” I knew I had to reach out and know more. 

It didn’t hurt that he listed a 1974 Porsche 914 with a larger 2.4-liter Type 4 engine among a list of other enviable Porsches, either. I, a Type 4 enthusiast, am jealous. Beckman, a retired computer programmer who lives near Detroit, is really making the most out of his post-work years here. 

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(Welcome to Member Rides. This is the weekly feature where we look at people who became members of the site by signing up here and parting with a little of their hard-earned dough to keep The Autopian going. Our plan is to do these every week! Today it’s Jack’s turn!)

A Heady Mix Of Machines

Regardless of what you’re into, it’s always fun to peek into the garage of someone living their best car life. In addition to the 914, Beckman has a 2001 Porsche Boxster track car, a 1987 Porsche 928 S4, a 2023 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS 50th Anniversary Porsche Design Edition, a 2020 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive (read: the swanky one with more legroom in the back), a 2023 Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain and a 2019 Buick Enclave. He also has a 2024 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 on order. That’s quite the list!

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Also, the garage finally got its Ferrari after Jack initially responded to our member survey: a 2006 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti.

“None of these cars take the winter off,” Beckman told us. “If it’s slushy or rotten out, the wagon or the SUV go, but once the roads are clear and dry, the rest of them come out to play.”

Autopian: So, you finally got the missing Ferrari! You originally said you were considering a Roma. Was the 612 the last missing piece?

Well, I may get a Roma in a few years. I think they’re gorgeous, but I’m not sure I want to go down to a V8. One of the reasons I got the 612 was because of the V12.

I actually was set with seven cars, but happened to be looking at Cars and Bids (always a bad idea <g>) and the 612 came up with no reserve. I guess I got it cheap as the first comment from the indy dealer selling it was, “Might have to start putting reserves I think.” At the beginning of the auction, it was dirt cheap—so cheap that Doug DeMuro even bid on it. So I bid, and had high bid (at a pretty low price) until it got near the end. I got into a bidding war with a couple of other guys, then one dropped out. I finally put in my max bid and decided “that’s it, no more. Apparently, the other guy decided that on his previous bid.

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Img 2864 Ed
A V12 and those fabulous seats? Here for it.

It needed some work when I got it (things like motor mounts and front ball joints) as well as some minor paint work, but now it looks pretty good and runs great. I’ve put about 700 miles on it this year, including some hard driving. For a giant, heavy car, it really does handle quite well at speed. Pretty decent trunk (for a Ferrari) and it has not one but TWO “secret” compartments under the trunk floor.

I’ve always wanted a Ferrari. I love their racing history.

Autopian: Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into cars? 

I started playing with Hot Wheels at age six or so. Watched all the racing on TV that I could as a kid. Started doing car maintenance on my first car (a 1970 Maverick) out of cost necessity. Learned to drive stick the hard way—I bought one and had to get to work! Raced in local Formula Vee for a short time (wasn’t very good!). Drove a 1987 Corvette for 20 years (almost into the ground). Had a manual Chevy SS before the 911. 

Autopian: That’s a solid list, too! Formula Vee always looks like a blast, and I’m a sucker for well-loved Corvettes. Do you know where any of your past cool rides are now? 

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I only know where one of my less cool rides is now. I sold my Cadillac XT5 to a friend who really wanted it and replaced it with the E 450. He is using it as his daily out in Arizona, where the heated seats don’t get much use, but the ventilators do!

The Porsche Greatest Hits Collection

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Autopian: Your current stable reads like a Porsche’s Greatest Hits collection (complete with a 928, YES!), so I’m curious—what led you to multiple-Porsche ownership? Do you have a favorite?

Oddly enough, the Porsche fixation started with my wife. She had wanted a Panamera for many years, and once we could finally afford one, we went to the closest dealer and ordered her one. Nine months later, the car finally showed up. In the same shipment was a 911 Cabriolet 4S [Beckman’s first 911—Ed.]. The dealership had just ordered it without a customer order, which was still possible back in 2019. I took a test drive and fell in love. I was driving a manual 2015 Chevy SS at the time and thought that was pretty quick until I drove the 911. I was hooked. Since this one had 90% of what I would have ordered anyway, I just took that rather than wait. Turned out to be a good move since this was in early March 2020. I’d probably just be getting the car now!

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Img 2878 Ed
This Boxster has a tidy interior for an 11-owner car!

After getting the 911, I started getting more into the history of the brand. I knew a little, but started digging into other cars. I had always liked the looks of the 914 and 928. After taking the 911 to a track day, I wanted more track time, but not in my mostly bank-owned 911. So, I found the 2001 Boxster with 81,000 miles at a Buick dealer about a mile away and had that fixed up. I only do very minor work myself, like replacing interior pieces and hood struts. I’m the 11th owner!  I had a third radiator put in, a bigger oil sump (as they are known to have starvation problems in big corners), and the IMS bearing changed out for one with an oil system to prevent any issues there. The seats got recovered as they were split. I also added a Porsche Classic radio to get navigation and Apple CarPlay. It runs great on the track—it’s a better car than I am a driver.

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The 928 I found on Hemmings after searching around for about a year. It only had 41,000 miles when I got it. It needed a lot of mechanical work, but the interior was like new (Torch and David have seen it). It even still has the cover that attaches to the hatch, which is something that seems to go missing on 928s. In the pictures, it has the official winter wheels that I found online as new old stock. In the summer, it gets the original wheels with summer tires. Other than adding a Porsche Classic radio (to get Apple CarPlay, navigation and satellite radio) and a brighter light under the hood, it’s stock.

The 2023 911 GTS Targa 4 50th Anniversary Porsche Design I picked up a couple of months ago. Once again, it was because of my wife—yes, I love her dearly! We had brought her car into the dealership for a recall on the Panamera and saw this 911 for sale with all of 200 miles on it. Apparently, an older gentleman had bought it, drove it a bit, and decided it was too much car for him, so he sent it back to the dealer on consignment. 

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Img 2860 Ed
Places we’d rather be: behind the wheel of a manual 911 Targa.

 

My wife noticed it and really liked it even though she couldn’t drive it, as it’s a manual. (Our previous Cabriolet was a PDK.) She also liked the color. With this numbered edition, your choice is Jet Black or Jet Black Metallic, and she never liked the blue 911 Cab.  It’s nicely specced with the front lift (nice for me as I have to travel down a quarter-mile of gravel road to get to my street), rear-wheel steering and ventilated seats. It also has a much nicer interior than my Cab did, with a lot more leather. Plus, I like the look of the Targa better than the Cab, as the roofline on the Targa still looks like a coupe. It is also easier to see out of with the top up as the back is all glass, where in the Cab, you only have a small glass section. I also enjoy having a manual again. The Boxster and the 914 are manuals, but they are bit cramped inside compared to the 911.

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The Panamera that started it all.

 

The Panamera is my wife’s daily driver, so it’s a bit dirty in the pics. She drives it pretty much all the time, and I get to occasionally. We took it to Florida this year on a trip to see some Spring Training games, and it was a great long-distance driver.

A 914–With Heated Seats!Thumbnail Img 2883 Ed

Autopian: I’d love to know what you’ve done to the 2.4-liter 914. Was it bought like that, or did you build out the bigger engine? Was there anything else done to the car alongside the larger engine?

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I got the 914 earlier this year from a dealer in Kansas. The car came with the 2.4-liter 4-banger. It’s an engine from SCAT in California. It’s using dual carbs rather than the old fuel injection system. It also has a Porsche Classic radio, but I didn’t pop for satellite radio. It also has heated seats—the interior was rough, so I had it recovered and that seemed like the time to do it. The paint on it is definitely a 10-to-15-foot repaint job, but it’s sound with no rust. I also had the pop-up headlights changed to LEDs. The originals popped up but didn’t work, so I figured it was a good time to upgrade. I also had the spare-tire-powered washers replaced with a motorized washer system. [Jason will be crushed, I’m sure.—Ed.]

 

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Wagon Love
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Autopian: Let’s hear about your other cars, too—what are your favorite things about the E 450 wagon and Enclave? 

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The E 450 finally showed up in March, and it’s been great. They will only sell the wagon as an All-Terrain model here, so you get extra cladding, a couple of off-road modes, and an inclinometer in the digital display! I’m not an off-roader, but it’s great for highway use and general stuff around town. I wanted a wagon to replace my Cadillac XT5 because I am not a huge fan of SUVs (although they can be very useful). I would have kept the XT5 but I have a bad left knee, and the wheel hump in the XT5 got intolerable as I got older. Otherwise, I liked it.

 

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Adorable! We love a backward-facing third row.

 

But the E 450 wagon has a feature that’s almost gone (and is gone on the 2024 model)—rear-facing back seats! They’re perfect for our dogs, Ceres (the white one) and Vesta (the brown one). 

The Buick is the AC/DC of the family: dirty deeds done dirt cheap. It hauls the bags of dirt, the plants, the sets of tires, furniture, etc., does so without complaint, and is the only vehicle that uses regular fuel! We ordered it new, and I would keep it except it has an even worse wheel hump than the XT5. So, I drive it sparingly now as it’s just too painful for me, and that’s why the GLS580 is on order (and has been for a year now—it went from a 2023 to a 2024 so far). It’s too bad, because it’s a real workhorse.

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Img 2863 Ed

Autopian: Lastly, what’s your favorite race track? 

I haven’t driven many tracks—only the local Waterford Hills and M1, as well as Barber Motorsports Park with the Porsche drive program. Of the three, I like Barber the best. It’s a very fun track.

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Evan Shealy
Evan Shealy
7 months ago

When the headline included Buick, I was expecting a Grand National, GSX, maybe even an old school Rivera…. But an Enclave? Does anyone actually dream about owning an enclave?

Last edited 7 months ago by Evan Shealy
lukeofthehillpeople
lukeofthehillpeople
7 months ago

I think I have my realistic dream garage. ’19 Volvo V90 Cross Country for winter and road trips. ’20 BMW M240 with the manual, M-Sport rear dif, and a light tune. ’15 Volvo V60 R-Design for the soon-to-be-driving teen. 2020 BMW R1250R for two wheeled fun. Wife has an ’18 Lexus LX570 for towing etc. And mountain bikes and skateboards.

Bomber
Bomber
7 months ago

Well since Buick is on there lets call out the Re…I mean Grand National and it’s daddy the GNX, plus the Reatta for just being cool. In August I was able to drive a Ferrari 488 Spyder and I fell in love. Even at 160 it barely needed boost and the Ferrari sound is music. However, at heart I’m a Corvette guy. I’d LOVE a midyear 427 but I will never be able to afford one. So my go to is either a 1994 (HS grad year) Polo Green ZR1 since you can’t go wrong with the old school LT5 or a C5 Z06. I prefer the older more analog cars.

BunkyTheMelon
BunkyTheMelon
7 months ago
Reply to  Bomber

Grand National and it’s daddy the GNX”

The GN is the GNX’s daddy. The GNX didn’t appear until ’87. I realize I’m being a pedant here, but have always had a soft soft for these.

Anthony Magagnoli
Anthony Magagnoli
7 months ago

Hey neighbor. I’m in Dexter and an RSR PCA member. I hope to see you out at an event next year!

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago

Hey Anthony – I get out to several of the events with the SEM Region and occasionally further west, hope to run into you!

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago

I’m surprised to see someone using the third row for dogs, I’ve always thought a regular back hatch with a cargo liner was the best. Don’t really have to worry about wiping their paws, and the space is slightly more constrained and safer for them if there is an accident. What’s the advantage of having the seat deployed, other than 3rd row seats are the best?

Does anyone know of any PHEV or EV wagon options with a third row? The only one I know of is Model S but that one is pretty cramped I think.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago

The dogs have on harnesses designed for attaching to seat belts and are belted in. The harness is supposed to spread out the force if you have to brake and they start sliding forward. But with them facing backward, they will instead back into the seat, which is probably better for them.

As for wiping paws and such – the seats wipe up easily and fold back down. All their extra hair seems to congregate in the small footrest area the is covered when folded, so it keeps the rest of the car cleaner.

They have ridden occasionally in the back seat of the Panamera (with a seat cover).

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Thanks for the info! I grew up riding in the hatch seats of my dad’s Toyota Camry wagon when we had a car full of kids and parents. I’m pretty sure they came as standard. Maybe by the time you’re ready to part with some of these cars I could afford them! Try to keep me in mind in 5-20 years… I love that GTS targa too, talk about holy grails.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
7 months ago

Backward facing third row for pooches for the win!
Just don’t give them any treats back there. Crumbs and what not are exactly how you get… something.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago

Nobody easts in the cars (except my diabetic friend, he gets a pass).

Geoff Buchholz
Geoff Buchholz
7 months ago

Outstanding collection, Mr. Beckman! And great to see Stef and good parshes!

Parsko
Parsko
7 months ago

Hey Jack, great collection! Orange 914 is nice. Gotta be weird getting in that after all the others.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

It is the lowest of them all, almost like a go-kart. When I come up to rabbits in the road I make eye contact.

JCat
JCat
7 months ago

What a wonderful collection! Bonus points from me for the rearward seat wagon. And of course lots of Parsh! 🙂

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
7 months ago

I don’t understand why modern Porsche targas don’t get more love. Maybe it’s because I’m the last of the Gen Xers, but to me a targa always looks like what a 911 should look like.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
7 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

I’m of that gen myself…there’s nothing more wonderfully ’80s than a targa. Henchman Sully drove one in Commando, before Arnold dropped him off a cliff.

A targa always seems to me kinda futuristic in a way a regular convertible isn’t.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

Well, Targas must get a decent amount of love overall since the longest running and most recognizable sports cars from America, Germany and Japan all are offered in Targa these days. Corvette, 911, and Miata. That would be a fun targa triple threat, Mid, rear, and front engines too. Sounds like a cool set of cars to own, although utility might be a little lacking!

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
7 months ago

Meaning specifically with 911s. I probably see 50 or more (honestly probably way more) 911 coupes to every 1 targa…

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
7 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

Not disputing that- I also like the Targa and would love to get my hands on one. I think it looks way better than the cabrio.

Ottomottopean
Ottomottopean
7 months ago
Reply to  sentinelTk

Fellow Gen-Xer here. Totally agree on the Targa. My only complaint about the modern Targa 911 is that you cannot get a manual trans on the base 911 Targa. You have to step up to the Turbo 4S but I think even that is going PDK only. But hey, I can look for used models or wait for them to cycle around and bring it back as they often do.

The Targa is likely the only 911 I’d give up my beloved Boxster for.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago

Welcome Stef! About time those cheap bastards hired you!
My holidays don’t suck as much as they did yesterday.
Now, write more shit please….

PL71 Enthusiast
PL71 Enthusiast
7 months ago

Is Stef officially part of the team???

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
7 months ago

About the recovered seats on the Boxster: Is that the kit from Lseat.com? If so, how do you like it? My Boxster needs new upholstery and the lseat kit has some good reviews.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

My local mechanic has a guy he uses, so I don’t think it’s a kit. He also re-did the cover on the armrest box in the center so it would all match (and to take out the gash in it).

Last edited 7 months ago by Jack Beckman
SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
7 months ago

I’m not an open roof kind of person, but the 911 Targa has always had a place in my heart. Love the look, even with the roof up!

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
7 months ago

Dang, that’s a nice garage setup

RustHoles
RustHoles
7 months ago

Does this mean that Stef is going to be writing for the Autopian??

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
7 months ago
Reply to  RustHoles

Wondered the same thing once I noticed the byline. And then then sheer amount of Porsches in this particular collection suddenly made sense!

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago
Reply to  RustHoles

Stef is writing the weekly member rides feature going forward. It was mentioned in the Nov 7th newsletter. I hope it leads to more here. I’d love to see more of Stef’s stuff here.

Chronometric
Chronometric
7 months ago

I did not receive a member car survey. Is that only for Corinthian leather levels?

AssMatt
AssMatt
7 months ago

Great garage! My mind reels from “once we could finally afford one” to “a greatest hits collection” in less than five years. I hope I get a similar bump someday!

V10omous
V10omous
7 months ago

Great collection!

I assume 2014 manual SS is a typo, because they were auto only for that first year.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Sorry, yes, it was a 2015.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Oops! We’ll get that fixed.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Entirely my fault…

Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
7 months ago

Nice stable! I particularly like that you have the 928. In my view it is one of the best Porsche’s ever built. Never realized how small the Ferrari is until I saw this photo.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
7 months ago

Cool cars and cute dogs! Thanks for sharing!

3WiperB
3WiperB
7 months ago

A dream garage for sure! Jack has brought a few of his cars to Detroit area meet-ups and they always class up the joint. The 914 is lovely in that orange, and the 612 sounded dreamy in our parking garage meet up.

Last edited 7 months ago by 3WiperB
Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago
Reply to  3WiperB

My brother’s 914 sounded like a VW till he got tired of hearing shit from everyone.
15K later he now has a 300 hp flat 6 in it.
And rules the Western Slope of Colorado…

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
7 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

I hope he upgraded the brakes too! 300hp! Mine is closer to 150 I think.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
7 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

This is a most impressive owners stash here. Like almost beyond my ability to comprehend such a life.

So is he. Think he’s at a current possession of 5 running examples today.

A 45+ plus year addiction. And as I’m more than sure you already know, sometimes you get lucky on your finds. Sometimes the tech at the shops win the bet. For a while.

After more than a few unintended off road mishaps, upgraded brakes, wheels and tire sets, suspension tweaks are just considered “the cost of fun.”

Legend is that the State Troopers and local Police, all know the hard way not to even attempt to give chase.

I once asked him why he spent a fortune on paint and body/engine mods constantly. He replied it was cheaper than paying insane insurance rates and the price of tickets.

You guys make me jealous sometimes.

Last edited 7 months ago by Col Lingus
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