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1970 Plymouth Cuda and Garage - This Girl's Garage

By , Photography by Dennis Ballesteros

Lori lien / Apple Valley, MNThis is the stuff of dreams. Here's a girl all car guys dream of meeting. Unfortunately, she's already taken. One of the first things Lori told us was she and her boyfriend, Mark, spend more time in the garage than they do in the living room. Talk about having your priorities straight. Lori and Mark bought this house six years ago, and a big garage was the main criterion in their decision. This is a three-car garage that Lori and Mark use to house her 'Cuda and his non-Mopar (and therefore covered) car, plus they have enough room for parts, tools, and hangout space for them and their friends. Lori tells us they host many meetings of the Heavy Hitters, a car club they belong to. The garage is located off the kitchen, and they installed a glass door between the garage and the house so they can look in on the cars while eating dinner.

Lori says she's on the lookout for a '67 or '68 Valiant like the one she drove in high school. Maybe she'll be filling this space with one soon.

This is a 540 Chevrolet big-block Lori's son, Preston, is putting together. He doesn't have a car for it yet. He recently sold his '65 Malibu to buy a house.

Lori often gets compliments on the color she chose to paint the walls of her garage. She describes it as a happy accident. Mark had chosen a lime green for the walls, but neither of them liked the way it looked, so she mixed it with a slate blue she had used to paint her son's room. They liked the resulting seafoam color so much she had her local paint store match it, and that's what's on the walls now.

This is just a small sampling of Lori and Mark's extensive collection of die-cast cars. "My dad was always giving my brothers die-cast cars when we were little," Lori says, explaining how she got hooked on them as well. She guesses they have enough cars to line three walls of the garage, but they store most of them in the basement. "That would be too much dusting," she says.

The neon clock on the wall is from Porky's, a popular barbecue restaurant on University Avenue in St. Paul.

Mark's Chevelle is under the tarp. It's been in the pages of Car Craft before, so they didn't feel it was necessary to show it again.

Front and center is Lori's '70 'Cuda. She bought it six years ago from her dad, who'd owned it for several years before that. It has the original 340 and A833 four-speed complete with a Pistol Grip Shifter. Lori's not afraid to put miles on the car. She tells us it runs 14.0s all day long, fires up on the first crank of the starter, swallows highway miles with ease, and gets 16 mpg. She's taken it on several legs of the Power Tour(r) and is planning to do so again this year.

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