One of Jeff Rense’s passions is the restoration of classic automobiles.
Classic car restoration is a very expensive “luxury” hobby… particularly if, like Rense, you pay others to do the work for you. Over the past ten years, Rense has spent over $300,000 for restoration work on three classic automobiles. (This does not include the purchase price of those vehicles.) A fourth project is currently in the works.
No wonder Rense complains about being $800,000 in debt! (Though it seems he would rather people believe it is down to his being a single father who “lost everything twice and went bankrupt once stemming from 15 years in court.” Rense doesn’t specify what the “15 years in court” or bankruptcy is all about, but given that his daughter is now 24 years old, any costs from a custody battle would have been incurred quite some time ago.)
Here are the classic automobile restoration projects that Rense has undertaken in the past decade.
1955 Chevrolet pickup truck
It’s not known exactly when Rense bought this truck or how much he paid, but according to him, he spent $30,000 restoring it. He had it listed on ebay Motors in December 2009; the final selling price isn’t known.
1953 Muntz Road Jet
Rense bought this car in 2004 for an unknown sum, then spent $140,000 restoring it. The ad for the Muntz has been on Rense’s website since 2008. According to Rense’s friend Paul Drockton, Rense sold the completed project for a “huge loss.”
There has been erroneous information posted on the internet about Rense’s Muntz. Paul Drockton originally tried to claim that Rense never actually owned it, but was merely selling it for someone else.
|Drockton later admitted that Rense had indeed owned the Muntz, but that it was “another old car Jeff found full of rust and damage,” its condition comparable to Rense’s 2nd Woodie (see below). Yet the 2004 Muntz Jet Registry–printed in the year Rense purchased it–noted the car’s condition as follows: “Appears to be very complete and free of significant corrosion problems… A restoration effort will likely be free of major challenges.” So it would seem that Rense spent $140,000 on a restoration project that should have been “free of major challenges.” The mind boggles at the thought of how much he would have spent had the car actually been “full of rust and damage”!|
1951 Ford Woodie
Rense bought this Woodie from WoodiesUSA around 2007 for an unknown sum, then spent 2½ years and $140,000-$150,000 restoring it. The restoration cost is quite astounding given that the car was in “very good, but a little tired condition” at the time Rense purchased it. Rense had it listed for sale in 2010 on Auto Trader Classics, Hemmings Classic Cars and ebay Motors. According to the final ebay listing, it was eventually sold to a buyer from Brazil. Although the final selling price isn’t known, it appears that Rense took a rather large haircut on this restoration as well: when he listed it on Hemmings, his asking price was $97,500 OBO.
Perhaps Rense subsequently forgot how much he spent on this Woodie restoration, because in February 2012, when referring to his second Woodie project, he stated that “anyone who would pay “$100,000″ to restore a woodie ought to have the keys taken away”.
2nd Ford Woodie
Rense’s current restoration project is another Ford Woodie, which he apparently “found in a field”. Rense says he expects to spend just $50,000 restoring it –about 1/3 of the cost he incurred on his first Woodie restoration. Considering that his first Woodie was in “very good” condition when he began the restoration, and this one was, by contrast, a rusted shell, perhaps Rense is underestimating the restoration costs just a bit.
|Update 17 June 2012: Thank you to Melinda Jane Kellogg for providing the following photographs of the 2nd Woodie in its finished state.|
Jeff Rense is a shrewd businessman, whose generous income affords him the means to pursue luxury hobbies like classic car restoration.
And why not? People with high incomes often indulge in expensive pastimes.
But it doesn’t seem very forthright of Rense to claim that donations are “truly crucial” to keeping his website and radio show viable, while simultaneously spending enormous sums of money on pet projects such as this.
It certainly makes the term “donation drive” take on a whole new meaning.
 Reply 1 ‘Jeff Rense’s Abuse Of Power & Trust’. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 Reply 2 ‘The Hidden Jeff Rense’. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 1955 Chevrolet pickup on eBay Motors December 2009 (pdf).
 Extremely Rare American Classic. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 Henry Makow’s House of Lies. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 War On You forum. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 Muntz Jet appraisal. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
 1951 Ford Woodie on ebay Motors February 2010 (pdf).
 1951 Ford Woodie on ebay Motors April 2010 (pdf).
 1951 Ford Woodie on Hemmings (pdf).