Located in Gulfport, the Busted Wrench Garage (www.bustedwrench.com) is probably the only garage in the world that will never charge you a single cent. That’s because it’s not a garage – it’s an offbeat car museum. The brainchild of John Hans, this massive 6,000-square foot museum boasts an interesting collection of rare, exotic and one-of-a-kind vehicles from Hans’ personal collection. And not only is there no admission charge at the Busted Wrench Garage, but it also makes a great road trip stop, as it’s just a few miles off of Highway 90.
There’s no parking lot at the garage, but there’s usually plenty of street parking available. The front entrance has a ramp, with level access into the gift shop. And although there’s room to roll around on the cement floor inside the museum, there are three steps up to it from the gift shop. Additionally, some of the cars are pretty close together, so it might be a tight fit for a wheelchair. For these reasons this roadside attraction is a better choice for slow walkers, rather than full-time wheelchair-users.
Hans started out as a motorcycle mechanic, so in addition to the cars, there’s also a nice sampling of vintage motorcycles. Most of the exhibits have a sign that gives a little information about the piece, and explains the restoration process. From a 1964 Corvette Sting Ray to a 1982 Jaguar XJ6, and even a 1959 DeSoto Fireflite, there’s something for just about everyone at the Busted Wrench Garage.
Although the museum has a substantial car collection, it’s also boasts a good number of boats and bicycles, and even a few engines on stands. There’s also an old army Jeep in the corner that visitors are welcome to climb in for a photo op. It’s the only piece in the museum that you can touch. Round it out with a substantial collection of old photos, posters and even a gas pump, and you have a very nostalgic exhibition.
Hans also has a sense of humor as evidenced by the inclusion of the “Little Tike Cozy Coup” plastic kiddie car in the collection. A sign next to it reads, “Lack of a VIN makes it difficult to ascertain the exact year of manufacture”.
The collection is continually growing, and visitors can even peek behind the curtain in the back of the museum to see the working shop. And save some time to browse through the gift shop, which offers a wide selection of car-related souvenirs. The volunteers are very friendly, and they will also happily direct you to other places of interest in the area.
The Busted Wrench Garage isn’t your typical stodgy classic car museum, and in some respects that’s a very good thing. Backyard mechanics will absolutely love it, and everyone will appreciate the trip down memory lane. Best of all, it’s easy to find. From Highway 90 head north on Highway 49 for 1.4 miles, then turn right on 29th Street. The Busted Wrench Garage is the first building on the right.
So stop in on your next Gulf Coast road trip – you won’t be disappointed.