She has a 9 car garage. What!?!
Emily Stroud wbir.com
Lots of people enjoy collecting stuff like stamps and coins and American-girl dolls. And of course you need a place to display them.
A local collector built a custom space to keeps her cars.
"Yes they all run perfectly. I keep them all in tip top mechanical shape. And I just love them," Cynthia Fleming said of her car collection.
She custom built her house in Lenoir City with a garage big enough for nine cars.
A tour of her garage shows each car has its own personality and name.
"This is Alex. My little work horse I call him. This is the only car that really works. The rest of them are pets. He is a 16 year old Chevy Cavalier. Got lots of miles on him and he just keeps on going and going and going," she said.
Alex takes her on her errands and to work at the University of Tennessee where she's a history professor.
Alex has a special distinction. "This is the only front wheel drive I own because I like rear wheel drive."
She likes Detroit muscle cars.
"I grew up in the midst of this love of cars that is what Detroiters do," she said.
In addition to each car having its own name, they also claim a designated day of the week she drives it, and an individual bay decorated with a theme.
What the cars don't get is drive through car washes.
"Ohhhh! No we can't do that. No, no, no. No, that's a no no," she said with a look of horror. "We do everything by hand. And nobody else touches my car surfaces but me. I do all my own detail work."
The detail is impressive.
"This bay right here has the oldest car I own. Her name is Grace. She's a 1941 all original two door sedan Town Sedan Chevrolet Special Deluxe," she said. "I found a picture of the original owner of this car and it's framed and it sits on the seat so every time we go out the owner rides with us."
A pickup truck is her most powerful vehicle.
"This is Franklin. Franklin is my 1993 Chevy Pickup," she said. "He's got a bulldog gear in his transmission. He can pull this house off its foundation."
Veronica is a 1995 Camaro Z-28.
"I bought her brand new 18 years ago. Original paint, original everything," she explained.
She introduced Louis.
"This is a 2010 Camaro when they first came out I bought this car in 2009."
And then there's Rachel.
"This is my only foreign car right here. This is a Mazda RX7. This is the very first year they made these cars," she explained. "I bought this car 35 years ago. I'm the original owner. That's the original paint. The car's all original."
Her fastest car is Jim.
"This is the 2005 Pontiac GTO," she said. "When this car was brand new - you can see it's framed on the wall back there - we were in Pontiac Performance Magazine. And the name of the story, I just love the name the editor picked, the name of the story as PhD in Performance."
She already picked out a name for another pet she will soon add to her collection.
"Her name is Ruby," she said. "It's a 1954 Packard convertible. So when I get her she will go there and I've already got Packard stuff up on the walls, I've got bricks from the Packard factory. I buy toys for my cars too so she's got a 1950s red little child's airplane over there."
Her newest car will arrive in July. She discovered it, where else, on a drive down Route 66.
"I started screaming, I said Howard, Howard stop. There's a Packard! We have to see this. Being the nice person he is he jammed on the breaks and made a U-turn and came back," she recalled.
The Packard she saw wasn't for sale but the owner agreed to sell her another one he was restoring.
"July 25th is the magic date. She's almost finished."
Cynthia Fleming wants to wind down her career at UT and retire so Ruby the Packard will be her last car purchase... probably.
"I would like to have a Hudson," she said. "The Hudson I like is really a small car, it's a Hudson Metropolitan, but I don't need another car. No I've got to stop somewhere so I think this is a good place to stop."