Tim holds a Tool Man auction on Tool Time to help raise money for Jill's fund raiser for the library. Bob Vila guest stars and raises more money. Tim challenges Bob to a hot rod race.



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Episode cast overview:
Bob Vila ...
Audience Member #1
Margaret Fitzgerald ...
Audience Member #2 (as Peg Dirolf)
Laurie Faso ...
Audience Member #3


Tim holds a Tool Man auction on Tool Time to help raise money for Jill's fund raiser for the library. Bob Vila guest stars and raises more money. Tim challenges Bob to a hot rod race.

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Comedy | Family




Release Date:

25 May 1994 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Before the big race, you see the back of Tim's new car as he starts it up with dents and scratches visible. See more »


[Jill is auctioning off the services of Tim and Bob Vila to raise money for the library. Vila went for $700]
Jill: I bid $300 for the Tool Man.
Al: You can't bid! You're the auctioneer!
Jill: It's my auction and I'll bid if I want to.
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References The Great Race (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Gentlemen, Start Your Grunting!
15 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jill has gotten herself wrapped up in another fundraising blitz, except she has no idea how to go about it. Tim suggests a celebrity auction, held right on Tool Time. He's confident that enough people will bid on him, giving Jill more than enough for the library. So before the auction gets underway, Al brings out a little surprise entry: Tim's ultimate rival in the world of home repair, Bob Vila. One way or another, the library will get their money. So Vila gets on the block first as Jill launches into auctioneer mode and the bids come rolling in. Bob gets sold for $700. Next, it's Tim's turn. The first bid is $100, but then Jill makes the mistake of reminding the people that he will do to their homes what he does on Tool Time every day, so no more bids came in. Jill herself breaks the rules and bids $300 on Tim herself. Oh well, it was for a good cause. At home, despite Jill's best efforts about keeping a lid on the auction, the boys figured out Vila beat their dad again, and that their mom was the only bidder on him. Tim is sore at losing to Bob, yet again. Just wishing that there was something he could beat him at. The chance may soon arise, for it seems Bob has a hot rod of his own, which he boasts is better than Tim's. Some harsh words are exchanged, then Tim challenges Bob to a hot rod race the next day. He sure sounded confident that his hot rod was superior, but there was just one little problem: he hasn't gotten it running yet.

After making some adjustments to his 'rod, Tim attempts to turn it over, but nothing happens. It's the solenoid, probably. All the while Randy acts like a smart-ass and ribs him over having an inoperable car. Tim loses his patience and barks at Randy and Jill, mainly angry at himself for challenging Bob in the first place. Fortunately, he gets Wilson to help him make some starter adjustments, as well as a few adjustments to Tim's outlook on his constant need for competition with Vila. Basically, Wilson tells him to stop comparing himself to Vila and if he believes in himself, he's already won. At 5:00 in the A of M, Tim wakes the whole family up to go for a ride in his now finished hot rod, and what a beaut. Shiny baby blue exterior, brown leather interior, three years of tender loving care all concealed in a fiberglass case. Even Randy has some words of encouragement for his father, and shows he knows more about engines than he lead on. So, to celebrate, they all go for a dawn drive in the hot rod, which starts right up. Ol' Bob better watch his back, huh? On to the race! Vila vs. Taylor. It's a close race, the two are neck-in-neck, but as feared, Vila wins by a nose. How? Apparently, Tim let him win. Before you blow a gasket, his reasoning was that because Bob had his rod built and Tim put his together himself, he was more cautious and didn't want to risk destroying it. Yeah, the one thing Tim would try NOT to destroy. He feels his car was more important than a stupid rivalry with Bob. So Tim did win, in his own way.

Right before the credits, we get a montage of Tim building his hot rod, from the time he brought home the frame, when he tried installing the engine but his friends were constantly being distracted by Jill, when he let Brad score the tail pipe, when he finally got the engine started for the first time, when he made a new friend in Joe who accidentally broke his grille, to the present. Yeah, Tim's put his heart and soul into that car...only for him to sell it on a whim next season. Never let it be said Tim isn't impulsive. So, if you want to see the legacy of the hot rod come to a head, check out The Great Race II. Season 3 has been a very good season, in my opinion. Very strong, very solid, and also very funny. My favorites episodes of Season 3 This Joke's for You, Twas the Blight Before Christmas, Dollars and Sense, Slip Sleddin' Away, A Frozen Moment, Reel Men, Eve of Construction, Too Many Cooks, Swing Time and The Great Race II. My least favorites are A Sew, Sew Evening, Feud for Thought, and Dream On. If you're collecting Home Improvement on DVD, Season 3 is a must! So, on to Season 4. What's in store for us? Jill goes back to school, Tim destroys her car, we meet Tim's brother and mother, both Jill's parents visit for Christmas, Brad gets a job as a paperboy, Tim and Al go to jail, and Mark gets caught shoplifting.

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