Sunday, July 30, 2017

Alignment of a Different Sorts

I read a lot of automotive related publications, probably more then  most, and that's not even including repair manuals! I have observed a common thread, or consensus, among many of the senior writers: as we get older it naturally becomes harder to do the things we once did easily in our youth. Although that statement seems like a "no-brainer", it is easily overlooked when it comes to project cars.

Speaking of project cars, I am the king of change. The grass is always greener on the other side when it comes to something "new". To be honest, I get burnt out easily on whatever current vehicle I am working on as they never seem to get completed. Gee, I wonder why? I believe I could cure my condition if I could just finish a car and actually drive it. It's the driving part that I feel is the prescription needed for the cure and is some of the best therapy available. Anyone who has ever been feeling down or grumpy knows what I am talking about. Take your classic or muscle car for a spin, the wind blowing through your hair, (apologies to those who are bald) and your spirits are instantly lifted. For most, it is a mental transformation like no other.

I could be looking at a mood deciding crossroads in my life. I know that ten years from now I won't be able to maintain the same level of work load as I do today. If I continue my current trend of endless project cars, I will never get one finished and be able to enjoy it. That's the key word here: enjoy. You might know a person or have heard a story of someone who either passed away, became too old, or just gave up on life and had to sell their project car. Usually included in the selloff was a boat load of parts that they had been collecting for the car. It makes me wonder if they were always chasing the perfect project or just never made the time to work on the car. Before they knew it, it was too late.

My current thinking is that I am in over my head in regards to my cars. The goal when I bought my 442 (Project Yellowjacket) was to get it on the road as soon as possible. I soon discovered that because it had been sitting for so long, the car needed major work. No big deal, right? I only had the one project car and could concentrate on it. Wrong. A stray '56 Chevy 210 found me and begged me to buy it. I stopped in the middle of an engine rebuild on Yellowjacket and pulled the trigger on the '56. Dubbed "Time Warp", the goal for this car was to get it on the road as soon as possible so I would have something cool to cruise around in. (see therapy above) I soon discovered that because Time Warp had been sitting for 25 plus years, it also needed major work. Suddenly I had the feeling of deja vu. Ideally, I should sell one of my project cars and concentrate on just one, but which one?

The good news is that I have about 95 percent of the parts needed to complete Time Warp and about 60 percent of the parts needed to complete Yellowjacket. Now the word "complete" here is a relative term, as one person's version of complete may differ from another persons. (The complete I am referring to is the running and driving version, not the completely restored version.) Common sense says that I should keep Time Warp and get rid of Yellowjacket, but who ever said that I had common sense? The bad news here is that I can't seem to find the time to do the work. What I do know is that ten years from now I want to be driving and enjoying these cars, not still wrenching on them. Time is the enemy here so I may have to make some tough decisions on which car to keep. I'll have to align my projects and prioritize them accordingly, otherwise I might find out the hard way that it's too late!

Decisions, decisions, decisions...

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