OCTOBER 27, 2015: HOW AN OLD CAR CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON

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There are many roads to self-improvement in life and one of them is behind the wheel of an old car.

 

An old car offers numerous ways to a better life and our goal is to point out how the old car hobby can make you into a new person.

 

The first improvement is the challenge offered by an old car.

 

‘Car guys face several obstacles when they buy a set of wheels from the past and these issues will test them in a big way.’

 

For example, what happens when you buy an orphan car from an extinct brand and want to replace parts on your new/old purchase?

 

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Many popular brands (e.g. Tri-Five Chevys) from the past have a big inventory of replacements parts that could almost build a new car through their aftermarket suppliers’ catalogs. The real challenge for car guys occurs when they veer off the road and buy less popular cars from the past.

 

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The life challenge in this situation will be their resourcefulness. They may have to find replacement parts for a car that had little legacy in the hobby and served a niche market in the automotive industry. The parts search will force them to extend their social boundaries and chase down parts through car clubs, the Net, and old-fashioned searches via print want ads and word of mouth.

 

The search will also require an enormous amount of patience because most of the available parts for less popular cars from a bygone era will have disappeared about 5 minutes after the old cars outlived their usefulness to the last owner. The donor cars will have been crushed long before the parts searcher was able to recite the alphabet in many cases-or even born in others.

 

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The search for parts will also require another useful life skill: determination. None of the necessary parts from extinct, less popular cars will be found unless the car guy is willing to knock on enough doors to find them and the smaller production numbers on the old cars, the greater the determination required to find parts.

 

Let’s assume the parts search was successful for a project. Success means arrival at an even greater life challenge because now the car guy may face a serious test of his or her mechanical skills-an area that may be well outside their comfort zone. They may have little or no experience in this field and a car project will test their ability to learn how to work on vehicles.

 

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The learning curve will likely be a combination of relevant information obtained from learning resources, basic tutorials from experienced car guys, and trial and error-with plenty of emphasis on error. The harshest lessons in a car project will be taught by failures, not unlike the rest of life.

 

 

The important part of the failure process in a car project is the ability to learn from the mistakes and try not to repeat them again-also like the rest of life.

 

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We saved the best for last because the completion of a car project will provide one of life’s greatest feelings: a sense of accomplishment. Many car projects die a horrible and slow death when the owner runs out of steam and can no longer handle the challenge.

 

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The car guys who fight through the minefield of a car project will enjoy one of the greatest accomplishment feelings of their lives when they get that ride back on the road because of their efforts.

Jim Sutherland

 

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