We have touched upon the concept of “car guy sickness” in earlier MSCC articles, but we will review the affliction for newer readers.


“The term was coined by a guy who knew a lot about the “sickness” because he was stricken with it at an early age and never found a cure.”


We at MSCC were well aware of the “sickness” since the afflicted car guy who caught the car guy disease (and labeled it the “sickness”) was also related to us.





The “sickness” is an inability to resist owning old rides in various state of disrepair, the kind of vehicles that actually need the automotive equivalent of a priest to perform last rites. The sickness forces the stricken to try and save the unsaveable, to breathe life back into a rusty carcass that just wants to quietly rust in peace and die in a quiet, forgotten corner of nowhere.




Stricken car guys carry the “sickness” in their DNA: the faulty gene that makes its victims plucky, misguided, delusional optimists who see the best in every beat-up old vehicle that was spared an overdue date with the crusher.




Somehow a car that may have given up the ghost before many car guys with the “sickness” even reached grade school affects them in the same way that spindly little Christmas tree screwed up Charlie Brown. It is a gut-wrenching merciless process that robs victims of logic and separates them from reality, spare time, healthy bank accounts-and maybe even a spouse in worst case scenarios.




How do one recognize the danger signs of the “sickness”? There are two indications that you may be stricken with this illness. The first sign is how you look at a dilapidated old car or truck sitting in a yard. If you envy the owner’s good fortune to be the lucky owner of a basket case, then you may have the “sickness”.




Normal people look at these vehicles as eyesores-not treasures-and the norms have likely already contacted the local bylaw people to get the old car removed from the neighborhood.




The same process applies to old rides sitting in a farmer’s field. Car guys with the “sickness” see a golden opportunity to get a bargain with four wheels and massive potential. Non-car guys see a convenient way to sight in a rifle by adding a few bullet holes to the remaining body parts and the farmer’s livestock see a pretty good scratching post with the abandoned rides in their pasture. Car guys with the “sickness” view the bullet holes and cattle dents as value-added patina.




The other main indication of the “sickness” is an uncontrollable urge to check out the old cars and trucks for sale via printed sources or the ‘Net. If you are constantly checking these sources for the next great rust bucket buffet entree, then you have the “sickness”.





The world has opened up for car guys in this new connected age of cyber sources, so there are even more basket cases available for those who have the “sickness”.





These are two of the “sickness” danger signs for car guys but we would like to add one major final point to the debate: this affliction has saved thousands of unwanted rides over the years and we salute these heroes of the old car hobby.





We at MSCC hope they never find a cure for this car guy disease.
Jim Sutherland


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