There is an entire industry devoted to people who need to climb out of life’s swamp and become a better person along the way.


We at MyStarCollectorCar are not exactly experts in this field, but we know self-help involves challenges and conquering same, so we pick a car project as a great way to duke it out with a challenge in life.


There are many reasons that a car project presents a challenge and some of our MyStarCollectorCar readers will understand this concept from personal experience with a build.




There are many doubters who will believe that a difficult car project is too big a mountain to climb for most car guys. They will contend that an old vehicle project may be too much for the average car guy because their skill set and actual experience is too thin for the daunting task.




The skeptics are probably right because most car projects are well beyond the reach of most car guys-but that grim reality should not enter into the equation when it comes to a car project. Anything is possible, so a completed project is not out of the question for most car guys.


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The path to a shiny automotive bauble from the past is not an easy one, but it will make them a better person along the way.


The first thing they will learn is patience. A project will take much longer than anticipated because the complications are not evident at the start line. Rust can hide from even the most experienced professional until they open up the metal patient and see the actual carnage under the paint or bondo.




The pros know exactly how to tackle body or mechanical issues, but an amateur will need a boatload of patience to complete a car project. Rank amateurs will need to proceed slowly and carefully to ensure they do not kill the automotive patient during the restoration.




Patience leads directly to the second issue: educational advancement on a car project. Amateurs need to learn basic welding skills to move forward on their project.


They will also need to learn basic mechanical skills, along with basic automotive-related electrical skills, to advance their project. There is no way most car guys can learn these vital skills overnight-or to anywhere near the same level as a pro- but they will need to educate themselves before they tackle a project.




A car guy will also learn tenacity (aka stick-to-it-ness) on a car project. Nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to old cars, so it will become an untamable monster that eats car guys like salty snacks in a bar during happy hour when the inevitable problems arise during the build.




A lot of car guys will walk/run away from this kind of mechanical nightmare because that flight reaction may indeed be the prudent move, but some car guys will choose to fight the project to the bitter end-and it will indeed be a bitter fight during an old car project.




The car guys who stay in the game when everything is against them (parts scarcity, massive rust issues, very unhappy brides, etc.) are the true heroes in this game.




Eventually they will arrive at the finish line with their completed project and they will feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The happy ending is a big life reward and they will become better people from the experience.




They will also learn how to use a brand new vocabulary (advanced profanity) during a typical car project.


BY: Jim Sutherland


Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section.  


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