NOVEMBER 26, 2014: TOO MANY HORSES IN THE SHED–WHEN DO YOU HAVE TOO MANY PROJECTS?

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Last week I read a car magazine from a few years ago that someone gave me–I rarely buy them because I like the stuff we do at MSCC much better.

 

This was one of those pigeon hole magazines that just covers one type and one brand of car.

 

Pigeon hole car magazines don’t mesh well with my view that anything on four or more wheels (3 if you’re talking Isettas) is worth a look but it did give me an idea.

 

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Some guy wrote to the editor at the magazine and asked him why he didn’t take on another project and the guy gave him the best answer he could. He told him,” I’ve got too many horses in the shed already”.

 

I thought that was a pretty cool answer and it inspired me to ask another question: How do you know when you have too many horses in the shed?

 

If you have too many real horses in the shed the answer is self-evident–you’ll have a shed full of dead horses. Old cars don’t send you a strong message like death so you have to ask yourself a few questions.

 

The most important question is time. Do you have enough time to complete every project or are you going to have to amortize your work over the next three generations? Is an unborn great, great, great grandson going to be heir apparent to that cool ’59 Olds convertible you bought for a song back in ’71? If your answer is even close to ‘maybe’ then list that beauty now and get it into the hands of a guy who can close the deal on the restoration.

 

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Married guys know the answer to the next question.

 

Will the next project car be your divorce car? Will that fixer-upper ’59 Ford be the death knell for your marriage because if it is, you’d better love it til death do you part because you’re going to be sleeping in it.

 

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The next question is one that requires self-evaluation and honesty.

 

Seriously, do you have the talent to pull off all your projects because they’re not born equal. Some projects are a hell of a lot harder than others so you have to inventory yourself and your projects to the point where you can actually handle what’s left.

 

You need to ask one final question.

 

Why do you own these projects? Were they an impulsive decision at an auction, are they an integral part of your own personal history or are they part of a realistic game plan? If they were impulse buys and you’ve done nothing in ten years then put an ad out right away and get them in the hands of a guy who can complete the pass. If they’re part of your personal history then it gets tougher because there’s nothing like going out and seeing an old friend in a boneyard, but if your old friend is barely on life support, then maybe it’s time to pull the plug.

 

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Finally, if these projects are part of a realistic game plan that doesn’t involve some kind of fairy tale ending where you make Barrett-Jackson money for minimal effort, then welcome to the jungle.

 

Plus you have room in the shed for another horse.

 

Jerry Sutherland

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