FEBRUARY 5, 2011: WHY AM I NOT BUYING INTO THIS KID? HAVE I GOTTEN THAT CYNICAL?

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A recent ad on the Kijiji website prompted a lot of buzz because a 19-year-old kid wanted to get an old collector car-for free.

 

He is a university student who wanted to take on a project car despite the fact that he had no actual experience in any automotive skill set.

 

No matter, he wanted to learn on the job while he breathed life into a old car given to him by a generous donor. Then he apparently wanted to “drive the sh** out of it”-his words not mine. I guess that he lived in a suburban world of complete isolation from the car culture, even though most car guys live in these areas.

 

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The neighborhood of his youth likely had many car guys in close proximity; you can usually spot them by their unusual vehicles and visual possibility that they are actively involved in a project. The local car clubs would also have steered the kid into the car culture right in his own backyard-if he was indeed motivated enough to really care about old iron.

 

I would guess most car guys are like me: we knew we were car guys at a very early age and we never let go of our interest. We built scale models when we were very young and we tackled car repairs when we got older because we knew we were car guys.

 

The kid’s plea for somebody else’s wheels seems more like a spontaneous thought that suddenly occurred to him, largely based upon an idealized notion about cars. A top-down-wind- in-your-hair kind of vibe that pays little heed to the pain and expense of a hands-on car restoration.

 

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Yeah I know, we all had to start somewhere, but a 19 year old college kid with zero car repair experience is in way over his head. He has neither the skills nor the cash to make this dream happen, because a free car is never free if it needs repairs.

 

 

Theoretically, I should be happy a young guy wants to tackle a new world of cars and become a part of the car guy culture, but I simply see a naïve kid with a giant pipe dream here. He can color up his dream with all kinds of descriptive phrases that illustrate his sincerity and still come up well short when he actually faces his first real hurdle as a hands-on owner of a car with problems.

 

He cautions people not to burst his bubble of enthusiasm in this pursuit and I can kind of dig that-after all most of us were young and insecure at 19. However he is every bit his age and he should know that a car project will take no prisoners with the brave souls who tackle them in their garage.

 

A giant pile of disassembled car parts is a common result for car guys of any age that are in way over their heads. It is a sad and unnecessary end to many car projects and it just seems foolish for this kid to take on something that is well beyond his skill set.

 

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I see a disaster here kid-sorry to disappoint you, but life is like that my young friend. Welcome to the jungle.

 

Jim Sutherland

Happier car story endings at-https://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/ 

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