Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The sickness.

Anyone who is a true carnut has had something similar to the following chain of events happen: "I need a car just to run around in as a daily, so I can stop driving my project car around." "I'll just get some coils for it." "Coils and wheels, breh. That's all I'm doing." "I'm just gonna respray the front bumper, it's got some road-rash on it from the previous owner." Next thing you know, a car you thought you like has been sold, proceeds are quickly dumped into parts, swag and bodywork for the new car. And you know what the problem now is? The new car is way too nice to drive everywhere, so you need another gd daily.

Back in 98' I had no car to call my own. My car was always the car I borrowed from my parents to run around in. Then that June I had an opportunity to buy something with my parents assistance (read "credit & down payment"). It had to be cheap so I could handle monthly payments as I was a semi-jobless college student. I got that car, was quite enamored with it. I got a little more into show going, bought a couple more enthusiast magazines than before and next thing you know I had a grandiose plan of how I was going to blow the rest of my money until I built my perfect version of that car. Time slowly grinds by as I had little money to modify it. As broke-ness kept me from major purchases over the years, my tastes adjusted themselves; I wanted my car fast at first, then I realized my limitations on funding and focused on looks. Fast forward to 06', I'm now gainfully employed, and I found a place that could take care of the bodywork my beloved aging car needed as well as make my vision come to fruition. There was one problem that I didn't think of before I was a month away from dropping it off, "what the hell am I going to drive around in while the bodywork takes place?"

This was the beginning of the a way. I bought a second car, for the "interim"; it was an even older car, albeit nicely restored. I learned something very important about myself when I bought this second car; I can't have things that were beat to sht before I got them and if I could, I'd buy everything new. If I had a more agreeable disposition I could just buy a cheap import hatch with good mileage and just get through life with a mp3 stereo for the road trips and regular maintenance; but I'm not built that way. Everything I have must be at a certain level of niceness and I'll do whatever it takes to keep that up.

As I've gotten older, playing the game with stuff I've put together, buying assorted jewelry for my cars over the years, selling my last project (the second car) and replacing it with a new one this past winter (the third car), I've matured slightly. I've gotten a bit more realistic with my goals, I've lost a bit of the steam on my relentless pursuit of finishing things right now, and am doing a better job of not blindly spending on cool parts n' sht. Of course there are things that make my slight maturation a necessity now; I'm married and own a home (I miss not owning a mortgage) with a lovely but small garage for my first car; I also have a gang of joint bills to pay every month and there are bigger and better investments to throw money at. But when I think about it...if I didn't own a house right now and slept in the ol' twin mattress at my parents house and still had my current job, I would be on the same high-speed pace as before. I would be made fun of by my coworkers, but I would have dopeness as far as the eye could see...all on my parents (and gf's uncles) driveway. My parents would be periodically (read bi-weekly) harassing me to grow up and get out of the house. I'd probably still be married, but under constant verbal assault from Beth on when we're going to buy a house; I'd use the "this market is terrible, we need to wait" defense for a year or two, then it'd be right now as I type.

I guess what I'm getting at, for all of you out there with this sickness, is to keep things reasonable and think long term. It's just a car. If you don't own a home how can you have a dope garage with all your dope sht in it? Mid-life crisis purchases make up for this time of light cash flow. You will buy something better than your current car 3-5 years from now. And you may ask yourself, "Is spending ten grand on upgrade parts, bodywork and a respray a good idea?" Well, I can't answer that question for you, but if you live with these questions, you've come to the right place.

Here's an e-beer to everyone who has a car or three that won't stop yelling at them for money, and are happy to provide it. I'm gonna go blow a couple grips on another set of wheels and write a post about it.

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