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How to know if you are an automotive masochist

After shutting off the little blue roadster's ignition and walking into the house, the problem became cemented in my consciousness. My two-and-a-half-car garage was already holding two cars unfit to venture beyond my mailbox, along with three motorcycles that weren't faring much better. (My daily driver, a trusty Chevy pickup, was naturally relegated to the driveway.) Yet I was about to add one more car. Previously, any suspicion that I had a problem snoozed quietly in my subconscious. Suddenly, it sped to the front of my mind like a NHRA dragster.


I am an automotive masochist. Apparently, it took my most recent acquisition to confirm my self-diagnosis.


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Intermediate Driver

Guilty as charged....LOL


I own a 1991 300zx TT, and do all my own work.  I am a masochist, please help me lol.  

Great article!


Sent this to my wife to read. She's never been amused that I'm an automotive masochist but I certainly qualify. I currently have one motorcycle working properly out of the 4 I own. I have 2 running cars out of the 5 I own and neither of the running ones have all the new parts I've purchased installed. I keep punch out lists for the cars and items are added quickly than they get crossed off. Always a project!

Intermediate Driver

Just owning a Ferrari and doing my own maintenance puts me squarely in masochist column.


Ferrari 360 Spider with custom hardtopFerrari 360 Spider with custom hardtop

Hagerty Employee

So you told the Mrs. huh? Glad you hit on friend “enablers”...the purest form of peer pressure... - ”dude you can fix that”

Hagerty Employee



74 Lotus Europa...masochist car, Locost...masochist car, 94 NSX...suprisingly non-masochist, Triumph Triple...masochist bike, Scratch built, uncompleted motorcycle powered sports racer...I am ready for therapy. At least there are a couple of reliable daily drivers in the mix, and yeah they live outside.

New Driver

Wow!    You are describing me !!  Except my wife isn’t as understanding although she has mellowed a little over the years to allowing me one or 2 overflow (no room left in the garage) cars.   I have realized that the appeal for me is the project more than the drive. 

Pit Crew

Kyle, I understand OH so completely, and then some!
I have stopped building storage buildings for my projects. That indicates progress to me. I've even sold two, a 1974 Avanti II and a 1951 Ford F1 Pickup that already had a coyote, Mustang front suspension and Explorer disc brake rear.

I kept the really good stuff: '67 VW Bug, '96 Miata, '77 MGB w/Rover aluminium V8; my fingers tire, so I'll not list the 3 others ...
But it was worse when I was racing. I used the projects to pay for the racing. There was always a plethora of vehicles in various stages of repair.

I guess the biggest difference was that while racing I was also an adrenaline junky.

My 40+ year old Snap-On toolbox has patina now! I just looks so right.

Intermediate Driver

Kyle, sometimes it helps to step back and redefine the problem.  Maybe the problem is simply that your garage is too small.  I've expanded my garage space twice over the years, which has often solved my problems.  The real problem, is that any garage that you build or acquire will be too small in three years.  Science has proven that to be true.


However, you have empathy from me.  I have five cars and three motorcycles and only four of them are running at the moment.  One of my cars is a Miata, which always runs.  Another is a non-running E30 BMW that I spent 150 hours and lots of money restoring just a couple of summers ago.  It's a Motronics problem and I'm having trouble getting up the energy to start the diagnostic process.  But I'm many years older than Kyle and tire easily.


I propose two symptoms of automotive masochism,  although there certainly are more.

1. If you buy anything old and British.  If you are young, the purchase might be simple inexperience.  If you are old enough to know better, it's automotive masochism ( or AM, as it's now called).

2. If you buy a car, truck or motorcycle thru the internet.  Every single car or motorcycle that I have purchased thru the internet has arrived in much worse condition that what was described.  I live up north in snow and salt country, so if I want something that's rust free, I need to get it out of the south.  Whenever I buy some vehicle from an internet seller, I now fully expect to get screwed.  But it's rust free.


Because I'm old and wise now, I determined only to buy very high quality cars that other people have spent too much money restoring.  But when I buy them over the internet, I end up paying for a restored car and then having to spend a couple of summers rebuilding them anyway.  I might have AM, but my wife has another name for it.