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Kyle
Moderator

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.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/entertainment/how-to-know-if-you-are-an-automotive-masochist/ 

75 REPLIES 75
Pepperalls
Detailer

Nice looking garage! I was expecting it to be more like Freiburger's with the cars jammed in the mix [His garage as shown on his streaming shows is barely walkable between the parts piles and tool boxes. Not even sure he has a car in the one he calls "his garage"].

 

All your cars (and even bikes and I am not a bike person) look fun. Plus you have diversity which is more interesting to me.

 

I have my one road worthy car that was brought back from the dead. It's not done (most say it needs painted) but it functions well. I am steadily tempted to stuff several non-working things into the garage.

 

I moved along two parts trucks in the past couple of years because they were too big of projects for me to reasonably progress on in my current life phase. So I keep searching ads for a driver or almost-driver truck that I can play with but also show the spouse that it is indeed a real vehicle.

 

No guarantee the next thing I bring home isn't a wreck though.

Kyle
Moderator

There is still some space in there, but with keeping such an array of cars roadworthy there is also a decent sized stash of parts that eats up space pretty fast.

 

There is a carport on the side that the black Silverado lives in 90% of the time, and it just fits in there with a couple big shelves with the non-delicate spare parts. 

 

The only thing that gets me now is that in order to really work on anything, something has to move. I try to only strand one car at a time (on jack stands, or otherwise unmovable) so that means at any point I can get the other two out. The Healey is such a delightful size I can move the Model A back enough that I can parallel park it in the center without pulling anything out--well, for now I have to push it with the whole clutch situation.

 

I strive to have my "collection" be like my toolbox. Not many of my tools do the same job, I have a lot of them, and they are fun to use. After all, variety is the spice of life. My garage is heavily seasoned. 

77GL
Intermediate Driver

That's all normal for a British car.  They should probably give up and just import.  The only problem I see is no Mopars.

Kyle
Moderator

Ha! I could use a Mopar... Would really enjoy a Little Red Express, or maybe a 440-powered 4-door cruiser.
JDull139
Pit Crew

I know the feeling.I'll go look at some car from a  classified,Hemmings Facebook Market Place or whatever with a price you can't beat.I know it will need work but what the heck ,it won't be the first POS I 've bought.Once looking at it I convince myself it's not too bad,a price is negotiated and another stray mutt follows me home.

thetossedtool
Intermediate Driver

I see we share an affliction.  Not only do we have vehicles that need attention, they all need a different set of tools (which feeds another addiction!)

Kyle
Moderator

Oh, lets not talk about the tool problem. I'm still in denial there.
brushmore
Passenger

Tired of buying projects instead of cars, I bought a super low miles 82 corvette collector edition last year.  A week into owning it the heater core self destructed.  A normal person would be distraught, but being a true automotive masochist, I was happy.  Here was the excuse to do a complete interior restoration!

Kyle
Moderator

Sounds like you owned it just long enough for the car to get to know the owner and adjust it's behavior accordingly....
desertdweller
New Driver

I too am a fixer upper buyer. Even in my earliest days, I wanted a new "stingray" bicycle. I scoured the neighborhoods on garbage day. Finding a frame, then wheels, eventually having enough parts to assemble my new bike. Yrs later I found my 72 corvette project buried in a car hoarders backyard, it took 5 yrs to finish, but is it ever really finished? My recent acquisition, a 65 Mustang GT. This one just needed some assembly and paint. A very rust free example that hadn't been out of a garage in over 25 yrs. Taken apart to restore, and lost to lack of interest.  Yes, I too find the joy in taking non running cars (or bikes)  and turning them into what they were born to do. Drive! Its not a sickness, its life!

antijam
Pit Crew

These three are the current population of my garage. The near two are roadworthy (after 50 years of restoration! ).....

 

P1030102.JPG

The C3 in the background is having its parking brake sorted - which, if you know  'Vettes, is going to keep me occupied for a long, long time....

Kyle
Moderator

Is that an SP250 in the center? Cool!
antijam
Pit Crew

Certainly is - one of my 3 V8's

 

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964c4
Intermediate Driver

Nice article covering this aspect of the hobby. 

mwmyers91
Detailer

Guilty as charged....LOL

Bobby-mudd
Passenger

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

Great article!

Kyle
Moderator

I got my own work to do! I have heard those aren't terrible to work on, just quite cramped. Is that true?
Gregoryga7
Passenger

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!

F360Spider
Detailer

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

greatscott73
Intermediate Driver

A95A93F1-0DB5-4B83-82CF-8833958E0C2C_1_105_c.jpeg

I can relate. After warming up on a Triumph Spitfire and a couple of Corvairs, I surrendered completely and bought a 33 year old Mondial 3.2 that I service myself. It keeps life interesting...

Kyle_B
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”

Kyle_B
Hagerty Employee

.

E_Paul
Passenger

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.

Kyle
Moderator

Oh, you bring up Speed Triples... I miss '05 model more than any motorcycle (and there have been a few) that I have ever sold. I like your grouping there!
balzanr
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. 

KenO
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.

SteveNL
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.

 

 

 

Poci1957
Passenger

Hello Kyle good article and good that you recognize the masochism Issue.  I was in the Mac restoration program in the mid 1980s and was too young and idealistic to recognize this condition when I parked my (soon to be) immobile 1957 Pontiac outside Templeton Hall for my last six months on campus.  I did not admit to the problem ten years later when I bought my beloved Fiat Spider 2000.  Ten years after that when I bought my non running Alfa Spider I realized I was indeed looking for a problem to solve.  “Educational” I told the wife, “a car with character”......oh well, good luck with yours, Todd C

Kyle
Moderator

Love the story, from one Mac grad to another! There is little I enjoy more than visiting campus these days and seeing the projects that are rolling around. It like time freezes on campus and vintage cars in various states of repair will forever be around.
Poci1957
Passenger

Looking back I am just glad the college was tolerant of us.  The restoration classes were much smaller then but almost all of us had an old car in some state of repair sitting around, some not running.   In one over the top moment one of the guys turned a car on its side in an on street parking space to remove a transmission before sending the shell on for salvage.  Good times!

bcb1
Navigator

OK, So what was wrong with the clutch? lol

Kyle
Moderator

Next week I'll dig in and find out. Been working on getting the Model A drivable enough to take to a Cars and Coffee this weekend.

 

I think the Healey clutch issue is a tolerance stackup of worn out parts. There is play at the pedal to clutch master connection, the fluid looks really dirty, and I suspect air in the line as well. Nothing a homemade bushing, some brake fluid, and a bleed can't (hopefully) cure!

GTRacer
New Driver

You are among brethren!!  Fear not, there is no cure!!!

 

88 yo dentist with many many vehicles, many of which are race/road worthy. Keep the faith. 

DougL
Intermediate Driver

Are we really masochists? Just because I get more enjoyment from repairing my old cars than I get from driving them does not mean that I like to suffer. OK, maybe it does. You can't fix a problem until you admit that it exists. 

kens
Passenger

Rather guilty. All the time, I have to tell myself, I may be masochistic but I don't hate myself.

Beetlefreak
Passenger

Thank you.  I thought I was the only one.  I actually love rolling around under my beloved project cars or tinkering with anything that needs to be fixed.  My neighbors think "oh that poor man is always working on those cars" but for me it is an escape from all of the trials and tribulations that life presents.  If this is wrong I don't want to be right.

Pilott
Pit Crew

Jay Leno said it very well ...

"I like a car that needs me."  

Clutch_Powers
Passenger

I'd like to know more about the Corvair. I bought and painted a '65 Corvair for my 16 year old son a few years back. Ultimately, the car proved too difficult to maintain with my travel schedule and his abusive nature, and we let it go. We did enjoy it though.

Kyle
Moderator

It's a '65 Corsa, 140/4-speed. I bought it sight unseen over FB Marketplace followed by a one-way ticket from Michigan to Texas. That road trip was three years ago and I have touched just about everything but the bodywork. I think it will be a year or two before I fix the small amount of rust that is there. Would love to remove the JC Whitney side trim and give it a fresh spray of Ermine White. If I stop picking up other projects I could probably do that.

ndounias
Pit Crew

Kyle, I believe there is a 5, 10 and 15 step program available for people like us, but I am too busy messing with the junk in my garage to attend! If I did attend and found out what the other guys had in their garages, I would be in serious trouble. The meetings would become a new type of "Bring a Trailer".... 

Rich8
Intermediate Driver

Hey Kyle you are NOT alone! I have cars stored everywhere, some not off jack stands or driven in 15 years....but I will get at them soon! I noticed your Corvair - hopefully you drive that baby! I have 3 of them and drive one at least once a month. (may be my favorite of all of them) I just did a frame off restoration of an original numbers matching 69 Z/28....but I love the Corvairs! Keep up the "masochist" attitude we all love the pain!  

Kyle
Moderator

I love my Corvair! I have the exhaust off right now because I mounted up a set of headers a few years ago and they cooked their paint off and started some ugly corrosion. They are in the mail headed for a cerakote center now. Excited to get them back would be an understatement.
gcrouchcpa
Passenger

Ahhh, another malady to add to the list.  My daughter just declared I am the initiator of her inherited ADHD diagnosis.  Her councilor told her she got it from somewhere and I fit the profile.  So two 68 Camaros and two Vegas (one I replaced the locked block with a 218 ci V8) before graduating from college started the prognosis.  From there I purchase a half dozen rebuilt salvage Camaros/Trans Ams to resell and feed the monster (and one X/19 I found on my own).  Nearing 64, it is nice to put a name on the curse.  Now if I can convince my wife to let me build a second garage to tinker with my 911SC and C5.  Anyone have a 60s pickup for sale?  I need a parts hauler.....

Watersmeet
Pit Crew

I could not help but chime in on this. First if I were Young and hot blooded I'd go about this the right way, buy a bigger garage, buy a lift, get a good end mill, get every tool known to man, get a good compressor, get a tig welder then all them all and buy a great car that needs nothing. I spent too much time in his shoes.   Jim

Chuckerpwr
Passenger

Funny I have the same problem 😆 1983 VW Rabbit GTI,1984 VW Scirocco,1984 Lincoln mark VII,1973 Ford Gran Torino,02' Ford Ranger 4x4 and a 1972 Ford Mustang Fastback! They are my Children! There's 3 more that are my daily commute cars! Always something to fix on each and every one of them...I too have a problem 😊oh wait 1982Suzuku gs550 katana,1981 Suzuki gs450s,1986 Yamaha XT 600 and a 2014 Triumph Tiger 800 XC S.E. I think that's all now😋

 

TC
New Driver

Oh, wow,  there is a name for my issue.  Ill let my wife know so maybe she will understand my condition and support my addiction.  gotta go, just saw another F1 parts truck on CL. 

Codger
New Driver

I read your article to my wife. She now knows it not just me. Keep on wrenching

PC
New Driver

Hilarious article. Sums me up. Not only can I not resist a classic project but I seem to buy my daily drivers as projects too! Had the need for a newer daily truck last weekend. Could have simply bought the “babied” Chevy I saw online but saw a much cheaper Tundra in need of cosmetics. Off I went down the rabbit hole, LOL!

GoinManta
New Driver

I have 3 engine stands, one made in a starting stand so I can break in motors . But its specific to Opel CIH motors. I own a GMC motorhome to hold my Opel parts, a GT, a Manta, a Kadett, and Senator ( I imported ), a Calibar I am going to import and a 1966 1500 Fiat cabrio I am assembling from a collection of parts dropped off in my garage. Oh and to assemble it I installed a 2 post lift.. OK..  I Didnt need this article to tell me what I already know. 😉

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