Thursday, April 24, 2008
While I have many thinks that make me happy: like going to the movies, eating good food, taking naps, hanging w/ friends, sex, playing videogames, etc...one of my true passions is working on and driving cars. LOL, I also don’t think I could have sex with my girlfriend for 3 hours!!! So for this bliss assignment I decided to do a little bit of work on my 1971 Chevelle SS. I then took it out for a drive.
I probably spend around 80% of all my paychecks on my car. My parents and some of my friends think I’m crazy. My parents are always screaming at me for putting all that money into a car. What they don’t understand (and I have tried to explain many times before!!!) is that it’s not just a car to me. I don’t see my current project as just a car. It represents who I am. It represents what I stand for. Working on and driving my car keeps me grounded. Sometimes I get real stressed out! I’m talking real stressed, to the point where I just want to destroy something. But, then I go for a drive and it helps me cool down. When I hear that car start up and I give it a little gas I sometimes get chills down my back. For those moments when I’m driving I’m in control of something that’s so much more powerful than any person. When I turn onto a street and light up the tires I’m saying ‘fuck you’ to all my problems and worries.
I feel that a person’s car represents them more than they think. I know some people don’t give a shit about cars; they just want something to get them from point A to B...and that’s fine. But I truly believe your car can tell a lot about your personality, values, and ideas. I’m not saying you have to drive some nice ass BMW to get any respect. What I’m saying is that when you see a car drive by that sounds like crap, three of the four tires are flat, the bumper is hanging off, the sides of the car are covered with dents, and you can see trash piled up in the back seat…then you can probably make many bad assumptions about that person. Now you may be saying ‘what!... no! I would not make any bad assumptions about that person. They may just be having a hard time in their life.’ Which may certainly be true. However, think about this. If you pulled into a parking lot and on the left there were a row of cars like the one I just explained and then on the right there were beautifully clean, new cars without a hit of damage or abuse and their was a parking spot on both sides…which side would you put your car??? Perhaps you would still park on the left and that’s fine. But personally I and I think most other would park on the right. And that’s because I’m making the assumption that if the people in the left lane won’t even take care of or respect their own cars, why the hell would they look out for mine. Those people’s cars are speaking to others. What I’m trying to say is that I believe a car is a reflection of yourself. Most people drive their cars everyday. And they are seen in it every day by someone. To think that the way your car looks and the way you drive does not reflect you in some way is ridiculous.
But back to the assignment! For the first 2 hours I put on a new intake manifold and set of valve covers on the Chevelle. Over the winter I had hand polished and painted the aluminum manifold. I probably have over 30 hours of work into the manifold. Working on the Chevelle on a nice sunny spring day is hard to beat. It was 78 degrees outside. (Monday, April 7th) One of my favorite things about working on cars is the before and after feeling. You have to put in your share of blood, sweat, and tears but in the end the result is always worth it. You know you put it together with your own two hands and when you turn the key and everything works, (it sometimes does not work) it’s such a good feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I had put the new intake and valve covers on within the first 2 hours. I then turned the key and it started right up. I then took it out for a drive. After driving around for about a half hour I stopped at a Rally’s for lunch. I like to eat at Rally’s because you can eat outside. I pulled the Chevelle into a front row spot and grabbed some food. I could see people looking at the Chevelle and talking about it. It’s a good feeling when you’re proud of what you drive. An older man had finished his lunch and strolled over to me and started asking me some questions. (this happens all the time!!! Especially at gas stations!) I enjoy talking about it so I never mind. I told him about the engine, rear end, and other things. He asked me who I had do all the work and I proudly told him that I do just about everything myself. He eventually took off and so did I. LOL, I left a few patches of rubber on the road as I went home to mark the occasion. Without a doubt that was a blissful three hours!