I Want To Build A Car

Marcus' guide to excuses on why the prospect of creation with automotive is ridiculously attractive but oh so impractical.

2y ago

It's December, it's 5 days until Christmas (in Australia), and I'm currently begging people for extra time to do things like buy Christmas presents and drive an hour to Melbourne to order a Christmas ham which I will need to subsequently glaze (I'm thinking like a honey mustard glaze this year, feel free to leave ham glaze suggestions below).

Here's the thing, I hate time. Time is constantly working against me. I spend my entire life attempting to make time my b*tch but honestly I still haven't figured that one out. I think the problem is I actually say yes way too often. "Do you want to go for drinks tonight?" Yes. "Can you quickly go to the supermarket and get some broccoli?" Yes. "Whilst you're there do you mind figuring out what a true mathematical representation of gravity is in a separate universe?" If you guessed that I said yes to that question, you'd be unequivocally right.

There's a reason I'm whinging about time today. It's because this morning whilst doing my normal quiet time bathroom peruse (don't judge me, you do it too). I managed to watch a whole two minutes of Ken Block's new Gymkhana video (yes, I've left a link too it right below).

Two things: one - Ken Block is insanely skilled and cool. I mean I'm highly trained on and off track but this guy is close to clairvoyant. Two - this video features two immensely frustrating cars. Both are once again insanely cool and brilliant, but ridiculously frustrating. The Ford F100 (Hoonitruck) and the Ford Escort Cosworth RS Sierra (Ken Block's current North American Rally Car and play thing). These cars are frustrating because I want these cars, I want them desperately.

These Cars are frustrating because i want these cars, I need them desperately.

Problem isn't that I can't afford either of them, because I can. Problem also isn't that I couldn't afford to rebuild one of these, because I can. Problem also isn't that I don't know how, I'm not a mechanic but I do have a longish career in automotive and have done enough work to cars to do that myself as well. So what is the problem?

You see if you buy either of those cars, or any classic car which is fantastic as a classic or even better with your own custom mark on it, you need to tune it (NEED). And the problem with tuning, rebuilding, painting, designing a car like that (especially if you're a perfectionist like I am), it takes time. I don't have time.

My day goes a bit like this: 6am - get up and go rowing or go to gym (cause if I don't keep this rig in shape, I'm going to be worrying about the guy she told me not to worry about), 8am - go to work, make sure someone a) hasn't broken in overnight and stolen all cars or b) someone hasn't burnt a bunch of our dealerships down, 12pm - eat lunch at desk reading Drivetribe, 4pm (on a Friday) watch Formula 1 practice at desk whilst still working, 5:30pm - get home and clean up after furry but adorable daughter who has normally chewed up a pair of shoes or book in my absence, 6pm - take said daughter for walk, 7:30pm - cook dinner for normally ridiculously tired and hangry partner, 8:30pm - sit down and watch Real House Wives of Melbourne against will, 9pm - get woken up by girlfriend who pokes me until I wake up so I can move to bed and finally be rested.

Yeah I know it's boring, but it does have variance, good variance of course. But problem is it's not variance that includes a matte black Ford F100 custom. One that I can take out of the garage on Sunday morning and drive down to Queencliff, really uncomfortably, but it's 30 minutes per week and it puts a smile on my face.

So here's my thought, the only way I and every other enthusiast out there gets their way. We collectively walk out of the workshop/OEM or Dealerships we work in and use the payout to get our own way...... nope, nope that definitely wouldn't work.

Look, I don't mean this to be such a whinge fest, but it really is. Automotive is this beautiful, creative, engaging industry that other people who want their Volkswagen Multivan or Honda CRV ruin. Shows like SEMA, Motorclassica or even much closer to home for me, The Geelong Revival, embrace this passion in the industry. But I constantly find myself becoming envious of attendance to these international high profile concours (that is technically what they are) not just because I want to go, I do go to most of them. But I want to be involved. In any way. I've always been told there's no point in waiting for an opportunity, because opportunities don't ask you if you want to take them up. You have to hunt them down like a Navy SEAL.

Maybe it's time for a career change, maybe it's time to become a Hoonigan, ditch a suit and wear a hoodie every day. Oh well, who knows, new year new me right?

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Comments (15)

  • I know the problem. Get a project and don’t waste time on other things. I’m told by my beloved that it’s great for me and my wellbeing, but i do feel guilty. It’s addictive but self indulgent. Something has to give, so prioritise. The Housewives thingy is probably something you could ditch in preference to a once a week tv binge. Allow yourself 2 hours for that (that should be enough). Get the dog to walk itself. No point in having a dog and barking yourself. Don’t socialise with friends or family, as it’s usually small talk and you can do without anyway. Dump the holiday idea to Bali and accumulate time and money at home. Its not that good anyway. SocIal medIa Is a great tIme waister. ImagIne how much sandIng and fIllIng you could have done on that F100, if you had not wrItten this plea for help. That sort of thing. Then you will have all the time in the world for your passion. Simple really. 😄😄

      2 years ago
    • I love it how the solution is - hey don't worry about life in general... build a car. But low-key current feelings are like - "cmon man, just ditch your life, you don't even like it at the moment anyway".

        2 years ago
    • All satirical response aside for the moment, you can do this. Objective, goals, tactics (The art of war). Get that F100 up to concourse level for some well deserved self satisfaction. Its worth it. I for one would take a look at your handy work...

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        2 years ago
  • Very cool read. I think this is a huge factor for all us gearheads. I have a normal full time job, 2 young kids, 7 vehicles (including a modified classic, and a vintage race car), 3 trailers (2 car, 1 camping), a house to maintain.

    Then I started up Alpha Gearhead, and ambassadorizing for DriveTribe.

    And I have a variety of other hobbies, such as music (I play piano and guitar).

    Time is definitely a major factor for me (maybe that’s why I’m also a watch enthusiast?).

    Great read though!

      2 years ago
  • Hey, Marcus! Really loved this - thanks for sharing your feelings with us. You should def take on a project, it seems like the nature of projects is that it takes time so you'll have to deal with that even if you had lots of time. Maybe you can do it as a weekend me-time sort of thing? BTW, it's so nice that you make time for your daughter and your partner. :)

      2 years ago
    • Thanks for the comment! I'll clarify when I say daughter I mean ridiculously needy puppy. With all of that in mind though I've been feeling the me-time of late. I'll take it under advisement. Let's all concentrate on getting through the...

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        2 years ago
  • I think this is the cry of someone who needs...a Caterham.

      2 years ago
  • Sell your shoe company for $100 million and you too can pay people to build crazy machines. Also, crazy envious that you get to sleep from 9-6... I'm stoked to get 4-5 hours a night. Solid article, man.

      2 years ago
    • I'm starting to think my 9 hrs of sleep is envious. Is that my problem? Should I sleep a whole lot less?

        2 years ago
    • Probably not if you want to be healthy and enjoy life. I’m not sure I’ll make it to 40 at this point.

        2 years ago