Having a restoration project is a dream for so many people. Whether it be a life long ambition, a weekend project, or like me, an absolute addiction. Here are the five emotions we all go through when building our dreams.
The excitement of buying a car, with the sole intention of stripping it to pieces and building it into the image ingrained in your head is one of the best things you will experience. Once you've imagined what you could build it into you will become obsessed and every waking moment you will be thinking about what to do next. You will not be satisfied until that car is in your possession and in a million pieces, so you have your blank canvas to work with.
So your car is now in bits, and if you're like me you will be feeling pretty damn chuffed with yourself by this point. The downside to this is that you can now see the car for what it truly is. The rust you couldn't see when you viewed the car (if you viewed it at all) the parts that broke when you took them off (this happens unbelievably often) the bodges from previous repairs, and that suspicious bit of wiring which you cant for the life of you figure out why it was carried out. These along with everything else that isn't quite right or you didn't notice before is now in plain view and your workload has suddenly grown. No matter how much your friends or family ask you 'why bother? just buy a new car!' you are more and more adamant that this car will get finished and 'its not as bad as it looks!' or 'this shouldn't cost too much money'.
This is usually the midway point in the project, you've spent countless hours working and you take a step back one day with a cup of tea and think 'oh bo*****s what the f*** was I thinking starting this'. You think of all the hard hard work you have put into getting the car to this point, but it doesn't look any different to the day you stripped it. Thoughts flood into your head, 'I wish I hadn't started this', 'why am I even bothering', 'maybe I should cut my losses and get rid of it'. Maybe everyone was right. We have all been at this point, don't let it defeat you! Finish that cup of tea, and jump straight back into it. Put your best motivation music on and power through. Once you're past this point you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
You're so close to finishing, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It's so close, but yet so far. It seems no matter what you do, it doesn't want to be finished, it's like it wants be left in a corner so it can go back to rusting in peace. Everything you pull out of a box to go back on the car needs cleaning, repairing or replacing. It's a seemingly never ending cycle and the job that should have taken 10 minutes ends up taking an hour or more. This is the stage likely to produce the most blood, sweat and tears. I promise you 100% that once you get past this stage, you will want to do it all over again.
5. Complete and Utter Ecstasy
You've done it. Against all odds, you have taken this car apart and built it into the image you had when you bought it. It's had the thumbs up from your local MOT tester, Mr Tax Man has had his fee (unless you're tax exempt) and you're ready to head out for your first proper drive. From the moment you turn the key and it fires into life, you're in love. It is everything you imagined and more, the further you drive the more confidence you get with the car. You have already decided you will never sell it. As the miles rack up you find your favourite stretch of road and you start to squeeze the throttle a bit harder while you sit there with a grin like a Cheshire cat as it climbs through the rev range, and you realise that it was all worth it. The cuts, the bruises, the sleepless nights, the empty wallet and those days you just wanted to give up. Everything makes sense at that precise point, and you have found your nirvana.
Now who's up for starting the next project?