I've always had this in my mind. Being a car person myself. Why do we do it? Let's face it, nothing says "THROW ME THE MONEY" like a good old project car. So why do we do it to ourselves?
Here is my Mk5 Fiesta ZS. I've always liked cars that people near me or around me never really owned or drove around in. I think I am secretly a Ford boy, who knows. Anyway, this was meant to be my daily. I also have a 1977 mini I'm currently building. Yet here I am, finding myself playing around with this thing! Since I've owned it I've chucked on a hell of a load of.. well.. shit. Did it cost me a lot? Yes. Will I get my money back when I sell it? Most probably not. But you see, thats not the point my friends.
Above is my beloved, my first car. My mini. Now it's not the greatest car on the planet. Influential is a different story. Greatest is debatable, considering the fact that I've had it since the age of 18 and NOTHING has happened in the 3-4years of ownership. By nothing I mean constantly swearing and trying to fix stuff and yet all this time has gone by.. aaannddd there she is. Still broke. BUT, the thing is, will I ever want to get rid of it? Oh god no.
And this is why, and car guys (and girls!) know this, but to non car people (Hi mum, and dad! Takes notes and stop ARGUING WITH ME.) Cars aren't just a bit of metal. It's a lifestyle. People asking me why I don't get rid of my project car, why am I throwing so much money into it? Blah blah. Blah. It's rather simple. If this was any 'old project' car then yes, if it isn't working, sell it on. However, every car guy has the project car.. and then theres the PROJECT car.
It's the car you've dreamt of, always opening the door to, starting it up and listening to the engine burble as you slump in the drivers seat, fingers wrapped around the steering wheel with a smile on your face as you say to yourself 'This is my vision'. It's the car you've always seen in a certain way. It may be your first car, or your dream car, but there is that ONE (or maybe more, depending on wallet size) car that EVERY car guy and girl has in their head where money is no option, and you WILL build it.
It's stuff like this that makes cars not just a bit of metal. The feeling you get piecing together bits of your own puzzle. An image channeled by desire and an eye for perfection. The people you meet along the way who share the same desire as you do, to build something incredible and tear the streets, together. The car community may be full of idiots sometimes. But the community as a whole is strong. As car guys we escape the worlds everyday bullshit and feast our eyes upon our own magnificence. It may take ages, and you swear and cut yourself a lot, but the sensation from creating your own car relaxes the mind, slows down the heartbeat, relieves the brain from the stress the world gives us. And as the day comes, we rumble through the streets with a smile. Cars are more than metal. It's life.
Tank - Founder, TheStreetKids Garage.