We’d been working on a post for about a week and still
felt it wasn’t right. Imagine our surprise when we got
the latest edition of Street Thunder magazine, and the
editorial was on the subject of our post. The following
is the editorial by Mark Simpson, Editor and Executive
Director of the National Street Machine Club magazine-
“So when are you going to finish it?” My father’s
voice rang out as he entered the garage. I believe I’ve
heard those words as often as “So, what color are you
going to paint it?” and from far too many people to
Certainly dad could remember the many times I drove the
old Chevy over to visit, but the simple fact that the old
car was all apart again seemed to cloud his memory of it.
I paused for a moment, in the same manner I had for the
countless others who asked the same question.
I explained, “Dad, it’s not a race to get it done quickly;
it’s a hobby.”
I could tell by the look on his face, as he scratched his
head and made his way to the refrigerator for a cold soda,
the thought of working on an old car simply for enjoyment
was something he never considered. I went on to explain,
“Just because it’s done, doesn’t mean I can’t take it
apart and make it better.” He mumbled something, before
coming to rest on the stool next to the workbench.
I grabbed the new driveshaft to mate the 4L60 transmission
to the new nine-inch Ford rear axle and slid beneath the
old Chevy. As I snaked the driveshaft around the rear axle
and through the driveshaft loop, I couldn’t help but think
how our hobby compares to others. I suspect no one has ever
questioned a golfer as to why they have played the course
more than once because it’s assumed they want to improve
their skills and achieve a better score. Nor does anyone
question the fisherman who returns to the same lake, and
often the spot, in pursuit of a bigger fish.
As I slid the U-bolts into the rear axle yoke and called
out for a half-inch wrench, it occured to me that maybe the
difference lies in the simple fact that so many consider car
repairs to be “work”, and certainly nothing about the task
that is seen as work could be enjoyable unless it is completed.
While the prospect of clubbing plastic balls around someone
else’s lawn, then chasing after them, only to club them again
seems more like work to me, the biggest difference may be how
others perceive our chosen hobby.
The distictive ring of a half-inch Craftsman wrench sliding
accross the concrete toward my head returned my attention to
the task at hand. Dad soon called out again, “I gotta go!”
As he turned the knob on the garage door, he stopped to ask,
“So when are you going to finish it?”
Amen! It’s a matter of, if we have to explain it, you
wouldn’t understand. We thank Mr. Mark Simpson for his
insightful look at our crazy hobby. Comments on this, or
anything else, are welcome.