Time, Money, Cars

…Or How I’m talking Myself Out of Doing a Very Bad Thing

The last couple of years I read a lot of biographies, a lot of biographies.  These books primarily consisted of rock stars, comedians and adult entertainment performers, people who’s career paths, or rather people who’s personalities lead them to their career paths,  invariably led them to a single line that went something like this:

I knew that this would be my last line, just one last bump and I’d be done forever.

Just as invariably Mr. Defibrillator would show  up the next chapter.

What I’m saying is that, the idea of taking one more hit is always, always a bad idea.

Just one quick bump, though.  Just a little one..

If you are a car guy there are two things that have happened to you in your life.  With some slight variation, these two things have happened to every car guy, all of them.

  1. You woke up and walked outside and looked at your car, which was your dream car six months ago when you bought it.  Now, however, it’s just not right.  There’s nothing wrong with it, but maybe you saw another one exactly like it on the street or maybe you just think the grille would look better not chrome or something.  The thought crosses your mind, “Maybe if I just got some new wheels,” that is to say, “one small hit, just this one line.”
  2. Your father/uncle/cousin/sister’s boyfriend/next door neighbor/Starsky and or Hutch had the coolest car even when you were four and you always wanted one, and now that you’re 40 you can afford it, but it’s a pile and you’re used to driving your executive saloon so, you need to bring that drum brake, live rear axle having land yacht up to spec. Nothing crazy, just a key bump.

A while ago, Dax Shepard was on Adam Carolla’s CarCast talking about his 1967 Lincoln Continental

Those wheels, really, dude?

At the time of the interview (which I’m sure that you can still find on your podcast aggregator of choice) he claimed that his goal was to have a 1967 Lincoln Continental which rode and handled like a modern 7 Series BMW.  Unfortunately he’d already dropped roughly $140,000 into it.  If you’re keeping track that would be about twice the price of a base 7 Series.

So now, the Lincoln is finished (as much as projects are ever finished) and Dax is all over the automotive media talking about it to promote his new movie (I’ll just link here, since PHR’s stupid video embed code appears to not work at all).  Of course, if I were to interview Dax it would go something like this:


Me: Hey, Dax, word on the street is that you’ve finally finished your ’67 Conti.
Dax: Yeah, it’s a 5000 pound M5 killer!
Me: Right, so how much did that run you?
Not Mathew Lillard: (mumbling) $200,00
Me: Wow, really, so the price of between two and four M5s
Mr. Veronica Mars: (sheepishly) yeah.
Me: I mean with warranties and everything…
No For Real His Name is “Dax”: But that’s not the point
Me: I mean, not only with warranties, but can easily be repaired at any one of the hundreds of BMW dealerships and many of the certified BMW repair shops in the country.
Dax: But it wouldn’t be as cool.
Me: Have you seen the wheels you put on that thing?

Wheels aside, the Dax that lives in my imagination has a point.  A project car is almost always a losing proposition.  Unlike a house, spending more money on a car means that you spent more money on a car.  You will never get your money back if you decide to sell, you have to do it for the sheer enjoyment of it.

Also, you have to be a little bit stupid.

This is unfortunate, as no one can claim that I am that smart, so over the next few however long it takes, I am going to talk myself out of building a project car, publicly.  Here’s hoping that’s successful.