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  1. #1

    Default For all the automotive enthusiasts out there....

    Question: What got you into automotive? A parent, racing, relative, friend, tv, etc.? Like for example, I had a combination of things. My dad was a NASCAR fan back in the days of Earnhardt Sr. I loved playing video games like Gran Turismo and Need For Speed series when I was younger (still do when I get a chance ) I also collected Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and model cars. Ah, I enjoyed those parts of my childhood...!!!

  2. #2

    Default

    Define 'enthusiast', please, because I don't know if I qualify.

    On one hand:
    I hate NASCAR, Formula 1, drag racing, stock car racing, monster truck shows, and even rallies. (Basically I can't stand auto racing or shows unless it's something like a Mecum auction.) Video games involving driving never simulated driving well enough for me to bother for long and I stopped looking at/trying them some time ago. I had Matchbox and Hot Wheels as a kid but they were just toys in my past and I don't have walls of them or anything. In fact, I gave them all to Goodwill many years, ago.

    On the other hand:
    I'm a natural tinkerer/engineer. I customize practically any machine that tickles my fancy. Aerospace engineering is what I studied, but I work in the Information Technology world. I've been custom-building my own computers (and laptops ... and even servers) for years. Amateur gunsmithing is a hobby, too, and so are vehicles. I've tinkered with all three of these machine types since I was a kid...

    As for vehicles it started with a VW bug I (re)built from the floor pan, up, as a teenager. I saved for years (from age 12 to 15.5) for a car, bought a used 1980 Toyota Supra, drove it for a year, and sold it so that I could build something custom. Being a broke-ass kid, I began with a 1963 body whose engine was toast ... and a re-manned 1967 engine block that I used for a rebuild. I did a 6-to-12 volt conversion on the body, replaced the rusted out fenders and running boards with a fiberglass baja kit for the fenders (and trunk lid) and custom-made stainless steel tubular frame outlines to replace the running boards. I removed the bonnet, completely, so that the engine would be on display. I went with a 6' stainless steel exhaust system that ended in a stinger and had no baffle (so this bug was LOUD). On the inside I kept it simple on the dash and doors but went with a rolled & tucked red leather interior ... and had the bug sprayed in a candy apple red paint to offset the engine, firewall, running board outlines, and wheels which were all clad in chrome. She ran 15" wheels with the front being skinny and the rear being 305's meant for a truck.

    She was built by me to drive on the beach ... with help from two mechanics who let me use a bay in their garage and hooked me up with people to do some of the work on the cheap ... in exchange for me doing ****-work around the garage (cleaning the place up, oil changes, water pump changes, coolant system flushes, etc -- basically the really dirty, nasty jobs they didn't want to do). I spent every day from sun-up to sun-down on her the first summer ... and then every afternoon until dinner time during the winter. I had her ready by spring, as a VW is a simple machine.

    I owned the car in a drivable state for 9 months until one rainy night a drunk driver hit the car. The impact sheared the rear axle and the car was pushed 40-50 feet down the road into a stop sign, which cut through the fiberglass front/trunk, caused a leak in the gas tank (which is located under that trunk lid), and the car went up in flames. The insurance company, of course, stuck it to me. :(

    It was a fun car, though. I suppose that's where I caught the 'bug', so to speak. As for where the knack came from ... I'm no mechani, but give me a manual, tools, and enough time and I can disassemble and reassemble practically anything. Dad took the time to teach me basic organizational skills in the garage...
    Last edited by SurrealOne; 08-30-2012 at 12:16 AM.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SurrealOne View Post
    Define 'enthusiast', please, because I don't know if I qualify.
    Well, I don't have the right to say if you are an enthusiast or not, but it really does sound like you are. Those were all just examples I listed that I could think of at the moment. I believe an enthusiast is someone who is passionate about what they do and/or like. Not an exact definition, but I think it's in the ball park. So I'll answer your question with a question... Do you think you are an enthusiast?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Mike View Post
    So I'll answer your question with a question... Do you think you are an enthusiast?
    No. Why? Because I'm engine- and transmission-stupid ... as in I know little to nothing about either in my vehicle. Perhaps once I know substantially more than I do in both areas I'll consider myself an enthusiast as it pertains to my vehicle, but for now I'm just a compulsive tinkerer and wannabe enthusiast, I guess.

  5. #5

    Default

    I suppose my Dad got me into cars, my first was a 1954 chevy pick up. My Dad and I rebuilt that truck from the ground up and I drove it for years. I have always fixed up cars and trucks that I have had even though my Dad never did somehow I caught the bug as a kid and I guess if you look at my truck now you might think i still have the bug...........


    2002 Chevrolet Silverado Extended Cab SportSide: See Mods in My Garage

  6. #6

    Default

    I never really intended to get into modding vehicles. My first car was a Buick Lesabre limited from the 80's similar to this with a huge v8 and a four barrel carb.

    http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5244/5...ce0b075a_z.jpg

    All I ever did to that car was normal maintenance.

    Then I got something a little better:

    http://www.ryderocz.info/ic_cars/94_grandprix.jpg

    I loved that car and that is when I started playing around with car stereo installations. That car mysteriously disappeared when the transmission stopped working the second time in 8 months. ( I did not intend to learn how to rebuild transmissions back then ).

    Then I bought the Silverado from my dad when he lost his job, he only had it about 2 years at that time and 93oct cost about $0.89 a gallon. As prices for gas and everything have gotten more expensive and the fact that I have a number of friends that are mechanics now; I learned how to change my own oil, transmission fluid, brakes, shocks, belts, spark plugs.

    So in the end, learning to "mod" the truck has been because I can find better uses for the money I would have paid in labor to do that normal maintenance. Since that, I have been putting some of the money back in the truck with the upgrades I have done.

    It will also make it that much easier for me to mod my next truck when that happens.

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