What makes a nice car ? You might think of a cheap and cheerful Honda Civic or an Elegant Mercedes-Benz , maybe even a Nissan GTR , if your into that. There are literally endless answer to this question and I love it that was , a never ending possibility’s of rolling art that people may or may not agree with. But to the true car owner , “scratch that” , Motor head! , most other opinion don’t matter. Thou the terrible truth is that for the most of us our dream ride lies on the other side of a magazine page or computer screen. This however was not going to be my life , even if I had to build my dream car out of duct tape and glue I was going to have one , how hard could it be right ?
My grandfather one day when I was 15 years old approached me with the chance of a life time as he presented a single key to me “ this key unlocks one of the cars in my collection” my grandfather said to me “ now go to the yard and find it” he chucked
Joy and Worry were the emotion I felt when we pulled up to, what most would could a wrecking yard , he private collection of rusted and blown up cars. I only knew this was going to end well or poorly. “ please tell me the car your giving to me runs” smiling with hope of a positive response. My grandfather chuckled as we made our way to a Junker why in the corner. Before me , sat a 1956 Chevy Belair that had sat in the yard for as long as I remember , I knew this was the perfect project , if only it would be that easy.
Quickly complications mad themselves know as the Stubborn Belair refused to move from her long slumber , even with the help from a big old SUV , she would not come easily. After severely days of yanking and swearing the Belair finally rolled free and was quickly dragged onto a flat bed and taken home. The ride home was like a victory parade to me , “ finally I’m getting some were” or so I thought. Dismounting the Belair from the flat bed was almost as difficult as dragging it onto it. During the trip the transmission locked up in park and refused to budge. “ terribly sorry man hehe you know how things go with old cars right” I said to the very annoyed truck driver, surly he had better things to do. After severely days of perseverance the Beliar finally was home.
For the next couple of years I slaved of the machine , finding complication here and there , honestly I was getting more and more upset as my first car quite quickly turned into a nightmare that I would never seam to wake up from. , more problems arose when I the lack of funding became more and more of an issue, so creativity was the name of the game. the junk yard became my favorite place for improvised replacement parts , such as having to use Honda accord brake line valves or exhaust brackets from a dodge truck. “There’s probably a special place in hell for me” I said as I mounted these parts on a car.
Victory day came on a late Sunday after noon in the summer , the sound of a tired V8 sprang to life in a cloud of smoke and fire. Victory was short lived when I realized the exhaust shot a black tar like substance all over our new garage door. “oops”
The first test drive what probably the worst experience you could have. All I have to say is testing brakes in your drive way is one thing, using them in a practical application on the street is another, as the first time I had pressed my foot on the brakes All I can say is you know fear when the brake pedal falls to the floor on its own. I learned a few new cuss words that day. Humility is another thing I learned “ you dint get very far” my grandfather said “ I don’t think I’ve ever seen him laugh so hard” as I was pushing the car up to the drive way. Victory swiftly fallowed by defeat is a very difficult thing to feel.
The more I worked towards my goal I found my self learning more then I ever though I needed to , after all , I set out to own a unique ride ,. But the more I worked at finishing the car, the less I cared about its completion, as it had turned into more then just a car to me but rather a past time that I use to relax and kind of meditate. Engines of the car maybe its heart but just a heart dues not make functioning body. I learned that learning just enough about things to get me past a hurdle was not the end of the story of the subject. If you just repair fix the problem and forget about it, you haven’t actually learned anything, for you never know when you might need to cross that same hurdle again. For me I often find myself thing about what else the Belair made me learn beyond its self. Determination can be useful any were , whether its rebuilding a carbonator or taking an English class, Humility can keep use all human and makes you a more understanding person to others. and finally understanding what’s really important in life. That for me was working with my grandfather on an old Belair every week for almost nine years now, an even to this day I still work towards me goal , but maybe not with the same intent from when I started.