We have all been there at one time or another. The worst part is that you cannot blame anyone but yourself. You feel stupid and wish you could turn the back the clock, but barring a breakthrough in quantum physics, you are out of luck.
I had one of those moments recently working on my daily driver. I busted off a rusted bolt that was essential to holding up the driveshaft center bearing support. Murphy’s Law strikes again! As I was uncomfortably positioned beneath my car I wondered how I was going to get the blasted bolt stub out. After trying a wrench, pliers, and every other form of mechanical voodoo in my toolbox, I finally came to the realization that I had to bust the drill out and hope for the best. The worst part is this happened during disassembly and the exhaust was off and part of the driveshaft was dangling loosely inches above my chest. I was really in a “tight spot,” figuratively and literally. To top it off, it was a weeknight and I had work in the morning. What was I thinking? The nauseating realization that I needed to button everything up and accept defeat set in. To make matters worse, time had slipped by as I looked up to see the clock had approached 10 p.m.
No problem, I could just grab a spare bolt from my parts bin and slap everything back together in less than a half an hour. After going through the toolbox I found I only had metric taps and I was holding a standard bolt. Doh! Luckily, I have a neighbor who is also a car guy. I walked across the street and knocked on his door hoping he was not already asleep. I was relieved that he came to the door at that hour of night. Once I told him my predicament he was all too willing to lend me a standard tap and went the extra mile to find the matching drill bit. Thank you Jimmy!
These are the times that you realize how great it is to be part of a car community that always has your back. It seems in our nature to lend a hand to someone in need. I have done the same for him in the past, and I am sure I will need his assistance in the future. Cars can bring out the best in us. In a disconnected world where everyone seems to be at each other’s throats, it’s comforting to have this unspoken camaraderie. Regardless of the fun banter we have amongst each other bench racing and beating our brand loyalty chests, the core hobby’s values ultimately trump all. No matter what walk of life we come from we can set our differences aside.
The mutual respect is what keeps the hobby alive. If you sit back and think of the collective knowledge we possess, it is humbling. The fact that we are willing to share our wisdom with each other via online or in our garages is a testament to how special the car culture is. To the non-car enthusiasts who view their cars as a utility, we are seen as archaic and out of touch with the modern world. They are missing the whole point behind our hobby. As corny as the cliché may sound it truly is sometimes about the journey. The people we meet, the skills we acquire, the knowledge we pass on, and the sense of pride and accomplishment we have in our car is what it is about. To narrowly view our hobby as only “cars” is truly a disservice to the hobby.
Take solace that there are still many of us out there who understand what the true meaning of being car guys and gals really is. My only fear is that we do not stress our core values enough to the younger generations. So keep being good to each other and lend a hand to that teenager who cannot afford to fix his/her car. Who knows, you might ignite a spark and add another eager soul to our automotive family.