I can't be the only one with a "problem" with old cars. Aside from my daily driver I have four old vehicles: two on the road, one active project, and one dormant. What I seem to be having an increasing problem with is finding the time to work on them. Maybe it's just been a bad month, but the past few weeks have seen me replacing all the cooling system hoses on my 1973 Dodge van after the bypass hose sprang a leak, attempting to wrap up the turbo plumbing on the race car while also rebuilding the rusted-out rear bed corners, and replacing the radiator in the 1946 pickup, which involved making new mounts and plumbing an external transmission cooler (see page 36 for more on this).
Add in the fact that my daily driver needed smog testing this month (thankfully handled by my girlfriend, who, owing to her having grown up in a hot rodding household, luckily "gets" my obsession for the most part) and it's been a busy and expensive month car-wise. But it always seems to be that way! I often wonder what it must be like to have a hobby that doesn't involve late nights lying on cold floors, constantly failing to remove the dirt from under my nails, and buying welding gas and grinding discs instead of new clothes or electronic equipment. I'm never likely to find out, I'm in too deep, have been for over 30 years, and if I could change, I don't think I'd want to.
I'm luckier than most in that, for the most part, anything that constitutes a tech story can be done on company time at our Tech Center, though it never seems to pan out that way, and more often than not I find myself setting the shop alarm at ludicrous hours. At least I miss the notorious Southern California rush hour traffic that way! I can't be the only one who wakes up at night, or can't get to sleep, because I'm planning the next task on a project, working out how to tackle a particular job, or I'm learning about twin disc clutches and turbos rather than football game results, reality TV shows, or when to go to the river.
My life always seems to have been this way, but at least stuff gets done. Quite how the Tribute T or my race car got built in ridiculously short timescales I'm not sure, but they did. It just seems to be getting harder to juggle family time, car time, and work time. So come on, I'm ready to accept advice; let me into the secret, how do you guys find time to work on your projects?