Cars: Adult Hobbies I Wish I Had Part 4

This is the fourth post in a series about exploring hobbies that I don’t have, but I wish I did.  To read about the first hobby, beer, click here. To read about the second hobby, wine, click here.  To read about the third hobby, sports, click here.

I find beauty in this.

I also find beauty in this.

Besides sports, cars is a close second when it comes to walking into any room with any other guy and being able to strike up a conversation.  Just about every guy knows something about cars.  I’m included in this.  I know how an internal combustion engine works.  I have a vague idea of what the various parts do and what they’re for.  However, I have no idea what they look like, I have no idea what sound means what problems, and I have no idea how to fix most of it.

We didn’t have a garage until I was like 11.  So, in order to keep me warm, my dad just sort of left me out of the loop when it came to fixing cars.  After we got the garage, he just figured he could fix stuff faster if I wasn’t always asking dumb questions like “Why is it righty-tighty?”  I always appreciated cars, both for their beauty and their efficiency, but I was never really included in the family tradition of having shitty cars for life.

Now that I think about it, I might be too middle-class for this hobby:

This would constantly be in my car port on blocks.

If I was super-poor and couldn’t afford to have a mechanic fix something (or buy a new car when the old one became too much of a hassle), I think I would probably be a Car Guy.  I would watch the sports channel and marvel at how efficient NASCAR racers actually are.  I would probably go to the Detroit Auto Show every year (or, if I was too poor to afford tickets, I would enter the hundreds of contests to score tickets) and I would probably get all sorts of ideas about how to better rebuild the engine in my 1988 Buick Skylark.  I’d probably have car buddies who would talk about their current rebuild projects and I would probably know that guy down at Auto Zone a little better than I know him now (right now I know him as “that guy that looks like that autistic fella I graduated high school with”).

This would constantly be on a gigantic turntable in my car shop that I call "my garage".

If I was super-rich, I would probably have a collection of fine automobiles – not like a Jay Leno collection with Stanley Steamers and such – including a few high-end European models.  I would probably attend various amateur racing events in the tri-state area; maybe I would fly out to California a few times a year to participate in all of their pro/am races like in Coronado.  I would probably be a fan of Indy racing and, depending on how rich I was, actually know a driver or two.  Knowing me, I wouldn’t be satisfied with just knowing a lot about cars, I would probably try and design my own – maybe out of wood – and would have to get to know a local community of car parts manufacturers and CAD designers.

But I’m not super-rich or super-poor.  I can afford a new car every ten years or so and I can afford a mechanic to fix something on my car if I don’t have the equipment or know-how to do it myself (rotating tires and getting rid of “hooker smell” are both good examples).  I have absolutely no desire to get another expensive and time-consuming  hobby at this point in my life. 

Unfortunately, because I have no desire for this, I’m losing out on a lot of male bonding.  I’m also missing out on a lot of ridiculous conversations that start with “There’s no substitute for cubic inches.”


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5 Responses

  1. […] Camping: Adult Hobbies I Wish I Had Part 5 Posted on October 21, 2010 by Nick This is the fifth post in a series about exploring hobbies that I don’t have, but I wish I did.  To read about the first hobby, beer, click here. To read about the second hobby, wine, click here.  To read about the third hobby, sports, click here.  To read about the fourth hobby, cars, click here. […]

  2. […] hobby, wine, click here.  To read about the third hobby, sports, click here.  To read about the fourth hobby, cars, click here.  To read about the fifth hobby, camping, click […]

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