Many, I'd imagine, are surprised, perturbed even, at my undisguised obsession of many things mechanical and/or electronic, cars especially. Allow me to shed a little light into the matter.
For years, I spent countless hours working in retail stores, dusty warehouses, maddeningly-repetitive assembly plants and, more recently, windowless offices. There is something about working in a windowless office or a cubicle that makes me shudder. Not that I can't work therein, but having a window to look out of makes all the difference.
But let me start from the [near] beginning.
Back when I was a young'n & school was out, my Dad used to drop me off at his mechanic friend's workplace where I'd spend all my days surrounded by cars. Soon I was the unofficial gofer, the wrench-boy, if you will. I got used to the sounds, smells, spills, leaks... you name it, associated with any vehicle repair shop. All too soon though, I was shipped off to boarding school, and was temporarily separated from all that.
Many, many years later, I was sitting in some windowless office talking on the phone with some dude from a nearby repair shop. The Lancer was there and it needed its timing-belt replaced, and dude was saying it would 'only' cost me $539. I told him to shove it, called Mitsubishi up and they told me a timing belt could be had for about $40. I'm not exactly a rocket scientist here, but it doesn't take one to see that of that $540, $500 of it was all labor. Granted, changing a timing belt is a pain in the ass, but $500? I later found someone else to do it for $350 or thereabouts, but that's another story.
That's when it hit me, and I'm still jarring from the impact: Dude, I could get paid to do something I really like to do! How unbelievably cool is that? Realistically though, there's a lot more money to be made in white-collar jobs, and I'm all about the money, truth be told, but to actually make a living off something I'd gladly do for free? F*cking A!
So I signed up for automotive classes at some nearby school, and haven't looked back since. Not to say I'll quit the office-job scene forever, but I'd be more versatile, if anything. Besides, I could really work on my car now.
I was chatting with some other dude in my class and he thought I was crazy. He was like: You're trying to get into automotive, away from graphic design, and everyone else is trying to get an office job? Even my Moms was like: >d®, wauga ukwenda gutuika makanika?
[She supports me now tho, though she'd much rather I was obsessed with, say, medicine or finance.]
My ultimate dream is to race professionally and not just be a greasemonkey, as much as it'd be OK if I were only an automotive tech. Racing needs mucho dinero though and bank numbers won't allow, but impossible is nothing, like the Adidas slogan goes. But then again, I still might be stuck in some windowless office for years to come, taking in recycled, sanitized air, and that's quite alright. But at least I'd know I could do something else.
Here are some pics about the automotive thing, & have a good week.
This Porsche 944 was a royal pain to work on. Spent maybe 10 hours getting the alignment right. Belongs to the kid with the blurred-out face - lucky bastard. Cool dude tho.
This Kompressor was another obstinate one. Actually, all the German cars we worked on were straight out of repair-hell.
Messing around with OBD II on this fiery-colored Cobalt.
The rear suspension of V^6's monster GTi.
An unoccupied Prowler in the streets of Annapolis.