Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Wise words from car restorers

I've written in the past about my preference for the type of classic car magazine which shows people getting dirty and wrestling with rusty parts. Apparently I'm not normal in this, those mags full of shiny and unattainable vehicles sell better, but who cares. Rusty relics returned to life are more interesting to read about than concours car p**n.

Anyway, I open the latest issue of Practical Classics and reading a couple of the articles, I'm struck that there are some lessons to be learned from car botherers.

The first piece is about "Shed Hero", Rocky Rockliffe. Here we have a man who has apparently never stopped learning. Even though he's now retired to a croft on Skye, his home-built engineering workshop is a sight to behold.

"Life is for learning" he tells us and that is borne out in his approach. No-one is born with the ability to make new cogs for a gearbox and then harden them so the results will work. Nor do you build a turbocharger lightly but it doesn't seem to put him off trying.

His approach seems to be to keep trying and over the years he's built up skills and equipment to match.

Following this we have Callum Beveridge and his restored Citroen Dyane 6. Working in IT, he wanted a screen-free hobby and so bought a rusty 1980 car and brought it back to life using scrap parts and ingenuity.

Costing £75, his approach was that it was a great way to learn how to weld. He says, "I figured if I ruined it, I could always chop the body up and take it down the tip."

That's the spirit. Understanding that your hobby isn't life or death. Have a go and if it doesn't work, does it matter?

Someone recently said that many modellers are beaten before they start. It's true. I speak to lots of people who are terrified of having a go. They should read this mag and see what happens when you do.

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