When I last spoke of my RX-7, I was imploring everyone to not go about doing things the way I did. I got up on my soapbox and told you to not take a perfectly running car that could be fixed bit-by-bit off the road. However, if you find yourself in my situation, what do you do? How do you crawl out from under the piles of dusty parts and get to something that resembles a car you can legally drive on the road?
Clearly, the answer is to find some motivation, get your butt to the garage, and start doing work. The first step is always the hardest part. Recently, I read a story that had a pretty profound impact on me. In the January 2017 issue of Sports Car Market, Keith Martin shared the story of his friend Bjarne Holm, whom he had known for nearly 40 years. Bjarne had sent him an email letting him know he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Keith promised to visit him soon and Bjarne looked forward to the visit. Some more time passes and Keith promises to visit again. At one point, Keith drives within blocks of Bjarne’s home with a press car, but given his limited time with the vehicle decides to keep driving. Eventually, Keith sends another email promising to visit soon. The reply from Bjarne’s wife comes later that day, informing Keith that Bjarne had passed away 10 days earlier. Keith then offers the following insight to readers:
Our time on earth is finite, and we are not in control of when it comes to an end. When you learn a friend is fighting a life-threatening condition, don’t wait. Don’t be too busy. Go right away and visit your friend. When that friend is gone, you will never again share lifelong memories with that special person – or make new ones.
Now, cars are not people. My immediate thoughts when I read Keith’s column were about a friend of mine I have known for 20 years. He lives across the country now and we still speak frequently, but not nearly as much as we used to. We both understand why we don’t talk as often anymore, but we make the effort and still see each other every couple of years. Where it does come back around to cars is in the indisputable fact that are time on earth is finite. When I die, do I want a project car that is still gathering dust in the garage? Or a drivable one that I’ve made memories in with my wife and children? The choice is obvious; I’d like to have some memories.
If for some reason that doesn’t provide motivation, there is always the nuclear option. Sell it. Take some pictures, box up all the parts, go to your favorite marque specific forum and/or Cragislist, get mentioned on Nice Price or Crack Pipe, and sell your half-finished project for pennies on the dollar to some other unsuspecting sap. Make it somebody else’s problem. Then you can start over and swear you’ll never make the same mistake again (but you probably will).
I leave you again with the RX-7 in its current state: