The blue and red project cars. 2003 WRX and 1989 240sx.

Does anybody else desire a garage of multiple cheap cars than one with only a few expensive ones?

If the above image doesn’t describe the atypical boy racer garage, I don’t know what would. I miss the simpler times. The time when I had two of the most stereotypical tuner cars in my garage. A time when my maximum combined value of my garage was around $8,000 instead of nearly ten times that now...

I find the more expensive of a vehicle I own, the less excited I am to work on it or even drive it. There is something mentally easier about fixing something up, then slowly watching it crumble. An older car can be improved and polished up to an excellent standard. Whereas a newer car will only deteriorate from the point of purchase.

The stuff boy racer dreams are made of. Both very stock and unmolested.

I, for one, would rather own the old, the needy, and cheap. Rather than the new, complete, and costly. Mentally it puts me at ease. Especially when it comes to when issues arise. For instance, I’d rather replace a hood on a WRX than my Camaro.

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Indications of an issue

My Camaro is perpetually currently for sale. I immediately drew some interest and had a nice dressed gentlemen enroute to my house to check it out. Thinking it could be my last day with the Camaro, I took it out for a drive.

Coming through a meadow, on a straight road, with no traffic, I decided to tach ‘er up. I took the 412 cubic inch all aluminum engine up to just over 5,000rpm (it can go to 6300). For those of you who know classic cars, any speed is violent. Much more violent than any new car. It made the whole car vibrate and come alive.

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I made a u-turn and came back through the same meadow. Suddenly, I heard a WHACK, WHACK, WHACK. The sound of something on metal. I thought the engine threw a rod. I put my foot on the clutch. The idle came down. I stepped off the clutch, back into gear. All normal. I was, however, feeling sick and visibly probably green.

Next thought was that I picked up something off the road. It was a WHACK sound consistent with the engine speed. I was close in my thoughts but it turns out the alternator belt committed suicide and tried to take the hood with it into the afterlife.

Small in nature, big hit to the wallet

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I’ll never think of a suicide belt in the same way again...

Naturally, I was feeling ill. I knew this would be expensive. When the nice gentlemen showed up to check out the car it must have appeared to be a bait and switch. He was well dressed and driving a new Audi. He had driven approximately 3 hours to see the car, all the way from San Francisco.

At the body shop

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I told the potential buyer that he was unable to drive it, as I didn’t have another alternator belt handy. He thought I was a bit suspicious until I had him stand near the engine to prove it was warm. With a bit of contrition, I think he eventually believed me.

Sadly, I did not find a buyer that day. I wish I had, as I am under the mental condition that I’d rather have numerous cheap cars, than one very expensive one. I am nervous about an issue such as this occurring again. If it had been the engine giving up the ghost it would have put me in the poor house.

On the flip side, had the WRX or 240sx, needed a hood, or even an engine, I wouldn’t sweat it. I’d be pissed off but not sick. I’d be more upset about having to do the work than fronting the money.

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The hood has since been fixed. The total? Only a mere (laugh) $2,000... I want the simpler days to come back.