Mondays suck. No matter what happens, except maybe for getting a puppy. Since there’s no way around it, might as well do the depressing stuff on a Monday and save the rest of the week right?

You can read more about up and downs of my time as the caretaker of a “distressed” 1992 Nissan 180SX here. 

Where am I going with this you might ask. I own a low-slung, right hand drive sports car, in Ottawa, Canada. Which means snow, and freezing rain, and road salt. There’s no way around it, I have to stash the car away for the winter. Might as well ruin my Monday doing exactly that, right?

Found a fellow car guy going for one last drive.

I spent the last week (3rd week of October) slowly prepping the car for storage: quick wash inside and out, a full tank of gas (sans ethanol), some fuel stabilizer to make it last, some more air in those stretched tires, a full battery charge, a dirty-ish car cover, a good charge on the battery, and the all-important beer bottles in the tail pipes.

Never put stuff away dirty. See what I mean?

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Oh yeah, and I took it for one last drive, because you know, reasons... Keep in mind the car refuses to run with any kind of noticeable pressure coming from the turbo.

My hometown is famous for one thing: a magnificent park right in the middle of the city. Normally, it is crawling with cyclists cruising its smooth, hilly and curvy roads. However, the cyclists are replaced by slow-driving, lost motorists as soon as the leaves go from lush green to fall-signaling orange.

Normally, I would go completely mad driving behind this slow convoy, but with my electrically-wounded-but-mechanically-sound engine, all I could do is follow, enjoy the sights, and carve up those sinewy roads on last time before the long nap. Needless to say, it was a long drive (2 hours), especially since the rationalisation behind the drive was to go pick up a package, 2 km away from my place. The long way around rocks.

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Pretty place. Too bad I’m there to ruin it.

All of that was last week (3rd of October). This week was the depressing part, complete with grey, chilly, depressing weather. I drove the car to the underground parking where I rented a space in their locked storage pen, disconnected the battery, added drier sheets for pest control/freshness, added the essential beer bottles, and drew the cover over my trusty wounded lil’ sports car. Depressing. But it gets better...

Test fitting the cover in my garage. One of the many reasons I hate winter.

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As I got home, it dawned on me. I’m far from the end with this project, and the expensive jobs are still to come. The current plan for next spring is to get the car ready for a tune, then bring it for a dyno tune. But not necessarily for power. I just want the stupid thing to run right, as in, work under load... And more horsepower, because racecar, and because dyno sessions are expensive, so I want everything to be done at once, injectors and all.

I also have to address the elephant in the garage (see what I did there?). It needs attention in the looks department. Which means I have to source wide fenders for all four corners, and side-skits to hide the smashed metal under the doors. Easier to hide than to fix it properly for paint.

I also have to address the interior. It’s in great shape, but the broken driver seat rail is unnerving. It feels like driving with a rocking chair instead of a driver seat. Not cool. And who knows, maybe and audio upgrade, or even sound deadening in the hatch area.

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I have the whole winter ahead of me, with its long cold dark nights spent on eBay. Maybe some really geeky tinkering as well. I might post more of that here.

Fellow project car owners, I feel your pain, and I’m pretty sure you understand the process I’m going through right now.

Until next time.