Sometimes it happens suddenly, like an avalanche. Sometimes it happens slowly, like sand and gravel pouring down slowly and steadily. It starts to cover your feet and ankles, but you are not too concerned. You can still lift your feet out of the increasing torrent. Then you are distracted for a moment and find that the gravel has risen to above your knees. Now you're starting to get a little concerned. All of the sudden the cliff collapses and you are quickly buried up past your head and you raise a hand in a vain attempt to stop the flow or summon help.
How did this happen, why were you poking around in those gullies and valleys anyways? Looking for bargains of course! Sometimes it's not just enough to pick the low hanging fruit, sometimes you want to scoop up the fruit that has already fallen to the ground.
So you find something at a great deal that you can't pass on and snap it up. Sure, you already got several old junkers lying around that could use some work, but you can't turn down a good deal right? Gotta buy it before some one else snaps it up!
When you are dealing with sub 1,000.00 cars you find that there are not really that much competition bidding for these vehicles. Unless it's a Mustang fastback w/title for under a grand! While these low level cars are easy to buy, selling some of your earlier project cars is another matter. Now you are on the other side of the fence, where you want to sell the car more than most folks want to buy it. Sure doesn't seem that way when the shoe is on the other foot. ( By the way, this is how you are able to negotiate a screaming deal. If the seller doesn't wince at your offer, than you left too much money on the table!)
So you buy the car anyway. Eventually you can sell one of your cars. But now you got another car sitting around taking up space, costing you money. Insurance, registration, maintenance and repair. And maybe even ticking off your neighbors. Not a good thing. So the sand starts filling in around your feet.
|Always room for one more! photo source: junkyardfinder.com|
But you don't really notice, your auto enthusiasm is now focused on your new toy. So you either don't notice, or you push it out of your mind. Then LIFE intervenes. We don't live in a social vacuum, especially those of us with spouses and children. They've got their claims to our attention, time and money. That's not always a bad thing, our lives should always be more than about ourselves or cars, or any other hobby. Unless you are or want to be a hermit. So you don't really notice when the sand starts rising above your ankles.
Then something happens to one of your daily drivers. It needs tires, or a battery, or a starter, or brakes, a radiator, hoses, belts, etc, etc. Spread this out over several cars and the stream of sand starts increasing. Something big like a transmission or engine failure that can sideline a vehicle and just might cause one of your cars to become driveway or curbside still life. Perhaps one of your current project cars is already languishing in front of your house. Hey, are those boulders starting to roll down the hill?
Then another of your drivers needs something, something that will take it out of your driving rotation. So now you are forced to take action and tear into it. So a couple of your cars are sidelined and you start to worry that if another of your cars goes down, then you are going to start being in real trouble! When THAT happens, the side of the cliff gives way, and despite your best efforts the hillside has crumbled and you are way under the dirt and debris.
I kind of find myself in a similar hazardous position. I already have one non runner, my XJS. I had a surplus vehicle that I had fully intended to sell. my '96 Mustang. That car is now in the garage undergoing a very frustrating and tiring repair. My XJ6 was a favorite driver, and I made it a point to drive it as much as possible. Good thing. I wanted to be a Jaguar driver, not a Jaguar tender. I knew that it was going to need some suspension bushing work, as it had been pulling to left a bit as I drove it. Several weeks ago I parked it with the front wheel pointing away from the curb and noticed that the inside edge of the left front tire was almost worn to the cords! UH OH! So I swapped the spare tire on and put the car on my squawk list. So it is also on the "drive it as little as possible" list. Well I've always got my F150, right? Well after the bad gas fiasco it was doing fine. Until I parked it and noticed that the inside edge of the left front tire was looking pretty worn, also. I knew that I should have rotated the tires last year! So this is also on the reduced driving list until I can rotate the tires. If it would just stop raining for a few days! It has become apparent to me that I've got to step up my game, and fast. That Mustang has got to get out of the garage, and quick. I've started feeling the unmistakable tremors. The water in the glass is starting to shake like in that unforgettable scene in Jurassic Park. Something very unpleasant is coming.
So now I am tip- toeing around in the lowlands, very carefully, not making too much noise, and glancing warily up at the cliff edge. I've seen the starting small rivers of sand and gravel beginning to run down the hillside and I'm stepping around the falling debris. I've got to get ahead of this, but It's hard to work quickly with your fingers crossed!