Every now and then when I am at the mall, I try and make my way to a BookSale outlet. This particular store sells second-hand books and back issues of magazines, some of them not available locally. I enjoy rummaging through the bundles of books and magazines hoping to find something that would fancy my interest. More often than not it would subjects pertaining to aircraft, military armor or cars. Now, one of the prints I currently own is a back issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. This particular magazine features cars imported to the US in small numbers making them rare or exotic. Most of the cars featured are about three decades old and most of them having a carburetor, mechanical fuel injection or early versions of electronic fuel injection. The cars featured are mostly old Jaguars, Mercedes Benzes, Ferraris, Porsches, Fiats and old Hondas like a 1976 N600 sedan and a Z600 coupe. When a particular car is featured, they try and give the reader a feel of how the car handles, its performance in stock form or as close to factory specs. Now, I may not be able to drive most of the cars featured in this particular magazine; but since I am a car nut who owns a two-decade old car, I appreciate the stuff all the more. A fool’s dream. Yes. But being able to work on your car gives you different feel, or appreciation for your ride. You get to know the philosophy behind the way the car was designed. An understanding of the car’s character. It’s like changing the stock mags of your car and making your own. Personalizing. But working on your ride gets you to a personal or intimate level with your car. I am not sure if this is being done, but before I could drive, my dad would let me help him wash the family car. From the VW 21 window bus we had to the 1969 owners special Toyota Crown to our first brand new car. A Toyota Corona Silver Edition. I learned how to clean the interior, wash down the body. Learned how to apply wax; Weather wax was the brand before. Years ago, I had a 1991 Galant Super Saloon (pre MPi). Rebuilt the suspension and the engine. Kept it almost stock. The biggest compliment that I got about the car was during the rare times I would go to a car wash, and the owner of the shop came up to me and asked me about the car. He said he liked the idea of keeping the car as stock as possible (Gti mags, Mallory wires and a cone type air filter were the only changes). And how clean it was. Interior and engine bay. Coming from a guy who owns a carwash/detailing shop, that was a big thing for me. All the effort that I put the car on a budget paid off.
Looking at all those care magazines paid off. It didn’t have to be anything fancy; just clean and simple. This the reason I prefer a stock set up or as close to stock as much as possible. The temptation to add stuff or change something is very tempting. But how to make it look factory stock is harder. I think this a downside of reading or looking at too many car magazines; it makes life a bit more complicated for a car nut.