I have loved cars since before I can remember. The best birthday present I ever got was from my uncle Fred when I was about 6 years old, it was a brown paper bag (an old school huge shopping one!) filled with Hot Wheels cars. I still tell everyone that their boys will love the Hot Wheels toys because of that one birthday when I got a ton of them. I can remember constantly looking through the Auto Shopper while my mom was doing laundry and picking out all of the cars I liked and had the ambition to go and purchase. Being who I am I was always drawn to the Corvette’s, Camaro’s, and Firebird’s of the late 70’s. This was back when I was just a young boy in the 80’s.
My dad was always a driver, he used to deliver cars and other small packages in a provided vehicle to multiple locations all over the tri-state area. I spent many a summer riding along with him to all of his deliveries. It was cheaper for me to go with him than it was to put me in summer camp so that is where I went. As far I as can remember, he was a pretty good driver and he definitely like to drive fast! My fondest memory of these times with him was when he was working for a used car company which used to shuttle cars out to Pennsylvania and back. One day we were in a brand new 86 Honda Prelude, this car was awesome! It had all the bells and whistles that a little performance car would have back then. Well anyway, there is a road close to where we lived called Texas Rd, this road had a pretty large bump in it and was very lightly travelled. My dad took this Prelude and hit this “bump” at around 80 mph! That car was definitely airborne and you could feel that tickle in your stomach as the car was coming back towards the ground! What an awesome ride!
Then I got my license! My first car……..A VW Beetle. So much for performance…. My dad was also a VW freak of sorts. Probably because he could buy them super cheap and just replace them when they failed. After a while he started to develop a soft spot for them as they became harder and harder to find. He started to look for Beetle’s that were in better shape and I inherited a fine example of one. I definitely liked the car, but it was not fast. I was 17. This was not going to work.
My dad wouldn’t let me get an 8 cylinder car when I was 17 so I had to look for something else. Since I was already a VW fan, we ran across a 78 Scirocco that had really high miles. It cost me $800. I now had a little hot rod. This car lasted about 4 months before I cracked the block on it. I would have to put 2 quarts of oil in it almost daily, and at stop lights I would need to use the e-brake to stop and keep my foot on the gas to keep it from stalling out! This car probably had a hard life and with a 17 year old not taking care of it…….well we know what happened.
I can’t begin to tell you how many cars I’ve had over the years, too many to count, but I can tell you that my favorite was my 84 Z28. I must’ve been 18 when I got it and it was beautiful! It was black with the gold trim, had beige interior, and was a 5 speed. I bought it off a lady who just got divorced from her husband and wanted to get rid of the car. I paid $2500 for it, and it only had 69k on the odometer! This was the car that did it for me. I was now completely enthralled with speed and the art of driving. I felt like I could do anything in that car. Drifting could have been invented by some kid who used to watch me drive that thing up the hill sideways on a regular basis! Throwing that car around was so much fun, unfortunately my girlfriend at the time (now wife) didn’t have the same feelings as me and I am now forbidden from driving any kind of F Body GM car! She threatens to get it towed if she see’s one anywhere near the house! There is nothing like RWD and an 8 cylinder to get your blood flowing in the driver’s seat. This was the only 8 cylinder car that I have ever owned, and I loved it! To this day I wish I never sold it.
I have had countless other small sporty cars along the way and attempted to modify most of them. I have never really had a ton of money so most of the modifications have been modest consisting mostly of bolt-on’s, exhausts, intakes, lowering kits, etc… After all I needed these cars to be reliable as well. The need for reliability is that I am a field technician for a small computer company and drive anywhere from 500-1000 miles per week. Up until now I have always been modifying my daily driver. I have made the decision to not modify my current car (I did put an intake on it…) and to just keep up the maintenance on it to make it last as long as possible. I think a project car is in order!
MY INTENTIONS FOR THIS SITE:
The reason for this section is to be transparent and clear with what I’m trying to do with this website. My long term vision is to own and operate an automotive restoration shop of some sorts. It doesn’t necessarily need to be big dollar classic cars or anything, just kind of what I named the site, cars that are Built To Drive! I can’t really see dumping a ton of money into something that just sits in the garage and only gets taken out on occasion. There is a place for those cars, and believe me I think they are awesome, but it’s not here. I’m a regular guy who loves cars and wishes that I made my living racing and building them.
That’s the reason for this site; It will be documenting my journey to my dream of owning and running a shop as described above. I will post the work that I do to my own cars as well as the project cars that I wish to build in the future. Hopefully the posts that I write will help some enthusiasts out there accomplish the upgrades and repairs to their cars. I will also be documenting any kind of education that I decide to pursue. I have no formal training in automotive repairs and have just learned along the way how to fix things. I have worked up enough confidence to be able to think I can fix a car good enough to replace engines and transmission and such. If one of my posts show an improper technique or something that is incorrect, please let me know! I don’t want anyone to have bad information!
In the meantime, since I am in the computer field for my main job, I plan to make some money through affiliate links and adsense revenue from the ads on the site and the links in my posts. If you see a link in a post for a repair or upgrade that I have done, I have used that part in my repair. If it’s in another type of post, like the fantasy build ones or any other list or information post, I’ve probably not used that. It should be obvious, but I want to be as up front and clear as possible.
Please contact me for anything, if you have any questions or just want to shoot the s#!t. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.