7 May 2012

The curious tale of endangered possessions and the lessons learned!

Most people consider cars to be a mode of transportation, meant to take people from Point A to Point B. Me on the other hand, got bitten by the motoring bug and developed the ability to go beyond their sheet-metal; peeking deep into their mechanical soul. A practice that followed me around all through those teenage years, going on to become a calling of sorts as I embraced adulthood.

Having set my eyes on this modern-classic with those sewn-like-a-rock lines, I’d chased my neighbor for his all-wheel-drive for the better part of four years. Then one fine day, he called me into his home and entrusted me with his most prized possession. But not before exacting the promise that I would put in every effort to bring her back to her former glory. Ever since that day, every classic owner of that genre, performance parts stores even those halfway ‘round the globe have been cajoled and coerced into sharing their information war chest. Running parallel to this information hunt has been an exhaustive search for treasure that responded to the name of OEM parts.

Now, many say that replacement parts can come from any manufacturer. However, there is a certain assurance that comes with buying parts that came straight from the vehicle manufacturer. Not to mention, the certain charm of holding onto a piece of history. When involved with a vehicle that went out of production a few decades ago, the search for OEM parts can sometimes resemble a treasure hunt. Then, up about a year and a half ago, I finally managed to corral together all the necessary parts that would be required for the nut & bolt restoration job as promised.

However, added responsibilities at work and a new member in the family meant that this pet project had to be reluctantly put on the back burner for some time. Soon, days turned into weeks and the weeks quickly turned into months. Till one fine day, the sun seemed to have risen at a different angle; for it sure did seem to shake off the darkness that surrounded the long forgotten project. Bounding through the yard, attempts began in earnest to bring the restoration back into the spotlight.

But alas! The unthinkable had happened. A small patch of roofing, the decay gone unnoticed, had given way, exposing the garage to the harsh elements of the atmosphere. In its midst, it’d left behind a pathway of corrosion and damage, one that could have jeopardized the entire project. An entire section of the garage was in ruins. Dust and sand had played their dark symphonies, had wreathed devastation on the parts and tools being stored there.

Picking the way round the havoc, I couldn’t help but thank my stars for having listened to the voices of reason and chosen wisely. Only a small set of expensive but replaceable tools and parts were destroyed beyond salvage. Everything else, the all-wheel-drive included, was parked safely at the nearby storage facility. Secure in the knowledge that the damage was contained and that the results could have been much worse, I learnt my lesson and vowed never to skimp upon a dedicated vehicle storage solution when dealing with my precious set of wheels.

It’s been three months since I have managed to complete the restoration and yet, just recollecting how severe the damage could have been, sends shivers down the spine. Thank heavens then, that foresight and a timely decision to go for a dedicated storage solution ended up saving the day for me.


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