How does a car guy go about beating the winter blues?
Well, old man winter has gripped the nation – in most parts of the country anyway. As I’m writing this, I’m reminded that I live in a pretty decent part of the USA, where winter is virtually non-existent. Central Florida can be downright nasty during the summer months, but come mid-October, the weather here can’t be beat. So attending local car shows and being able to work on cars this time of year is a great privilege. Before you start with the hate comments, know that I’ve only lived here for the last 5 years. Before that, I lived in the mountains of southern Oregon. I know what long, cold winters are! I remember venturing into our unheated garage only on sunny days to work on my old Buick Skylark, or my wife’s Ford Galaxie. Even then, after an hour or so, the cold overcame the joy of turning the wrenches. Back in those days, come wintertime, I found other ways to satisfy my old car hobby itch…
The Cam Kings, a local car club based out of Grants Pass, OR, is a group of older guys who get together every few weeks or so to just hang out and talk cars. A few of the members owned heated garages, so actually working on the classics was a welcomed option. It was always great to get together with that crew when the Rogue Valley froze up! Visit the Cam Kings Car Club by clicking here.
It’s funny how a car nut naturally adapts to the inclement winter months. I remember many a time actually taking parts off my car and bringing them inside the house, much to the chagrin of my wife. “Don’t worry honey, those door panels won’t live in our dining room much longer.” I specifically recall tearing the instrument cluster out of my Buick to restore the gauges. I don’t know how, but doing the bench work on our dining room table seemed like a good idea at the time. I think it was the satin black overspray that left a nice dusty coat on the table and chairs that sunk me on that one. How could I have been so stupid!
Even as I learned to be extra careful about protecting our furniture and carpets, I couldn’t hide the telltale paint fumes for the life of me. And using a rattle can outside when it’s 30F isn’t a good plan either. What’s a guy to do? I look back on those days fondly now. I may have tested my wife’s patience one too many times, but I (selfishly) was able to keep my classic car hobby alive throughout the winter months. The first warm days of spring were always a relief, especially for her!
How about you? How do you beat the winter blues? Now that the temps are low, what do you do to keep the old car flame burning? Pull the cover off your classic every couple of weeks and admire her? Work on her until you can’t feel your fingers anymore? Or are you one of the fortunate ones who live in a year-round moderate climate, or just happen to have a heated shop? I’d love to hear how you handle the cold. Feel free to use the Comments section below.
This is not the kind of winter blues we’re talking about!