You know what I did last week? After a particularly hot drive home in my 23 year old, Pajero, I found myself standing in my garage, staring at my on-jackstands-for-five-years-now would-be rally/race car project. I resigned myself to failure. I decided to put it up for sale.
The baby will be here in a couple months. If I’ve been so broke these past five years as to not really make any progress on the car, it’s not like I’m suddenly going to find the cash (and time) to put this damned thing back together anytime soon, ya know? And it would sure be nice to have a daily driver with AC that gets better than 30mpg for those 115°F (46°C) evening commutes.
I thought back to Daisy. I fucking loved that car. We were together 14 years. We did more than 210,000 miles (337,000km) together. Even with a blown head gasket and a fully built engine, she’d still deliver an easy 400 miles on a single tank of fuel. A 2GNT would cut my monthly fuel costs in half.
So I hatched a brilliant plan. I wasn’t going to give up on my rally/race dreams. I was going to demonstrate my superior intelligence over those who would be disappointed to hear the news of my “getting out.” Clearly, they wouldn’t understand. Righteous indignation in full effect.  went up for sale or trade on GalantVR4.org, on 2GNT, and 4G61T.com.
THIS WAS THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER.
When did we forget our dreams? Sure, the thought of carving through traffic again in a sinfully sexy, second gen DSM at 35mpg, or a lightweight third gen CSM (aka: C50 Colt) at closer to 40mpg, was – and is – appealing, but did I really want either of those cars as much as I wanted to rid myself of the reminder of just how lazy and irresponsible I’ve been these last five years?
Truth be told, it was a three day old email from a guy named Alvin what set me straight. You see, as I write this post, he and I are in the middle of the interview process for an upcoming story here on GBXM. He tells me about this video a friend shared with him around the same time I was buying my Galant. The Mitsubishi WRC 2000 clip.
As soon as I heard that video start, I knew I’d made a huge mistake. This is one of my all time favorite videos. It takes me back to the days when I’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning to watch WRC on Speedvision. Back when Tommi Mäkinen earned his gold boots, when “Mitsubishi” was synonymous with turbocharged, all- or four-wheel drive, and dirt. Lots, and lots of dirt. This is what drove me to buy the Galant in the first place.
NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER, GIVE UP.
We all get fed up from time to time. We all find ourselves downright sick and tired of our projects from time to time. All the time, the money, the sweat, the blood, and yes, the tears, and for what? A couple tons of non-operational steel and plastic collecting dust in the garage, reminding us of how far we are from realizing our dreams (and how little we’ve actually done to actually make them come true)?
The point, then, is this: Remember WHY you picked up that project to begin with. Set some specific, measurable goals for it – even if only to buy a single gasket this month. DO something to get yourself closer to your automotive dreams. As Confucius said, “It does not matter how slow you go, so long as you do not stop.”
If I have to re-assemble my Galant one gasket, one spark plug, one light bulb at a time, so be it. This car is the mechanical extension of who I am. There will always be someone faster. There will always be someone better looking. But this is MY car. I will find first gear. I will steady my grip on the wheel. I will lift my left foot off the clutch and I will plant my right foot flat on the floor.
And, on that glorious day, I will be complete.