The searing heat of the 100 days of 100+ degrees are starting to subside and my mind switches to thinking of the Subaru Brat I sold a few months ago, and the novelty of working on cars in the garage and pretending not to have a day job. For my own level of skill, that rusted old Brat was not really an option. I occasionally see a used (ha! you could barely expect a new one), a used Subaru Brat on BringATrailer.com, but it comes down to wondering what my level of commitment is.
Ideally, (and frankly why settle for less than the ideal?) I would like an antiseptically clean garage with a nice soft floor and adequate climate control, decked out with matching sets of tools, carefully lined up in their stenciled spots on the walls. With generous lighting, unlimited time, and my Dad and my Uncle on tap for when the going gets rough, friends would pop over to lend a hand. The kids would be intrigued and transfixed by the oil-less and rust-free parts that moved to and from carefully labelled containers as the car of the moment was brought from strength to rubber-shredding strength.
My wife would pop in from time to time with freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juice, and I would occasionally stop work to go check the latest deposits into my brokerage account, nodding sagely at the latest investment algorithm I had unleashed on the stock market as it harvested the volatile froth from the wild to-and-fro of the large cap corporations. I would stop working on cars precisely when I felt like it each day, to go train with friends in Aikido, kickboxing and samba.
On trips to the national parks with the family, we would all laugh and enjoy the splendor of reliable safe travel in interestingly reconfigured classic cars that had been prepped in the ideal garage. Distant family and friends would join us in the myriad of other vintage vehicles that we had restored as team projects. With all my extra time, the large pile of books I have stockpiled would quickly be depleted, only to be refilled with new and inspiring reads.
Now, the idea of me rescuing a Subaru Brat for sale on its way to rusted oblivion and bringing it back to 20% more than its former glory are somewhat far-fetched, working in my sweaty garage between home selling and quashing minor uprisings attempted by the Children’s Republic of My House. But a man has to dream. And while I’m at it, I still need a castle.