The ultimate project car? Having a kid.

By Colin Wood
Jan 10, 2024 | kids, Blog, Children, Child | Posted in Columns | Never miss an article

Photograph Courtesy Volvo

I don’t have a project car, but I do have a 3-year-old kid, which is pretty much the same thing.

Don’t believe me?

Both are long-term (often lifetime) projects that require serious dedication. Both are going to cost you a lot of money, and both will require you to sacrifice many of your nights, weekends and holidays to work on them.

Sure, you can cut corners, but shoddy work will reveal itself down the road–be it a few days, a few years or somewhere in between–and don’t be surprised if you have to spend extra time fixing someone else’s poor efforts.

You will often find yourself questioning why you started in the first place, only to have a fleeting moment of sheer joy as they move on their own for the first time or you get to spend time together doing something you love.

You’ll never get tired of hearing the compliments, though far too many will ask you if you plan on starting more projects.

Of course, every stage will be different. In the beginning, you’ll exhaust yourself trying to make sure everything is perfect before going to bed, though you will soon find yourself having to clean up all manner of fluids when you wake up in the morning.

In the end, and after all those years and all those hours, you’ll end up with something to be truly proud of–something you made yourself.

And when that project moves on to another home and settles into another life, you’ll be sad to see it go.

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triumph7 HalfDork
1/10/24 12:55 p.m.

And you may never finish either one!

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/10/24 12:56 p.m.

In reply to triumph7 :

Very true.

Warlock New Reader
1/10/24 2:23 p.m.

And eventually you can combine them.  Believe me, there's nothing more heart-warming than contemplating a wet autocross course with your teenage daughter and having her ask:  "Think we should try a handbrake turn over there?" laugh

Hoppps New Reader
1/10/24 3:04 p.m.

So now when people ask me why I don't have kids, I can tell them I have project cars! 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
1/10/24 3:18 p.m.

In reply to Warlock :

That's awesome. I hope I can get my kid interested someday, too.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/10/24 3:39 p.m.

Can totally attest to scope creep and budget issues.

porschenut Dork
1/10/24 3:41 p.m.

But you can only sell one.

earlybroncoguy1 Reader
1/10/24 5:54 p.m.

Neither of my two kids ever really got into cars. I tried, but the gasoline gene seems to have passed over them.

So, my theory is that it's merely dormant in their generation, and will become dominant in my Grandson. To that end, I've provided him with various stimuli that will hopefully awaken the gearhead sleeping within. Hot Wheels? Check. Cool stroller? Check. Modified wagon to roll him around car shows? Check. PowerWheels of various levels of voltage/wattage/drivetrain configurations/suspension lifts/etc? Check.

Hung on to my son's Honda TRX70 for the last 25 years (still runs), just in case.    

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/10/24 5:59 p.m.

A touching read, Colin. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/10/24 6:25 p.m.

You see a lot of bumper stickers to the effect of "my dogs/cats/geese/ferrets/animals ARE my children" or something similar.

But if you have kids, you know that children are the animals.

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