Why do I never learn my lesson about being an impatient cheapskate, and instead wind up having to fix things three times? Last week, when I said that I would begin my new 26-part series “Why Do I Never Learn Lessons About Being An Impatient Cheapskate And Instead Wind Up Having To Fix Things Three Times,” you probably thought I was kidding. Well, perhaps exaggerating; 26 parts is probably too fine a grain. I think I can knock the gist of it off in one column.
First rule for going to the race track: Don’t take a car that you can’t walk away from—financially and mentally. Although I am finally to the point where I could walk away from my M3 financially, even though it would be quite a loss, I don’t think I would be able to walk away from it mentally. The history behind the car and how it has become a part of my life is too great, and I am sure that I would shed quite a few tears if something happened to it.
Last week, the Turkey was on the block—the auction block, that is. I’d set it up as a no-reserve auction with a $200 starting bid, and clear wording, in big bold text, that if the final bid exceeded $1,500, the car’s front grilles and kidneys would be included, but would be excluded if the bidding stalled short of that figure. This was my way of trying to prop up the car’s value as a whole running package, as well as some good old-fashioned economic self-interest: I could easily sell just the set of grilles on eBay for something north of $300.
Cars without passion are just transportation. Drivers without passion are just operators. I can still recall the exact moment when I first fell in love with a car; it was the summer between my junior and senior year in college. I was at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, attending ROTC Advanced Camp—essentially, basic training for officers.
Last week, I discovered that the cause of the Turkey’s lack of functional clutching and braking—the Turkey is a derelict 2002 that has taken up residence in my driveway—was that its brake reservoir was empty. I filled it and bled the clutch to functionality, and tried to bleed the right rear wheel (the one whose wheel cylinder was seized), but didn’t get any fluid out.