The true AE86 owner...
written: Summer, 2006 - I have since installed a stiffer suspension...so quit calling my car "stock"! haha
People are always asking me why I don't modify my
hatchback more, or telling me that I should do this, or do that, or blah blah
blah. But the funny thing is, while many of those people have project cars that
go undriven for long periods at a time (many of which go abandoned or
unfinished), I've always been that guy who's driving
his car every day, and everywhere, not wasting a precious moment without it.
Sure it doesn't have a crazy stiff suspension, or filled with thousands of
dollars of brand name tid bits, but I bet I have more fun in my reliable, high
mileage, well-traveled hachiroku that has been methodically and painstakingly
built over the years than most owners out there ever will.
I have taught myself the patience to wait for the right time to do that certain mod, that certain repair, or buy that certain part. The patience to formulate the plan on how the car will come together and progression of it's work. The patience needed to take a step back and realize that I may just have to enjoy whatever I can for the time being. The patience to understand that the time to act will present itself and trying to force it or rush it may ruin the enjoyment that moment would have brought.
I learned to practice the ideal of being prepared. Being prepared for setbacks by seeking them out before they happen. Replacing parts before they break. Buying spares. Going that extra mile to make that safety net bigger and stronger however possible to lessen the blow should I fall for whatever reason.
I haven't given up on my never ending AE86 project because I've kept it very realistic and within my means. I don't have a planned budget, nor do I have a planned time frame. All I know is that I want to drive my car. I want to enjoy my car. I want to learn about and improve upon my car continually as circumstances allow. I have accepted the fact that the "perfect car" that so many people seem to envision is preposterous and the only way to really build a project car that will also be a daily driver is to be patient, and prepared...and most of all, relentless.
God I love being a car guy.