Why do you keep this car in here and park your new car on the street?
The conversation didn’t start like that, but that is probably the question that resonates within my mind. I was in the garage, with a feeble attempt to start the MG. I had poured some fuel stabilizer and carb cleaner into the gas tank, charged the battery, and sprayed ethanol into the carb air intake. It turned over and ran for a second, but no more. My neighbor, an older well-kept woman (in her 50s, perhaps), spoke to me briefly about the car. I don’t remember the exact conversation but she expressed the idea that I was holding onto this car for no practical value. “I think its maturity”, she said. “We all have things we hold onto like that.” Of course, I rationalize keeping the MG – it doesn’t cost me much, in terms of visible dollars (although the hidden cost of the weather on the Miata or Jetta is probably real.) I think I keep it because I’m not willing to accept that I am a failure as an auto mechanic. I know that I haven’t really tried. When I was driving the MG on a daily basis (back in `00), I did minimal maintenance. I didn’t work on the car for the sake of working on the car, I did it so it could get me from point A to B. I didn’t love the car or the task. My current attempts to start the MG are tiny touches of love. Love of the dream, of the idea, of the goal, that I can work on a car. That I can take a car that needs regular maintenance and make it work. The Miata and Jetta have been gifts to me – they both have required very little. The MG is a simple vehicle, without computers, that I have the ability to work with. I still lack the motivation, however.