My BFF, Jeep

In my journalism class, we were told that we should write about a person that we have really connected with in the field our blogs cover. I thought long and hard about a person I have connected with and realized it wasn’t really a person, more a thing. It’s my car of course!

I have really connected with my car since the acquisition of my license. It really is important to build a relationship with your vehicle. I feel more comfortable, more at home in my Jeep with each passing day. It not only makes driving easier and safer, but a more fun experience. I have learned the limits and capabilities of the good ol’ gal and I can control her within those boundaries.

I know I have to  turn the music up when I’m going fast because of the soft top noise.  I know I shouldn’t really get anywhere close to four on the tachometer  unless I’m being a silly fool when accelerating. I know I have the greatest turning circle of any car ever and can turn around sharper and in tighter spaces. I know my reverse gear doesn’t like doing what it was made to do so I have to hold it in gear when backing up. I can tell when I’m on the verge of stalling and how to correct. I know a lot of things about this car, and after only 3ish months after driving it full time.

Light bar on, lights mounted, top down. Good day.

Light bar on, lights mounted, top down. Good day.

I have gotten to spend a lot of quality time with the Jeep lately. Mercifully, the cold weather seems to be leaving us and I got to do some work on the car. I FINALLY was able to put the light bar on the car which was quite the experience. With the help of local handyman Andy “Big D” Serraino I was able to drill into the Jeep’s bumper mount and connect light bar. Then with the help of Cooper “doesn’t really have a nickname that could be put in quotes” Hayes I was able to put on the lights that he so generously sold to my cause.

I also got to drive with the top down! I finally understand the reason the soft top exists. Its very easy to take off and is incredible to drive around in when taken off.

All this quality time has brought me much closer to the gal. It’s strengthened my love, something all car owners should have towards their vehicles. And it’s only going to get better, this is truly what driving and car culture are all about: love for your vehicular companion.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

These times between now and my last last post are very well defined by that Dickens quote:

I’ll ask the question: You want the good news or the bad news first?

Bad.

Well there seems to be a problem. Remember that post a couple of weeks ago about patriotic car modifying? Do you remember the light bar/grill guard that I was eagerly waiting to install? Well when I attempted to do so I made a discovery, after I had successfully removed the grill and the splash guard I discovered it was all for nothing.

The previous owner seems to have, in an attempt to provide sufficient room for the big ol’ tires, moved the front bumper up and in doing so he has blocked off the area in which the grill guard is installed.

I see myself having 2 options: 1. take the bumper off move it back down and hope it doesn’t screw up the tires OR 2. sell the grill guard I have and search for one that will fit. There are risks in both; unfortunately I could either destroy my tires or there could be no ones that fit.

Truly a predicament, but in teenage fashion I will put it off until later.

Now for the good news. I have often questioned my dad’s carsculenity. You see, he formally drove a Volkswagen Beetle. Yes, he did have the turbo, but he also had a built in flower vase. It’s all changed now though.

Cooper Hayes, a friend and fellow auto-enthusiast, has a father who is also a friend and fellow auto-enthusiast. This father is a bit of a BMWophile, and with good reason. He had an M3 and still does but he has a different one now. He formerly had a convertible but now he has moved on to the coupé. Where did the convertible go you ask? MY GARAGE.

M3 (Silver) with its grandpa a 3.0 cs (white)

M3 (Silver) with its grandpa a 3.0 cs (white)

Yes, the best high performance saloon car in the whole world is my garage. I can’t wait.

Auto-Journalism is a dream job but I’m definitely going to make some form of road test for this car and I will present it to you, the readers.

Not only that, but had reaffirmed my faith in my father’s. He told me of how upon receiving the necessary registration he took it out and drove to near Dayton and back touching a speed that was well above the speed limit. He went out and he took a drive, and that’s what it is all about.

You have no alterior motives, you simply go out and drive. Why? Because you love cars, because it’s joyful, because the incredible engineering of those Bavarians can put a smile on a persons face just about as easily as anyone can, even puppies and babies.

Santa Claus and some good ol’ American modifying

HAHA! Yes, finally, the barrier has been hurdled, the battle won, the army conquered, and I am victorious. Yes despite my bit of a pitfall (see my last post) I am finally on the road, legally of course, and it feels so good.

Naturally the next thing to do, to start of my automotive career right is to modify.

In Europe, people are content with boring stock cars, no mods, no uniqueness, just colorless uniformity. That is what makes America’s passion for automobiles great. Any French hairstylist can go out and by a Merc or a Bimmer, but here in America its pretty fun when some rednecks from Kentucky plop 1000 horsepower in some gigantic mustang.

Things that make us different, we want to be faster, we want to corner better, we want to look cooler, we want to be more comfortable, even we want to bounce up and down on 50 inch solid gold rims with neon lights underneath. That’s what makes American gear heads great and  different from “petrol heads” or any other enthusiast who drives on the wrong side of the road, as vulgar as we may be sometimes.

So my inclination as a newly licensed American gear headed driver was to modify my own ride.

When its all said and done this is what I am hoping the end product will be.

When it’s all said and done, this is what I am hoping the end product will look like.

Having gotten my license on the 21st of december I was out of money much before Christmas and had to call on old saint nick for some financial aid.

I received I grill guard that I intend to put auxiliary lights on and a trailer hitch so I can tow things because towing things is cool.

The grill guard will be the first major operation on my Jeep so it will more than likely be documented with the intention of posting it to this blog.

The trailer hitch is really not for aesthetics and won’t really separate me from the large crowd of Jeep owners, I personally feel that the ability to tow things like trailers and such is not a bad ability to have. It’s not very “cary” but it will also allow me to transport my snowboard, mountain bike, and dirt bike with ease through various attachments.

The winter is really against me in these matters. It’s cold, and as much as I love cars, I’m not getting frostbite for mine, especially because that will probably limit my driving ability.

That being said I am quite eager for to get to work so I can make my fellow American motorist’s proud.

Hearts and Souls

A life without a heart is a pretty tough one. Blood isn’t moving, how can anything really work? You have no pulse, no animation, nothing to power all the wonderful functions of the body. Hearts are what power humans, they get us going, they regulate our energy, they make us tick.

Without a heart, a human being is essentially a hairy sack of water. Though in reality it is a function of the brain, we describe our souls and our animation through the heart. We reach into our hearts looking for the passion in our souls, it’s how we get through the hardships of life, not our brains, not our livers, our hearts.

In order to keep this from being a biological/philosophical post, a connection should be made to the realm of automobiles. The engine is the heart. The car is the body. Without its engine a car is a waste of raw materials: metal, plastic, oil, rubber etc. It has nothing to power it, nothing to make it go, it’s essentially a rusty carriage.

You also have to ask yourself as a motorist what brings up your passion in a car. What is it? Your seats? You trunk? Your windshield wipers? If a car is simply a quick form of transportation to you, or a some worthless piece of machinery that will soon be replaced as does and technology, than I question how you found youself reading this. If an engine truly is parallel to the human heart then the answer should be the engine; mine is. It’s what makes you put your foot down farther, it’s why so much money and time is spent on these inanimate objects, because in our eyes it is animate.

Cars are our friends, not in a crazy person way, more of a companionship way like a cat but more mobile. I only have my temps but I already have my companion. The Jeep and I may not know each other that well yet, but we will.

Without an engine all of this is gone; this blog doesn’t exist, there is no car culture, passion or industry, and us school kids are forced to  walk ten miles two ways barefoot in the snow while it’s 30 below to school like back in the day.

If hearts didn’t exist, well, nothing exists the human world is gone as the car world would if the disappearance of the heart of the automobile occurs. The blood that runs through our veins can simply be recreated by our marrow, someday though, cars will run out of the oily blood that keeps their heart going,  and thats a day I can safely say all human hearts will be break.

Here’s my companions big ol’ heart.

Preparation

In the future I play to obtain my license and theres a lot of preparation steps involved in doing this. First one must obtain oneself a car. This is a very pleased “check” off this list to me. I am a very fortunate owner of a 2007 Jeep Wrangler soft top. Its a six speed with a 3.8 V6 under the hood, holding it up are some new shocks and coils installed by the previous owner, and when he did this he added 6 inches of lift. It has big feet and by that I mean large tires. So I have definitely decided what I’m going to drive in my first drive of solitude, but

My buddy and his loud coat drive around adultless with me for the first time.

there are so many questions that still need to be answered: Where will I drive? Where will I go? What will I do? Will I accomplish anything? What will I listen to? The preparation for the first drive is very important.

Recently my best buddy finally obtained his license. He told me he chose some of the back country roads was the first choice focusing purely on driving (no music). He was a lucky guy, his car of choice was his fathers BMW M3 and on a windy country road god knows how good of a drive he had. He came to pick me up and as we sped away he yelled at the top of his lungs “DESIRE!!!!!” while smashing the accelerator onto the floor of the car. Its october, we were driving a convertible, it was cold, I was cold for I wasn’t a wearing a coat, but it didn’t matter. Something about taking the steps to freedom, the open road, a great car, made it all ok. I just hope when the day comes for me, I’m prepared.

Coming of Age

No, I can’t drive, yes as the description describes I do love cars. That’s why the next few months will be some of the hardest of my life. In the beginning of december, finally, after the long wait, I will be on the road. No parent or legal guardian, me on the road no others enjoying the experience of driving in my good ol’ Jeep Wrangler. For a motor enthusiast like myself this is a big part of a life. I’ve been told by many that the first drive won’t be forgotten, ever. But there has been alot of steps I have taken in order to get where I am.

I felt it was very important to bite the bullet, drive in my dads horrific VW Beetle, and learn to drive a stick. As much as it pains me to say it, I didn’t have a bad time. My fathers model is the 1.4L turbo I believe which had a little kick to it. Enough kick to help me mentally block the built in flower vase on the dash.  My dad along with a friend of mines dad (whom I enjoyed driving with for he chose to teach in his classic BMW 3.0 cs from the 70’s) wisely taught me the ways of the clutch. Currently, although in the back of my mind I know I’m not, I consider myself a master, rarely stalling and reduced my roll back distance to mere inches.

This skill will be very helpful for me and my Wrang, it being a 6 speed itself, as we take our first journey together and take a big step towards complete independence.