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Goodbye Old Friend - January 2014

As I handed the keys over to the new owner, I winced a little. I was doing my best to let go of this car without missing it terribly, while at the same time imagining the sheer outrage that I’d face from friends of mine and fans of this car. As I thanked the new owner, I knew he would take great care of it. This was reassuring and helped ease the pain of breaking my attachment to this machine, but I still dreaded my friends telling me that I had made a huge mistake in ways that only they could. So please save my well-deserved abuse until the end of this short article. For those that are interested, I sold this car as a rolling chassis to a local friend of mine who is a real DSM lover.

If you’re reading this, we’re pretty much the same person. We love our cars deeply. Others don’t get it, but don’t hold it against them- they’re not like us. They’ll never understand how a person can become so attached to what is essentially a pile of cold, lifeless parts. A car is transportation to them, an appliance to get them from place to place- like how a washing machine is used to get their clothes clean. In those people’s minds these machines are placed into the same category. But not you and I, our car is an extension of who we are. It’s our form of artistic expression. We search tirelessly for a car that matches our personality and passion. Then we take that blank slate that holds so much potential and make it our own. It never leaves our mind, we’re always plotting and scheming and planning. We sacrifice time, money and our own sanity in some cases to create a real life version of our vision.

The conundrum that I and many other of my car loving brethren face, is summed up by the classic and kinda wore out quote by my man Ralph Waldo Emerson: “life is a journey, not a destination.” As I get older and more self aware, I’ve realized that I enjoy the process of building and getting results from a car much more than seeing it sitting in the garage and being called “finished” or “done.” These terms are fairly foreign to folks like us, but sometimes you reach a natural stopping point in your journey. The destination is suddenly in front of you, which makes moving on easier, justifiable and necessary, even. So understanding all of that, let's take a quick look back.

I found my 1991 Eagle Talon Tsi All Wheel Drive turbo completely on a whim in the summer of 2005. I’ll never know what drew me to it, but the journey since then has been incredible, mostly fun, very educational, frustrating as heck at times and life-changing actually. So here’s a little farewell to my faithful old friend. Here’s to new beginnings. You’re in good hands and new journeys await both of us.

Remember that time I found you on the South East DSM Forum? I came and picked you up from your loving original owner in Atlanta as soon as I could. The fastest way was a Greyhound Bus. This was the first and last time that I would ride a Greyhound Bus.

You were bone stock back then with a blown turbo and a couple horrible oil leaks!

I worked on you day and night - wrenching away on my back, dangerously close to my shiny Evo 8 in retrospect.

I fixed all of your wore out parts, upgraded some others and brought you back to your deserved glory. We even went racing in between commutes back and forth to work.

Over the years we went on tons of great trips and had many stories to tell. All the while I continued to try and make you look great inside and out.

We ran great times and had fun at our local dragstrips, but could never get the best of Bristol Dragway. We went three times and broke something every time. But you never left me stranded, you always brought me home.

Then in March of 2012, we started on an interesting journey. For some reason, I decided to record video of myself working on you in the new garage. When I saw the footage, narration instantly flowed out of me. I uploaded the video of you getting a turbo upgrade onto YouTube which really did change my life.

The response from this first video blew me away, so I decided to keep going and make a couple more. I didn’t know it at the time, but these videos would change the car hobby forever for me. Sharing the Turbo Garage videos with everyone has allowed me to meet so many cool, interesting people. It’s opened my eyes to tons of new experiences and taught me many new things. Above all, the amazing support that everyone has graciously offered has been truly motivating!

So all the while old friend, you always brought a big smile to my face when I dropped the hammer and slammed the gears. Thank you for the great times over the last eight and a half years. The journey was incredible, but new journeys beckon for both of us, and it’s time to see what the future holds.