Frequent visitors here know that I’ve been hoarding a lot of truck parts for the last couple of years. This week a set of original Rallye rims popped up on CL down in Virginia, and through the course of the week, the seller dropped the price from $400 to $350. On Friday I contacted him, and he sent me pictures of each rim that were clearer than the listing. I did a quick freelance job last weekend through a friend—basically creating a vector outline illustration of his car—and the payment hit my Venmo account a day later, for roughly the same amount as the rims. Serendipity, right? I thought it over all day Saturday, and in the afternoon I decided to pass. I don’t need different rims, although Rallye rims are my favorites. Something in my brain told me to slow down.

I’m very aware that I’ve been filling the pandemic void with retail salvage therapy, basically hitting the parts listings daily to find good deals on stuff locally. I love the thrill of the hunt, planning for recovery trips, and the fun of going to discover and pick over old wrecks for good parts. I enjoy the planning and preparation almost as much as the picking itself: having all the right tools to do the job is a satisfying feeling. And knowing I’ve got spares of most everything is a comforting thought, as well as helpful when I want to refurbish what I’ve got. I learn by example—seeing how something is put together vs. squinting at a poorly-printed diagram or following shitty directions in a Chilton’s manual, so it’s been worth the money to have spares to refer to.

But how much is enough? Do I need more than one of a lot of these things? I tell myself I can refurbish some of this stuff and resell it, but I haven’t made a lot of effort to do that in the last couple of years. If I was serious about it I’d put the word out before Nationals to pre-sell, and bring it with me (I don’t want to piss off the vendors there by selling from the back of my truck). I have enough sheet metal, one or more of everything that unbolts from the tub. I have spares of almost all of the mechanicals save the chassis, some of which I want to learn how to refurbish myself. Do I need more stuff? Where do I put it?

Going by that Mayo Clinic article, I’m not to the point where sheet metal is piled up in the house, but the garage is pretty well stuffed with parts. I’ve got things organized as best I can in the space that I have (and I have plans for re-organizing it all in the spring). I have sold lots of parts in the past, in the Before Times, when we did more in-person meetups, so I’m always willing to wheel and deal.

The other problem is ongoing projects. I’ve got about six different projects on the bench right now waiting for parts or better weather to complete: the heater box, the steel gas tank, the windshield washer switch, the spare hub, the rear seat etc. When my focus shifts and I let things go for too long, I forget where I am in the process and I have to start over again. The gas tank needs warmer weather, as do the washer switch and seat. So I have to finish those first before I move on to other stuff, and sometimes it’s hard to be patient.

Jen and I were talking about this a little bit, and something she said resonates with me: I’m a results-oriented person. I like to see progress in some form for each day: What did I accomplish? How did I make a difference? A pile of rusty parts is one way to scratch that itch, especially when my career is less and less defined by tangible products and more and more by an Outlook calendar filled with Zoom calls. But there’s got to be a balance somewhere, and I’m struggling to find it.

Date posted: March 14, 2022 | Filed under general | Leave a Comment »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.