Let’s face it: all of us on this site, writers and readers alike, have a passion for cars, bikes and pretty much anything with an engine. If I’d have invested all the money I spent on cars, motorcycles, tools and racing over the years, I’d be writing this post from my island estate instead of from my office in Jacksonville, FL. Chances are I wouldn’t even be writing, because I’d have a staff of people to do that for me. Buying Microsoft stock in 1984 would have yielded much better results than buying a 1977 VW Scirocco and a 1977 Suzuki GS 750, but it probably wouldn’t have built as much character. Would I be the man I am today if I hadn’t learned the joys of changing a VW water pump in an apartment building parking lot on the coldest day of the year? I think not.
If we can agree that all of us have the sickness, the next step is identifying how bad you have it. If you can answer yes to more than three of the symptoms below, I’m afraid you’re a gear head. I’m not going to help you break the news to your significant other, since mine’s been coping with it for a long, long time and I have no advice to give. It won’t kill you, and if you’re lucky you’ll learn to live with it. The only known treatments include track days, grassroots racing or the general disregard of posted speed limits. For some, worshipping at the first church of the open throttle brings relief, at least temporarily. For others, nothing but the smell of spent race gas and burning rubber will do. How bad do you have it?
1. Your net worth in Craftsman and Snap-On Tools is worth far more than your 401k, and quite possibly your house.
2. You can’t remember your wife’s birthday, but you can name every car and motorcycle you’ve ever owned.
3. You’d rather spend $2,500 on a hydraulic lift than waste it on a Caribbean cruise.
4. Your garage is the cleanest room in your house.
5. You’re hanging on to oil filters, coil springs and exhaust components from vehicles you no longer own, just in case.
6. You bought your current house because the lighting in the living room would make it an ideal place to display your vintage Ducati. If you ever buy one.
7. You have no idea what your neighbor’s names are, but you know every vehicle they drive.
8. Your first thought for any gasoline powered appliance is, “I’ll bet I could make that faster”.
9. You seriously wonder why a two-stroke blender is so hard to find.
10. If it were up to you, your kitchen would have stainless steel counter tops with a carbon fiber back splash.