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The passion within

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As Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins sings in Landslide (so do the Dixie Chicks, although it’s a far less-cool reference…), “time makes you older even children get older / And I'm getting older too…”

Although I am getting older and priorities are changing, one thing will always remain in my case: I love cars.

Of late, I’ve been quite busy and preoccupied with a number of things (including work) and felt as though I was losing touch with what made me tick. Nearly 18 months ago, I bought my latest toy, my 2003 Subaru Impreza WRX SpecR1 wagon and although I love the thing to pieces, my true automotive love is my 1992 Volkswagen Jetta GTX (Canadian version of the GLI).

Although I don’t take it out of the garage or enjoy it as often as I should (some would say never…), I still feel a little tingle every time I walk into the garage and shoot a quick look in its direction. I can proudly say that I, with the help of a few friends, built this car. I bled, sweat and quite nearly cried a number of times working on it, making it my own.

Unfortunately, I’d not spent any “quality car time” with it in a very long time, even after having purchased some crazy-sexy BBS RS three-piece wheels for it over a year ago. On a recent Sunday morning, I decided I was going to put them on the car. One of the reasons I’d waited as long as I did was that these wider wheels were going to require some finagling to fit.

As I get older, I realize I’ve lost that all-important confidence that enables one to attack certain tasks without ever doubting one’s ability to actually complete said task. On that Sunday, I put my shorts on and got down to business.

Only moments after having precariously jacked the Jetta off the floor with two separate jacks in series, the car was floating above the ground and I was ripping things out, waling away at the fender with a hammer and a softball bat (see picture), fixing wires, installing the wheel, dropping the car then repeating the operation on the other side.

In the process of working on the car, I forgot my age, my fears. I did the work and it felt great. Time flew by and I was thoroughly enjoying myself. My passion and desire for this car -- for cars in general -- was fully on. Again, I felt great.

Those lucky enough to live or work (or both) their passion know and understand what I’m going on about. I consider myself extremely lucky to be able to do what I do, and I hope you also have a passion that fuels your being as cars do for me.

1992 Volkwagen Jetta GTX
Photo: Mathieu St-Pierre