944 Obsession

Posted on February 23, 2010

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After a passionate love affair, I finally part ways with my dream car, a 1984 Porsche 944. A few years back I got the itch to take on a project car to devote some time and attention to. The 944 was an object of desire as a teen and by acquiring one would help me to recapture the wonder of my youth. Even though I am pretty mechanical, I had never accepted an auto renovation before. When I got this cheap and neglected German coupe, the inside, outside, and interior was a mess. Thanks to some great online resources, experienced friends, and some hard work, I was able to restore it close to its original beautiful condition. With the renovations completed, I found it time to pass this 26 year old classic on to another enthusiast to enjoy.

You would think driving this car would have been the thrill of owning it. However, it wasn’t. I was under the hood far more than behind the wheel. The obsessive process of the step-by-step restoration brought much more satisfaction than its performance on the road. I studied every square inch of that car. I connected with every classic Porsche professional in the area. I immersed myself in endless pages of internet information about the history, problems, and the solutions from the online Porsche community. I was surprised with how fulfilling it was to solve tiny dilemmas that no one but me would appreciate. The biggest lesson I learned was that having a finished car was far from the point of this project. It was the expansion of my experiences that really stretched my imagination and enriched my outlook. 

During my first year of ownership, I learned that being obsessed about this endeavour was the only way to do it with excellence. Mediocrity is birthed from casual committment. It’s only by living a life as a zealot that real progress is made and the deep satisfaction is found. I know an old car has very little impact in the real world but the lessons I learned I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

I just sold my baby and watched someone else drive it away into the sunset. While it was sad to see it in the care of another, there was great satisfaction in the fact that I gave it my all. I invested my very best and the 944 left my hands completed. I also ended up selling it for twice of what I bought it for 🙂 which shows people will pay for our obsessions too.

I hope you all get a chance to invest time, energy, money, and creativity in something like my 944. It made me more creative and empowered me to explore more possibilities.

The following is a fantastic clip from Adam Savage about this very topic of obsession:

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