When I was a kid, I lived in a house next door to a family with three brothers. They were much older than my sister and I, and they never took much notice of either of us. This indifference might have been explained by the age factor, but it was also because they only had time for one passionate pursuit.
In an era before online access, they always managed to find the most neglected, rundown, beat-up muscle cars that you could imagine. Beautiful and powerful vehicles that had been mistreated and discarded.
The selected car would consume the boys’ attention for weeks, sometimes months. I would perch on the stoop between our houses, watching in endless fascination as bodies clad in oil-stained coveralls disappeared underneath, wrenches tightened long-forgotten parts, and soft cloths lovingly wiped newly painted and shiny surfaces.
Once satisfied, they would jump into the car and drive glorious laps through the neighbourhood.
And then the car would be replaced, by another neglected wreck, waiting for her turn to be tuned, buffed and driven with pride around the block.
I cannot recall that they ever kept a single car in the entire time that I lived in that house. Maybe they needed the money. Maybe once the car was restored, it was no longer interesting.
Maybe they just wanted to have something to fix.