Hi, my name is Fred and I have too much stuff. If you’re a plumber you probably have quite a few pipe wrenches. If you’re a farmer you probably have more than one tractor or cow. If you’re a lawyer you probably have a lot of … ties?! And if you’re a magazine editor like me, whose job it is to write about 4x4s, then—you guessed it—you have a bunch of 4x4s. Friends try and tell me I have a problem because I have so much stuff, but I usually just unfriend them and then head to the Craigslist to look for more junk I think I need.
I’m not going to say exactly how many 4x4s I have, but it may be a dozen, give or take a few depending on what cool new “gotta have” vehicle I just found and what type of bill shows up in the mail. Now don’t get the wrong impression. I am not some super-high-roller magazine editor. The fact is most of these 4x4s are unglamorous, high-mileage buckets that I falsely assumed I could polish into a less turdlike finish. Yes, I have a bunch of ratty 4x4 junk but it still pains me when life forces me to sell one of my kids.
OK, “kids” may be a bit extreme to call my vehicles, but I do get very attached to them, probably because I give them names. I know a guy who thinks naming vehicles is dumb. He might be right, because as soon as I name it I feel bad selling it. I give them names like Clampy, the Dumpster, Lemon Pie, Peter the Beater, and Tube Sock. I also use names like the blue truck, the white truck, the rusty truck and the truck I’ll never finish, but for some reason will never sell either of these 4x4s.
Even worse than the names are the dreams. Often a vehicle follows me home because I have some dream about it, not a literal dream while sleeping but more a daydream (or pipe-dream) about what I will do in that vehicle once I’m done modifying it. I’ll drive it to Baja, to Alaska, to the Hammers, to Moab, on the Ultimate Adventure, across country, around the world!
It’s good to have a goal before you start on a project because it gives you something to strive for. It feeds the fire until you finish the vehicle and accomplish that goal. And it gives you an excuse to spend countless hours and dollars buying and building your dream machine. Then, theoretically, once you accomplish that goal you should be able to sell it and move on to your next project. Yeah right! Unfortunately for me, I then have this cool vehicle that was the one I drove (to Baja, on the Ultimate Adventure, across country, or whatever) and now that I have some sort of emotional memory around that vehicle I have become so attached I can’t hardly sell it! Yes, I may have a problem.
However, in the past few months I sold not one but two of my vehicles: my ’65 Dodge M37, the Dumpster, and my ’93 Toyota Land Cruiser, Peter the Beater. Is it weird that I was more concerned with whether they went to a good home than I was with how much I made on the deal? Oh well, time to go surf Craigslist for a new cheap truck.