First blood

Every car enthusiast at some point becomes curious enough to start to work on his car(s) himself. Tooling around on your own car is practically a rite of passage, after which you gain a better understanding of what cars are and how they eat and breathe, so to speak.

Your new-found mechanical knowledge also leads you to better evaluate different cars and thus form a stronger, better-informed opinion.

Inevitably, though, the 'mechanic's companion' shows up: just as you will sooner or later start messing with the spark plugs (for instance), you will – sooner or later – inadvertently leave a bit of biological tissue somewhere on your beloved chariot.

In other words, there is the first mechanical work, and there is the first resulting breaking of the skin.

Today, I experienced both at the same time: after over two months of being stationary in a container, the battery went flat, so I had to charge it. It finished today, and it was time to put it back in the car and try my luck starting it...

Trouble is, while the battery for such a car is very small, it literally weighs a ton, and as such it isn't easy to maneuver into the limited space that the car provides for it. The connection cables aren't very long either, so you are reduced to lowering and pushing the lead-acid beast in with one hand, while holding the cables with the other. In the process, I lost some skin on my finger...

The gloves I was wearing, though, didn't even have a mark on them.

Eventually, I got the car started, but only for an instant: the spark plug cables are a bit loose. Classic cars tend to keep one busy...

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