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Here comes another problem, all wrapped up in solution

[It's Fugazi Month at rotorglow.com/blog. For the month of July, for no particular reason other than I've been listening to them a lot, each post's title will be a Fugazi lyric. I'll try to make it vaguely topical.]

I spent the whole day with Veloce today. That meant giving up the James Dean double feature at the Brattle, on account of me not setting my alarm properly. (See, I set it, but I didn't actually turn it on. Seems that's an important step.) I washed, clay-bar-ed, and waxed every inch of the little vixen, which means that I touched every square inch of it 3 (!) times. Well, except the roof, which only got washed and wiped down with 303 "Space Age Protectant." (Like Armor-All, but better.)

So, for the moment, it gleams like the Hope Diamond. It's as smooth a Baby's Butt. It's as Cute As A Button.

But the whole experience got me thinking, and not for the first time, about how I treat cars, and how everone else treats 'em. A few years ago, someone I was close to asked me what it would take for me to put (for instance) a coffee cup on the (hard) roof of my (=our) car. Instantaneously, I responded, "A 90% chance of a planet-killing asteroid within 36 hours." Her response? I think she rolled her eyes first, and only then chuckled at my creativity (=glibness).

And last weekend, Cynthpop and I went to the beach, and she finally got some insight into just what a lunatic I am about cars and car care. (I should say she knows all about convertibles, though.) So I thought I'd write down some of the more outlandish customs I've developed over the years, and the rationale behind them.

And yes, I know it's kind of a sickness.

After the jump:

  1. I only open the door(s) with the handle. Meaning I make goddamn sure don't scrape the doorhandle recess with my fingernails or finger tips.
  2. I only close the doors by touching the window glass (if available) or the doorhandle (if the windows are rolled down). No kidding, and no exceptions. The point is to avoid touching the bodywork, so I only touch glass or (the edge of some) plastic.
  3. After I "pop" (=unlatch) the trunk with the remote, I only open it the rest of the way by lifting up on something that won't mind being scratched over a number of years. Namely the licenseplate lights, or some painted metal under the lip of the trunk. Never the lip of the trunk itself.
  4. When it's time to close the trunk, I only push it closed with something that could be replaced with relative ease (=no repainting) if I chose. In the case of Veloce, this is a plastic spoiler. At least it's good for something.
  5. I only use as much force to close the doors as needed. So, if the roof is up, and all the windows are closed, I use a tiny bit more force to close the door than if a window or the roof is open. In the former case, the sealed chamber of the cabin will resist the closing of the door more than in latter case. And therefore requires (only!) a few more Newtons of closing force than in the latter case.

Hmm.... Actually, that might cover all my funny paint-care habits for when the car is parked. In this post I'm not going to touch on all the bizarre things I do while the car is actually in motion, or my peculiar safe-parking strategies, or my shifting/braking techniques. All designed to prolong the life of the equipment.

Maybe I'll go into some of that after I get to know you better.


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Comments (3)

I just spent the weekend rocking the protege over barely driveable hard (and soft) scrabble dirt and gravel roads in north-western MA. So while the Miata might look like a glistening drop of dew, the P5 looks like an old baseball mitt.


A baseball mitt is very appropriate today. You should feel patriotic. Or if you prefer, you can simply say that you and the P5 were in a rally, charging through mud puddles and kicking up gravel rooster tails.

All I did was take a nap in the sun and watch the sun sparkle off the pristine metal flake of Veloce's flanks. Oh, and I thought about freedom.


Wow... my car is jealous of your car.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on 2005-07-04 at 01:13.

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