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Need some-one else's prospective on a dilemma disturbing me.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Stovebolt, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,361


    I'm not fairing too well lately, so stay with me as I try to explain my situation.

    2 1/2 years ago we built a house right after we had our second child, and took out a big mortgage to do so. Then my wife was forced out of her job, and eventually the workforce, and had a breakdown as a result. Naturally the financial responsibility fell upon me.

    11 years ago I sold my 54 chev to build a hot rod, and I purchased the coupe body I now have. Its been repaired, and is awaiting a major chassis re-do in order to get any further.

    Due to my time and $ commitments I cannot spend the $ on the coupe, and have even less time to work on it as well, so the time frame for the building of the coupe is a very long one.

    Now for the dilemma:

    A couple of days ago I was given a mid 20's dodge tourer. Its fairly complete, I've just got to go and pick it up.

    Do I:
    1) pick up the tourer, strip it sell off the bits i can't use and build the chassis up for my coupe - This was the original intention

    2) Offer my coupe body to my friend, for his finished Model A roadster pickup body, and some assistance to get a chassis built,

    3) Sell the coupe, use the funds to build a beater pickup out of the dodge

    4) number 3 plus sell the finished hot rod to finance the building of a 32 roadster - my ultimate hot rod

    What is causing this dilemma for me is the fact that there's nothing left for "Luxuries" so its going to be many years before I can get a hot rod on the road!!!

    I've broached the issue of my coupe with some of the locals, and now maybe they can see why I've a confused state about me.

    What's your advice?
  2. Killer
    Joined: Jul 5, 2001
    Posts: 1,569


    sell all the car shit and take your wife on a vacation.

    sounds like you both need it.
  3. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,361


    Its getting a little harder every day to get fired up about things on the home front, if you know what I mean.

    I guess I need the advice on what may be best for me, not the family.
  4. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 21,163


    Here's what I think. Like it matters.

    First you need to get an idea of what it is that makes your family happy.
    I think if I lost my job or the wife lost hers. The first thing I would do is look to downsize my mortgage or trim the fat, so to speak.
    I would sit down and write out a list of the things you want, like freedom to build a hot rod without taking groceries off the table etc.

    Then figure out what you want to keep. Go with your gut instinct.
    If you want to build a coupe and a coupe will haul the family. Save the coupe and focus on selling the rest to get the parts you need to do this.
    I would start a mason jar fund seperate from your family money. At my house my hot rods are no secret and my wife knows what I need to build my projects.

    I also know what she needs to redo the bathrooms etc. I try and trade off with her. When it's time to redo the bathroom.....I help pony up on the $$ it takes to do that. But, I don't build if we don't have any green. That is the part that sucks. If you can sell some stuff to put in your mason jar fund, then look for things to buy that you can flip to make that money grow. You know , swap meet scores, stuff you can ebay etc.

    I don't know if this helps but there ya go.


  5. Ayers Garage
    Joined: Nov 28, 2002
    Posts: 1,382

    Ayers Garage

    Screw the cars. Off the stuff and put the money towards family and home stuff.

    This is a hobby after all. Family is first and foremost in my book.
  6. Scott
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 2,715


    If you have a runner Keep it and your sanity if you can afford to.
    I sold My motorcycle once and was miserable till I replaced it. My wife said if I ever sold this one she would poke my eyes out with a fork. A bird in the hand............................ :)
  7. fatassbuick
    Joined: Jul 6, 2001
    Posts: 988


    Don't listen to me. So here's what I say;

    I've been a gear head for my whole life, seriously for 23 years. I can't even IMAGINE not having a project in the garage or yard. I became a machinist because of my love for mechanical stuff.

    If it became an issue between me and my family, I would choose my family (somewhat begrudgingly). You can always replace some stupid project.

    Killer is right.
  8. Pontiac35
    Joined: Aug 27, 2005
    Posts: 52

    from Wisconsin

    I am the new guy on the block but here goes. There is a lot to be said about setting priorities and family comes first, therefore I would keep the coupe body, sell the rest of the stuff and try to find a nice shoebox ride that would keep you and the family in the hobby while you got the finances right and rounded up the parts for the coupe project. Get the wife and kids involved with both cars and enjoy whatever you do.
  9. Mutt
    Joined: Feb 6, 2003
    Posts: 3,219


    You're the only one that can answer that....


  10. Ok, I just got to this post, if you truly aren't happy with your home life, for whatever reason, you got 2 choices, and only you will know which one is right for you,

    1) Figure out what it is/was that made you happy, not as a family unit, but YOU, your happiness, if it's marriage and family, then do WHATEVER it takes to get back to that place in your life, if it's not see #2

    2) If hotrods, gettin on the piss and shaggin strange shielas is your idea of happiness, then be a man, tell your wife the news and move on with your life, no need wasting her time or yours while you ponder your existence,

    Whatever you do, be ready for the outcome, good, bad, or indifferent, take your lumps like a man and get back to being happy.

  11. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,762


    The family comes first, not you.
  12. oldcarfart
    Joined: Apr 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,437


    park the hobby until the kids are grown & gone, it's not right to do a bunch of stuff half-assed, have patience, many of us have been there too!

  13. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    Okay, so you said you need help doing what's right for you...

    Put the car project on the back burner. Sell everything that isn't necessary for the one project you have, but keep that one project--a mouse won't run if there isn't any cheese at the end of the maze. Keep that project, even if it sits there collecting dust for the next several years.

    From what you said, you've got too much house (mortgage). That's a LOOOOONG term deal that isn't going to go away if you sell your unfinished project cars.
    Get a new house. I write that like it's really simple, but...well, it is. You can't afford to keep living there. The money issue is what's screwing you up. Sounds like it took a toll on your wife, too.
    Make a budget--down to the dollar. Figure out what comes in, what goes out, and what's left.
    With what's left, start going on a date with your wife, etc.
    Fix the house to sell it, and then sell it.
    If your daily driver still has a loan on it, sell it and buy a car for cash.
    And for god's sake, don't start charging shit on a credit card!

    A vacation will feel good for a while, but as soon as you get back to your house, you'll have all the same problems.
    Think about a plan, talk about a plan with your wife, go away together for a nice weekend (even if it's just checking into a hotel in town and dividing your time between the bar and the pool), then come back and start working the plan on Monday morning.

    If you let this put any more strain on the marriage, you're gonna end up in divorce court, and lose everything anyway, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
    Plus, divorce fucks kids up, regardless of what all the happy smiley people say.

    Downsize house, build-up marriage, strengthen family, regroup and hit it again in a couple years. Think how FAST the last three years have think where you can be in three years if you grit your teeth and tough it out.

    Good luck to you.

    Oh, and it never hurts to go to church on Sundays--if nothing else, it's a quite place to be around people--and more importantly, they very, very often have groups and classes to help with marriage issues and finances. One of those saved mine. I didn't care for that church one bit, but the class was priceless.
  14. Bill.S
    Joined: May 5, 2004
    Posts: 449

    from NW OH

    Go with number 1 and use the cash towards house expenses.
  15. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,709


    Kinda reading between the lines a little...sounds like you got a lot of pressure on you as the primary breadwinner,big mortgage,and not enough money...and 2 kids,at least one of which is still pretty young,so I'm guessing you ain't too old yourself...and i'm hearing that home life itself ain't much fun for you...and you said what about me ( not the family)...
    Be careful,'re not just talking about not having a cool,finished car right now...
    Resentment can build over time,and that makes people do stupid stuff,that they may regret long after it's too late..
    I eat,sleep,and drool over car shit..Chopped my first Merc in 75...and never have finished it...started the 51 in the garage in 1988...that's 19fucking88...
    it's sitting there with a 7 1/2 inch chop,canted quads,and rear quarters off of an Imperial.Dagmars,and some of the sickest looking shit I could think of to do to it...
    Why isn't it done?? hell if I know...except during all those fucking years,I raised 2 beautiful kids,went to dance recitals,and zillions of ball games,ran a business that eats me alive,and had to take care of my parents before they died,even moving into my Moms house for 11 months back in 96,until she moved into a nursing home...
    I envy the guys who can make it all happen..I was a young guy when I started all my shit,and hell,I may not ever see any of them run under their own power,at least while i own them...After my divorce is final,who knows,if i keep my shit,maybe I will get to finish something..maybe...
    You got the rest of your life to play with cars...
    Do what you need to do to keep your sanity,play in the garage,but don't lose sight of the big picture...
    Most of you guys would get wet if you saw what's in my garage,but fuck it,they're just fucking cars...
    Sorry I post meaningless shit and waste Ryans space...if I knew 10% of what a lot of you guys know,I might be worth a damn on here..This place continually amazes me...
  16. Deuce Roadster
    Joined: Sep 8, 2002
    Posts: 9,519

    Deuce Roadster
    Member Emeritus


    The wife............she is a adult.....she will cope.......or not.....
    Your are a adult.......

    BUT the two children MUST BE #1.....

    Sell the house, slow down the life and the expenses that you can....
    Sell the projects, cars and anything you can to reduce debt.....

    Once you get your life in order, stress will be reduced and JOY of life and the children be be enjoyed.....

    Then when things get better.......a project can happen....

    Just my 2 cents....

  17. JasonK
    Joined: Apr 16, 2004
    Posts: 753


    Another "something to tinker with" will come around. Do what you have to do and you will be rewarded later....
  18. Brandy
    Joined: Dec 23, 2004
    Posts: 5,286

    from Texas

    Wow, I am seriously amazed so many people say that family comes first. I'm gunna get FLAMED for this one but PLEASE understand that it comes from personal experience.

    In order to properly care for others, you must first care for yourself. Not just your body but also your mind. YOU are number one, you HAVE to be at your absolute best in order to perform at your maximum.

    If money is tight you can sacrifice other things such as lessons, name brand clothes and the lil extras in life such as cable or the newspaper.

    My car is my sanity. It is my escape from work, bills, life in general. It allows me to wind down. Without it, I would shoulder a whole lot more stress then what I currently do. I'm not saying be selfish and make the family live in a cardboard box while begging for food, but I am saying it's time to put your nose to the grind stone and gitter done.

  19. ka-zoo
    Joined: Oct 20, 2004
    Posts: 509


    not to totally crash this subject, but i would REALLY like to see some shots of this merc...

    but i also think you are onto something in the rest of your post, i was thinking almost the exact same thing.

  20. Wow! Certainly with all of the wise advice here you should be able to do the right thing. I definitely would check into fixing & selling house & being able to get into another house & maybe even have a few bucks left over. Just because the wife was trained in one field does not mean she can't do something else. Heck, even working part time at the local school in the cafeteria would at least get her out of the house, get her to socialize with some other women & even make a few bucks. Just my 2 cents worth.:D Gary 4T950 Chevy Guy
  21. Olson
    Joined: Aug 11, 2005
    Posts: 851


    No one can figure this out for you, unfortunately. But...I was in the same place not long ago.

    Man I gotta say I agree with Brandy. Certainly it's to a's needs are of the utmost importance but if I'm stuck in that all work no play thing for long I get seriously depressed then I'm no damned good to anybody.

    Flip that Dodge and use part of it to find another to flip parts, but try to do it quickly. A nice little extra dump of income will take some of the load off and you'll get to get yer hands dirty on something car like until things smooth out some more. Cut yer expenses down to the bare minimum and make the absolute most of what you have to work with. Try to help mrs. have the strength to get back into something at least part time.

    But keep something going even if it's partin' a car or two for some extra jack. You lose it now yer family be really f'd, so keep something around for sanitys sake.


  22. AGREED!
  23. Doc.
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 3,551


    Not that I know anything either but since you asked.Dude, sounds like you're clinically depressed. I feel your pain as I have been there myself. I'm a dyed in the wool car guy too. But, NO car is EVER worth more than your family. The way to get out of this slump is to quit focusing on yourself. Start thinking about your wife and kids and what you can do to preserve your family. No harm has ever come from putting ones family first. We've all heard the urban legend about the mom lifting a car off of her child to save him. There are no urban legends about lifting the car off of yourself. Great strength comes from helping/careing for others.

    What you need is a goal. As others have stated, form a budget, and if you have more going out than is coming in you gotta stop the bleeding. You are then being proactive in fixing the problem instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. You don't need any car projects right now. They will only cause a riff between you and your wife. I doubt she will understand why you're devoting time and money to them if the bills aren't being paid. Sell everything that isn't nailed down and regroup.

    There are local people you can talk to for free (ie churches/counselors)
    that can help you deal with this stressful time. Libraries are full of books that address financial issues. It's the lack of control that drives most people to despair, so get back in the game and take control. You're already rich with your wife and daughters. This is your time to cowboy up and show them what you're really made of. They are looking for you to be the leader and they will thank you for it. Cars are just "stuff," and "stuff" should be way down on the priority list right now. You can always get your car fix by working on a friends car or your daily driver. Hell, you can even tinker with the lawnmower if you need a diversion.

  24. Stovebolt
    Joined: May 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,361


    Thanks one and all.

    I've just to a fair with the family, and the girls had a ball on all the rides etc. Cars don't replace family stuff, and never will.

    Besides my girls, hot rods are what drive me, not having an old car on the road has been eating me for years now, and with responsibilities I have, its going to be a long long time before I get what I have on the road.

    I guess want some-one to tell what I should do about the cars, I'll take care of the family first and foremost - geez thats why I'm sticking at home, to quit the family would disadvantge my girls too much.

    It may just be a mid 40's kind of thing.... doesn't that lead to a confused state of mind?
  25. Wild Turkey
    Joined: Oct 17, 2005
    Posts: 902

    Wild Turkey

    Kinda been there myself. Ain't no fun at all, and it takes a long time to get going again.

    Reading between the lines -- which is dangerous at best -- it seems like you've hit that time when being daddy/husband is overtaking being your old self.

    It's called "getting older" and isn't nearly as much fun as we thought it would be when we were teens.

    If you REALLY want a '32, then look at everything you've got and ask if it will go on a Deuce and if it won't, sell it and take some of the pressure off. If it will go on your dream car, stash it so it will wait while you raise an assistant or two (girls can hand daddy wrenches, too!).

    "Downsizeing" the house might be a good idea if it would help cut the stress on you all.

    Right now your lady and children need you and the "steel children" don't mind waiting. If you don't spend time with them now they will be gone long before you realize how much of their lives you've missed, and how much poorer your life is for it.

    Like I said, I kinda been there. My sons are both taller than I am and they don't play catch or ask for my help anymore. I can't explain how much I wish I'd spent more time with them.

    And spending some time and effort to help the lady get herself back together will pay off immensely in the future. BTDT

    Good luck.

    Too bad we can't all get together over a few pints and solve all the world's problems:rolleyes:
  26. Here's me two cents: The cars are 70 to 90 years old, they've waited a long time to get back on the road and will wait a few more.

    Marriage and raising kids is not easy. You don't sound like the kind of guy to abandon those girls, so your choice on that is pretty clear. I've been with the same woman for over 40 years, but every day is a challenge. My girls are going to be 38 and 39 this month, I almost walked away more times than I care to think about, but they love and respect me for just doing what I could. We've been poor and done well and been poor and got back up again. I was broke as recently as 3 years ago. The daughters must have respected it because they're BOTH married to hard core gearheads. Your kids and family are your most important long term projects. Cars will come and go. But being a father is the most important thing you will EVER get to do. Do your very best at it.

    Don't be surprised if your friends (true friends) encourage you to put family first. Also don't be too surprised if offers of help and encouragment come from the HAMB family. This is something that I KNOW from experience. Hang in there, little girls have been known to help ol' dad with the car.

    And DON'T be shy about coming back on the HAMB for a shove and a kind word. Hot rodders and drag racers are the BEST people in the whole world. I'm very proud and HONORED to be part of the HAMB family. It's your family too.
  27. Stovebolt,

    I gotta' thank you for your honesty. And all the other bro's who stepped up and admitted to having had lean times. I'll admit that I sometimes get my head up my ass and worry that some other guy is going to judge me because any car I have seems to be two or three colors (plus primer!), and is usually peeling to boot. Reading about other guys' finished cars, anodized/billet/chrome/new stuff, and big, clean garages isn't always easy on my ego.

    My '54 Dodge P/U has been down since spring, and I am only now close to having all the stuff to re-assemble motor. And no, it ain't hi-buck; it's still got original pistons, a different stock crank, and a couple different stock rods. And a set of heads w/ new valves (bent while over-revving motor). Maybe five hundred bucks in total out-of-pocket, and some horse-trading.

    But, my daughter had a piano lesson every week for the last six or seven years, my wife sent money back home to help w/ her mom's medical expenses (and then funeral expenses), now I'm taking care of my mom's housing.

    We're not wealthy, we have a little mid 1950's tract house, with a 1/2 (yeah, one-half) car garage and a lean-to on the side of my house. Way more Top Ramen than steak served under this roof!

    I suppose that if I were in your boat, I'd look at shaving expenses where I could (modest house, beater cars, yadda yadda yadda). Then I'd look at my projects, and try to pick a very cheap one which I could get most-if-not-all-the-way-there by flogging the rest of the stuff.

    If the Dodge sedan is fairly solid structurally, then why not look for a donor car to supply an engine/trans/suspension for it, and leave it basically as is. Rust and all. Sell the other shit to pay for it, and have an old beater that the whole family can ride in. You might be suprised how much fun you can have with an unrestored car. Even a really crappy looking one.

    For years I drove a $700 '49 Plymouth 4-dr - no interior, peeling paint; looked beat to hell. People dug that car. I never worried about it getting scratched. I sold it in 2001 when I took a government job that entailed a 105 mile per day commute and figured the car wouldn't last. The car was still around town after the job fell thru!

    Anyway to boil it down: doing what I want has never made me happy when it was at the expense of doing what I should. Which is a lesson that I still get refresher courses in...


    Sorry to hear your dilemma. As I see it you only need one hotrod so sell off everything but one - take all your shit to a swap meet and dont bring anything back. Get passionate about building the best possible rod for the least amount of $ -= like the 999 rod the So What guys built. Even here in Aus we can do it cheap.

    I think your guilty over not focussing on your family and household repairs etc so free yourself up. Leave the rod for 6 months - itll still be there and concentrate on the family and what neds fixin around the house.

    Hey Thats may take but whatta I know?
  29. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    from Austin, TX

    hi stovebolt,
    first off thanks for coming out to my BBQ the other week,
    being younger and seemingly not even able to find a girlfriend..i wouldnt even think to offer advice..but your welcome to come over and bullshit about cars or anything else anytime.
    hope it all smoothes out.
  30. Morrisman
    Joined: Dec 9, 2003
    Posts: 1,600

    from England

    Not sure if I missed something somewhere, but what is the reason your wife can't go out and get another job of some description? Even a basic job to haul in a few hundred bucks a week/month?

    So, she lost her previous job, but that isn't the end of the world is it?

    If the house costs too much, get a lodger, rent it out, sell it, downsize, pull the loose ends in. Do something, anything, but you gotta make changes, else things will always be the same. Think positive.

    Good luck.


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