Hooniverse Asks – If You Weren’t a Car Nut, What Would You Be Nuts About?

I don’t know about you, but my passion for cars started when I was really young – about 7 or 8 years old. By the time I was 11, I already had subscriptions to Competition Press and Road & Track, and was already plotting what my first car would be. At the time it was a toss up between a Capri II, Opel Manta or Fiat X1/9, but sadly none of those ever came to pass and my first car was a 1962 Chevy Corvair 700 Turtle top, that I bought when I was 14. That wasn’t so much passion as just plain crazy, but what are you gonna’ do?
I can’t even imagine where my energies would go, what my at-work day dreams would consist of if it weren’t for my interest in cars. Oh sure there are other things that draw my attention – planes, and trains and sometimes even boats, although I can’t find anything to get excited about if they don’t have motors and need to wind to make them go. If it hadn’t been for cars, these other machines could easily have filled my ADD about taking things apart and putting them back together.
What about you? If it weren’t for cars, and porn weren’t so socially reprehensible, where would your outlet be?
Image source: [good-times.webshots.com]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

105 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – If You Weren’t a Car Nut, What Would You Be Nuts About?”

  1. muthalovin Avatar
    1. Deartháir Avatar


  2. Marco Avatar

    I already have one: bicycles.
    Bike technology is getting very good nowadays.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    I'm not sure if my obsession with cars was driven by my crib overlooking a highway, or if it just allowed it to flourish, but I'll guess that if said crib was somewhere different, it might've taken a different direction. Buses, streetcars, planes, buildings, I don't entirely know.
    It'd be that or developing an Abed (from Community)-like fixation on pop culture.

  4. Maxichamp Avatar

    I do own the largest Lake Merritt (Oakland) postcard collection in the world.

  5. Alff Avatar

    Duh. Trucks!
    Seriously, my other passion is carpentry. One and a half thumbs up for table saws.

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar

      If you weren't a car nut you'd be a truck nut?
      <img src="http://www.rivercityvibe.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/truck20nutz.jpg"&gt;
      You may want to rethink your phrasing…

      1. Alff Avatar

        Ha! The question wasn't "what kind of nut would you be?" but "what would you be nuts about?"
        That said, I have found myself dangling from a truck's bumper. I was at the end of a water ski tow rope, seated on a tattered Lay-Z-Boy and terrorizing my friend's suburban neighborhood. Boredom and bourbon can be a dangerous combination.

  6. zsm Avatar

    I used to have a very nice collection of old computers: Commodores, Amigas, Apples, Tandys, TIs, Ataris, and IBMs. I sold all the best oldest stuff, it was two Mazda MPV loads, to a place called Weird Stuff. The owner stiffed me for the second minivan load, but I still got enough to buy a nice crib for my soon to be born first son at Montgomery Wards during liquidation. The computer stuff that was modern, I put out in the hall outside my apartment and people took it all within a day. I needed the room for the kid so I had to get rid of all that stuff. I had rows of tables in that room and most of them were working and setup. The rest were piled-up in the closet.

    1. Alff Avatar

      This discussion probably belongs over on 'toasters but I'm gonna ask. What was the first computer you programmed on? My introduction was writing short hex programs on an Apple II.

      1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        BASIC on a Commodore 16.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Commodore BASIC 4.0 on a Model 4032 PET. I've still got a couple of 2001 Series PETs, a later one with the standard keyboard and an earlier one with the infamous chiclet keyboard.
          Kudos for actually using a C16. That's akin to having real-world experience with a Plus/4.

          1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            "Press play on tape". 'Dem were the days.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Never had a tape drive. My brother-in-law had one and he convinced me to pop for a 1541 floppy drive when I bought my C64. Good advice.

          3. Bret Avatar

            I was a PET programmer too! The highlight of my PET experience was writing a word processor program in middle school.

          4. zsm Avatar

            When I was collecting I got a PET at a HAM fest. That thing was heavy! Mine had the serious keyboard. I needed to scrounge-up a tape drive for it. The other old computers I had simply used relays to stop and start the motor. I had hacked-up a portable (Ha! It ran on 4 D cells.) cassette recorder and a few cables so that I could use all of them with that one. But the PET used this very peculiar system with an annoying edge connector where the datasette itself had the A/D and D/A circuitry. I had no idea how to go about it, which I learned after trying for a weekend. I found the datasette later that summer at a Church sale of all places. I think that means that they must have still been using a C64 in some capacity until '97 or so.

      2. zsm Avatar

        The first was a TI 99/4A in the summer before first grade. I played lots of games and did the BASIC and LOGO examples so that the teacher would let me play the games. It's actually funny since I decided I had to learn English because that summer computer class. I had left Poland with my parents and then lived in Austria for 6 months. Then we arrived in USA. So I was pretty upset about nobody being able to talk with me and I decided that since I knew Polish and German, if someone wanted to speak with me they, could go ahead and speak Polish or German to me. This had gone on for a year, I'm still stubborn to this day. The computer class teacher knew my parents and she saw I really wanted to play the video games, so she came-up with a plan. She would only allow me to play the video games at the end of the class if I followed along with the programming examples. I decided to do well and by first grade I spoke English and could actually communicate with my friend, whom I had known as simply the boy in the read pants before. My youngest son is now in kindergarten. They pull him out every so often to do some ESL lessons. He likes that very much, Mr. Chavez lets him play Angry Birds on his iPhone if he does well. I think the school needed to make a quota or something in my son's case though.
        Oh I got off track there for a while. Later the school Apple II computers after the TI line was discontinued. The daughter of that computer course was the teacher then. She let me do BASIC and later pascal programs. I had to do word processing exercises, but if I did them quickly enough there was enough time for me to play The Oregon Trail too. The first computer I got at home my uncle bought for me. It was a CoCoII. Eventually I got a tape drive for it, then later a diskette drive (the controller plugged into the cartridge slot) and I acquired a copy of TASM and was blown away. I also had a friend whose dad was a HAM. He got me some schematics to make a composite connector for the CoCoII. My mom taught me to solder (she worked at a factory soldering switches to PCBs at the time) and I rode my bike to the Radio Shack and got all the little bits needed. It was like night and day how much easier it was to read the text on the screen then instead of using that RF adapter and tuning the set to channel 4.

      3. ptschett Avatar

        BASIC, on an IBM PC jr's cartridge.

  7. Jim-Bob Avatar

    I dunno. It would probably have something to do with alternative energy, energy efficiency and off-grid living. It's been an interest of mine for a while now. Not because i am a greenie but because I am cheap and rational. I figure that doing so would put me in a good position should the whole world fall apart and allow me to survive. I actually plan to one day design and build my own home based upon minimizing operating costs so that I have to work less to achieve more. Those utility bills really take a bite out of your budget and by eliminating them you simply have to work less to stay alive. That extra money can then be invested to give you a secondary source of income that replaces some of what you get from your job should you become unemployed. It also reduces some of the crisis that comes from unemployment because you are not heavily reliant on society and spending money to provide your daily needs. It's not an exciting answer, but it is a fairly rational and logical one.

    1. lilwillie Avatar

      Nothing odd about that. I could see doing something similar if I didn't have the wife and kids around. I've always thought I could build a 500 square foot sleeping area in the Barn on our farm and then go out and enjoy things. Just enough space for a bed, belongings and a lounge area to enjoy the view. Then pound a sand point for water. Septic would be easy. Wood stove for heat and power could come from solar if need be. Candles always work for light if the solar isn't keeping the lights on.

      1. Jim-Bob Avatar

        Absolutely. I may not go to that small of a living space but I would want to build my own home using the latest in energy efficiency to reduce the amount of energy I needed to produce. I would be grid connected for the solar, wind or micro-hydro power so that I would always have electricity when needed ( I could also sell my excess to the electric company and make a small net profit every month). For heat, I could run some sort of pyrolization furnace that could run a generator and use it's waste heat to heat the building. I also love the idea of a double roof. in that system, you build a roof over the building that adds shade to the house and keeps it from direct sunlight. Since this secondary roof is larger than the house it would also be the ideal place for solar panels. I saw it done on an architectural blog for a house in the desert and it supposedly cut energy needs significantly.

        1. joshuman Avatar

          I have been obsessed from afar about micro hydro. Solar can work in Western Washington but micro hydro works 24/7. We don't have a suitable stream on our current property though. I would be grid-connected as well since the hydro plant will generate more than we can use. Also, I like the idea of feeding the excess to the grid rather than dumping it into hot water tanks. If the next home is new construction, I want radiant heat embedded in the floors, solar hot water, and maybe a geothermal heat/cool system.

          1. jim-bob Avatar

            The nice thing too about micro-hydro is that if you live by a small creek you can also use it as a food source should things get tough. Yes, I know I sound like a doom and gloom sort of person but i just don't trust politicians and corporations enough to not think that they will one day really screw it up. I hope it never happens but it's not a bad idea to put yourself in a situation where you could survive without the rest of the world if you had to.
            At any rate, I am selling my suburban home soon to go back to school. When I buy a new property after I finish I will definitely be looking for a strong creek on the property as well as enough land to grow a garden. It just makes sense.

  8. SSurfer321 Avatar

    If I weren't a car-nut I'd be a peanut. Honey roasted of course.
    Growing up boating, I'd probably be a boat/waterski/wakeboard nut.

    1. NMUSpidey Avatar

      I'd personally lean towards cashew, myself.

  9. thomasmac Avatar

    My second passion is warbirds. I became more interested in them the more I got into engine technologies and realized what hot rods they are.

    1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

      Hey, if you get up to the Ottawa-Gatineau area check out Vintage Wings. They have a good collection of old birds. I was helping out with their Hurricane rebuild but no longer have the time to help.

      1. thomasmac Avatar

        Thanks, went to the FlyFest last year at the Canadian Warplane Heritage last year ( there Lancaster was a gate guard 500 metres from where I sit at the Goderich airport for years before they got it and restored it) and VWoC had the Stocky Edwards P-40 there, they have an amazing collection

  10. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Watches, Automatic or wind-up. None of that battery powered crap. I just have a thing for intricate machinery. The more I can see of it the happier I am with it.

  11. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Possibly Hi-Fi. I am cursed with the upgrade bug.
    I have been through various chunks of equipment to get to where I am now. My current system is a real mongrel but I think sounds great in the room it's in, and to upgrade to any of the perpetually tempting shiny metal boxes I fancy would be a several thousand quid move.
    If not Hi-Fi then probably photography, another hobby I'd love to throw more time at.
    And if I hadn't studied as a car designer, I would have trained in architecture.
    And there's always travel-writing, of course, I'd like to do more of that. If it wasn't for cars, I probably would.
    Thank god for cars.

    1. austinminiman Avatar

      A couple months ago I bought my first set of nice speakers, a set of Paradigm 5SE MkIII's. $15 in perfect condition. It was the first set of speakers that were nice enough that I'd just sit there and listen for hours. It was magical.
      Today I bought a set of Klipsch KG4's. Now my Paradigms sound like shit, which is sad. This seems like a dangerous cycle.

  12. Andrew Avatar

    Or maybe mountain-bike racing. It's the only thing I can think of that provides a similar impending-doom adrenaline rush to a good trackday.

  13. lilwillie Avatar

    It would be Lego or Hunting and Paintball. Likely all three since I do all of them now. Not as passionately as I do the automotive hobby but both give me the same satisfaction as working on cars and all things car shenanigans.
    I could dive much, much deeper into any of those hobbies but right now they are just hobbies I do when I can't play with cars or afford more car stuff. Maybe my AADD keeps me from going nuts for just one hobby. One minute I am all about the car stuff the next I am skipping a car show to play paintball….Squirrel…and then in the winter when I could be up at the shop spinning wrenches I am home putting together a space ship out of….Squirrel….Legos.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      The last few times I tried paintball I realized I'm much better with real guns and fake targets instead of fake guns and real targets (www.ipsc.com).

  14. skitter Avatar

    I can imagine frightening alternate-histories where I was actually good at sports.

    1. austinminiman Avatar

      Beneteau? Really?
      /Island Packet Fanboy

  15. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Beer brewing. A fascinating art, really, with infinite variations and a very short ingredient list. You can spend your whole life making minute changes to each successive batch and never get exactly what you want. But you will always have beer.

    1. Alff Avatar

      But beer IS exactly what I want.

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        Then the Smells-Homeless Brewhouse can take care of your needs!

    2. dead_elvis Avatar

      Same here. I spent the better part of a decade making wine professionally, and while it's fascinating (and there are tons of characters involved, especially on the smaller end of the scale), I'm a beer guy at heart. I fully believe that there are a wider range of flavors & more complexity in beer than in wine.
      Unfortunately, making beer for a living is a good way to remain unable to afford much in the way of project cars or motorcycles.

      1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

        Which is exactly why I'm in computers and not beer. On the other hand, they've opened three new craft breweries locally in the last year, and that's not counting the brewpubs that constantly pop up so someone's making money. Indianapolis is really enjoying a beer resurgence now, and I'm loving it.

  16. pjstevens77 Avatar

    either Vintage bicycles or toys is really all I can think of. I mean I'm stumped really, I have never thought of living in a world with no cars. I don't think thats a world I could live in.

  17. scroggzilla Avatar

    The CIA, The Vatican and Alex Trebek constantly listening to my thoughts……………..
    ……..You didn't mean that kind of "nuts", did you?

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      See, that's just crazy talk– I'm sure Mr. Trebek has better things to do with his time.

  18. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    Motorcycles, PWCs, and powersports in general have so much in common with cars, both culture-wise and in their design and technology, I'll consider them a sub-set of the automotive field and set them aside for the purposes of this discussion.
    The other things that I keep gravitating toward in life are:
    Bicycles — fun to ride, contribute to your health, and are really fascinating, technologically, culturally, and historically.
    Computers — (incl. programming, hardware config/maint., app end use) — all sorts of functional uses, great for problem-solving skills, plus really cool technology.
    Sewing — yea, really. Growing up, it was me and three older sisters, so I learned how to sew and I still really enjoy it. It's remarkably similar to resto-modding a vehicle or programming on the computer. You start with your own unique vision, you assemble the components, you think through a construction plan that's within the scope your skill set and available tools, then have to tweak it as you work step-by-step through the construction issues. And in the end, you have the satisfaction of seeing it all come together into something unique, and hopefully attractive and useful. And if you've ever played with a 5-thread overlock serger with differential feed, you'd be fascinated by the technology there, too.
    I had a great interest in aviation as a kid, but I discovered when I took flying lessons how really expensive and inaccessible they are, and now its just a passing interest.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      Oh, and architecture. I play with my Punch building design software a lot. But as with aviation, the cost of buy-in beyond that point gets unrealistically steep.
      <img src="http://www.tanshanomi.com/temp/USI_ATRIUM-reduced.jpg"&gt;

      1. Thrashy Avatar

        <img src="http://randomonics.net/randomcrap/bg.jpg&quot; width="500">
        I've got to thumbs-up that, since if there were jobs to be had right now it would be my job. Ultimately, though, I'd be making something. I can't not make things; if I don't have some harebrained project at least stewing in the back of my mind, I'd go crazy.
        On the cost side, you'dbe amazed how cheap you can go if get creative. I friend of mine was in a design studio that built a 300-square-foot collapsible refugee house from plywood and cloth. I think their total expenditures stayed in the mid-4-digit range.

    2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      And trout fishing.
      I'll shut up now.

      1. Deartháir Avatar

        Try halibut fishing. It's always fun, and more rewarding 'cuz you get enormous fish that can feed a family of four for a week.

        1. tonyola Avatar

          I've tried to quit my bad halibuts because people keep carping at me. It take a lot of gillpower, mussel, and sole searching, but at the end of the line I'll filet that I'll be be closer to Cod.

  19. tonyola Avatar

    I'm already a musician and music nut as much as a car nut, so I would happily continue on that direction.

  20. Jeremy Wilson Avatar
    Jeremy Wilson

    Whenever I become interested in something, I absorb as much info as possible about it, and then start collecting.
    The first real collection I had was Atari 2600 gear and games. I still have the collection – over 357 individual games of the known 1200+. Many rare ones. I quit when it started getting expensive and all the local flea markets dried up. By then, it wasn’t any fun to collect because there wasn’t anything to find in the wild.
    After that was original 80’s arcade games. At one point I had 10 machines in my little studio apartment. I still love them, but being a single purpose machine means they spent most of their time turned off, so although I loved the artwork and the cabinets, they took up a lot of space for very little benefit.
    Then, I got into pinball. That one I went hardcore for the longest period – at this point I’ve owned over 250 machines, with the most at once being 33. I was big on the local league scene and knew all the players in the hobby. I still own two 80’s arcade games and four pinball machines, but I burned out on that hobby after running through two cargo containers worth of machines in an attempt to run a small refurb business. Now the idea of fixing them bums me out. I only play once a month or so.
    For awhile I did home distilling. I made some fine bourbon in my time. I’m not a big drinker, and once you’ve made a few batches the novelty wears off, so that one sort of sputtered out.
    Then I was big into screenrprinting. I designed and printed posters for bands, and ran a professional studio that I built from scratch part time. That one died because it was too expensive to maintain the space, and it sucked too much time with very little payoff.
    Through all of that, I always had a classic car, be it a junker, or now a very nice driver that I spent 2 years restoring myself. Not sure why I’ve not grown out of the car thing like the rest of the collections, perhaps because it is generally so expensive that it is taking way longer to reach maximum capacity or to start repeating myself.
    I’m hopefully moving into a house with a 24’x24′ garage this spring, so my car insanity will kick into high gear. If I grow sick of cars, what will I do then?

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      My wife and mother-in-law dragged me into a flea market about a dozen years ago, where I happened to find an old brown-canvas hardcover edition of The Hardy Boys Shore Road Mystery, and recalled reading the same original 1928 version of it from my grade school library.
      Long story short, I now have a complete set of pre-1960 dust-jacket Hardy Boys volumes (minus one ultra-rare edition), and have since expanded to collecting two other Grosset & Dunlap juvenile series…

      1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

        I have a collection of my fathers "Chums" stories dating from around 1930. They are about everything from air pirates to the crusades.

  21. Joe Dunlap Avatar
    Joe Dunlap

    Well, actually, my fetish is for WWII Essex and Independence class aircraft carriers. Especially when painted is Measure 31-33 (and all sub-variations) camouflage! 🙂 Is that wrong?

    1. thomasmac Avatar

      Your sir have a very specific passion!

    2. tonyola Avatar

      Nothing wrong at all, but aren't they a little difficult to collect? Garages are much too small and homeowner's associations might have something to say about a monstrous steel hulk parked in your yard. Even if you have a marina nearby, think of the fees.

    3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      I must say that Graverobber has come up with a very excellent question today. I am finding all these posts fascinating. I ended up reading a couple of web pages about Independence class Light Carriers that I found very interesting.
      (Although I gotta say, I found the Sangamon class carriers equally fascinating!)

  22. Ryans92L Avatar

    Before I was a Car nut, I was a Guitar Nut. I have a small collection of Guitars and the related. I have a one off Stratocaster with color changing paint screaming hot pickups and other fun bits. I also have a few vintage guitars that have been updated. But my rarest bit is a 1980s Peavey Renown 400 Amp Very rare which usually commands a price tag into the mid $700 region, so its in my private stash. pic below
    <img src="http://www.musicpark.com.au/Graphics/MP2nd/Peavey-Scorpion.jpg"&gt;

    1. tonyola Avatar

      I have a pair of Peavey T-300 tower speakers in excellent condition. Not worth a lot but they sound good.
      <img src="http://www.ad-bazaar.com/uploads/amp/5/300149940526-1.jpg"&gt;

  23. dmilligan Avatar

    That would be my current pastime, building custom jewelry boxes out of highly figured wood. Someday I might even be good at it.

  24. P161911 Avatar

    Got the new Clancy for Christmas, I'm still in the early part. My reading has been cut drastically since marriage. I went from 12-15 books/year to 4 or 5 maybe. I might have to re-read the previous Clancy too, it has been so long I forgot half of what happened.

    1. Alff Avatar

      I'd recommend you both check out Wilbur Smith – a prolific South African author of historical fiction, mainly about the african continent. Lots of insight into hunting practices and weaponry in the days when your quarry was just as likely to bag you.

  25. Eggwich Avatar

    These aren't things I'd love if I didn't love cars, these are things I also love.
    1. Bikes. Specifically, BMX. More specifically, the powerful wafts of bicycle nostalgia, meaning all those bikes I wanted but couldn't afford in 1985. PK Rippers, Kuwaharas, Redline RLs, Hutch Trickstars, Haro Sports, that kind of dealie. I recently bought a pair of Skyway mags that while sacrificing lightness, are indestructible and look awesome. The wheels help me identify with the Donk crowd, and the nostalgia and original parts angle helps me understand the vintage muscle car nerds.
    2. Baseball. I love it. Best statistical set ever. And batting cages rule.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Thumbs up for baseball. It's the thinking man's sport.

    2. dead_elvis Avatar

      Redline RL! On my dream-bike list for the BMX-obsessed part of my childhood. Haven't heard that name (or Kuwahara) in years.

    3. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      Just started fixing up my old '78 JAG BMX! Licorice Black with Pineapple Gold MotoMag IIs. Bought it brand new in Jr High thanks to an unexpected jackpot payday. Wasn't particularly light, but it sure as hell was strong, made the perfect jumping and wheelie machine.

  26. Lotte Avatar

    Well, when I was a wee lad (not too long ago, actually) I've had a shit-ton of little matchbox cars. Some were built better than others; still have a Nissan Bluebird taxi model from Tomica that I remember begging for, and I don't usually beg. That's probably the only one from my childhood that hasn't had its paint scraped off, windshield broken, wheels torn off, etc. I can't really imagine what it would be like without; I had so many! But if there was then it'd probably be legos. Went to a lego store with the lil cousins a while back, and I just went and sat down at the little kid's table and started building. Ended up with a large tower and a system for constructing said tower when we had to leave. I'm such a child.

  27. taborj Avatar

    Not autos, eh? I love zeppelins, trains, and airplanes. Old computers are fun.
    But what I'd probably collect? Watches. None of these crappy Quartz things, or fancy atomic watches with microchips inside.
    Real watches. Mechanical watches. Ones you have to wind. Ones that automatically wind themselves. Anything with a jeweled movement.
    Yes, I'd be nuts about that.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      My grandfather and great-grandfather were watchmakers. My dad taught me to take mechanical watches apart when I was a kid. We did a complete refurb on an old antique pocketwatch when I was about 10 or 11 — it taught me a wealth of information about mechanical stuff in general.

      1. taborj Avatar

        See, that's fantastic. I'm officially jealous.

    2. bzr Avatar

      If I weren't into cars, I could easily see myself paying car-equivalent prices for watches to add to my (currently nonexistent) collection.

  28. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The question's hard to wrap my head around, but I'll try.
    Probably a mix of action sports/outdoorsy stuff. I grew up waterskiing/wakeboarding in the summer and snowboarding in the winter, so I could easily be doing a lot of that. Unfortunately, boating takes up a lot of cash and time and space, so I'd probably substitute surfing and/or mountain biking in the interest of financial solvency.
    Up though college, I geeked out pretty heavily on computer and video games, which I intentionally avoid these days to keep my time and finances under control. With online play the norm, you have to work hard and play regularly not to embarrass yourself, which is just not something I've got time for. Additionally, my penchant for keeping 3-5 year old computers running doesn't really mix well with cutting edge PC gaming.

  29. taborj Avatar

    I have a secret for that — antique stores. You can find some interesting watches there. Having said that…
    I only actually own two watches — one of them a Citizen Quartz watch (the current "every day" watch), and the other in a 1913 Hampden pocket watch that I inherited from my grandfather. Of the two, I very much prefer the Hampden, but there are a few practical problems with that — one, it hasn't been cleaned and oiled in all the time I've owned it, some 15 years. Before it sees regular usage, it needs to be disassembled, cleaned, lubed, and reassembled. I've had a quote of $150 for that. The second problem is, really, I don't want to break it.
    The problem with finding a watch at an antique store, or even eBay, is that you will likely need to go through the expense of having it at least oiled. Mechanical watches don't require batteries, but that's not to say they're maintenance free.
    Like an old car, really.
    I think my next watch will be one of Seiko's automatic winding mechanical movement watches. According to a watchmaker I met, they are the best on the market, and can be had new for less than $100.
    Hmm…maybe I already am nuts about watches.
    Quick, someone get me on the topic of cars!

  30. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    The only thing that I can add that isn't car-related in one way or another is home improvement projects.
    I redid the basement with only a little assistance, but I would like to be able to do practically anything around the house.
    Maybe carpentry is a part of that too.
    (also, +1 for the "off the grid living situations)

  31. joshuman Avatar

    I don't do much real work on cars these days. I really enjoy driving them and reading about them and watching them race. I just don't have the space or large chunks of time required to accomplish the large meaningful restoration project I want to do. Instead, what free time I carve out is devoted to running, biking, and (more recently) swimming. My wife and I run marathons and half-marathons. Last year I did my first triathlon and I plan to compete in four this year. Training for the races is a good way for me to stay in shape. The races themselves are a good excuse for a weekend away with friends.

  32. Bret Avatar

    If the car crack pipe disappeared for me I'd shift to my other passion, curling. You know the ice, rocks, and brooms game you watch every 4 years to see the MILFy Candian women screaming at each other. It's big fun and the curling season dovetails nicely with the racing and event season to keep me active year-round.
    I also find myself getting more into photography. I've got some Street Parked articles I'll have to submit to the Hoons…

      1. Bret Avatar

        Hurry hard indeed. My wife enjoy throwing rocks at each other on the sheets.

  33. Foolish Avatar

    I'd be even MORE obsessed with bicycles, I'm sure. Not that I could be much more, as it is!

  34. MattC Avatar

    I love all things about cars. However, I also love old tube table radios and even later transistor radios. The radios from the 1930's through the early 1950's are really beautiful works of art and the "warm" sound of these radios needs to be heard. I love transistor radios from the 1950-1960's as well because it represented an evolution in reliability and portability, Manufacturers prided themselves on "one upping" each other with increased transistor counts and superb packaging.

  35. Black Steelies Avatar

    Man, cars take up a pretty big chunk after school, but after that I would have to say just generally being outdoors. As a kid I begged my parents to get me into cub scouts and I loved camping with all my friends. I stayed on through boy scouting until I eventually got my eagle. I've hiked a bit of the Adirondacks and took an amazing trip to the Grand Tetons two summers ago. It's tough now that so much time is spent at school but I still use the weekends to hike and take long runs when I can. I look forward to traveling as much as I can in the future. I hope to experience as much as I can of this beautiful world before moving onto whatever that may be.

  36. JayP Avatar

    I'd be KING OF KONG!

  37. 42ford Avatar

    Since my truck and tracotr love are so closely related I will assume they go too. Given that my other real love is boat building. I have built a small wood sailboat and 3 wood solo canoes. Next up is a wood rowing shell. When it is too cold to work in the shop I would work on my Lionel and American Flyer trains.

  38. Raze1138 Avatar

    Prolly computers, military science fiction, and cooking.

  39. bzr Avatar

    I'd be even more into watches, guns, computers and aircraft if it wasn't for my crippling automotive obsession.
    As for car enthusiasm, it's hard to find another avenue of fandom that manifests itself so readily in today's culture. You walk down a street and see a cool car and you can instantly remark to your friends or girlfriend, "hey, check out that cool car, I know what that is." Could you show that readily available level of enthusiasm if you saw someone wearing, say, a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon?
    My point is, cars are such a part of our daily lives that being a enthusiast around them is far different than being an enthusiast for anything else.

  40. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Tough call between my love of music, and secretly being a history dork (which STILL astounds me, considering the poor grades I got in history classes).
    That said, quick look around the room I'm in shows a slight edge to musical paraphernalia over history books. Thus music.
    AND I would probably spend all day writing sad songs about how something was missing in life, dreaming about dusty barns and mysterious shapes under weathered old tarps…

  41. NMUSpidey Avatar

    With an internet name that includes "Spidey" obviously I'd be interested in vintage baby clothes.
    No, just kidding. It's comic books. I grew up totally interested in cars, but as time has gone on, collecting comics became the only hobby that was financially feasible for me, and at this point I probably know more about Spider-Man and the Justice League than I do about cars. Doesn't diminish my nuttiness for four-wheeled motorized modes of transportation, but I'd be nuttier for comics if cars were removed from the equation.

  42. Harry_Seaword Avatar

    I guess one can only go so crazy for Vanilla Ice eyebrow trimmings. At least I'd have skin creams that warn against contact with skin, and strange books like one that tells of a boy who longs to go nuts over something, but because cars don't exist he never fulfills his nut losing destiny. Sad really.

  43. Deartháir Avatar

    Hm. Well, that's an easy one to answer. I think AtomicToasters pretty much covers all my non-car obsessions. Fortunately, they seem to overlap nicely with those of a lot of the people answering on here…

    1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

      Eclectic group, n'est pas? For me it's building boats (little ones), outboards, architecture, tromping through the bush, and researching bizarre tech (eg Project Pluto), etc.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      Funny how that works. I'd end up with a variety of old computers – working and otherwise – and eclectic stereo equipment from the '80s.
      Okay, even more so than now. Somehow.

  44. ptschett Avatar

    There are things other than cars to be passionate about?
    First I'd name motorcycles, but as Tanshanomi points out they're a closely related field.
    Then I'd mention farm and construction equipment, since "tractor" was one of my first words and my work has been designing some form or another of wheeled, self-propelled loader since 2004; but that's related to cars too.
    My next idea is local geography and geology. But I wouldn't be nearly as interested in that if it weren't for taking those long drives or motorcycle rides and wondering why the terrain of the Red River Valley and Coteau des Prairies is what it is and where it is.
    So I'll have to settle for beer, hard science fiction, computers, and bicycling.

  45. Pardo Avatar

    I collect wrist watches. A few of my favorite pieces are the Omega Speedmaster Professional which was worn on the Moon by NASA astronauts and the Seiko H558-5009 Diver better known as "The Arnie" worn by Arnold himself in Predator and Commando. It's an expensive, lonely hobby, but I enjoy wearing a 42 mm machine on my wrist each day

  46. Black Steelies Avatar

    Just noticed how epic that toaster collection is. My roommate has a nice old chrome General Electric that works better than any of the toasters my family buys and replaces on a semi regular basis.

  47. sudden1 Avatar

    Horses. Heavy horses. Percherons. February will be a year since mine passed so the flame has dimmed but will burn again as bright as ever. To me, there was nothing like driving a vis-a-vis carriage behind a 2500 lb horse. A car stops because of brakes. My horse agreed to stop. I love cars- hell, I can't die until I've owned a Ferrari- but if ditching my MGB and Si would make it happen, they'd be gone tommorrow…

  48. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    I'd just be even more of a dork, I guess. Anime, video games, scifi. All things contributing to my dorkitude already, but if I didn't care about cars, those are the things most likely to fill the void.
    I dabble in firearms enthusiasm (having never actually fired anything more than an air rifle), but a lot of the guns I like are extremely illegal, and it's a huge pain in the ass to get a licence. Beyond that, I find a lot of gun people have a relentless "Serious Business" attitude that I find tedious (although largely justified).
    Pre-gunpowder weaponry is also really cool, but I'm far too lazy to really make that a hobby.

  49. Spencedaddy Avatar

    Hardcore airsoft stuff….i was into it for a long time, had expensive, accurate, powerful, realistic guns
    real guns, the Desert Eagle was awesome this weekend in fact!
    Butterfly knives for sure, i still love them and i'm very good.
    other than that i cannot think of anything else at all.

  50. Sidecar 57 Avatar
    Sidecar 57

    What's so socially reprehensible about porn?

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      It degrades women!!
      …Right? Is that what they say?

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        What if there's no women in it?

  51. njhoon Avatar

    I would have to say it would be sailing and sailboats. I have been around sailboats since before I can remember. I probably would have crossed the Atlantic a few times already instead of being content to just to mess around for a few hours. Actually I yern to do long trips but just can't bring myself to do it yet.