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Living with a car collector - a female perspective on their bloke's obsessions.

Er indoors !
The boss.
Living with a car enthusiast means you are glad to get through one more day where he hasn't bought another car. He's always looking for that elusive bargain and rarity, even if it's been the home to chickens for the last five years, no matter what condition, no matter what make or model, he's always looking for the next challenge, and some challenges they are at times!

Scenic view
A popular destination for a nice day trip
Ladies out there, be aware of when he suggests to take you out for the day, as you'll end up in either some scrapyard or another fellow enthusiast's house which you've driven past and noticed the over-populated front drive, mainly covered in old rust buckets or similar.

My memory drifts back to a few years ago when, after having seen this 'lovely' Austin Somerset, he assures me he is "'just having a look at it dear" - a few hours later, after a hilly journey to Huddersfield, and having swapped it for our perfectly fit & healthy red BMW, this 'lovely' car breaks down only a few miles from it's previous owner, on a rainswept hillside just as the light was starting to fade, and we had to travel back all the way home in the back of an AA van. Said vehicle continued to display a distinct lack of reliability, culminating in a wheel-falling-off 'moment' that necessitated me leaving our cosy home, to rescue him by bringing an assortment of jacks and pieces of wood with which to get the A40 mobile again.

Traumatic memories of leaking Jaguars with plants growing in the back seat, and leaking windscreen corners in Volvo Amazons which shower you every time you go round a bend still haunt me, although you'll find he thinks these are unique features - the 'character' - of the car itself. No condition is ever off-putting for him, I've seen cars you wouldn't be able to lean against, and he still has that glint in his eye whilst trying to persuade you it's a rare find indeed and worth parting with a few hundred pounds to acquire it.

Another sound acquisition
Another 'well thought out' & 'essential purchase' heads our way
In theory some of his purchases have covered their initial costs when eventually sold on, but this may not be the case when you add up all the money he spent on parts and labour whilst trying to bring it to roadworthy condition. A few months down the line (usually following continuous nagging from your good self), he ends up selling it to another poor soul whose missus has no idea what he's about to bring home. I seem to recall that one of his current vehicles he bought three times, and they say you can't make the same mistake twice, but indeed he has made it three times now!!! and the thing is still not on the road!! "Saved from the claws of the scrapman", he says. Well I'm actually rather fond of the scrapman myself, and would very much welcome a visit from him for a quick chat while the man of the house is out and about in his incessant search for spares. I'm sure great deals could be negotiated, thus resulting in a bit of spare money for .... hmmm maybe some shoes and handbags.

Living with a car enthusiast means you will always come second to his vehicles, I can assure you this will never change and don't even think of asking him to choose between you or the cars as you probably won't like the answer!!! After 10+ years, I now know not to even ask that anymore.

You may wonder if you've failed in your relationship, but do not blame yourself as there is nothing that can be done to improve either the appearance of your front garden or his scruffy hair (as he thinks it's a waste of time to cut it and would much rather spend that time tinkering in the garage). Your friends at work call him the Invisible Man as he never comes with you to the work do's and is never around when they come and visit, as he locks himself away in the garage and much prefers to do some welding than take part in the entertaining, and joining in on the conversation of... hmmm shoes and handbags.

Indeed most of his time is spent in the garage, the good side of this is that you can watch all your favourite TV programmes without him moaning at you all the time, so enjoy it while you can. The down side is that you can't get any of your DIY projects off the ground as they never seems to be a priority in his eyes and will come up with a million excuses before he picks up that drill and finally hangs that picture you bought last Christmas.

Found in the woods
Even an innocent walk in the woods can turn up untold treasures
Weekends are also quite lonely, unless you happen to enjoy attending classic car shows and steam rallies, and in my opinion your time is much better spent going shopping for, say, shoes and handbags.

You'll probably find he doesn't really appreciate why you need so many pairs of shoes, and in fact doesn't even notice when you flaunt your latest pair, but just make sure if he ever mentions the waste of money they are, you quickly remind him about the piles of rust in the garden no doubt depreciating not only the value of your property but probably the entire street.

Fashion is often lost on him as all his jumpers look the same, he may be of an attitude that you don't need a new jumper unless the existing one is knackered, and even then, he'll go out and buy exactly the same jumper. You may every now and then try to make him look more trendy but old-car enthusiasts don't do trendy, so my advice is spend the money on yourself, as he'll never wear your latest purchase of a designer shirt or jeans, and they will end up cluttering the wardrobe until you finally decide to give the items to Oxfam (ironically enough that's probably where most of his existing jumpers came from, or sourced for a good price at a local car boot sale).

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