Along with the backyard Barbie and the cricket set, the next most common pastime for the Aussie male (and some of our lady friends) is to take time lying under the old Holden or Ford. Many a householder has a car on blocks, in the shed, under the house (most Queensland houses are off the ground), or decorating the front yard. I have included some pictures of one of my neighbours working on his car this afternoon.
Fortunately, I was able to give up this pastime when I graduated from Fords to Hyundais. I gave away my boot full of spare bits (you know, radiator hoses, fan belts, oil filters, bottles of oil) and some of the tools I wouldn’t need anymore (including an antique grease gun). The cars were getting too complicated anyway and I was a bit better off. Someone else could get their hands dirty.
When I asked his permission to take the photos, my neighbour confided in me that his other car — the red one — just had the motor seized up as he arrived at the house. I don’t miss the thrill of never knowing when something is going to go wrong. I know, I know — things bust on the Tesla too! But not generally.
I haven’t boiled the radiator dry like I did in my MINI. Or revved it so hard that I bent the push rods at 22,000 km. Haven’t had to replace the water pump. Or had a blade come off the fan while doing 140 km an hour down the motorway as happened in my Ford Fairmont.
So, what will we do with all the extra time we’ll have? What hobbies can we pursue in the age of electric vehicles? Horse riding? Our partners probably have a list of chores for us (there’s always something that needs a lick of paint). Who knows, we might even have more time to travel.
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