Beater Car 101
There is a certain beauty, albeit blatantly hideous, of a beater car. Such utter disregard for the environment; complete ignorance of the thousands of hours put into the original design of the automobile. There is something special when all cares melt away, along with the rubber gaskets under the hood. When a young man deems that automobile a "beater," his life has been undoubtedly changed. Throughout my years, I have discovered that the only true way to know the intricacies of any mechanical object, is to destroy it. Or at least, attempt to. Be it your computer under your desk, the toaster oven on your counter, or an automobile, destruction is the first step to learning. This article is dedicated to the educational process of discovering the workings of an automobile. What you will need:
- An old car, that you really, TRULY don't care about. This is the first, yet definitely the hardest step in the process. If you need assistance is reaching this state of mind, click here for some tips.
- Some open space to work on the car. While a garage is convenient, I recommend gravel , or an open field or yard out of harm's way. Beater cars have a tendency to be less predictable and will probably emit nauseating fumes.
- A welder. (machine and the person) This is not for the faint at heart, but may inspire a great work of art the entire neighborhood will cherish. In addition, this will help you fix all the crap you broke.
- A digital camera capable of taking (literally) thousands of pictures. If you own the camera, you get to be (at least part time) the lackey that plays with the toys while your friend is under the car trying to break a bolt loose that has been rusted shut for 30 years.
- Some beverage that you can consume gallons. Oddly, this is usually some substance that is detrimental to the body's overall health.
- Food, probably some meat product. (Caution: this will likely create gassy friends)
- Some old jeans and a t-shirt you can afford to loose. They're going to get nasty, plan on it. Shirts and pants have a handy way of doubling as rags.
- Orange type hand cleaner -- because it works! If you're having fun, you'll probably end up with grease and grime in places your dog wouldn't even touch.
- A halogen work light. Chances are you'll still be messing around after the sun goes down since you're dirty already anyway.
- Something to play music on (to cover up your friends' grunts and farts)
- Friends that have an attention span of over 37 seconds.
Once you have all these things, you are SET! Now it's just time to break stuff! The Beauty of a Beater: A beater car is the perfect opportunity for you to treat a car the way you know you shouldn't.
- For example, the average Joe would not attempt to use a family sedan as an off road vehicle. But with a beater, you can! Your conscience should not yell at you for this (if you TRULY don't care about the car -- see above). There is little worry about hurting the car and the financial loss is minimal. The only real concern is safety. Make sure that you don't completely lose your mind while driving the beater or you could lose your head. Also, NEVER do stupid stuff when other people are around, duh.
- If your beater has any power, this could be the perfect opportunity to hone in some powersliding skills. Or, if your beater is plagued by a front-drive configuration, try some of that nifty-looking e-brake induced drifting -- it's worth a try!
- Ever wonder what a car does without an exhaust system? Now would be a good time to experiment (but wear a face-mask of some sort).
- The ultimate modification would be, of course, to turn a once road-worthy sedan into an off-road machine. Try welding some metal tube to the shape of the car. Maybe some extra metal on the bumpers. It will be fun!
What we will try... As time and money permits, I plan to be involved with such projects in the coming months. Stay tuned for some seriously retarded modifications to cars that don't hardly deserve to be driven! Stay tuned!