Jim’s Blog: My Car Week

The Monterey auctions and events, otherwise known as “Car Week,” are a tradition for me — I’ve been going to these events for years, first for Sports Car Market, and since 2011, for American Car Collector as well. But this year was different. While the SCM and ACC team headed south for Pebble Beach last week, I stayed at ACC HQ.

My wife’s about to have a baby — our second — and she still likes to talk about how I nearly missed our first due to one of my trips to SEMA for work. So this time we both agreed: No leaving the state within the one-month-to-baby window.

So rather than going to car events with my camera, this year, my Car Week was instead spent working on a how-to project for the next issue of ACC: Installing Holley’s Terminator Stealth EFI on my 1966 Caprice. Over the course of a few days, former ACC staffer (and current contributor) Chad Tyson and I worked on the conversion in my garage, and by the end of the week, we were driving the car around to let the Holley ECU tune itself. I won’t get into the logistics of the job here — you’ll be able to read all about it in the November/December 2017 issue of ACC — but suffice to say the new system is a fantastic choice for classic car owners who want both carburetor looks and EFI drivability.

I’m the kind of guy who, if left alone in the garage, can make entire days disappear without realizing it. Like a lot of you, I just like working on cars. But for most of us, the realities of life usually get in the way of that — kids, work, houses, and other obligations all take time, so uninterrupted wrenching gets to be a rarity. Add to that an incoming baby and time gets really thin. So while I missed going to the events I’ve been attending for years, spending a week with a laser-like focus on a car project was great, and the results were even better that I expected.

The moral of the story is this: having a great Car Week isn’t about where you go, what you do, or even what you need to spend. Having a great car week is about making the time to be doing exactly what you want to be doing, from attending high-end concours to just cleaning up your classic. I needed that reminder, and last week I got it. We’re all car people because we like playing with cars — so don’t forget to make the time to do just that.