Monday, 5 March 2012

POST 25 - MARCH 2012 - WHY DO WE DO IT ?

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Time I think for a little light relief from from the usual "whats been completed in the last couple of weeks" type of post.  Work has slowed again because I seem to be waiting endlessly for a few crucial bits.  All promised and imminent.  Just not here!  So I may as well take the opportunity to see how the project is stacking up fiscally.  Always a bit scary, especially remembering the initial cost (see first post)

Total estimate for parts including all the missing bits and upgrades stood at around £23K and that part of the budget seems to be pretty well on track with around 85% now sourced. 

New chrome parts to replace those lost.  Bumpers, side lights and
windscreen.  Possibly easier to source than bits for my Audi.
And if I was sending myself an interim invoice for the hours spent aspect of the project, including the contracted out stuff, it would probably look something like this:

Detail                            Estimated Requirement         Total hours to date
My Time - Workshop                    2500                                       800
My Time - Other                            500                                        300
Body Shop                                   700                                        300
Machine shop                                60                                          30
Upholstery                                     60                                          10

Its not hard to work out from this, that if I charged my time out at a similar rate to the average Northern specialist, I'd be well on my way to incurring a thumping big loss, even more so, I would think, if I was in the South East.  The exact virtual deficit of course, depends upon the final value of the car which in turn depends upon how good a job I make and to a greater extent how well 120 Roadster values fair in the coming year and current financial climate.

Question is, what actually constitutes an hours work?  I would have to confess that my work rate, is appalling.  Music induced snoozes, egg and bacon bun breaks and lengthy discussions with enthusiastic visitors are all included in my estimate of 'time spent to date', but it's my time and I can spend it as I wish!
It also surprises me just how much time is spent researching stuff, sourcing parts, consulting workshop manuals and generally trying to remember how things go back together.

A good quality recliner tool is in my view an essential part of
any workshop inventory.  It's many uses include planning,
plotting, contemplating, snoozing, and music appreciation.
The uninitiated (read - normal people) occasionally ask why I expend so much time and effort for potentially no monetary gain.  No single answer can hope to suffice, but here are a few good reasons:
What else would I do with an average of 20 hours a week out of 168?
Contact with many interesting, equally nutty folks and some very skilled specialists.
It's an easy and relaxed conduit to meet other enthusiasts, to share ideas and knowledge.
There's a sociable and enjoyable club scene with some excellent events, rallies and trips.
Satisfaction and pride of perfecting each small part to eventually be assembled into something admired (hopefully).  Its also interesting to note that people are rarely envious when they are aware of the effort involved.

Rain can't stop us enjoying ourselves !   JEC Rally - Newby Hall 2011
Financial benefits (if any) are a little more obscure.  With no intention to ever sell, I like the thought of leaving each of my three Grandchildren an XK rather than some £K. They'll probably flog them at the first opportunity and take a couple of years out, but one keeper out of three would be good.  Wishful thinking I suspect but 'Bobsy's' DNA from skinned knuckles thoroughly imprinted on their inheritance could make a difference.  Then again. I might change my mind twenty years from now, flog em all and take a couple of years out myself!

Grand Daughter Freyer completely at home in 140 Fixed Head
It is encouraging to see 120 Roadsters doing nicely in the classic car market.  A recent report in the JEC magazine says they've outperformed money in the bank by 67% in the past 30 months with 140 Fixed Heads trailing at 39%.  At that rate I might get a return on my time investment after all.

All too easy to be sidetracked by this non productive, non technical stuff .  Time to get back to the job in hand:
Machining of the block and crank is now completed and I plan to collect them in the next day or so.  I will shortly be spoilt for choice regarding what to do next, so my mid March post should report lots of bits being put back together.

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Comments are very welcome. In particular, correction of any technical errors would be appreciated.