Restoring a Relationship

Restoring a Relationship

If I tell you that I spend one weekend a month over at my parent’s place, working on a classic Ford, with my dad, then you’re going to think that I live in some Hallmark, day-time TV movie world. Then when I tell you the strains of any family relationship, you’ll know it’s never that easy.

We didn’t get on when I was younger and until I moved halfway across the world, we rarely talked about anything. Then I turned forty. I had gotten old really quick. It was a time when I started to look at myself and instead of having a mid-life crisis, I had a mid-life introspective. I looked at everything I wanted to change in my life. There were things like drinking less, laughing more and spending more time having fun. Yet the thing which kept on coming back to the top of my list was to have a better relationship with my dad.

I had always wanted to restore a classic car, I might say a, but what a really means is a very specific a. It was a 1960 Ford Mustang. It is just a thing of beauty. There isn’t a bad angle on that car and it’s so distinctively shaped.

My problem was that I lived in central London. I didn’t own a car and I didn’t even own a garage. My parents, on the other hand, had a double garage on the side of their home in the leafy village I grew up in. This garage was filled with a life time’s worth of hoarding.

So I hatched the perfect plan. Three objectives in one hit. My mother could finally force my dad to clear out the rubbish from the garage. I would get to do my classic restoration and I would finally be spending time with my dad where we both loved what we were doing.

The wheels were put in motion. I bought a really beaten and mostly broken old body shell I found online. My dad spent hours searching for parts and manuals. Then every other weekend or so, I would go home, spend a couple of nights with my parents and work on the car all day with dad.

I’ve learnt so much about sourcing authentic car parts. I’ll save you the hours and tell you to head over to It’s become my favourite website.

Rebuilding this classic car is easily the best thing my dad and I have ever done together. We have had so many arguments about what style of headlight it should have. About how we can’t keep the original seat belts as they aren’t legal anymore. The arguments are now fun, and we’ve built more than just a car.

When the time comes to roll this beast out of the garage and get it onto the road. I’m going to miss our weekends. I’m going to miss the time I get to spend with my dad, but I know we’ll do it all over again.