While at University, I was able to take an Adult Mechanics class offered by the local high school’s automotive instructors. I was always interested in cars, my high school favorites being the AMX and the love of my life, Jaguar XK-E. There was nothing left out of this course, so when I bought my first of six 60s-70s British cars, I felt comfortable with the manual and good tools. Basic maintenance and trouble shooting improved the running of all the cars, and with a drive on lift I put a brake booster in the E and replaced the exhaust systems on my 98 Civic, and the 74 TR-6, replaced the power steering arm on the 81 Corvette, and routinely changed oil and filter on all cars. I replaced interiors on the British cars as well as the Corvette. I put in brake master cylinders, wheel cylinders, adjusted valves, put in a water pump and replaced A-arm shocks. I did the things I had the ability and confidence to do. I stopped short of engine and transmission work, not really having the expertise to open up something like that. I learned enough to know what parts are what and when I was being ‘had’. Only one time a shop tried to tell me I needed ‘muffler bearings’. I had the great fortune of doing some part time work at a British Car restoration shop and being mentored by a guy who always had high expectations of what I could and should do. When he died at the early age of 55, I continued with my work and honor him with the question… ‘is the work good enough to put my name on it?’ That said, this winter when I was faced with the Jaguar needing both an engine and trans rebuild, I decided that this was not the time for anything less than a professional. Again, lucky to have a local shop that I know and trust for a big project like this.