I sold the 8.
To car enthusiasts, this is usually accompanied by "And I bought a better one..." or "had to buy a house". For me, it was more about ending the current chapter and starting the next -- one not necessarily beginning with a new car purchase. This genesis is more about re-defining what car culture means to me and how I can go forward as a more conscious participator.
Nowadays, it seems you aren't respected or valued in the car community unless you have strictly "authentic" parts.
God forbid you have RS Watanabe replicas on your non-RHD Toyota AE86. "An Ebay intake? Please..." This exact obsession with what parts you have on your car and how much you paid for them is what I believe leads to a divide in our hobby. If you enjoy what you drive, who cares?
I see it at car meets. Everybody crowds around the car with the shiniest wheels or the most expensive paint. Maybe that is only because, if someone has evidently put a lot of money into their car, they must love it. The crowd loves cars too so it shouldn't be surprising they gravitate toward great expense. My point is that we should value cars more for being cars than what mods the owners have done/how much money they have spent.
This is meant more as a dialogue rather than me telling you what you should believe about cars.
Through my car journey, I learned everything through trial and error. Everything from an oil change to coilover installs to MIG and TIG welding custom frame notches. I learned through those processes what i'm good at and it's definitely not auto mechanics.
Prior to my selling it, I owned a Mazda RX-8 for the better part of 5 years. In that time I had my fair share of learning experiences and problem moments: smacking wheels into curbs, endlessly scraping the front bumper on the smallest of bumps, overheating my thirsty rotary engine, feeding the seals with oil every tank of gas, failing emissions tests left and right, burning out siezed bushings, scraping salt out of the wheel wells, pretty much everything.
Through all the bad, there was always good around the corner, like late night drives down route 14 or ANY time there's a little bit of rain coming down i.e. DRIFT CENTRAL. Or when it snowed, my buddy and I went to this abandoned parking lot and drifted around for hours. So much so that the back of our cars were covered in snow...
I know people might ask why haven't started doing this until now. Fear. Everybody is afraid of something...I was afraid of failure even though I know I love doing this: ima write about cars for whoever will listen.