The Iconic BMW HQ

I’ve invested quite a bit of effort into this little hobby for about ten years now. This website is one of the more recent steps in that process. As I’ve gotten a bit better at it, my little hobby has blossomed into a side gig. I’m not expecting this to become a complete classic BMW restoration shop. There are many pitfalls to owning a business, but there’s a lot to be said for ownership.

Admittedly, the side gig model has quite a few flaws but it’s been working well for me. It has much of the flavor of a small business without concerns like required income, risk and paperwork. In a small way you’re running things on your own, answering only to yourself, and end up with something that’s yours. So I’ve been methodically setting it up, frugally self-funding as I go. Every little bit counts!

A few problems you might discover if you pursue the same path:

  • The tools for dealing with expensive cars are hilariously far out of reach. I started out at the “bottom of the ladder” with simple hand tools and I’m still investing.
  • Cars are very space-intensive; they require continual upkeep; they tie up large amounts of cash.
  • Many servicing requirements deal with toxic materials. They can be surprisingly poisonous and don’t mix with children nor residential neighborhoods.

Those few problems pale in comparison to the advantages:

  • Making: building something from scratch that I can share with my kids.
  • Utility: typically having one or two surplus cars available for transportation or loan.
  • Frugality: salvaging & recycling are very high on my philosophical agenda. So is pre-cycling.
  • Fun: I just like interesting machines. I’m not opposed to a little two-wheeled fun either. Basic tools & techniques are the same for most cars.
  • Financial incentives. I just like selling stuff to people with ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’. Making money the honest way is hard but so very rewarding. I can also save a little on maintaining my own vehicles. The tax deductions aren’t really that lucrative, but deducting legitimate business expenses off my taxes just feels good.
  • Investment: Focus on income rather than spending. I’m buying fully depreciated cars at the bottom of their value cycle, then value-adding my knowledge to help out other people.
  • Knowledge: I love understanding all these little production-line details. I’m a BMW geek and these insights are rewarding to learn and practive.

It’s a wonderful hobby. It mixes troubleshooting, planning, problem-solving, and requires (a little) physical & mental toughness. Like many other worthwhile disciplines, you’re essentially forging your mind into a tool. Maintain it well!