Talk about an uphill battle: Father/son restoration disagreements - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Talk about an uphill battle: Father/son restoration disagreements

So my dad is the one who bought me my 70 GTO I am restoring, and I've always been very grateful for not just the car but everything he's ever done for me (phone, schooling and housing through undergrad, insurance, taught me how to work hard, the list goes on). I've learned a lot from my dad and I owe him everything. But ever since I turned the first bolt on this car him and I have butted heads...

To my dad, almost nothing is worth doing if you can't make money in the end. And I understand that. He's a business guy and he is darn good at buying and selling and making money. The problem is, he doesn't understand why I ever tore apart a running driving GTO. Yes, he is right in a way. I never should have started a restoration while I was in college. I regret doing that and it was unintentional. What started out as a quick scuff n shoot became an all-out frame-off restoration before I even realized how deep into this car I was. That being said, I could have done one of three things: try to piece everything back together and put a cheap paint job on it, sell it for half its value, or see the job through and do it right. Given the circumstances I think I made the right decision and I have learned more than I ever could have imagined while working on this car.

However, he still reminds me every time the subject gets brought up that he told me to just drive it and enjoy it. He fails to understand that I've enjoyed working on the car and making it my own way more than I ever did driving it when it was in decent shape. And when I tell him I'm going to drive the car every day when I'm done he rips my a** because "there's no point to getting that car immaculate if you're just gonna drive it every day". ........ That's EXACTLY why I'm rebuilding it. I don't want a museum piece that sits in my garage. One thing I truly believe is that whether your car is worth $100 or $1,000,000, that car was build for one single purpose: TO BE DRIVEN.

It's a tough situation because he is helping me with the rebuild as far as finances go. But every time I mention something I wanna do to the car he ends up chewing me out and telling me how stupid I am and how much money I'm gonna lose when I sell it. And when I tell him I'm never going to sell it, that leads to another a** chewing about wasting my time on a car when I could be making money etc. He's not a strict dad by any means but he is stubborn and I can't seem to get him to see things from my point of view: Not everything has to have a monetary value to it, and the knowledge and experience I am gaining by restoring this car will far outweigh the costs.

I guess I'm just frustrated here. It would be nice if I said, "I wanna build a 428!" and he responded positively and excitedly instead of calling me a dumba** and said there was nothing wrong with the motor I have. This is just an example. Basically, I wish he showed a little more enthusiasm and encouragement for what I'm doing. I know sometimes it's a dad's job to do what he's doing, but right now I need encouragement. If I actually thought he was proud of me for what I'm doing maybe it would motivate me more. I'm sure when the car is done and he sees what I've accomplished things will change, but that's a while down the road. Any advice on this issue from some of you older gear heads with kids like me would be much appreciated. How do I get him to understand why I'm doing what I'm doing? How do I keep motivated if he's just gonna keep shooting me down every time we talk about the car? How do I understand where he's coming from better? Is there a middle ground here?

OK... rant of the month is over. Thanks in advance for any help.

"You Gotta Have Fun When You're Little!!"
-Dick Schindler

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-14-2014, 11:21 PM
 
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It's very easy to start a simple freshen-up and wind up in the quagmire of a complete frame off resto, and once you dismantle the car your all in. If you look at all the "New owner" or "looking to buy" threads the first warning that goes out from most of us is involving the costs of restoring a Pontiac. Fact is right down everything you think you will need and tab it up, now double that figure and you should be close.

I may sound old, (hell i am old, 48) and have put two daughters through private college over the last 5 years with the income from my own small business and you have to look at the bottom line in anything you do, especially these days. You see the car as your dream, he sees it as simply "in the red" as he is financing your dream. If the expenses are causing friction then maybe you should lower some of your expectations for the build and leave some of the upgrades until you can do them without his financial support.

I know this is probably not what you would like to hear, but you need to put yourself in your fathers shoes and remember he has been around the block a few times himself and is speaking from a practicality viewpoint. Just my $.02 as a father and former motorhead teen.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 06:53 AM
 
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I've got two cents as well... I recommend you keep him involved in the project. Ask for his help, ask for his opinion and always thank him. Work through it the best you can. Not sure if he is a car guy, but you might consider taking him to a car show. A little quality time. Build or rebuild his interest in the cars he drove back in the day. Spend a little time with him doing what he wants to do as well. I suspect he's proud of you and just doesn't say it or show it like you would want.

Get some pictures of you and him with the car as you build it - whether or not he is helping. Hang those up in the garage where he can see. Finally, and this one is important, always show him respect. I've got three kids: 33, 30 and 28. We often do not agree on how something should be done, but they respect my opinion, even when they are not looking for it. Because of that, I will always give them a hand.

You and he have a limited amount of time together. Squeeze as much as you can in there. It will not matter if your memories include butting heads - it will be a fond memory years down the road. Regards, Matt

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Sound advice from both of you. Matt, I will have to try that approach. And I never disrespect my dad. He's done too much to deserve that from me. I guess I will try and get him more involved and save some updrades (overdrive transmission, dress up the engine, build a 428 street monster) for down the road. Maybe there is a Swap Meet at the fairgrounds soon. After I get the frame back to a rolling chassis I need to get him down to my house in Bloomington so he can see my progress.

"You Gotta Have Fun When You're Little!!"
-Dick Schindler

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 07:23 AM
 
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Don't forget the pictures hero. "Capture the moment." Get one blown up to 8x10. Take a paint pen and write a note on it, something like: Proud to be your son! and sign it. Put it in a frame and send it to him. I will bet you will later find that picture in his office. Matt

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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Had to crack a smile when I read this... Similar situation when I was circle track racing in my 20's and dad was the age that I am now (48). Difference I suppose is that I left the house at 18, and had to support myself. Parents were not able to help much financially, so it was "my money".

Eventually my dad saw how much I enjoyed doing what I was doing, and came around, especially as he got older. I was also fortunate to be making decent money, so was not starving the kids while I bought racing parts.

Now that my son is 16, I would love to see him take interest in building a car and spending his money on it instead of video games. In his defense, I just spent more on a set of pistons than he has spend on video games in the past 2 years!

In the end, it all works out. you might enjoy this thread I posted last summer...

https://www.gtoforum.com/f12/tell-me-...es-gone-45690/
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 11:22 AM
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I'd be tempted to just let him read your first post.

Dad's never get to the point where they feel like their job is "done". They'll always be looking out for you, trying to help you, trying to take care of you ---- even when you're long past the stage of "needing" it. And I'll let you in on a little secret: there will always be a part of them that feels like they could have done better, and when they're feeling a little down about something that feeling will nag at them - more than any of us will admit. Those feelings are probably at the heart of what he's doing, it's just coming across "wrong".

I'd put money on it that if you were to emphasize how much you apprecate him, feel like you've learned from him, and value the parts of yourself that you've gotten from him, that would make his day.
Let him know you understand that the project is not a good financial play but that's not why it matters to you. What matters is to build something that you can be proud of and feel like you accomplished something that is important to you, that doing that will make you feel just as good as being successful in business does for him.

( I also agree with Matthew on the picture idea )

It's hard for people who "keep score" on success in terms of financial profit/loss to understand why we gearheads do what we do: spend astronomical sums of money to build cars that are "worth" only a fraction of what it cost to build them. In their world that's the definition of insanity (and failure). We've just got to try to help them understand we keep score differently than they do.

Bear

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 12:07 PM
 
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I was trying to come up with something to say but after reading the responses from the other guys, it’s like they were reading my mind. Your father loves you very much and wants you to succeed. Like Bear says, if you have never done a restoration, it’s hard to understand why we go so far and spend so much. It’s not the value of the car but the love of just doing it. The big payoff is that after its “done”, you get to drive your creation. You can still be successful in a career or business and build your dream car. It’s called living. Just set your priorities. Mine are family, self, career in that order. If you can balance all three, consider yourself a success. It’s not easy though. Nothing good is easy.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 12:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BearGFR View Post
I'd be tempted to just let him read your first post.

Dad's never get to the point where they feel like their job is "done". They'll always be looking out for you, trying to help you, trying to take care of you ---- even when you're long past the stage of "needing" it. And I'll let you in on a little secret: there will always be a part of them that feels like they could have done better, and when they're feeling a little down about something that feeling will nag at them - more than any of us will admit. Those feelings are probably at the heart of what he's doing, it's just coming across "wrong".

I'd put money on it that if you were to emphasize how much you apprecate him, feel like you've learned from him, and value the parts of yourself that you've gotten from him, that would make his day.
Let him know you understand that the project is not a good financial play but that's not why it matters to you. What matters is to build something that you can be proud of and feel like you accomplished something that is important to you, that doing that will make you feel just as good as being successful in business does for him.

( I also agree with Matthew on the picture idea )

It's hard for people who "keep score" on success in terms of financial profit/loss to understand why we gearheads do what we do: spend astronomical sums of money to build cars that are "worth" only a fraction of what it cost to build them. In their world that's the definition of insanity (and failure). We've just got to try to help them understand we keep score differently than they do.

Bear
As a "Dad" and a car enthusiast, you hit the nail on the head Bear! At times I have a hard time understanding the dollars my daughter spends on concert tickets, but have to take a step back, look at the GTO (and in the mirror), and while I might express a little concern, try not to be too over bearing...
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm half-tempted to email a link to this thread to my dad, haha. But, it would probably be better to just hash this thing out over a couple beers. If that doesn't work maybe then I will show him this thread. I knew I could count on you guys. Thanks for the advice. It seems you guys know more than just GTO's, hahaha!

"You Gotta Have Fun When You're Little!!"
-Dick Schindler

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