CarNut Cars

I have always had a strong interest in mechanical things as far back as I can remember. As a child, I remember taking things apart to see what made them work. Much to my parents’ dismay, I could only sometimes put them back together. By my pre-teen years, I had developed a strong interest in cars and could name every one on the road by year, make and model. After getting my driver’s license, my first car was a hand-me-down 1957 Ford Custom 300 with over 100,000 miles. The maintenance and repair required to keep that car on the road gave me a lot of opportunities to learn by doing.

In 1966, I went shopping for my first new car. Although I had been brought up with American family sedans, I wanted something smaller and more out of the ordinary. I didn’t know much about “foreign” cars at that time and when I found a Mini Cooper S 1275 I really didn’t know much about it. I didn’t buy it, a decision I have often regretted over the years. I bought a 1966 Ford (UK) Cortina GT. This got me interested in European cars and sports car racing. Out of necessity, I also learned a lot about keeping a ’60s British car running. My time with the Cortina exposed me to other British sports cars and I became particularly enthusiastic about owning a Lotus some day.

Over the years, subsequent cars have included:

  • 1968 American Motors AMX
  • 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV
  • 1971 BMW Bavaria
  • 1973 Mazda RX-2
  • 1974 Porsche 911 Targa
  • 1979 Mazda RX-7
  • 1982 Subaru BRAT
  • 1994 Mustang GT Convertible

There have also been a number of other, less interesting family cars and SUVs.

When I acquired my 2004 MINI Cooper S in late 2003, it reignited my interest in Minis and other British cars.  It led to my acquisition of a Classic Mini Cooper very much like the one I didn’t buy in 1966.  It also prompted me to finally buy a Lotus and later, a Lotus Elan similar to what I wanted to buy in the early ’70s.  I currently own the following vehicles:

  • 2004 MINI Cooper S
  • 2002 MINI Cooper CVT (actually, my wife’s car)
  • 2006 Lotus Elise
  • 1970 Lotus Elan
  • 1969 Morris Mini Cooper S 1275
  • 2002 Ford Explorer (sometimes you just need something bigger)

I have always done a lot of my own work on my cars, but in recent years I have tended to let others handle the mundane routine maintenance. I still retain my childhood curiosity about what makes things work. I will climb under my car or under the hood just to see how things are put together and where they are located. I also read books, magazines and Internet sites to continue to find out as much as I can.

By training and education, I’m an engineer and computer scientist. I also have a Master’s degree in Management. While these disciplines do not directly relate to automobiles, the structure, organization, and methodologies they taught me are very applicable to pursuing knowledge about the workings of cars or anything else. I also have a strong interest in almost anything else that’s mechanical, particularly trains and airplanes. Cars get most of my attention, however, because they are more a part of everyday life and are more accessible.

My career has centered on computers and I still enjoy working with them as a hobby. You are just about as likely to find me with my head inside a computer case as you are to find me sitting in front of the screen. This website is the combination of my interest in cars and computers.