I use that statement quite often.. seems in the "car world", there are a number of different levels of being an "enthusiast". Some of us like to simply shine up our daily driver, personalize it a bit, make it our own. Then on the other spectrum, there are people like myself. We are the "sick" ones that let our "hobby" take over our life. After recently finishing 2 major projects (and forfeiting a personal life outside the garage), I came up with this list below to use as a way to check if you really are in "way-deep". This could possibly be a eye opener to allow you to take a step back and possibly "back off" a little (AKA save you marriage :p ), or possibly serve as a way to console yourself that you aren't the only one and there are many others that have the same sickness as you! (Imagine an AA meeting for car-people). In that case.. Hi, my name is Matt, and I am in "way-deep" with old cars.
I recently really came to this conclusion about myself. I was finishing up a restoration on a set of vintage race wheels (full story to come later this month). You see, I went to further lengths than some people go to when doing engine swaps. Making these wheels fit and look "proper" on my daily driver Mercedes 190e was no quick, or easy feat. These wheel were the complete wrong offset, bolt pattern, etc for my car. This is overlooking the fact they were 20-25 year old race wheels that needed a full restoration! I went so far as to having custom wheel adapters machined to adapt the bolt pattern to my car and center caps machined from scratch to replace the original caps that were missing from the wheels (and made of "unobtanium"). Below are a couple neat photos of the caps being machined by a friend of mine... that was pretty much the defining moment for me, when I realized I am way, way in "deep".
Here are my sure-fire ways to tell if you possibly have a problem with this sickness we call a "hobby". Feel free to comment or email with some of your "signs"!
-You find yourself spending the majority of your spare money on your project or things related to the hobby.
-You routinely break plans with family/significant other/friends to work in your garage on your project.
-Greasy finger nails and busted knuckles regardless of your "9-5" job.
-When you aren't working on the project, you are talking about it... even if the person you are talking to has no idea what you are talking about.
-You begin to sleep less and less in favor of late nights in the garage.
-Skipping work to get a jump on a part or car you "HAD to have"
-You find more and more of your clothing becoming "work clothes" without even realizing it.
-You take more pictures and document more of your project than you do of your own family.
-Mandatory family events and trips you try and work out a way to insert something relating to the hobby. (For me I've been known to search the local craigslist ads for areas where I will be traveling through)
Don't forget to take a break once in a while and spend some quality time with the family, and keep the peace. Be happy that you have a understanding family/significant other, that puts up with you getting so far into it!
Thanks for reading, I gotta get out in the garage and work on my next obsession... I mean "project".