Maintaining momentum

The trickiest thing with any project is maintaining momentum. How often do you see the immortal words “unfinished restoration” accompanying a classified advert? Keeping a positive frame of mind can be very difficult, especially when tackling bodywork. What seemed achievable when the car was complete may seem horrifically daunting once you start digging into the structure and discovering just how rampant the rot is.

Citroen BX estate rear

BX is coming along, but a long way from finished

Mechanical overhauls can be a challenge too. You fix one thing and immediately, something else goes wrong.

I thought that tackling my Citroen BX Mk1 project as a rolling restoration was the way to go. I therefore focussed on getting it back on the road as a first step. It didn’t have significant corrosion in key areas and seemed mechanically able. It was still pleasing that it did get an MOT pass. Hoorah! However, I now wonder whether I’ve shot the gun so to speak. Yes, it may be on the road but it has so many minor issues that perhaps it shouldn’t be. Would it not have been better to work through some more of these problems first?

That’s how it feels at the moment as while I can drive the car, I get little pleasure from doing so. The engine is down on power, the hydraulics are not working entirely as they should, the windscreen wiper mechanism is so worn that the bodywork gets wiped/thumped, the front passenger door doesn’t really want to open, the heater doesn’t work apart from on its fastest setting, the indicator relay is a bit slow and ideally needs replacing, the rear wiper/HRW are not connected up and three of the tyres have slow punctures. I could go on but I won’t for fear of putting myself into a depression.

The problem is, I love driving and a properly sorted BX – even a 1.9 non-turbo diesel – is a joy to drive. Mine just isn’t and getting the problems sorted seems at this stage both difficult and expensive.

This is when project motivation can begin to stall. The end cannot be seen and it all starts to feel rather futile. With this one, there’s the added element of rarity. Sometimes that’s a pressure I don’t enjoy at all.

Oddly, I always seem to feel low just after a major milestone has been achieved. Perhaps that’s because while there’s celebration for one small task completed, there are so many more that need sorting!

What are your thoughts? Do share them!

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