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Jim Sutherland - Red Deer Advocate

Jim Sutherland is a freelance writer living in Red Deer. Jim and brother Jerry also run mystarcollectorcar.com, a website dedicate to telling personal stories behind classic cars.

Time for car-guy dinosaurs to embrace the Internet

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Red Deer Advocate

There are car guy holdouts in 2012 who take a lot of pride in their ability to live without the Internet.

Good on 'em, they have managed to make their life a little less complicated, just like pioneers who had simpler lives without running water or central heating.

The fact is that our new e-world is one of the best things that ever happened to car guy world.

It wasn't that long ago that car guys networked via their local car guy connections and then hoped to parlay that relationship into a bigger world of other car guys.

Sure it worked, but it eliminated several billion earthling possibilities that may have that car or car part that you desperately needed to complete your project. Even the biggest network of car guys in the pre-Internet world of collector vehicles was a microscopic sliver of the world's net population of car hobbyists.

The pre-Internet lottery that somehow connected the average car guy with a needed part was a long shot of unbelievable proportions once the car guy exhausted his puny network of fellow car guys and their connections.

And then along came the Internet, complete with a globally connected network of car guys that dwarfed our previous network of car guys. The world was at our keyboard and all we had to do was punch in a name of the part.

We could join forums of like- minded car guys who were a wealth of information about the location of hard-to-get parts, as well as hard-to-fix problems on a vintage ride.

Maybe some of them had taken an adventurous ride into the world of resto mods and already knew the perils and pitfalls of their chosen project. They had been through the customizing jungle and lived to share their story with other car guys.

These are the kinds of doors that opened with the Internet and those of us who embraced the experience have never looked back once we were smart enough to recognize the worth of the Internet for car guys.

The car guys who actively avoid the Internet in 2012 can be commended for their fierce streak of independence but, more importantly, criticized for their boneheaded-ness. Why would anybody in their right mind turn down a golden opportunity to expand their car guy horizons to a level that is almost beyond comprehension?

Somewhere out there in cyber-world is the answer to just about any how-to-find question that ever crossed the path of a car guy and his project.

To turn down a chance to connect with this kind of opportunity is almost like turning down a no-holds-barred weekend with Mila Kunis-and it makes just about as much sense.

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