I've met people who kick themselves for not documenting the restoration of their rides.
Every other person I know who has seen my little diary can't help but say, "Damn, I should have done that!" Apart from sentimental reasons, keeping a logbook, diary, or journal serves a very practical purpose.
When 'Project '76' began last December, the first thing I did was go to the nearest bookstore to buy a cheap notebook. I got a small blue one because I figured that it would be convenient as it fits in the glovebox.
I knew that I had to keep track of my expenses, right down to the smallest purchase. When you have a limited budget this is crucial. Expenses, no matter how small, add up.
The diary can also be used a directory. With every receipt, it will be easy to check back on any parts that you will eventually need. The names and numbers of the people you do business with will be at your fingertips. Reference these with other receipts and you will see who ripped you off and who didn't.
Those calling cards that they hand out in car shows? I've kept them all through the years and decided to stick them in my notebook. This is very handy when getting estimates for the restoration job.
I also pasted photos that I ripped off the net as a guide, and photos of the parts that I need so that I won't make the mistake of getting the wrong parts. This can happen if you don't pay attention to tiny details.
Of course, I put photos of the progress, so that I can get even a little bit of satisfaction.
Here are some tips about maintaining the all-too-important diary or journal:
- Keep a stapler handy (for quick attachment of receipts or calling cards).
- A binder clip to keep things secure is invaluable. Use one to make sure nothing falls out of the journal.
- When not out looking for parts of working on the car, keep it in a very safe place! You don't want to lose all of that information.
- Get a big notebook. Believe me, before you know it you will run out of pages.
- Do not throw any receipts away. If no receipts are given, list your expenses, right down to the last peso.
- Don't be shy. It's your journal. Vent your frustration, or write about the good things that have happened along the way. One day, if you pass the car (and diary) on to your kids, they will have a blast reading the stuff that you wrote.
That's it for now. Until the next post!