Female perspective

The Werk Shop

28814 Nagel Ct., Unit B

Lake Bluff, IL 60044

(847) 295.3200 Telephone

(847) 615.9375 Fax



Most people I know think I am completely nuts for spending sizable amounts of time and money on a project like this. The home front, sadly, is not exactly an exception. On average, males seem to slightly more understanding of my particular type of folly than females. I’ve even heard some guys mumble that they would be interested in something similar but that ‘the wife’ would never agree to it. I was thinking that it might be interesting to ask my gorgeous and very understanding bride to contribute something to this site. This is what she came up with:

I should have seen it coming.  His nostalgic tale of toil working on his first (used) car  – a white Fiat Ritmo* legendary for its inability to run.  His pride in the first new car he ever purchased – a VW GTI**.  I was marrying an auto enthusiast and, perhaps more specifically, a driving enthusiast.  Little did I know of the boyhood dream to someday replace that Fiat with a BMW M1.

When the first M1 was delivered I could see in my husband’s eyes all the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas day.  I’m not what you’d call a car enthusiast.  I like a nice lumbering SUV with a cushy ride, enough room for the kids and all that goes with them, and a bird’s eye view of all the other vehicles on the road.  Don’t even get me started about manual transmission except to say that in one foiled attempt to learn it I managed to shift gears once and that was a major ordeal.  Horsepower and high style are not on my agenda.  I went for a spin in the M1 (as a passenger) and, try as I might, could not see the appeal of sitting 6 inches above the pavement with an engine roaring mere centimeters from the back of my skull.  My husband drove gleefully.  I counted myself lucky that I wasn’t the one in our household referred to as “The Old Lady.”

When “Project M1” came about I had already been fully indoctrinated into classic car ownership.  How difficult original parts were to locate.  How tricky passing emissions testing could be.  How to match a paint shade that hasn’t been produced in decades.   And, of course, how to drive to and from “The Werkshop”.  As my husband says “everyone needs a hobby.”  I’m glad my husband is lucky enough to indulge his and, as long as he doesn’t give me a hard time about how many pairs of shoes I own, I suppose I shouldn’t give him a hard time about his cars....


*marketed as the “Strada” in the US; I owned the 55hp diesel version, when I started to drive it, it was close to 10 years old and very, very rusty.

**the six cylinder one; a Mark 3 VR6, I loved that car.