These Are Your Best Stories Of Wrenching With Your Parents

I’m glad my question yesterday about working on cars with your parents brought back so many memories. I ask at least one question each weekend and I’m always excited to read the responses but this week was extra special. Here are a few of my favorites.


I was never able to convince my parents to make any wild choices with their cars (though my dad will claim that my influence was a big factor in his ill-fated used Audi A8). Our friend over here might have had more luck managing to get those pipes on his mom’s old Panther. Way to go.

It makes me happy to hear this story about a father-daughter team bonding over keeping her Mini going. I hope I can get my kids involved too once I’ve got some.

I’m honestly very impressed that this duo managed to stay sane while working on a ‘50s British car. Maybe the stories of all of the adventures that preceded the overhaul were enough to keep things light even in the midst of all that wiring work.


Just like the Austin Healey above, it’s English engineering that brought this father-son team together. I’m not worried about my relationship with my dad, but if I were, I think getting something old and British would be exactly what we’d need to sort anything out. If the car runs by the end of it, that’d just be a bonus.


It’s always great to hear from the esteemed commentariat this blog has cultivated. I love it when I can ask a question that brings out memories, opinions, or just raw emotion in all of you. Thank you all and please keep it up.

Max Finkel is a Weekend Contributor at Jalopnik.


My dad and I wrenched all the time, even when I was so tiny I could hardly walk, my job was to hold the hubcap when he took off the wheel lugs (yes, just like the movie).

This bit him HARD when I was something like 7. He had an ancient Caddy and long story short, he managed to total it on the back of a Pinto without even scratching the Pinto during lunch (all it really needed was a bumper and a radiator, but it was ancient and worthless). As he ran back to work, he promised I could help him fix it. He should have told me WHEN I could help him.

He came back from work and found that every bolt I could reach on the car that could be taken out by a 7 year old was out and somewhere in the yard. It took him MONTHS to fix the car, about 2 hours for the radiator and bumper and the rest to find all the bolts I had taken out.

To my dad’s credit, he didn’t get mad at me.  He understood I was a kid and was trying to help.  I try (and fail) to do the same with my kids.