Build Dopeness >>> The Death of a Display Vehicle
It finally came time to retire the OMGBattletank, and, it didn’t come easy. I had a moment last week where I realized it was time, it hit me like a ton of bricks that it had reached it’s prime and was rapidly reaching a point I didn’t want it to hit.
I drove down to Garage Life in a very somber mood, knowing this was the last time the Element was going to look/sound/feel/act the way it does. The moment then became considerably less somber when I left two parts all the way back in Los Angeles and had to drive back. The drive back was again somber, sitting in traffic, and on my one opening on the freeway Hooning and scraping for half a mile. This was the one moment that I would have been totally OK getting pulled over because it would have been an awesome way to send it off.
Through the Element’s life it’s seen many phases. I bought the Element from Keyes Woodland Hills in 2008 with 8,300 miles from a salesman named Freddy, I fell in love the minute I drove it. I didn’t expect it to drive as well it did, it was roomy, open, and I loved the big windshield. Even with the tribal inspired seats and door inserts, it was everything I wanted and more. The above look was probably the 3rd “look” I went with. I started at completely stock, then I put a set of 20″ MRR HR2′s on it, then these 15″ Cragars, and then eventually onto the look we all know today.
This was the moment of no return, up on the lift with all of my stock parts and panels laid out.
No more would my fenders fall off from being too low, the paint would remain generally intact, the Element was on it’s way to becoming totally drivable.
Finally my neighbors would stop complaining about how loud my car was, and, I would be able to silently slip into the crowd in traffic. I wouldn’t be keeping the car as quiet as possible around the police.
More parts came off, the more memories I had. All the miles and states it has seen, people I’ve met because of it, it was a vehicle that never let me down mechanically. Even now with over 173,000 miles, it’s never let me down. Sure, I’ve blown out a tire. I’ve lost fenders, but, it’s always started right up and never let me down whether I’m going to the grocery score or doing a 30 hour shift. It was always right there when I needed it to be.
The closer we got to monster truck stance and Prius like sound levels, the more and more excited I got. It’s amazing how everything came rushing back to me, reliving all of these moments of driving across the country with one of my best friends (Shoutout to Ross! You better read this)(I read it ). All the people we met, the crazies, the Jugallos, the Veterans, the readers (And we met a number of you, which freaked me out! People actually read this!) and the people just trying to get by.
This year was a particularly great year, the Element sat like I wanted, looked how I wanted, and we had amazing support from everyone.
The closer we got to stock, the more stickers came off. I was taking them whenever I wouldn’t be in the way. You can actually see the original paint color (Root Beer Metallic) where my sideskirt used to be. I really miss that sideskirt, it came off on the 405, hit another car, and exploded. Not my sideskirt, the car! My sideskirt was fine.
DK put the finishing touches on my stock exhaust so he could send me on my way.
And here’s how it sits today, stock height, stock steelies, missing fenders and sideskirts. A small part of me misses how it was, and, I will always have plans as to what I want to do with it.
Even rolling around completely stock, I still have memories of the past season. Including the Drift Atlanta Paddock Pass that IS STILL THERE BECAUSE THEY USED SOME SORT OF DEMON WATER TO KEEP IT ON.
And well, that’s where it ends. Still waiting to get fenders and paint, traveling across the county is a thing of the past for this Element at least. Do we have other plans for a new vehicle? Sure! Will that pan out? Only time will tell!
We would just like to thank everyone for their support over the past season and we can’t wait to get into this next season and tear things up with you. It’s really been a blast, and, we can’t wait to keep riding this thing out!
Photo by Chris Minshall.