The tires bark as the clutch and throttle shake hands, announcing you’re into first gear. It’s a brief affair, and you take a deep breath before a half-moment’s hesitation invites second to the party.

Things start happening in second. Blink and you’ll miss it. The seat holds you closer. The wheel comes alive. It’s a quick trip to redline. Bodies in motion stay in motion. Let’s get moving.

Blink. Third gear. Now we’re going places. Breathe. Focus. Rhythm. Line. There it is. The gap. The holeshot. The opportunity you’ve been waiting for. This is your moment.

Bang. You throw it in fourth—but you’re too eager. You misstep the clutch and blow it. Your call cannot be completed now. Please hang up and suddenly forget how to drive stick for a second.

Back to third. Get it together. Press on regardless—make up lost time.

See also:

Learn how to work on your car, become a legitimate subject matter expert in something complex and important—and then just, I dunno, keep buying more stuff?

Cars and mods depreciate. We all know this. Putting $10,000 under the hood of a $10,000 car does not make it a $20,000 package deal any more than intake/header/exhaust turns a 150 horsepower compact into a 250 horsepower race car.

And yet, how many of us keep throwing money at our automotive playthings instead of using our automotive knowledge to actually make money from what we love?

Not thinking right or wrong. Just curious about the gap.

It feels like a lot of us are missing fourth gear.

How do we get to fifth—or sixth?

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