As 2019 comes to a close, we’ve been asking gearheads like us how their 2019s went and what they’re looking forward to in 2020. Where all the other automotive outlets start announcing their cars of the year (#COTY), we’re more interested in the stories and accomplishments our friends and members care about most.

We call it Care of the Year.

Rob Fuge has overcome some challenges—and is carrying momentum into the new year.


What’s the most important gearhead story of 2019?

2019 has been down right crazy. I had my hip replaced at just 33 years old, changed jobs multiple times, and I’ve had my transmission in and out of my Isuzu Trooper project at least six times with help from at least four people.

I think the most important gearhead story in my life this year is that cars are still a metaphorical gathering place in our lives, where a community comes together. I’ve had help turning wrenches from so many friends, and gotten countless amounts of valuable information from good people on the internet this year.

What feels like YOUR biggest accomplishment of 2019?

In a gearhead sense, it’s definitely getting my Trooper on the road. I’ve done a fair amount of repair work prior to this, but this was definitely next level for me. I converted it to a manual transmission from the factory auto, rebuilt driveshafts, and did a ton of other work along the way. I have more to do, but I got it started and moving under its own power this week and it feels great!

In a personal sense, it’s hard to define, but I’m definitely more on track with my goals, I’m not unsure at the moment, I know where I’m going, even if I don’t know how I’m going to get there. Not very concrete, but impactful nonetheless.

What’s something important you learned this year?

Working on things was such a struggle before my hip surgery. Everything was a struggle. Since getting my hip replaced I found a new wind. The surgery wasn’t necessary because of neglect on my part, but I’m definitely not taking my health for granted. I’m eating better, being more cautious and safety conscious, and just taking more care of myself.


What’s your most important goal for 2020?

My wife and I are starting a business. It’s been a goal for a long time, but I always only committed halfway, and never really got rolling. This time we are all in. I’ve made some pretty big changes to make this dream a reality, and we’re going for it!

What’s it gonna take to achieve it?

Nothing shy of 100% commitment. A lot of hard work for sure. And being more diligent with my time and resources.

How can we help?

If anyone has connections to a quality radiator manufacturer, or quality electric fan manufacturer, I’d love to get introduced.

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