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Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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Open Diff: What Automotive Skills do You Want to Learn?

Posted May 02, 2022 7:43 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: Auto Repair Exotics

For about a week in my freshman year of high school, I got shuffled into a drafting class while the guidance counselor worked out a snafu with my schedule. I don't remember much from that week other than not being much impressed by the instructor or the curriculum - which is probably why I didn't object when I got transferred into another subject - but I've often wondered since then if I'd have benefited from sticking with that drafting class, especially as I find myself drawn more toward custom vehicles and the one-off parts needed to build them.

It's never too late to learn a new skill, and there are benefits to doing so beyond putting something new on your resume. Studies show that adult education improves mental health, mental plasticity, social connections and overall happiness. Of course, it's easier said than done, especially for 9-to-5ers, those in rural areas without easy access to local classes or broadband, and high-schoolers with no shop classes available, but few worthwhile things in this life are easy, and who reading this doesn't find automotive skills worthwhile?

Perhaps if I'd have viewed that drafting class as the basis for an automotive skill, I might have told the guidance counselor to leave me there. The classroom didn't have a screen in sight - this was the early Nineties when most teachers and school administrators didn't know what to do with a computer if they'd even used one - but as I now recognize, it did at least have the tools that would have prepared me for computer-aided design (CAD), for thinking mechanically, and even for using CNC machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, lathes and other tools useful for restoring and modifying older vehicles. Over the years, I've tinkered around with programs like SketchUp to try to teach myself, but even for something as entry-level as that, it's slow-going without those basic skills.

Of course, that's just one automotive skill out of many worth pursuing, and no matter how well versed any of us are in welding, upholstery, painting, wiring, CAD or coding electronic fuel injection systems, there's always something new to learn. So tell us in the comments below what automotive skills you'd like to learn.

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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: England
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Re: Open Diff: What Automotive Skills do You Want to Learn?

05/03/2022 6:23 AM

I would like to be able to get down to work under the car and get back up again like I could when younger! Kind regards

John Hadland

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