It looks and drives great. After almost a year in the shop, the vintage Volvo my Dad and I were fixing together is done. All waxed and polished, it rolled out of the shop in rural Connecticut recently in 20-degree weather. Fired up, no problem. Ready to run for another 40 years.
Time and Neglect
This car was stored in a barn in my mother’s backyard for over two decades. Neglected and tired, it was brought back to life with good old-fashioned care and attention. Straight, clean and shiny, you might even think it’s new.
Was it easy? Hardly! I was ordering parts from as far away as Sweden. I made hundreds of decisions, big and small, about whether to modify, repair, or replace. While some parts are readily available, others just aren’t around anymore. Despite this, things still needed fixing. Plenty of effort also went into how to restore it in a way that was sensitive to its original factory look.
Man as Car, Redux
The funny thing is, I approached this car restoration exactly like I do patients in my men’s health practice. To me, every patient is an exceedingly rare Ferrari that, in many cases, just needs a “sensitive restoration” to run like new again.
Ah, but the analogy continues. It also takes attention to detail, time and effort to make it happen. Often, many little things need tending to and either modified, repaired or replaced. And nothing happens overnight. Not only that, good communication, support, optimism and several dollops of wisdom are critical for a good men’s health tune up. And, my goals for both patients and cars are entirely aligned: “Make it run and make it run hard.” Or, in the words of Steve McQueen, “Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.”