“I’ve always toyed, and loved a project. From a young age, I enjoyed pulling apart electronics just to tinker. I remember taking apart one of our home stereo receivers just to learn how things were fastened together and understand a bit more of the internals. Turns out at the time I wasn’t great with managing all the parts. Plenty of screws were missing and I wasn’t able to reassemble it… This obsession with curiosity started early and never died.
As the years went on, I started toying more and more, but now I realized that the complexity of something bigger needed to be managed much more efficiently. There were days I would spend stripping down my ATVs or Dirt Bikes, organizing every nut and bolt into plastic bags and marking where they all came from. There wasn’t any reason for me to pull them apart, I just wanted too. However, one thing my father taught me young was “if you’re going to do something, do it right”. So, while everything was apart I started cleaning. I cleaned the larger parts first, but then thought, “I’m already here… lets go further.” By the end of my curious tear down, I had cleaned every inch of the machine as well as every bolt that I removed.
This trend continues even further. My first car, a 1988 e30 325iX, was purchased as a project, and our plan was to give the engine a refresh and clean up the interior… but this was not all that happened. The motor and trans were removed… then the interior, the suspension, drive shafts, glass, and more was disassembled, put in bags, labeled and taped on the walls. Well, it was apart, so now the obsession really started. We imported countless bolts and parts for everything we could find, interior clips, suspension components, headers, and so on. The car is already apart, we might as well go even further, right? We got a sand blaster, completely restored the underside of the chassis, recoated anything, acid washed anything we could, corrected any paint that was visible, exterior, door jambs, underside of the hood, trunk, and any other exposed parts that could be done. By the end of our “engine refresh and interior clean up”, the car was done. We had spent over 2 years, countless hours each day, but ended up with a fully restored e30.
The same passion applies to me today. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right. If there are products out there that I need to use, I want to be using the best. If there’s a process for these things, I want to master it. Over all these years, I had created an obsession for chasing perfection without even knowing it. I now need to leave notes on my car when taken to the dealership to remind them to not touch the paint, to not wash it, and to not clean anything even if they leave a little bit of a mess.”
My name’s Brennen Norman, and welcome to my world of obsession.