I passed my driving test in April 1967 and soon after bought my first car, a Hilman Super Imp. It was maroon in colour and second-hand, though only a few months old. It lacked an interesting dashboard and I decided to make one and fit it myself. I constructed it from plywood and stained and varnished it to look like walnut. In it I fitted a rev.counter (or a tachometer) together with a voltmeter and an ammeter to monitor the battery state and charging. I fitted lights to monitor other functions and a radio too and by the time I had finished it was quite a work of art. The project gave me a couple of weeks of something to do in my spare time and I was well pleased with the result. As I grew older and bought other vehicles I found I was no longer interested in tinkering with them probably because they were better appointed and also the fact that I had other things to do with my time.
The other day my eldest son paid us a visit but he wanted to use one of the garages so that he could tinker with his car out of the poor weather we had been experiencing and also because it was evening and he needed light. He returned a second time on Tuesday at lunchtime so he could carry on with his little project. On both occasions he mustered a little help from me as well as asking for some materials which I was able to supply. His project? He was installing some red LED strips in the passenger foot-well and around the glove compartment and other discrete places. The idea is to give a gentle background red light effect inside the car when it is dark. He has learned to do these things all by himself and with very little assistance from myself though I have rendered some help whenever he has asked. He shows an interest and is not afraid of a hands-on approach when tackling any manual work. His brother is much the same but I have yet to see him tinkering with the electrics in his car to the same extent. I wonder from where they got their aptitude and inclination?