A brief biography about me and my interests in cars.
I was born, and grew up, in Finland. Later on in life, I moved to the United States.
My dad always worked on his cars and he started teaching me how to work on cars, when I was a kid.
My first motor vehicle was a used 50cc moped which I acquired at age 15 and fixed up. The legal age to drive them was 16.
A couple years later I hauled home an old Fiat 600 from the local dump. My neighbor also had the same type of car, which didn’t run anymore. He gave the car to me for free. Combining parts from the two Fiats, I was able to get a working vehicle. We were quite poor back then, so I didn’t really have any money to buy cars or car parts, so those times were good practice on improvising skills (the car in the image is a stock Internet photo).
The minimum age for driver’s license in Finland is 18. At that point, after 9th grade, I had enrolled in a three-year auto mechanic school. I took my car there and did a complete restoration, including rebuilding the engine, and re-painting the car.
After the mandatory army stint, and some odd jobs, I ended up working at the Saab-Valmet assembly plant in southwestern Finland. Back then, in the late 80’s and early 90’s they made Saab 90, 900 and 9000 automobiles. Saab also had plants in Sweden but all convertibles were made at the Finnish plant.
I worked at an entry-level position at first, in the assembly line, but moved soon on to become a failure analysis tech (I wasn’t actually a tech, but that’s what the job description was). If the quality people found something wrong with a car, my job was to investigate what caused the fail.
After working there a few years, I moved to a different area, and after some odd jobs, got hired at a wrecking yard. They had just acquired their first computer, and my job was to re-organize their whole warehouse, and enter all the parts in the database. The company bought cars mainly from other wrecking yards, stripped the cars completely, and then got rid of the body. So there were no large fields filled with cars, but rather large warehouses with both used and new car parts.
It took a few years to go through everything and catalogue all the parts, since I also helped in stripping the cars, and in the sales.
After moving to the USA, I haven’t worked in the automotive field. But the auto-mechanic skill didn’t go to waste. Since I can’t afford new cars, I always buy older cars, and keep working on them. Very rarely do I have to bring a car to a shop. It has saved me a LOT of money through the years, while letting me enjoy my passion of working with cars!
When I worked at the Saab plant in Finland, seeing the Saab 900 convertibles on the assembly line, I could only dream of owning one of them. Last year I finally bought one, a 1999 white Saab 9-3 convertible. It was made years after I left the plant, but it was still made at the same plant in Finland where I used to work. That car has a lot of sentimental value to me!
After visiting the Rod Run to the end of the world classic car show in Long Beach, WA this year, and taking a lot of pictures and videos there, I decided to create a YouTube channel and a web site, where I can publish the pictures and videos. I am also planning on posting various car repair projects and car events here on the web site and on YouTube.
The image of the Fiat 600 copyright: By Klaus D. Peter, Wiehl, Germany (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The image of the Saab 9-3 belongs to the owner of this site.