So, we've now spent 3 part-days working on the car. I used to help my dad do a few things on our tractor, including removing the mowing deck so the blades could be sharpened, but that was a diesel engine; it just doesn't require much maintenance, and didn't have many accessories. I know how to change the oil in a car, but I've never done it myself, let alone anything more complicated than changing a tire. (I'm really good at jump-starting cars, though. I seem to have to do it a couple times a year (not usually for my own car).)
I'm pleased to say that I've now inspected spark plugs and a distributor, drained gasoline, and partially flushed and bled brake lines. What's more, I love doing it! We took a car that had sat unused for two years and wouldn't start, and have gotten it to start, fixed the soft brake pedal, and (by sheer luck) got the fourth cylinder to fire again. I feel incredibly accomplished.
I'll hate to see Grant take the car; I've now put enough work into it to feel some ownership, especially since with the engine running more like it ought to, it drives much better than it did when I borrowed it to practice driving stick. 5500 RPM out of a car that used to "shake like a junkie" above 3000!