It is laborious to say goodbye (to a automobile) | Column | Articles

My ask on the time was pretty easy: chrome bumpers, bench seat, computerized transmission on the column. After a lifetime of stick shifts and bucket seats, it was time for a cruiser. 

So I began trying round with out a actual vacation spot. I’d realize it once I noticed it. It even obtained to the purpose the place I used to be simply browsing the native Craigslist by yr: 1967, 1968, 1969….

Then I noticed it: 1975 Pontiac Catalina Safari. Grey over purple. Longer than some leisure watercraft. All unique, proper right down to full wheel covers. The automobile sat an hour away on our aspect of Orlando, and the asking worth appeared truthful.

I reached out to the vendor and obtained the complete story: It was her mother’s automobile and, sadly, each of her dad and mom have been now not with us. Property sale. She was in a rush to promote, too, because the automobile was saved at her guardian’s previous home, and it was additionally on the market.

My spouse and I made the drive over and located the automobile as described. However the vendor was embarrassed: The hood wouldn’t open, and the engine wouldn’t begin. Possible the battery had died. She had already known as AAA. 

I climbed beneath the entrance bumper and discovered the way to manually pop the hood. Straightforward. Collectively we waited for the AAA driver. The brand new battery instantly introduced the automobile again to life. 

I took the wagon for a spin across the neighborhood and located it to drive like a dream. It was precisely what I wanted: chrome bumpers, bench seat, computerized on the column. Stress-free. 


We loved our years with the wagon, and it obtained extra consideration than I ever imagined. “No, sorry, no tail-gunner seat, however cool to listen to that you simply shuttled your children in a single similar to it–and, sure, in fact you may test it out.”

However these days the wagon’s been sitting and, attributable to the truth that the storage is full and the wagon’s like 19 toes lengthy, it’s been relegated to the driveway. And that hasn’t been good for it. I lastly satisfied myself that it was time to promote.

Carry a Trailer has served us nicely previously, however I do know that possibility additionally entails the vigilance of regularly defending your automobile to the remainder of the group, and to be sincere, I simply didn’t have it in me. It’s been a yr. 

So we put it on eBay Motors. We offered our Civic Si that approach six years in the past, and it went easily. 

After spending a full day cleansing the wagon, we did a full picture shoot–obtained fortunate on the sundown lighting, too. That night, I began assembling the itemizing. That’s once I realized that the Premium package deal solely provides area for twenty-four photographs. Now to whittle them down, and I absolutely admit that I posted the photographs that exposed the blemishes: the rust, the recognized points. It was automobile, however I needed to be up entrance that it wasn’t an ideal automobile. 

I launched the public sale that Saturday night time, and shortly after obtained my first bid–fairly positive it was Jordan, who used to work for us. 

After which got here the spam:

“I’m & I’ll like to purchase it asap & i shall be sending a test from my financial institution to you by way of USPS supply,reply me again along with your identify and handle cellphone quantity to ship the take a look at and also will prepare cargo by way of shipper after test clear in your financial institution & you will have money at hand..”

eBay flagged that one instantly. 

I obtained some extra legit inquiries, too, they usually all obtained an analogous reply: Bid and let’s see what the public sale brings. Quickly after, we hit reserve. So, we’re actually promoting it–assuming all goes by way of. 

Some background right here: I’m unhealthy at promoting vehicles–not like I can’t do the method, however I’m extra of a keeper. That Civic Si that we offered? We had owned it for 15 years. My Porsche’s been with us almost a dozen years. In two weeks, I’ll have a good time 22 years with our Miata. 

The wagon public sale ended with a slight bidding struggle, and I’d name the hammer worth truthful. The subsequent day I heard from the customer: He’ll be by the next Saturday at 10 within the morning. He have to be native to us, I assumed. Possibly Orlando or Jacksonville. 

That Saturday morning, simply earlier than 10 o’clock, he confirmed that he was close by. He rolled in with a giant truck and a fair greater trailer. The kicker: He had simply pushed 16 hours straight by way of from Ohio. 

He rapidly seemed over the automobile. I can’t keep in mind if he even popped the hood. We signed the paperwork, and he handed over a stack of crisp payments. He loaded up the automobile and headed out. I left for the financial institution. 

And that was all the course of. By midday, I used to be again to my standard. 

Am I unhappy to see it gone? Yeah, it was a cool automobile. However there’s one thing about now not feeling responsible when it rains.


View feedback on the GRM boards

I remorse promoting 90 % of the vehicles I’ve.  My solely solace is similar as yours.  The automobile was going to get ruined by the weather.  Sadly, I’ve additionally seen vehicles ruined in unhealthy storage as nicely.  To know the automobile (s) have gone to good properties, nicely, that makes it at the very least bearable.

We simply had a miata that wanted body restore.  We offered it to somebody who had at all times admired the automobile and was keen to do the rust restore.  So a automobile that was going to be scrapped went to somebody who would repair and luxuriate in it.  Win, win.   I used to be nonetheless unhappy about it and my son had a quote from, I do not know the place:  Do not be unhappy that it is over, be glad that it occurred.   As I’ve had only a few vehicles that I didn’t love or take pleasure in, I’ve a lot to be grateful for.

I do know, we need to maintain all of them. Then there’s actuality. 

This piece was initially written for the magazine–you’ll see it in print soon–so there is a laborious phrase rely that saved me from going additional on the subject. However promoting the wagon freed up space–physical area at our home and in addition area in my head in order that I can consider the opposite vehicles. No extra automobile Tetris when pulling one thing from the storage. No extra watching the wagon sit exterior. (As a result of, let’s be sincere, we do not go many locations today.) Currently we have been taking the canine to the seashore. The wagon’s an incredible cruiser, however I might really feel horrible taking it even nearer to the ocean. 

I confronted the identical factor a couple of years in the past after we offered my dad and mom’ Nissan 240SX. They purchased it new. It was nonetheless inventory. However we weren’t utilizing it. I will admit, I felt a reduction when it left. Similar factor this time. 

Some time in the past I spotted that I do not really want extra stuff. I do not want extra bikes, extra guitars. What I really want is time to take pleasure in what I’ve. In order that’s the place my head is. 

It is a matter that I have been having with another members. I’d love a more moderen, nicer race automobile. One thing with a gamma-turbo ideally. However to take action means I’ve to promote the truck (78 C10) and the Tib. The Tib, whereas I like it, I might half with it simply. The truck… nicely that is one thing extra particular. That is a 3 day journey I made with my Dad on high of the $9k I’ve in it. Positive, I may end the inside, paint it and promote it for $15 and make a pleasant revenue. However I can not. I believe its additionally why I’ve not finished something to it shortly. I am afraid it’s going to be finished I’ve to promote it. 

I remorse promoting 99% of the vehicles I personal 

however like a drug addict – I want the subsequent excessive of the subsequent discover. The excessive is healthier than proudly owning the automobile. The discover and hunt is extra enjoyable than the possession. I often get uninterested in the automobile in per week to some months max .


As a way to do this I consistently must promote what I’ve. We have now 12-18 automobile turnover per yr within the family. 

spouse used to get irritated however final 10 years she is aware of it is the truth of our life 

So many vehicles, so little time. That is why I’ve owned so many vehicles.

Additionally…. title makes me hear this: 

We have had the Datsun for 36 years; I say we have as a result of I offered it the day after I purchased it in 1984 to a pal, we did many highway journeys in it up till we transformed it to an SCCA race automobile in 1989, then I offered it once more in 1997 to fund our D-sports racer venture however then obtained it again in 2002.   This Datsun is the one automobile I’ve ever regretted promoting (after I offered it) however happily I obtained it again.

I’ve had the Components 500 for six years and that seems to be a keeper as nicely.

Traditionally I have been a car-monizer…………….dumping the older one for a flashy new one on the drop of a hat.

I am in an analogous place David is, I simply need to take pleasure in myself…………..I’ve lastly discovered I do not want greater than I have already got to try this.

I actually miss the xb and kinda want that I had purchased it again from insurance coverage to repair it. 

My mkiii jetta was enjoyable by the point I obtained experience of it, however getting it to below 2550lb took work and I did not ever assume that automobiles would get to the purpose the place that was thought of light-weight. 

The one one I miss is my 66 Delta 88 2 door hardtop with a 425, bucket seats and console.  I offered it in about 1981.

I’ve owned quite a few vehicles in my 50+ years of driving. I by no means owned extra than 3 at a given time attributable to economics in addition to area and practicality. Of all of the vehicles I’ve owned and offered only some have a spot in my coronary heart, and never as a result of the remaining have been clunkers. I change automobiles for causes however I am not a flipper, making an attempt to repair a craving I will by no means be capable to obtain. I’ve owned automobiles for durations usually starting from 7-15 years. The one automobiles I’ve regrets over having offered, however solely within the hindsight of time, numerous time, have been my 1972 Fiat 124 Spider purchased new and saved for six++ years, my ’74 X1/9 purchased used however offered a couple of years later because of the impending arrival of my son 40 years in the past, and most lately my ’01 Dakota that I made a decision to exchange after 16 years as a retirement reward to me. I changed it with a CPO Ram 1500 4X4 and whereas the Ram is a pleasant truck, the Dakota was extra “me”.




12/18/20 8:57 a.m.

I simply do not have the area and cash to maintain them.  I want I nonetheless had my G60 swapped ’91 GTi, my ’93 Corrado VR6, my supercharged E36 M3 and supercharged E46 M3 and my first 951 S.

I miss my MR2 turbo…..Rather a lot. I might promote the whole lot I’ve for that one again.

bmw88rider (Discussion board Supporter) stated:

I miss my MR2 turbo…..Rather a lot. I might promote the whole lot I’ve for that one again.

Ought to I promote you my 9k mile 95 MR2 turbo ? 

And, satirically, I simply (lastly) signed the discover of sale. It’ll depart for DMV tomorrow. I suppose that is the ultimate step. 

As somebody who offered a automobile yesterday I can relate. I am very pleased with the brand new car- however I’ll deeply miss the truck. My final experience in it was to the automobile wash with my 10 yr previous daughter. She obtained in first whereas I grabbed my jacket, and naturally she had folded the middle armrest up and buckled within the center seat- she at all times did. I’ll cling onto that reminiscence for a couple of a long time. 

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

I’d say sure but it surely’s too good. I’d really feel responsible placing miles on it. 

Alternatively, holding a automobile eternally, actually has it is benefits.  When you observe “roadkill” David Freiburger has talked about Mike Finnegan and his gasser, “blasphemi”.  Mike has saved the automobile and dumped big cash into it.  Frieburger talks about how Finn is aware of the automobile and drives it rather well.  I’ve an 06 mustang gt that I purchased new in December of 05.  Nice story on how I purchased the automobile, and I obtained a smashing deal on it.  However I additionally purchased it new, so it wasn’t low cost.  The issues I’ve had with the automobile are minor and I’ve finished 99 % of the work myself, particularly placing the blower on it.

The enjoyment of engaged on the automobile is immense. I’ve had my moments of frustration, attributable to my lack of talent and services.  Right here within the rust capitol of the world, engaged on a automobile that also has paper hangers from the manufacturing unit is like being in a resort.  Enjoyable and pampered.  I would not have that if I did not pay high greenback.   

I additionally “realized” to auto cross within the automobile.  I do know more often than not when she is able to chew and may catch it.  I’ve grown with the automobile and been in a position to expertise the enhancements in tires and suspension.  I believe I really like that automobile extra at this time than the day I drove it dwelling.  I’m hoping to seek out one other and make it a winter automobile.  I by no means hated winter till I began to take the automobile off the highway when it snows.  I do not hate winter as a lot since I am driving a fox physique, however I dearly miss my huge mustang.

I deliberate on this being a legacy automobile, so I’ve handled this automobile nicely, pampered, however not spoiled.  The paint seems to be wonderful, to the purpose somebody requested me final yr when the automobile was painted final.  I’ve simply been anal about the place I parked it, and the way it was washed.  The inside mods have all been as near oem as I may make them, no holes drilled anyplace apparent.

With hindsight being what it’s, it could be good to however the most effective mannequin of what we would like and maintain bettering them.  It will be cheaper in the long term.  As I stated earlier than, I’ve hardly ever in my life had a automobile that I did not love and wasn’t a pleasure to drive. This is the reason it has been so laborious to promote a automobile.  Normally it was due to lack of storage an I did not need to be accountable for a automobile being destroyed by the weather.  We misplaced many of the cash after we offered our truck, however we by no means used it an it was rusting.  The child who purchased it for actually low cost was greater than thrilled with it.  That made it at the very least palatable.  

Sorry for the lengthy story, however my level is:  Typically I am simply not going to say goodbye.  I’ve too many reminiscences in my huge mustang.  My children rode in automobile seats in that factor, auto cross faculties, nearly epic highway journeys, Mt. Washington….you get the purpose.  I’ve requested to be buried within the automobile, if I’m, my son desires to tug the engine for one more automobile.  I might say that will be becoming and I would not be saying good bye!

In reply to thedoc :

I agree, some vehicles are keepers. If we had extra indoor parking area, maybe the wagon would nonetheless be right here. 

In 5 days, we’ll have a good time 22 years with our Miata. It isn’t going anyplace. In truth, very quickly you may see some updates on the location because it’s being moved again to the entrance burner. New Falkens simply arrived, and wheels are on the best way. (Gotta periodically change it up.) It is a keeper.

Ditto the 911: 12+ years with that one and no plans to half. It noticed our Porsche mechanic this week and returned with a clear invoice of well being. Positively one other keeper. 

If solely extra room and time….

I miss a number of of the vehicles I’ve offered. The one I miss essentially the most is my first automobile. A black over white 1965 Buick Riviera. Want I may have saved all of them. A lot in order that after we have been in search of a home, my spouse noticed an advert for a “Fixer Higher” with a 33 automobile storage. She known as instantly, sadly to seek out out it was a misprint, ought to have been 3 automobile. However she tried to feed my dependancy.

That wagon was nice. I loved seeing it at one of many Challenges. 


Thanks. The wagon was fun–but completely loved cleansing up the Miata at this time. Excited to get again Miata’ing. 

Sneak peek (lights out for temper):

Not a thread hijack however we’re all discussing promoting right here.  My spouse retains insisting I ought to promote vehicles on Fb Market as a result of “that is the place everyone is.”  I am definitely not there.  I am questioning if anybody right here has finished that and the way it went.  I am additionally going to imagine David checked that venue out however went eBay anyway.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

60 years in July. Subsequent individual to personal this must get it from my will.  

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