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Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
9/6/14 4:52 p.m.

2/3rds of the way done with my automotive liquidation, but the hardest was today.

My garage last weekend had an E36 M3 (congrats Mike!, I hope it's been good for you so far), a 2002 WRX wagon, and my high school car, a '69 MG Midget.

Dude - I'm certain he's on this board, because he's an Air Force guy, Miata guy, happened to have a "leftover" FM little big brake kit to stuff under the miata wheels, seems perfect for it. I've owned the car for 25 years and I confess to sobbing after he drove it away. I laughed, because as they test drove it, I bent down to help his wife attach the 5 pt harnesses, and she's like "he has these in his miata too- I got it". I think the right guy has it now, but it still hurts.

So, for a few grand, a huge piece of my life is now someone else's, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. Share your stories, or just say something to make me feel better, wouldja?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
9/6/14 5:11 p.m.

I spent today putting some old suspension back on the first race car I ever built and competed in... so I could sell it off as a roller in a week or two (see avatar).

So much blood and sweat equity, tincture in both ears, good times ... and I'll be lucky to get enough for it to justify a new motorcycle.

Gimme $5k and it's yours! You know... to fill that sucking hole you just left. I'm sure you are the right person to fix it back up!

Dusterbd13 Dork
9/6/14 5:24 p.m.

Thankfully by the time i sell something im usually sick of it, or have had the joy wear off. Only a couple have left the hole. My acr, my crx, and my 64 impala.

They were all the right decision to make at the time, but I miss them on almost a daily basis.

Gets easier with time. And a new toy to play with.

Ojala HalfDork
9/6/14 5:26 p.m.

I had the same feeling when I sold my last vw bug. I didn't love the last one and I didn't like driving them anymore, but it felt like a huge part of my life and knowledge had been packed away and left behind.

mndsm MegaDork
9/6/14 5:42 p.m.

I had to crush my first turbo car after it suffered a fatal crankwalk issue (guess what car THAT was...) the trans was fried and it had terminal strut tower rot. There was no saving it. I miss that car to this day. I sooth myself by hoarding Corollas. It's weird but it works.

wheelsmithy Reader
9/6/14 5:57 p.m.

My high school ride was a 69 Javelin. 4 speed, 290 v8. Rust free. Bought for $1600, put countless dollars in it, paid to have it painted. Finally had it nice looking, and got it stuck between gears. Sold it for $1250.

I had a 63 sprite-ironically bought cheap because it was stuck between gears. Dad gave it the Fonzie treatment, and it was fine. When it was time to sell, some guy came to trst drive it, blew the engine, and abandoned it then split. We went out to find it, and eventually sold it to a guy who was going to restore it for peanuts.

Later, a Swift Gti. Probably put 4 grand in that thing, and it was still junk. It had an awesome suspension, and I had fixed most of the rust, and the door the PO had more or less torn off, in short, it needed very little. Sold to a fan of these cars for $100. I kept the engine, and he had one to throw in there, so the three transmissions, tons of spares, etc were really helpful.

I still miss each sometimes, but I try to think of it in terms of karma, and anyway, unless you are Jay Leno, you have to move some out to make room for another car of interest. Hopefully, you are moving on to another passion.

mazdeuce UberDork
9/6/14 6:06 p.m.

I don't even like selling the cars I don't like. The only car I didn't mind selling was my wife's Audi TT, but only because I had become convinced that something truly horrible was going to go wrong on it and I wanted it out of my life before it did.

motomoron SuperDork
9/6/14 6:10 p.m.

I'll be sad when I eventually sell the Radical P2 car (and 1-1/2 garage bays of body molds, paddock gear, wheels, spares, motors, etc etc etc) but I'll do OK on the $$ and the closet full of trophies and checkered flags and the awesome memories will last 'til I die.

airwerks Reader
9/6/14 6:10 p.m.

Ahh man! The title got me..... I know a guy that knows a guy that could use a couple babies.

Woody MegaDork
9/6/14 6:14 p.m.

I had a beautiful, black and tan, hardtopped and caged 52,000 mile Miata that I had owned for 10 years. I sold it to an old guy who took a bus down to Connecticut from Maine. He'd been driving a RHD Lotus Elan for 40 years and decided that he needed something bigger. I think I found the right guy too.

Appleseed MegaDork
9/6/14 6:21 p.m.

I had to kill my first real car. It was a 95 9C1 squad car. I loved it. Bought it at auction, Elwood style, in June of 2000. Rust began to gut it, but she lived until may of 2012, when a broken parking brake pall tore up the 4L60.

I got $330 to junk it.

It felt like shooting my dog.

JoeTR6 Reader
9/6/14 7:27 p.m.

I saw a 99 M Coupe on Friday just like the one I used to own. I sold it about 8 years ago because I thought we were having kids. We didn't, and now there's no way I could ever buy it back for what I sold it for even with 3 times the mileage. Sometimes it hurts to let one go, but it was the right thing to do at the time.

dropstep Reader
9/6/14 7:46 p.m.

i still miss my 81 marquis. paid 400 bucks for it because the garage that changed the carb didnt adjust the detent and it wouldnt shift below 3k rpm. performer rpm, 750 holley a set of headers and a 3:73 geared trac loc 8.8 in it and did burnouts and donuts and everything else immature i could and it never died. i have yet to find another clean 2 door and regret selling that one to fund a 2.3t swap in my mustang. ohh and it ran a best of 15.60 in the 1/4 mile. looked faster then it was with the scoop and rim/tire combo.

mblommel Reader
9/6/14 8:07 p.m.

I miss my '65 Mustang fastback sometimes. It was my first car, I bought it in 1987 when I was 14 with money I had saved working for my Dad. I had $400 saved and the guy selling it wanted $850. My pop "loaned" me the rest of the cash to buy it. It was a total wreck of a car. I rebuilt that car with help from my Dad and brother-in-law while I was in high school and drove it for the first time graduation night. I kept that car for 17 years, constantly upgrading it along the way; disk brakes, new quick-ratio steering box, 4 speed toploader, 3.40 Traction Loc rear, Shelby A-arm drop, front and rear sway bars, Vintage 45 wheels, etc.,etc. I finally decided it had to go one day. No matter how much I did to it the thing still drove like an old pickup truck and I just needed more. I still miss it sometimes but the guy who runs Mustang Week in Myrtle Beach bought it, so I knew it was going to a good home. That didn't stop me from being a little misty-eyed when it went though.

Sorry to hear you are cleaning out the toys. Are you saving for a big one or do life's circumstances force you to get rid of them all?

hotchocolate Reader
9/6/14 8:41 p.m.

This hits rather close to home. Just sold my 1995 7seater camry wagon today. 229k miles and lots of rust. However, I think of it subjectively as the best car I have ever owned and one of the best toyota has ever made.

"Larry" required nothing except scheduled maintenance, a taillight and headlight bulb and a fuse in my 21 months of owning it. Everything worked except for the tape and cd player--radio worked fine. It "proved" my belief that the cheapest cars to own are pre obd2 Japanese cars from the early '90s. It did everything I needed it to do; hauled people, salt mowers, sod, leaves matresses beds etc and cruised very comfortably and quietly on the highway. Though i was not attached to it, I bonded with it. I put it on Craigslist and whenever someone would call about it I hoped they wouldnt buy it. If I had the room I would keep it.

My daughter shed tears when it drove off--I almost did too. She liked riding in the trunk. Larry will be missed. Time will heal our "wounds".

Woody MegaDork
9/6/14 9:04 p.m.

In reply to mblommel:

I had a '65 fastback, did the same stuff to it and sold it for the same reason.

docwyte Dork
9/7/14 12:18 a.m.

I miss my supercharged E46 M3, that was a great car. I also miss my first 951, it was a solid car that once I had the basic maintenance done to it, was trouble free.

Ironically my first car, a Mk2 2l GTI 16v is worth far more now than when I sold it in '99...

vladha Reader
9/7/14 12:34 a.m.

Sold my '91 SE-R last May. The good news, sold it to a friend who restores and collects them. He promised me that if I still missed the car in 2 years or more he would sell it back to me. He's doing an engine swap, sr20ve, and with some additional work, will become a 2.2ve. Good for about 216 whp... he'said done this swap before. I can'tell wait. In the meantime, I'm driving a slush box '99 I30... sigh. I honestly think buying another niche car will help but I have no idea what to get. Was it a mistake to sell her? Yes and no. Yes because I miss the joy of driving it, knowing I had done all 9 the upgrades and improvements myself. No, because I sold it to the right person.


ddavidv PowerDork
9/7/14 6:13 a.m.

I've owned over 50 vehicles, so tend not to get terribly attached to them. However, I had trouble selling a few.

I owned this for 23 years. It was the first (and last) car I restored. A $450 worn out POS and the culmination of an almost obsessive interest in all things Fiat 124. I just found myself driving it less and less, and realized working on it one day I no longer found wrenching on it fun. I did a total purge and made the buyer take the truckload + of spare parts with it so I wouldn't be tempted to buy another.

The Audi I had for 12 years. My desire to go racing outstripped the love I had for this beautiful but slow car that I'd dumped thousands into trying to make it something it never would be. One of the best cars I've owned, but it's departure brought me an E30, which is what I probably always should have had.

This one is so recent it still hurts (about 3 weeks ago). Had this for 12 years. Did all my truck and towing duties reliably (until recently), had wonderful character and always pleased my eye when I looked at it. Sadly, it was proving to be increasingly difficult to tolerate it's 'charms' towing my race car, and quit by the roadside for an hour with vapor lock the last time I used it. Facing the reality that I would never restore it to the condition it deserved, it had to go. The '93 Lightning that replaced it has none of the character that Big Red did, but turning on the a/c and not sticking to a vinyl bench seat has a lot going for it as I approach 50.

The emotional distress is fleeting, fortunately. With rare exception, most of my favored vehicles went to owners that were not local, so their fate isn't there for me to see. That is the worst thing; seeing your old car not being taken care of by the new owner. With old cars, I feel I'm merely a steward who offers them care for a brief period. If I can save one for future generations to enjoy, then I've done a good deed.

Datsun310Guy PowerDork
9/7/14 7:27 a.m.

I was sad when I let this go - I told my wife I could always get another one.

I bought this Datsun in 1990 for $2,500 - I fixed a lot and had a hard time selling it in 1995 until one guy who wanted an MGB bought it for $2,900, as his wifey worked for a Nissan Parts warehouse in Aurora, IL and I convinced him he had to have a Datsun rather than a "B". He drove it home and spent the next 18 years working on it. I was contacted a year ago and told it could be mine for $5,000 and there was a lot of work to finish. The current owner bought it and finished it this winter and put it on craigslist for high dollars.


Teh E36 M3
Teh E36 M3 SuperDork
9/7/14 8:11 a.m.

David- I think we had the same reasons for selling- the reality of owning far outstripped the romantic notion that we all have about older cars. I wasn't driving my MG much, and every time I did, I was always reminded of all the work it needed to "finish". I've doubled down on that car so many times, and I was at the point where I needed to again... just faced the reality that I don't have the emotional energy for it- it will never be really "nice". We had some good times, but they were truthfully mostly bad. And our new GTI is just fantastic- quiet and comfortable. I need some of that for a while before I re-enter the classic fray.

patgizz PowerDork
9/7/14 10:53 a.m.

i'll always miss my caddy. i got frustrated when i brand new reman carb did not fix the running issue i had and sold it cheap. turned out the reman carb had stripped jet adjuster threads that were causing it to come out of adjustment. the new owner had serious cancer, was a member here, and i fear he passed away as he quit posting, quit emailing, his phone number went dead, and he no longer lives at his house. i tried to stop by one day to buy it back and they were not there.

freestyle Reader
9/7/14 11:38 a.m.

The toughest sale wasn't the most collectable, head turning, fast or fun to drive car. It was quite the opposite. An 81 Mazda GLC. A horrible copper color, 4 door hatchback with an automatic transmission and a rattling catalytic converter at idle. Wife and I were about to have our first baby. NO money. $100 car that ran on 3 cylinders. Swapped a junkyard engine, then later a transmission in the backyard lawn on a sheet of plywood and cinderblocks. (cue the banjos) I made a turn signal cover from a milk carton, bread bags and duct tape, carefully exacto knifed to shape. Always kept it clean, waxed, then something big broke. We brought our newborn baby home from the hospital in that rattletrap. I finally got a big boy job and bought a reasonable car. Sold the "Great Little Car" for scrap. I finished washing it a half hour before the flatbed took it away. I've bought and sold many neat cars since... but that innocent car ripped a hole in me as it looked at me, chained to the deck of the flatbed.

DCharger68 Reader
9/7/14 2:51 p.m.

I've sold 2 cars in my life. My first car was a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire. Nothing real spectacular about it, but it was the car I learned how to build an engine on. It finally dropped a rod after 235,000 miles and completely destroyed the engine. I meant for 3 years to put a new engine in it and make it a toy, but I ended up selling it for $150 less than I paid for it. The other car was my 1977 Chevy Camaro. It was my first project. I almost scrapped it because it was far enough gone I couldn't afford to build it. A friend ended up buying it to use as parts for his grandma's 75. The camaro was hard to let go of. At least it went to a better place.

glueguy HalfDork
9/7/14 6:05 p.m.

I have automotive ADD, so while I have fondness and love them while they are here, I don't get attached. It was very hard introducing my new wife and her kids to my lifestyle (she grew up in a family that named their cars) but I've taught them that you sell them because something cooler is going to come along.

We don't sell them because we don't like them, we sell them so that we can get something else.

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