I have reluctantly parted with one of my classics. It took four years, but I reunited myself with my first car, the very one I sold, my 1959 rambler cross country station wagon.
I Have always loved this car and reluctantly sold it for much needed money to move away to college. After begging my buyer to offer me the first chance to buy it back should he decide to sell it, I handed him the keys and watched it drive away. It was two years later, I was done with school and contacted my car’s buyer to check up on it. He said he had enjoyed a few car shows with it, but didn’t drive it much. As a firm believer that cars are meant to be driven for full enjoyment, it saddened me. He said he wasn’t ready to sell it, but would let me know if he changed his mind. Another year later, the phone rang. It was the proud new owner of my car. What!? He found my journal in the glove box. All the records of every loving thing I had done to keep the car running perfect was meticulously recorded. He wanted history on the car. I asked that I be the first person he called should he decide to sell it. Another year passed and this time I called him. “I sold the car two weeks ago” he exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it. He had no contact information for the new buyer… only the name of the street the guy lived on… a 7 mile long residential street that winds through a major city. I had no choice. I spent the next weekend driving up and down this street. With no expectations, my heart skipped a beat when a car cover caught my eye. Down the side of a small house, wedged tightly between a fence, the dusty cover was draped over that perfectly shaped tail fin. I knew it was my car. In a bad neighborhood, I bravely knocked on the door with no rehearsed introduction. The door opened slowly, I stammered and finally blurted out, “I used to own your ‘59 Rambler. I want to buy it back.”
Quickly, he said “No, I just got it.” Just then, I heard his wife in the back of the house yell, “SELL THAT CAR!” I smiled, handed him my business card and left. The next morning I was getting ready for work and my phone rang. “The car is yours, bring the money and pick it up tonight.” Four year’s and three owners later, I bought the car back and continue to drive it regularly.
After this experience, I will never sell this car again. And I think it has shaped me to never want to sell ANY of my classics… only expand my shop space to accommodate more.
But if I do decide to sell one, it is more important to me than ever to vet the buyer.