I have good news and bad news–for me, not for you. Which do you want first? Okay, here you go:
I just sold a car.
I don’t think that I’m the only one here who recognizes that this is both the good and the bad news. How many times have we heard someone say, “Yeah, I wish I hadn’t sold that car!”? [Send BimmerLife a comment below about That Car That You Sold.] These comments might come from someone admiring your car and remembering theirs. Or they might be looking at values now and wishing that they’s held onto that E30 M3—or any E30, for that matter. 2002s anyone?
I’ve sold two cars in the past five years. I really regret selling the first one, and I’m bummed I sold the other. Can you relate? The first one was a 46,000-mile, one-of-two Dinan E36 M3 convertible that subsequent owners—I see you, Greg Uhler!—have fortunately made even better (and it’s for sale now again, I think). I originally bought it in order to flip it when my good friend Mike Oroszi messaged me from afar and told me that I had to buy it. I was on car-buying probation at the time—and still am—but drove two hours to look at it, and, with the concession that I would flip it, bought it.
Fifteen months later, I still had it, and I loved it—perhaps that’s why I’m still on car-buying probation—and finally I sold it. The transaction actually arose and was consummated during a BMW CCA Board meeting dinner; and CCA treasurer Brian Thomason received the keys next.
It worked out pretty well, I suppose. I was the second owner, and in the next three years, that number tripled—all BMW CCA members in the area. It then landed in the capable hands of very active BMW CCA member Uhler. He made some cool changes to it, including adding my favorite M Rain interior and the checkered Motorsport flag on the fenders (think E36 M3 Lightweight).
While selling it was the right thing to do, I wish I still had the car, but at least it has been improved overall and is in good hands. These are comforting factors when seeing a car drive off with the title waving in the wind. For me, the nostalgia doesn’t just spike when I see another E36 M3 convertible; thanks to Uhler’s car-show energy, I get to see the car enough to make me smile… and tear up a little.
The Natur Modena interior was incredible—a one-of-two combo in Alpine White—but was a little rough, and has since yielded to an M Rain interior.
While I had the M3 for fifteen months, I had the Continental I just sold for fifteen years. Now, BMW fans, I apologize: While that might seem to be a big grille, I understand that this car is not a BMW. (I’d actually owned this one more than six years before I even got my first BMW.) The Lincoln Continental convertible was always a dream car of mine, and in 2007, I found this red one and bought it sight-unseen. It still ranks as the best stupid decision I’ve made—I think. Well, top three, maybe?
The Lincoln was a blast—a complete smile-generator. My kids basically grew up in it. My younger daughter—now driving—used to ride around in it in her car seat. It would lead to conversations at every stop light, and often while underway. It was not perfect, it was definitely not a performance car, and its history was a little unclear, but it was awesome.
It was just the right time to sell it. The original 462 engine turned over immediately and the automatic top rose and lowered when called upon—a coup for these 50-plus-year-old cars. I probably sold it for too little, but it was time (and thank you, Robert Flotron, for the help). When the buyer asked me why I wanted to sell it, I replied, “I don’t want to sell it.” I had fifteen years of great memories with it—and I miss it incredibly already.
I’ve had countless people ask me how I could have sold either one of those cars. While there are always good reasons, it also seems there is often regret. Or maybe it’s fond memories? Or maybe both?
And to those who have asked me what I’m getting to replace the Lincoln, I think I’ve already “replaced” it three or four times. Which is why I’m still on car-buying probation—for now.
Unfortunately, my younger daughter now has me on car-selling probation, too.—Kyle van Hoften