7 April 2017

Facebook Answer of the Week: Your cars got away, time for group therapy

Some people claim they have no regrets. The rest of us would love to go back and change a thing or two (or a hundred). So we expected to strike a chord when we asked our Facebook community, “What car do you regret selling?” From antiques and modern classics to cars and trucks both foreign and domestic, there’s a lot of automotive remorse out there. Misery loves company, and you shared yours.

“The one car I regret getting rid of most was a ’59 Chevy convertible — white with red interior,” Darrell Palmer wrote. “I didn’t sell it though. I had it apart, restoring it, in ’74 during the gas crisis. After I heard there probably would never be enough affordable gas, I called a local wrecking yard to haul it away.” As if that wasn’t painful enough, Palmer added, “In 1969, I had a two-year-old son and a first and second mortgage on my house. My plant manager offered me his ’63 Corvette convertible for $1,400, but I couldn’t do it. The same year my mechanic stepfather had a ’63 Corvette coupe that he had taken the engine out of to put in a ’62 convertible. I couldn’t even come up with the $400 he wanted.”

Palani Rodriguez owned a 1970 Ford Mustang Mach 1 “with a 428 Cobra Jet, four-speed and air conditioning” that he sold for $1,200 in 1980. “I didn’t want to sell it because even at 22 years of age I knew that one day it would be worth something. But I didn’t have a job at the time so I parted with it. Grrrrrrr.”

Ray Walters knows the feeling. His decision to sell his ‘76 Corvette still haunts him — in detail. The car had “an Eckler’s wide-body kit, 400 Chevy small block, (bored) 30 over, Dart aluminum heads, Harland Sharp roller rockers, Voodoo Cam and lifters, Weiand intake, Summit Racing 750 CFM carburetor, close-ratio steering rack, 350 turbo automatic transmission with a Hughes Performance 2500 stall torque converter, four-link rear suspension with adjustable coil-over shocks, narrowed 9-inch Ford rear end, 18 1/2 x 33 rear tires on Prostar wheels. I just couldn’t afford it anymore and, of course, sold it for less than I had into it.”

Ken Mayer has been searching for his Peacock Blue-with-Palomino-interior 1964 Mercury Comet Cyclone (with 271-hp, 289-cid V-8 and four-speed transmission) since he sold it years ago. So far, no good. “I was too young to appreciate it,” he wrote. “I knew it was in Alexandria, La., at one time and then went to Florida somewhere…”

David Steiner can relate, except he knows exactly where to find his beloved 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook. “I got it from a now-departed friend who was more like a brother. I started restoring it and cruising, then I fell into financial hell and had to sell it for moving money. At least I found a good home for it: the Miami Auto Museum.”

Jim Fox knows also knows where his 1966 Corvette is. It’s too close, in fact. “I bought it for $2,800 in 1976 and sold it to a friend for $4,000 a couple of weeks later — what fool would turn that down? He immediately dismantled it so he could restore it, and 40 years later it’s still in his garage disassembled. No, he won’t sell it back to me.”

Terry Hoge Sr. initially patted himself on the back for selling his 1967 Pontiac GTO, but he eventually regretted it. “I bought it for $250 in 1972. It had 13,000 miles on it. The rear quarter panel was damaged, so I spent $500 to fix it. Three years later, I sold it for $3,500. I thought I made a killing.” Turns out, it’s still killing Terry.

John Sampson knows all too well. His first car was a 1969 GTO Judge that he bought for $400 for in 1982. “I sold it for $4,000 in 1983, used the money to buy a ’69 Camaro RS/SS… for $3,600, then sold that for $8,000. The Judge was rough, but the Camaro was friggin’ sweet. I can only imagine what either one would be worth now. Wait ... I don’t want to think about that.”

Some regrets come with family ties. Tyler Geipel laments parting with his Jeep Comanche and 1978 Chevrolet Malibu wagon, but his 1972 Chevy C10 will “forever be the one I miss the most. It was my dad’s truck.” On the other hand, Shawn Harper can’t think about his ‘73 Chevrolet Chevelle Deluxe without seeing his brother’s face — and that isn’t exactly a good thing. “I was in the process of getting a rebuilt engine for it, and my dumbass brother sold the parts for scrap out from under me,” Shawn wrote, describing the siblings’ relationship as “strained.” That’ll do it alright.

Alexis Galarza didn’t say why she sold her 1970 AMC Hornet, choosing instead to accentuate on the positive. “In 1988, I bought it from my cousin’s husband for $150 ... No rust, never in a crash, only 60,000 miles … mechanically, the car was perfect.” Perfect for someone else, as it turns out.

Massimo Ascoli regrets selling his 1981 Mercedes 230E W123, but apparently it’s a mistake he’s bound to repeat. “It’s the only car I’d buy again and again and again ...”

Then there’s Jeremy Ducaine, who can’t envision his ‘70 Chevy El Camino without thinking about why he had to sell it. “It was an SS 454 (468), black with gold SS stripes. I sold it to pay for my wedding, but the girl took off a few months later. I haven’t heard from her since 2000. Aren’t I the idiot?” Perhaps it’s for the best, Jeremy.

Thankfully, you shared plenty of happy endings, too. For instance, Jason Kern regretted selling the 1969 Camaro SS that his father bought new, but 37 years after parting with the car he found it and bought it back. Dante Abbene also repurchased the ‘99 Camaro that he regretted letting go, stumbling across the SS while searching for parts for another Camaro that he was restoring.

And then there’s Terry Boyce, who admitted that although there are several cars he wishes he’d never sold, he carries no remorse about one deal. “I once sold a running and rust-free ’54 Chevy Sedan Delivery to a pizza shop owner for the negotiated sale price of $62 and a large and loaded pizza. No regrets ... great pizza!”

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