As cars enter and leave our ownership we are often flooded with a volley of mixed emotions. This is one of those stories.
He congratulated me as he shook my hand, then he handed me the keys to my new (to me) 2010 BMW E92 335i and said “I’ll go get you a box.” The look of confusion on my face prompted him to follow up with “…so you can empty out your old car.”
Then it hit me. Like a rogue basketball that came out of nowhere straight to the face. Shock, surprise, some pain and stinging, then disbelief. In that order, it snuck up on me. The sudden realization that my car, my 2001 E46 330i, the car that I’ve been driving for over 10 years, the car that I drove when I met my wife, the car that carried my friends and I on countless trips and journeys and put countless smiles on my face, that car will be leaving my ownership and will be sold to someone else.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think that far ahead. I was too focused on finding the perfect replacement car that it hadn’t dawned on me that with the arrival of the new one, we’d have to get rid of the old one because space/parking wouldn’t allow me to keep both.
That’s what this article is all about. It’s about the cars in our lives, one ones we remember the license plate numbers from, the ones that have imprinted themselves into our hearts and minds and are as much a part of us as anything else that binds itself to our souls. For instance, I remember my grandfather’s old Ford F-250 truck in that hideous brown/gold color combo with its unforgettable Diesel growl that I got to drive out in the country as a kid, my mother’s old Toyota Celica that had the pop-up headlights, the Chrysler family van we’d take on trips, my first car, my first nice car, the list goes on.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful nor am I complaining about the new car. The fact of the matter is all cars from our history were “new” to us at some point in time but we made memories and lived experiences with them and that’s what made them special. I’m sure I’ll make new memories with the E92 and I’ll likely write about them, but for now, I’m still going to do a double take and turn my head around every time I see a Steel Grey Metallic E46 330i. I don’t know where my old car will end up, it’s too old and has too many miles on it to be sold at the dealership where I traded it in. I can only hope it goes to a new owner who will appreciate it, care for it and will hopefully create their own memories that they will reminisce about when the times comes for them to pass the car along to someone else.
Anthony came back with the box, he looked at me and noticed I was a ball of emotions. He seemed to get it. “Don’t worry, you’ll love your new car, you’ll drive it and make awesome memories with it. This thing is fast.” He handed me the box and I went about my business removing all of my belongings out of what I still had a hard time calling my “old car.”
When I got to the trunk an idea hit me. “Hey Anthony, could you please do me a favor and allow me to remove my rear license plate frame from my old car and put in on the new one?” He smiled and graciously agreed. Now with the frame installed I’d always have a piece of my old car, a sort of in memoriam if you will, a symbolic “thank you” nod of sorts.
I did one last walk around her as if to thank her for all the awesome roads she’s taken me on, for not breaking down too often, for pulling hard when I needed her to and for putting a smile on my face every time I walked up to her. Then I thanked everyone involved with the purchase, stepped into my new car, adjusted my rear-view mirror and from the mirror took one last look at my old car before I headed for home. It was a Sunday afternoon on November 2nd 2014.
So there you have it. That’s my most recent story, it came from the heart and I hope it will inspire you to share your stories with us! Tell us about your fond car memories, your excited hellos, your bittersweet farewells and your amazing trips!