Almost every car enthusiast has a story of selling a car that they regret. We’ve all been there; we buy a car that we want, fall in love with it over several years and then sell it for one reason or another. Often times, that sale is accompanied with regret. Sometimes that regret stems from simply missing it and other times it comes from the car becoming far more valuable than what it was sold for. So what was the car you most regret selling?
To be honest, I’ve only sold two cars in my life so far; my 1996 BMW 328i and 2012 Volkswagen Passat. Of the two, I only miss my old E36. It wasn’t a highly desirable spec — it was an Arctic Silver Metallic sedan with black interior, wood trim and *gasp* an automatic gearbox — but it was mine. I loved my 3er over my nearly ten years of ownership, even if many of those years were troublesome.
When I bought it, it had 142,000 miles on it and was in near-perfect condition. The only thing wrong with it at the time of my purchase was its driver’s side rear door lock that didn’t power lock/unlock. That’s it. Other than that, it was perfect. Even the paint and interior. However, I bought it at 17 years old and I was an idiot (there’s some evidence to suggest my idiocy isn’t just in the past) that didn’t know anything about car maintenance or mechanical sympathy.
So I beat on my car, thinking I was a great driver, and I was careless with it. Despite my idiotic treatment and negligence for years, it survived somehow. But by the time I knew how to take care of it and genuinely cared for it, it was too late. It was already quite worn down and rusty and the cost of bringing it back to life would have cost almost double what it was worth. So I drove it, and fixed what I could as I went along, until it couldn’t go any longer. Still, it lasted until 248,000 miles before I finally sold it for peanuts to a shop that built E36 track cars. This way, I felt it would still be useful after its life was over.
I regret selling it because I’ve missed it ever since but, more than that, I regret being an idiot and not caring for it from the beginning. Sure, it was automatic and it was a sedan, which isn’t exactly the most ideal combination, but it was my E36 and it was lovely to drive. I made some incredible memories in that car, though; I met my wife, used it to help move into my first home and drove it on many different trips. So while it’s the only car I regret losing, it’s one that still gives me the feels, years later.
So that’s my automotive sob story. What’s yours?