Never Shoulda Hadta Duet

Do you have a car you wish you had never sold? Maybe times were tough, you couldn’t afford the repairs, or just had too many cars in the driveway. But when you look back at it, you wish you had never sold it. For those who know me well, it should come as no surprise which car I should not have sold.

When gas prices were close to $4 a gallon, I made the seemingly stupid decision to purchase a 1982 Jaguar XJ-S with a V12 engine. Despite what people may have been thinking, I knew what I was doing. The car may have only averaged 16 mpg, but I also knew that it was the time to buy if I ever was going to get a car like that.

The fear at the time was that gas prices were going to hit $5 or $6 per gallon. (Premium gas almost did.) Most people were afraid to buy a big-engined car knowing they’d be unable to afford the fuel bill. But that actually turned things to my favor. I was able to purchase the car at a ridiculously low price. If I recall correctly, I bought it for $2,200.

At the time, I was a fledgling salesman at Leikin Volvo and had come into the business when the economy was at a low point. One veteran salesman told me that I had taken a sales job at the worst possible time. He was right. The first couple of months were very difficult. But I kept driving the dream car.

But, as you know, there comes a time when dreams have to meet reality. That day came when I acknowledged several inconvenient truths:

  1. Fuel costs – I could not afford $70 each fill-up for gas.
  2. Leaking oil – I had to keep a case of oil in the trunk.
  3. Heater – I had no heat in this car (and winters are cold in NE Ohio).
  4. Headroom – I had the seat repaired and my head rubbed the ceiling.
  5. Family – I knew the kids would not fit in that tiny backseat for much longer.

In July of 2008, I put the car up for sale, but few were interested despite the shiny pictures. I finally had one offer which included cash plus an $800 trade. (Remember the Shark, anyone?) With my situation the way it was, I had to do it. But I often wonder if I should have kept it. And I wonder if I could ever get it back. Maybe some day.

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