Nostalgia and classic cars

We had been going back and forth for 6 weeks about selling the Fiat 124 sedan and finally let it go on Sunday.  A charming young woman is the new owner and she couldn’t be happier.  I thought long and hard about the reason we had such a hard time letting it go.  Lots of good times were had in it and it represents a physical link to bygone days -albeit in this case not so long ago, having only been in our care for 5 years.  It got me thinking about the cars we’ve had over the years and the good times had in each -and in the big sense, how people everywhere experience similar nostalgic feelings around their old cars.

The take away here is the big smile.  She is in love with this car and excited to own, drive, care for and create good times in it.

Every year the price of old cars goes up and up (or down) based on two market forces.  The first is easy to track: the allure of the rare and exotic and all ownership of said vehicles does for your status/ego etc and a collective unconscious consensus of certain cash-carrying citizens conception of value.  The second is nostalgia.  The humblest of cars become valuable because everyone had one as a kid and being around one reminds them of being young, free, foolish, fleeing the city for a picnic on the coast on a sunny day or <insert specific organism descriptor of particular pleasurable pass-time here>.  You should see the way my dad looks at and talks about the old Chevy we’re working on.  I have memories of me as a little kid losing Lego’s through holes in the floor as we drive from Seattle back to San Francisco; he has any number of other good times represented by the 40 year old empty Miller Hi-Life bottle I found stashed in one of the hollow corners of the cab, in a bag with a receipt for about 25 cents.  The only real separation is on the number line of time.

Hard evidence of good times past.

Nick and Bill and the MGBGT.  I met these guys in 1999 in this car. It got hit pretty hard year before last while parked.  Every measure of value versus expense/effort to fix said to let it go and scrap it, but nostalgia won and it got put back together.

I guess the sense of things I’m writing about right now grows in you as you get older and more involved with the relationships in your life and start to see the self you see in the mirror as an older more broken down version of the self you see when you imagine yourself.

Looking much better than usual.  I guess after this write up I can never let this car go unless it means the difference between starving and eating or it’s languishing in a bog instead of in more caring hands.  How does it looks so good here?? 

I guess I’m doomed to hunt down the 1965 Mustang Fastback my parents had since 1969 and I had in high school.  I could tell stories about it almost endlessly, from the time in the summer of ’75 when I was 3 years old and my Crayons melted in the back of the car in the hot summer sun, to late night rendezvous with girlfriends in high school.  Nostalgia.  Can’t live without it.


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