Ramble: The part that is hardest

Update October 31, 2016: I was listening to the radio the other day and someone said “You can’t buy anticipation” and it reminded me of this post.

April 26, 2013: A popular song would have you think that anticipation is the most difficult aspect of any soon to be fulfilled desire.  It is to some, but to me it’s usually the best part, because the thing anticipated, lets say a recently purchased Alfa 1900C that’s currently in a trailer headed across the country, the thing anticipated once physically in the hand will never be as good as it is imagined in the hand.  Why?  That asymptotic creep toward ennui begins the moment the item occupies my precious garage space.


How’d you like to have this car headed your way in the back of a transporter? Similar color to Market 477’s Alfa Spider.

Asymptotic creep?  You know… you never actually come to loath it, but you become more and more indifferent to its presence in your garage.  Why?  It’s not the next thing.  Believe it or not, the most powerful force$ in the world have been conspiring to make me indifferent to the stuff I already have so I’ll go out and get some new stuff –even better if it’s the stuff they sell.  If I was talking about getting tired of new-ish stuff, these forces would have me in their show room ready to give up my perfectly-good-but-can’t-stand-the-sight-of used car so they can sell it for me at a profit/as a favor, after they get me on the 60 month 3% drip (again) and so the asymptotic creep begins again.  I am simultaneously three revenue sources lucky me!

Since this is about vintage stuff though, I’m feeling the itches of a phantom limb.  The boredom can’t help but be felt, they’ve been training me to cultivate it since birth –the peddlers of toothpaste, breakfast cereal and ‘things I should ask my doctor about’, but they don’t have an outlet for me, nothing for me to purchase, so I’m left to my own devices to find the next thing I’ll get tired of.  So it goes.

But wait you say, the divorce rate isn’t that high –isn’t it possible the romance will last through the winter?  I never said it wont for some –I know guys who have owned the same 1960’s motorcycles since new, guys who know exactly what they want and wait and scheme to get it then hang on forever.  Different strokes for different folks the saying goes.

I suppose I could do both things –there’s no law against vehicular polygamy –I’ve had my Sprint for 13 years now despite a few threats to sell over the years, but there’s not much excitement to be had thinking about my dusty Sprint sitting next to my lawn mower, but that Austin Healey 100 4 ending on eBay in a few hours, that I can pay for and have on the back of a truck by tomorrow is sure exciting to ponder.

What about you all, anyone here susceptible to the excitement of the next purchase like me?


14 thoughts on “Ramble: The part that is hardest

  1. Hi, Matt,

    I feel the longing, too. You sucked me in with the gorgeous Flaminia Super Sport Zagato photo–which made me do a double-take and exclaim, “Wow; can that be MY photo?!” I had to go digging in the archives for all my pictures from the 2009 Concorso Italiano in Monterey, CA. Sure enough, I have virtually the exact same photo, from almost the same angle–only difference is there’s someone else in the background! It won Best of Marque, and I spent some time talking to Ari Baron, its owner, who had only recently finished the restoration. Drop dead gorgeous car–I didn’t quite have the heart to ask if he’d trade me even for my Giulietta Spider. Here it is crossing the dais after picking up the trophy: http://www.concorso.com/awards/09/images-large/LANCIA_WINNER.JPG

      • I should have it, but please send me your email addy again and I’ll email you the photo. Thanks, Dave

      • Matt, Do you know if light blue metallic was ever a standard color for 750 Sprints? I’ve seen lots of light blue non metallic. Might somone have a sales brochure or factory paint info?

        I think a couple of years ago there was a light blue 750 Sprint on Ebay, maybe in Mass. You wouldn’t have a link to that would you?

        Thanks and keep up the great work.

        New member Don Fowler

  2. Interesting ramble… love the dropped-in reference to the 1900C purchase. Did you!? Such an apparently innocuous recent blog about shifts in values and what project cars are affordable… and then; boom!

    I totally understand what you’re exploring here, but but have a slightly different angle on it (hey, I’ve been married nearly 20 years, I believe in longevity). For me, I realised relatively recently – after 20+ years of old Italian car obsession and ownership – that the restoration project is as, or even more important than the driving.

    To be more specific (and this relates directly to the theme of ‘anticipation’ that you explore); I love the process of bringing a car that has been out of action for a while to a usable state.

    Why? I think the reason is pretty close to the psychological insight that you’re exploring… Living in expectation (anticipation) of some joyous future event, a visualisation of a better future where the rejuvenated jalopy carries you off into the sunset!, is, if I’m honest, part of what keeps the old car impulse alive.

    That’s why I’m going to sell a running, usable B20 to concentrate on the restoration of a basket case B20 project.

    All good fun.

    Enjoy yours…


    • No 1900 in my future -could have read anything from a DKW 3=6 to a Yugo.

      Something to look forward to and the differing timelines. I’m product of my generation – I want it now or at least really soon.

      I’ve been married ten years, but with for 17 – I know how to work the longevity angle too.


    • That is an profoundly gorgeous set of words. My red 57 Spider died in 1982, and has been off the road since ….veritably eclipsed by ennui, and everything else in life since, yet it occupies center stage in my limited garage space. I’ve asked that my son bury me in it if I don’t get around to its resurrection. In the meantime other weird hulks….77 Veloce Spyder, 70 Triumph GT6, 72 Saab Sonett….and more…. all dead and all needing time, cash and energy, have gathered in the NW rain and gloom. Ennui prevails.

      • If you decide against having it do coffin duties, you could always pass it along to an enthusiast such as myself…!

  3. Beautifully written, Matt. I remember purchasing my 1750 Ocra GTV about 20 years ago. Driven daily to deliver pizzas in the Chicago winters. As exciting as it was beginning the work……..the wait, the dreaming and the existing smell of that ratty thing was the most exciting anticipation ever. Sitting inside the non running car and making vroom vroom sounds of what that tach and sound would be like at 6500 rpm. I visualized the car and it’s many colors, every day was a different dream………..

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