Four and a half years ago I bought a red roadster. And this past week I sold it. How do I feel about it? I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out.
As midlife crises go, mine was mild. My red convertible was a Mazda Miata that was approaching twenty years old and was well into six figures on the odometer. It was, however, in excellent shape and sold by a fellow I knew who had maintained it impeccably over his longtime ownership.
I am still not sure whether a midlife crisis was involved, but the car happened along at just the right time. The first couple of years my Mrs. and I enjoyed it quite a lot, finding many excuses to go places on warm summer evenings.
But. (And isn’t there always a “but”?) Everything changes.
I noticed a pattern. Each summer (I only rarely drove it in the colder months when we were pressed for a third car) I found myself driving it only about half as many miles as I had driven it the summer before. And for 2019 the trend line was following that pattern.
I was having trouble finding the time for tinkering on it and giving it those occasional buff & fluffs, something I had always enjoyed. The result was that the little red car was spending long stretches just sitting in the garage, accumulating dust and the occasional cobweb.
There was also an issue about garage space. Last winter some storage items temporarily displaced Mrs. JPC’s vehicle from the garage, a situation that was becoming less OK as the months passed. Yes, I was becoming one of those people who kept an old, inexpensive car inside while the much newer and more valuable one sat out.
I was also going to need to find storage room for the newly-purchased Snapper this winter. First-world problems to be sure, but problems nonetheless – problems that all seemed solvable with one fewer car in the household.
I must also acknowledge my long history of being a fickle lover when it comes to cars. Infatuation and romance are always followed by either disillusionment or at least indifference. I handled this particular vehicular relationship better than I have handled most of the others, but I still felt ready to move on in other directions. “Hey Red, we have to talk. It’s not you, it’s me.”
So I did it. I took pictures and put an ad online. It was a nice car and was purchased by the first guy who came to look at it. He is young and enthusiastic and had been looking for a good Miata for awhile. He even let me know after his two hour drive home that he is completely in love with it and will provide it with an excellent home. Which makes me feel better about the whole thing.
So now my problems are solved. I no longer feel guilty about ignoring my Miata. And my bride’s car is in the garage. But I miss it, at least the fun parts of owning it.
It remains true that life is all about trade-offs. Priorities in life come and go. Sometimes a fun little red roadster is just what a guy needs. And sometimes some empty garage space fits the bill. The decision has been made and acted upon. And if there was ever a mid-life crisis involved in this situation, it seems to be over now.
Perhaps someday I will be on the prowl for another hobby car. I do love that sort of thing, you know. But first I will have to make some room for it.