Don’t look back. That’s what I’m trying to do. Some guy who’d been contacting me on and off for a year now called about the ’36, and in a moment of weakness (or perhaps a moment of clarity, I’m not yet sure), I surprised myself by accepting his (rather lowball) offer on the ’36.
Why sell it?
Lot’s of practical reasons. First off, we have not one, not two, not even three, but 4 other hot rods/customs in the garage, and each and every one needs something. I want to finish the Diamond T to a level I’ve not taken with a project. The ’48 Pontiac is crying for a decent interior to replace the awful early 90′s Caddy seats I stuck in it temporarily over 10 years ago, and it needs a new top. The T’Bird needs the windshield chop completed, repainted and the original front drum brakes and spindles put back on in place of the LTDII stuff I put on back when I sanded the paint off it. The ’51 wagon needs a heater/defroster and wipers before we head out on vacation to the Blue Ridge Parkway in three weeks. Maybe even A/C.
From an emotional standpoint, the roadster had become sort of like my long gone Harley Panhead. I like it. I like seeing it crouched in the garage, like it’s ready to go tear somenes head off, but the reality of driving it isn’t the thrill it was initially. I’d only put a couple hundred miles on all summer, only filled the tank twice. Every time I got in it, I wished I’d not channeled it, left a little more suspension travel, gone with disk brakes on the front, quicker steering, a laundry list of things I’d like to do differently.
In other words, I was thinking of building a completely new chassis, which meant starting over.
Faced with the same prospect several years ago with our ’48 Spartan Manor, we sold it, built the ’46 incorperating all the things we wanted a “do-over” for. The car is the same. Why re-do, as oppossed to a clean slate start over?
The tipping point was a conversation with my friend John. He summed it pretty well when he said, “That’s always going to be YOUR car. Every time this guy shows it, takes it anywhere, people will ask, ‘Did you build it?’, and he’ll have to say, ‘No, some guy in Michigan built it, I just bought it.’ You had the vision, built it, got famous with it in Hot Rod. It’s still always going to be YOUR car.”
Very true. I had fun designing it. I had fun collecting the parts and putting them together. I even had fun working out the myriad “bugs” the car had initially, and I really had fun seeing it published in Hot Rod magazine, a life-long dream.I even made money, pretty serious money, on it, and that doesn’t happen very often with collector cars. It’s true the per/hour rate wasn’t as much as had I worked as many hours of overtime, but how much fun would that have been? It certainly beat what I’d have made watching TV.
Sort of like hitting the Trifecta.
Will I replace it something else? I’m sure that SOMETHING will come along, after all, nature (and avacant garage stall) abhors a vacuum. I have a couple of cars left in me, I just need to decide that will be. I’ve got a couple of ideas swirling around, but nothing has “jelled” yet. The “to do” list above is certainly long enough, and something else will probably (definitely) have to go before another project is started.
For now, I’m not regretting the decision to let it go, and we’ll see what happens from here.
Addendum: I should also add to the list of things to be done that the Chris Craft needs a new bottom, much of the decking replaced, and new seat covers. There’s also the “new” ’47 Manor in the back yard that I promised the orignal owners I was going to restore. I need to re-build (again!) the pump for the plow for the GMC, after all winter is coming, and I’d really like to re-hab Craigs Mustang convert. All of a sudden, all that money seems to be spent…