Reader Submissions: My Porsche 968 Taught Me That There's No Harm In Selling A Keeper

My Porsche 968 Taught Me That There’s No Harm In Selling A Keeper

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
December 8, 2017
17 comments

Story and photography provided by Tarek Salah

When you find a special car—the right year, a desirable color, nicely spec’d, taken care of, you know what I mean—everyone will be quick to tell you how lucky you are. They don’t care how long it took to find nor how many dead-end phone calls were required before you could convince the owner to sell, and they don’t care what price you paid either: deals are “steals,” a fair price is a “bargain,” too much is “what the good ones are worth these days,” and however much it cost you you are most certainly “lucky.”

If enough people tell you that you simply must keep something you’re already fond of, that you’re obligated to hold onto it ’til the end because of some trait that it possesses or inspires in its drivers, you can begin to convince yourself it’s true. And really, it’s mostly true; when you find yourself the owner of a notable car (or even just something rather mundane that you happen to be especially fond of), it can be a painful experience to pass it on to someone else, and it’s common, to me at least, to maintain a type of wistfulness for a few weeks after selling a car along with some pangs of guilt that strike the hardest whilst you’re clicking away searching for a replacement.

I have no bone to pick with the kinds of people I mentioned earlier, and I clearly understand where they’re coming from (relationships, even with inanimate things like front-engined Porsches, can evolve and flourish in ways that only long periods of time can allow). I just want to make my case for moving on. It’s basically summed up with this car, a white 1995 Porsche 968.

#146 of 258 imported to the ‘States in that model year, it’s a pretty rare car all things relative, and to boot, it also came from the factory with a bunch of desirable options like a paint-matched rear spoiler, limited-slip diff, and power seats. Yeah, I hear you, good old light and simple manual seats are better (for those reasons), but it’s a four-cylinder Porsche remember, it’s not like some additional poundage in the way of a luxury really holds it back.

It also had low mileage, a rowable six-speed, the iconic turbo twist wheels, and a TechArt front lip. In short, I’m saying I was pretty taken by this car, and though it’s not a high-dollar early 911 or something like that, it was the kind of thing I’d keep if I was the person who did that kind of thing. My mindset when it comes to owning vintage cars and modern classics is that you should sell them and buy other things with the money. Cars being the things. If you’re patient and seek out the right cars you can experience all sorts of machines if you’re willing to let go of them like I recently did with this 968.

Think of it like this: you get to have own another (hopefully) fun car in the garage, and in selling your old one you give someone else the chance to enjoy it. Everyone wins. Of course, that’s just my opinion though—what do you think? Regret the one that you let get away, or are you happy to have enjoyed a long chain of fun cars?

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Hans Marius Støre MastermogordwheelsSteveLittlefieldauto43Timothy Stoops Recent comment authors
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Hans Marius Støre Mastermo
Hans Marius Støre Mastermo

Good topic! I bought a -72 Mercedes 250 CE, some 13 years ago. Sold it after 2-3 years, mainly because of space issues. Some years went by and I started to regret selling the car. So much that I actually contacted the buyer and asked to get it back. So 5 years after selling it, it found it’s way back in my garage. Sell it again? Nope, don’t think so. Love the car, it’s paid, and value is increasing steadly. What’s not to like 🙂

gordwheels
gordwheels

I agree. My moment came when I had four vehicles in the underground garage of my apartment. Two BMW motorcycles, an 01 R1100S & an 02 R1200C, a 99 Subaru Legacy wagon and an 02 BMW 530 (M Sport). The R1100S & the Subaru wagon moved on to grateful new owners which makes me happy also.

SteveLittlefield
SteveLittlefield

Very interesting article. Beautiful car, too. I tend to be of the type who owns cars & motorcycles for long periods of time. I’ve owned my BMW R75 for over 20 years and will probably never give it up. I once owned a car for 39 years and another for 28. By that time, I had turned every bolt more than once and had fully exhausted all of the possibilities for improving them. Usually something has to happen for me to sell a car or bike that I love. I sold a Porsche 993 because it was too hard to… Read more »

auto43
auto43

As long as I know that the car is going to a good home and the new owner will take good care of it, then I will be happy for both the car and new owner.

Timothy Stoops

I have recently come to the same decision after 9 years with my current toy, an ’81 911 SC. The fact that it spent 3 of those years off the road for various repairs was balanced by the enjoyment of driving it occasionally. But I’ve had it long enough, the market is strong for them and another toy will follow. I have to keep the garage full!

Paul Steel
Paul Steel

I’m definitely on the “sell and move on” side, I have 2 garage spaces and 2 garaged classics, currently an Alfa GT junior and BMW 2002, I normally keep a car for 2 or 3 years, but I have been the custodian of these two for 5 and 3 years, nothing in my limited price range has tempted me so far, and I don’t like loans or big restoration bills (although a Saab 99 turbo had my interest recently), but if I have both of these in 12 months time, it will be a record! My parked in the street… Read more »

Kannan Ramakrishnan
Kannan Ramakrishnan

Good topic. My “Grail” car is a 1993 500E which I bought a few years ago with 61K miles and full history. I am the third owner. The love affair seems to reignite everytime I get in. It’s not the fastest car I’ve driven but there is a certain balance to the car and how it makes every trip feel special somehow that would make it hard for me to part with it. I cam close to buying a second “beater” with 220K miles but had no room so arranged for a buddy to buy it. Now he tells me… Read more »

Dennis White
Dennis White

Sell my kids? I think I’ll let my son worry about that someday (hopefully not too soon)!

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

One of the biggest reasons I find it really hard to get rid of a keeper is that the longer you own a particular car, the greater the number of strong memories you build with that car, making it even harder to pass on to someone else. In my case, it’s really the memories rather than any other factor that prevents me from selling my GTV. Consider this, I restored that car to near concours quality in 2008 for a lot more money than it would have cost to buy another perfect GTV. I chose to do that because I… Read more »

Mike b
Mike b

I’ve been thru 6 different classic sports cars looking for that perfect mix of style, performance and engagement. Each time I change I come up with a good justification. Most of the time the love affair ends after about 3-4 years. I usually regret selling it later….like the 84 911 or the lotus super seven. Some made sense to leave…like the mazdaspeed miata ( not exciting enough). Each time it’s less than $25k and each time the net loss is only about $5k factoring in upgrades. Life is too short to only experience on car

Greg Hanson
Greg Hanson

I recently had a bit of personal epiphany on this very subject. While I’ve been a car enthusiast since I could walk, my “responsible” side has (almost) always taken precedence in what I’ve actually purchased. I’m a strong believer in the old adage “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.” I’m also adverse to car payments or paying big dollars to insurance, thus I’ve tended to limit myself to vehicles that are more practical than fun, particularly performance cars. Yet I couldn’t help but feel a little wistfulness that my budget… Read more »

Tarek Salah

Hey guys, thanks for your replies, it was definitely a hard decision to let go of the car- I am a P-Car dealer & only purchase certain pedigree cars, but this one was just extra special.. Being an Enthusiast first before ever turning my passion into my business sometimes makes it emotionally hard to sell some of these cars. The day the car arrived to CA my jaw dropped at how beautiful it was, i drove it for about 1700 miles or so and enjoyed every mile with a grin on my face. I’m sure Ross the new owner will… Read more »

rggale
rggale

I think it’s the “partial leather” that threw them off 😛

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

Tarek, I tell my wife that what I really want to do for a living is sell vintage cars. She laughs at me and says I don’t have what it takes to succeed in that business — because I fall too deeply in love with the cars I buy and can’t bear to buy a car I never cared for. Deep down I know she’s right.

rggale
rggale

Tarek, Interesting question, and an internal battle that a lot of us hobbyists face. Keep “forever”, or “enjoy” and move on? Move on, or move on and regret? I love (nearly) every motor vehicle I have ever owned. As my friends can attest, they are a really diverse bunch, and each provide or provided me with unique pleasures, unique pains, and a hell of a lot of quirks. That’s what there is to love about them. The hard part is knowing when is the right time to let go, if there ever is. Some people choose to be car collectors… Read more »

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo

Great topic and one that takes up way too much inside-my-head debate. I have had a lot of cars that I let go and didn’t regret losing for long. I loved them, but I was always happy for what I got in place of them. Then there are a couple of cars I just have not been able to let myself say goodbye to, a ’69 1750 GTV in Giallo Ochre being one of them. The article from a day or two ago about the parked one made me glad I still have mine — 24 years now. I think… Read more »

Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

Tarek,
Thanks for bringing up an interesting subject. Letting go of a very desirable car whether vintage or modern has always come easy (maybe too easy) for me. I recently sold a very gorgeous Mustang replacing it with a new car that was, at least to my friends, a wild departure from my previous rides. When asked why I did’t keep the ‘Stang I realized that I simply don’t have room in my head for another “commitment car.” It’s not always about finances or garage space.