When to Say Goodbye
These projects of ours, they never end do they? Sometimes it is all we can do to keep our vehicles running, and when they are running all we can think of is the next improvement or modification that’s on the to-do list. It is devilishly easy to get carried away and let a vehicle swallow your life, and because owning a vintage car is nothing short of a series of irrational choices anyway, it can be hard to know when a project has spun out of control. So how do you know when it is time to say goodbye?
At what point is enough enough, and the only way to stay sane is to part ways with your once-beloved machine?
It is certainly not a monetary decision. It is impossible to run a classic car without constantly and consistently putting more money into the thing than you will ever get back out. That is just the name of the game we have chosen to play. Surely, some big-ticket repairs force our hands and we have to sell a project on to the next owner, but those are the easy decisions to make. No, It’s the “death by inches” repairs that make saying goodbye so difficult.
When to part ways also cannot be determined by the amount of time spent on a project for much the same reason as it cannot be based on money. This is our hobby; it is how we choose to spend our free time. If you’re not enjoying the time you spend spinning wrenches and spilling oil, you’ve gotten into the wrong pastime chummy.
The only way to make the decision when to say goodbye to your project is to make it an emotional decision. I know that sounds patently wrong, but hear me out. When you no longer appreciate your ride, when it fills you with more anger than delight, it is surely time to let it go. Now, short bursts of temper and sadness come and go with these things, but a sustained amount of moroseness around your vehicle is as sure a sign as any that’s it’s time to let go. When it becomes nothing more than a challenge on wheels that you simply must conquer, say goodbye. At that point you’ve stopped enjoying a vehicle and started being frustrated by a rapidly rusting puzzle. Scenarios don’t end well from there, trust me.
When you no longer look at your machine longingly, but merely as a challenge you’re excited to be through with, move on. Whether you send it to a good home and let it live on, or send it to the wreckers to exorcise your soul, do whatever you need to do to become whole again. You’ll be thankful you did. Saying goodbye is never easy, and regret over past vehicles is just part of the lifestyle, but in the end you’ll be happier. A weight will be lifted from your life, and that little cloud that’s been following over you will quickly disappear. It’s hard to do, but parting is sometimes best for all involved. Besides, you’ll now have an empty spot that can get filled with another vehicle, because that process never ends either…