Sunday, March 1, 2015

A car goes cargo

"Hi, this is Ellen from Streetside Classics in Charlotte. I'm looking for Bruce. We sold a 1966 Mustang and we need the title..."

That was the voicemail message in my cell phone Saturday morning. I'd been waiting for a call like that since last June, when Kim and I made the momentous decision to give up our classic 1966 Wimbledon White Mustang convertible after 20 years of restoration and fun (see here to read why we decided to put it up for sale).

It had been an agonizing wait. Our original asking price, while admittedly optimistic, was probably too high for the economy to bear. But you never know. So, over the previous eight months, we reluctantly came down on our asking price by several thousand dollars, finally aligning ourselves with other 1966 Mustang convertibles on the market.

Then we finally got the call. So we headed down to Charlotte Saturday afternoon with title in hand to complete the transaction.

Signing the title and receiving our check probably took all of three minutes. But Streetside Classics — a wide open warehouse containing probably 100 cars — is also like a car museum, so Kim and I wandered around a bit looking at some amazing vehicles.

After about 10 minutes of ooohing and ahhhing over Camaros, Cadillacs, Thunderbirds and VWs, I saw her. Our Mustang was still on the floor.

"Kim, come here," I said to my wife, who was headed in a different direction.

Kim and I say farewell to a faithful friend.
 We walked over to the car and gave her a complete — and final — inspection. The good memories flashed by, all the top-down fun we had on the road, the admiring looks we'd get from passers-by. Oddly, I didn't feel very sentimental about it at all. That hit me harder the day we had the car transported to Charlotte. Mostly what I felt was relief that the car had finally been sold.

To be truthful, I was a little surprised to see that the car was still in the building. Ellen told us that Streetside had been wired the money from the buyer Friday night.

That's when my curiosity got the better of me.

"I don't need to know who bought the car, but can you tell me where it's going?" I asked, figuring it might be somewhere in the southeast.

"Yes," said Ellen, rifling through some papers. "It's going to Maidstone, Kent, England." (See here).

"Wow," I thought to myself. Then, "Where's that?"

 "It's near London," said Ellen. "It's a pretty nice area, kind of like the Hamptons."

I was almost right. The car was going to the southeast. Southeast England. And, appropriately enough, the car is Wimbledon White. Maybe, ultimately, that was a selling point? Karma, maybe? Or perhaps, car-ma?

Well, all of that made me feel even better about our sale. Apparently, someone of means (read: someone who could afford to take care of the car), was going to get it.

I do wonder why somebody living off the northern climes of the English Channel in a latitude similar to that of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, would want a convertible, but, hey, more power to them.

So, thanks. And have fun. I hope you draw a lot of admiring glances.

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