Keith’s Blog: Should You Sell Your Kid’s Car?

Last week I sold our 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Veloce.

I told my son Bradley, and he said, “Dad, you sold MY car.”

It’s been a tough year for his budding collection.

Earlier, we sold the eponymous Bradley GT. He didn’t mind that because, as he said on a YouTube video, “This is a terrible, terrible car.”

Not long after that we sold his 1959 Bugeye Sprite. This situation was a little tougher. He was with me when I bought the car, and visited it regularly as marque expert Chip Starr brought it back to life.

We had gone on a couple of road trips together. He had mastered the arcane art of installing the side curtains.

But as I became more thoughtful about the lack of safety features on the car, it was clear to me it would never be Bradley’s daily driver.

After a thoughtful discussion, he agreed that selling it was the prudent thing to do.

We discussed what would be a good first car for him.  Bradley decided the 2006 Lotus Elise, with its four airbags and fantastic modern brakes, would be perfect.

The only challenge is that my daughter Alex has already claimed that car.

She already watched me sell that car out from underneath her once, and I bought it back two years later with a hangdog expression on my face. She isn’t about to give it up without a fight.

We settled on a compromise. For the next three years, until Bradley turns 15, she can have exclusive use of the Lotus. After that, they can flip a coin.

While I hated to disappoint Bradley by selling two thirds of his collection, as a parent it was the right thing to do. Cars are self-propelled missiles that weigh over a ton. They can inflict injury and cause death if not properly managed. Operating one, especially in modern traffic, is not something to be taken lightly.

I look forward to teaching him to drive on modern car, and then gradually introducing him to the world of the arcane and archaic vehicles that mean so much to us.

He — and Alex —have many years of wondrous motorized experiences ahead of them.

Keith Martin

Keith Martin has been involved with the collector car hobby for more than 30 years. As a writer, publisher, television commentator and enthusiast, he is constantly on the go, meeting collectors and getting involved in their activities throughout the world. He is the founder and publisher of the monthly Sports Car Market and bi-monthly American Car Collector magazines, has written for the New York Times, Automobile, AutoWeek, Road & Track and other publications, is an emcee for numerous concours, and has his own show, “What’s My Car Worth,” shown on Velocity.

Posted in Blogs, Keith Martin

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  1. Keith –
    Kudos on selling the Bug Eye before Bradley got too attached. I bought my son a 1967 RHD MGBGT to take off to college. After all, I drove MGBs in college. But after driving the MGBGT a bit, I came to The same conclusion as you. Arthur ended up taking a 2005 Subaru Outback turbo 5-speed back yo school — quick enough to satisfy his needs but also relatively practical and safe.

  2. Flipping for the Elise is a little extreme for the child who looses the toss. You’ve got to come up with an alternative automotive solution for Bradley (In my strong opinion…)

  3. What makes your kids (and mine also) think that parents are going to support them for the rest of their lives? Get rid of the pre 2010 cars in 10 years no one will be able to fix them. Not even the owners. You can ask me about air cooled Porsche repair! Your kids will be in a horrific accident as they learn to drive hopefully their brand new car will save their lives.