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.