Some years ago, both my daughter Alexandra and I had motorcycles. On trails, she rode a Yamaha TT-R125L. For the street, she had a Kawasaki Ninja 250. My choices were a Honda CRF230 for the dirt and a Suzuki SV650 for the highway.
We had some good father-daughter adventures. But as the years passed, we rode less and less.
One day, Arun Sharma, a good friend and then-general manager of the Ducati store in Portland, stopped by the SCM offices to visit. While looking at my Alfas, he saw the bikes tucked in the corner.
He asked how often we rode the street bikes. “Hardly ever,” I replied.
He mentioned that especially with street bikes, if you don’t take them out on a regular basis you dull your riding reflexes, which can be dangerous. With dirt bikes, because the speeds are usually much lower and the trails less complicated than city streets, it’s not such an issue.
Then he said, “I’m going to put a note in my calendar to call you in a year. If you haven’t ridden your Suzuki or the Kawasaki between now and then, I’ll come and get the bikes and sell them for you on consignment.”
And that’s exactly what happened. He called a year later, and we hadn’t taken them out. That day he picked them up and sold them for us.
Is there a similar rule we should apply to our cars?
With my collection at ten cars (give or take, and besides who is counting?) they won’t all get exercised regularly.
The Lotus Elise has belonged to Alexandra for more than two years, but with the pressures and travel of her work for Western Star Trucks she hasn’t found time to drive it. And she loves that car more than any other one I own.
Since it is essentially a modified Toyota drivetrain with a plastic Lotus body wrapped around it, it is by far the most modern and least demanding of my two-seaters.
Its needs pale in comparison to her other favorite, the 1965 Alfa Giulia Spider Veloce. She has been driving it for the past 14 years, since she was 16. It’s a precision timepiece that requires the regular attention of a watchmaker to keep it right.
“Once I get my garage cleaned out, I’ll bring the Lotus over,” she told me.
And after the front and rear yards are landscaped, and the furnace and electrical service at her home upgraded. And she’s not off traveling across the country, I thought to myself.
And that doesn’t include preparing for her upcoming wedding. I fear despite her best intentions, Lotus-time may be a long-time coming.
All this makes me wonder if I should set an arbitrary timeframe for lack of use resulting in a car being put up for sale.
What would you do to keep your collection trimmed down to just the cars you use the most?