Goodbye to a dear friend
Selling a car can be a long, dull and frustrating experience for us all. Listing the car on various different websites and then sitting in hope that someone trustworthy shows up to buy it without them trying to haggle you down by £5k because they found a light scratch on the left mudguard.
However through this modern day tedium, there is another side to selling a car for us petrol heads; an emotional side that most car-fans have been through at least once. Not many people fully understand the depth of what it means to say goodbye to a loved car for us.
The attachment to our cars
This car wasn’t the most expensive, it wasn’t the fastest and certainly wasn’t the best. The steering was far too light, the infotainment system was ten years old, I spent a stupid amount of money trying to get music to play from my phone and the dashboard was usually lit up with warning signs that would irritatingly just ‘get better’. It even tried to send me up a gated public footpath in Cornwall to get home to London (I learnt my lesson about never using built-in satnav that day). But it was my very first V8 GT car and from the moment I drove it, I fell in love with her.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that we fall in love with imperfection; the fact that she had so many little issues meant I just fell for her some more.
She took me to the Geneva motor show, to Belgium to see Spa, to Germany to thrill me at high speed on a quiet autobahn, to Brands hatch for my first track day and ushered me through every day life for two years. It took everything I threw at it on the chin and while this isn't a car review - I can honestly say that the Jaguar XK is one of the hidden gems out there when it comes to being a great 'drivers car'. I was happy at the wheel of this machine for 5 days straight on several European road trips, it was comfortable, fun and didn't break down once.
So you can probably understand, when it came to see this one go, the effect it had has stayed and even though the XK is gone, the memories and how it made me feel have lived on.
Why the fuss?
Now for those of you who aren’t car people, reading this and possibly thinking “why is this person talking about some metal box as if it’s a person?” - let me try and explain what the majority of us here at DriveTribe feel.
We don’t see our cars as utility vehicles to ship ourselves and some shopping from A to B. Our cars are used to transport us away from every-day life and to center our focus on doing what we love.. driving. When you turn into a bend and nail the corner, when you see a long straight and press your right foot in to the ground to be launched forward with more noise from those beautiful exhausts than your perhaps anticipated - these factors all contribute to a perfect drive and the perfect drive gives us such overwhelming feeling of freedom and emotion. What makes a car special is that it enables us to experience these feelings that can elevate our mood to a whole new level. I should admit at this point that not every car does this, but some cars you just feel as if they’re alive, as if they have a soul.
And that's exactly what this Jaguar had, a soul. I went through 26,000 miles with this one car and we saw everything together from snowy mountain tops to river roads. Imagine going on journeys like this with another human, you’re going to feel closer to them after spending all that time together - this is exactly the same. Our cars see the same sights as us and take us through every leg of the journey. They enable us to feel free and as a result of the time spent, the sights seen and the emotion given - we become deeply attached to them.
The Sad Selling Part
It's one of the saddest moments when we see our cars being driven away by a stranger and knowing that it's unlikely we're ever going to see that vehicle again. You hear the final roar of the engine, one last growl from a V8 to give a shout back and remind you of all the incredible times that this car gave you.
For us ‘car people’, selling a car is like saying goodbye to a best friend. A friend that has been with you through so much, seen the same sights as you, been through the same pain as you and has looked after you the best they can.
For those of you who are petrol heads and haven’t experienced this, I genuinely hope you’re lucky enough to buy a car that feels alive very soon. I realise how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to own such a car and actually get the time to use it properly - I hope I've shared some insight as to what it's like to get one of these cars.
To the people around me who don't understand when I say I'm upset to see my car go, I hope this now makes a bit more sense. And finally, to my lovely XK: goodbye and thank you so much. I hope you are with someone who can look after you.
I would love to hear some of your stories of cars you’ve loved in the comments, I feel it’s important to let those who are not car fans know what these cars mean to us.