It’s 3 am and I’m typing this out eating a bag of gas station nuts. You know, the ones on the 99 cent shelf. “Warning” the package reads, “May contain NUTS”. No shit. Last one to go, and like that it’s gone. Not a moment was spared reminiscing about it. Why was it there? Where had it been? Did it have any children? Not really unlike my recent luck with cars. My cherished Mustang is the sack of nuts. And like the last nut it too is now gone. I’ll admit it, I get really sentimental with cars, and that never makes them an easy sell.
So why did I sell it? Simple, because I wanted something else. That sort of goes against my sentiment does it not? Not really and here’s why; I bought the mustang when I turned 18. I was finally an adult and I wanted a car fitting of that. At the time my automotive experience was limited to a 92’ Wrangler and a 88’ 4Runner. So a Jeep, and a Japanese wannabe Jeep. My twisted sense of logic concluded that because I’d be soon moving from the country to the city for college, that I needed a “car” for commuting. Therefor it had to be a V8, and fast. Albeit the Mustang’s 4.6 modular V8 isn’t what you’d call “fast”, but coming from a c̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶d̶̶̶b̶̶̶o̶̶̶a̶̶̶r̶̶̶d̶̶̶ ̶b̶o̶x̶ Jeep I thought it was the fastest thing in the universe. I confidently rode that false sense of speed until the day I lost a race to a Dodge Avenger (yes, that really happened).
Fast forward a year and three speeding tickets later, it was getting too expensive to insure on a college budget, so came my first bout with selling it. Problem, turns out unbeknownst to me it had a salvage history. So basically I’d been screwed, unknowingly having paid three times it’s actual value. By then it had a freshly rebuilt motor, but that was irrelevant to prospective buyers. “Will you take payments?” or “Trade for HERBS.” Is how most conversations went. At the very least, the grass would’ve made me feel better. I decided however that I hadn’t yet lost enough money and set about keeping it as a track car.
Two words: Track. Car. Turns out next to each other those words become something rather expensive. By this point, a professor of mine talked me into doing a couple of autocross events -cool professor right? They say two cigarettes is all it takes to get addicted. If only tobacco companies could bundle the sensation of Motorsports into tightly wrapped death sticks, because one track day is all it took to get me hooked. And in autocross the Mustang wasn't that bad. Stock 3.23 rear gears meant first and second gear kept me in the power-band, and strict classing also meant I could be competitive in my class. But then, I hit the next problem. I started getting better, and I needed the car to grow with me as a driver. That’s when the mods happened... Sway bars, chassis braces, track compound brakes, slicks, steel braided brake lines, etc. After that my seat exceeded its ability to hold me in place, so in went a fixed back bucket and a five point harness. In the end I had a car that grew and got better along with it’s driver. I still sucked (still do), but the car was good. Up to a point that is. It was only a matter of time until I wanted to go even faster. And the car could only give so much before more mods became necessary. Logically the next step would’ve been swapping its archaic solid rear axle for independent suspension. However on a budget that would still be $2500, and other alternatives like a Watts link were almost as expensive and less effective. If I committed to achieving my dream build, I’d finish $10,000 into a car that’s maybe worth half that. It didn’t help either knowing that a bone stock Miata with the right driver would still best my times. And with that, I resolved to sell it again, this time at an even bigger loss. Difference is, I opened myself up to trades and that’s where I struck gold-ish.
In a complete 180, I traded for a motorcycle. That’s right, the love of my life for a bike. Though a tougher decision than I make it sound. Because in all of that I grew an attachment to the car. It grew with me as I discovered my passion for Motorsports, and without it I wouldn’t have made some of the closest friends I have today. But like that, all good things are eventually traded for a Craigslist motorcycle. That’s okay though. Because in other news I’ve bought a different car, and it’s a convertible. Also I’m out of nuts.