Results - What's Your Greatest Motoring Regret?
I've read through them all, cried at some, laughed at others, and here is the result.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a story, I've trawled through all 100+ answers and come up with a winner. I was looking for a story that'd tug at my heartstrings, leave me with a lump in my throat and a tight throat, swallowing back tears on the writer's behalf. It has not been easy. And the winner is...
Ernesto Rosa De Armas
"Like many people, there is one car I sold that I wish I had kept.
I actually owned Scuderia Filipinetti’s Fiat X1/9, the first X1/9 that ever existed. Back in the 80’s there was no internet for us to play with and even though I knew my car was special, I didn’t know it was THAT special. I loved the little car, but to me it was just a race car. One that had served its purpose and was just sitting pretty at home.
The Filipinetti X1/9 was brought to Puerto Rico by the Fiat importers and raced briefly. My parents bought it for me to start racing and after I started to drive for other people in bigger categories the beautiful little X1/9 just adorned the garage. I reluctantly sold the car to a racing friend who at the time was battling cancer. I actually told him that the car had a reputation of being temperamental and that I was worried people thought I was taking advantage of his situation to get rid of the car, but he responded he needed a project to serve him as a goal during his recovery.
And so I sold it.
He eventually did get better and won a championship with the Filipinetti. Sadly his cancer returned short after and passed away. I still miss him. The X1/9 sat abandoned for years, deteriorating and looking like all was left was throw it in a junkyard. Enter the internet, and a German fellow had tracked down the car, bought it and took it back to Germany to have it restored. At least the Filipinetti didn’t end up lost forever in a junkyard."
The car in question.
Special Mention to David Sperry
"While living in Montreal I owned a well used 1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 convertible. It was great fun but developed mechanical problems and burned a lot of oil. In 1960 I decided to trade it and cruised the used car lots.
I new nothing about British sports cars, but spied a 1960 Austin Healey 3000. It was low mileage and was owned by a school teacher who found the driving position too uncomfortable.
The salesman let me take a test drive and it blew my mind...the raw power, the exhaust note, the beautiful body style. The salesman was willing to sell, so we struck a price and he asked to test my Oldsmobile.
The Olds had been sitting awhile so when he started it up a huge cloud of smoke came out of the exhaust. That quickly ended our deal. He was honest enough to say that if I had added two cans of “honey” to the engine oil, the deal would have gone through.
So for $10 worth of honey, I could have been the owner of a 1960 Big Healey. After that, I owned a string of interesting cars...a 1960 Triumph TR3A, a 1964 TR4, a 1967 Mustang Fastback and a 1970 Datsun 240Z, but I never forgot the missed opportunity on the Big Healey."