May 20, 2002 -- You'd have thought it was like the proverbial "shot heard 'round the world" when I did the unthinkable and actually sold Mrs. Jones today on eBay. All this past week, I've been receiving e-mail from Spitfire buddies around the globe who couldn't believe I was actually selling this car that I've doted on and documented the restoral of so meticulously for the past two and a half years.
But once they realized my motivation for selling this unique, early Mk3, complete with custom carb, stealth audio system, exotic dash wood and an all new interior (plus all the other improvements I've made since acquiring the car), most understood. A few even applauded my decision, figuratively speaking, of course.
It all came down to this:
I couldn't bring myself to start parting her out, even though I was planning on using many of the parts to complete my '68 tub restoration. Especially when I decided to leave the '68 tub left hand drive instead of converting it to RHD as I had originally intended. I've also recently found myself short on several of the essentials in auto restoration: Money, space and motivation.
Recently, and almost by accident, I acquired a 1970 GT6+ restoration project. That brought to three the total of Triumph cars, in addition to three other daily drivers in our driveway. Things were beginning to get a little crowded.
Besides wondering where I was going to store the various bits and pieces if I started to part the car, I realized that I was simply too emotionally attached to this little car -- and it is simply too rare and in good enough shape to preserve, though not in the perfect shape that I intend my restored example to be. At one point, I had considered turning my attention to Mrs. Jones' body tub after I completed my current restoraton, but the GT6+ threw a wrench into that plan and I am not able to commit to lining up three restoration projects.
I wanted to give Mrs. Jones a chance to be purchased by a real enthusiast, but set a high enough reserve to where I felt confident that this car would not be parted out by anyone else, either. In fact, I wasn't even sure if the reserve would be met, which in a way, would have been okay with me since this car has several parts that are difficult to source. Parts I need. But my desire to see the car saved and preserved and the fact that it's a rare, high compression right hand drive model overrode my common sense (the pragmatic side that would have simply parted the car out) and the emotions won out. How could I selfishly destroy this car, removing the experience of another to enjoy the quirky feeling of driving a Right Hand Drive car on the side of the street that it was never intended for?
Listing the car on eBay with a comprehensive rundown of its attributes and faults, I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only was the reserve met, it was exceeded handily, desired by three gentlemen who truly wanted this car. The sale will happily provide the additional resources I need to complete the '68 Spitfire, and now that I won't have a car to drive, I'll be more motivated to finish the thing. I intend to keep the '68 for a long, long time.
The new owner of Mrs. J. is an enthusiastic young doctor and a father of five from Pennsylvania. He's been looking for the "right" Triumph Spitfire for quite awhile and was taken with the care and attention I've paid to this car.
When I informed my wife, who gave Mrs. Jones her ubiquitous name, that her rival had been sold, she deadpanned, "Mistresses come and go, but the wife always wins out in the end..."
Please. Always wear your seatbelt while driving -- and that goes double for your children if you hav any.
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