Most people who own classic iron have a pretty big commitment to their old car or truck.

This type of commitment is less like the commitment you have to your brand new Kia SUV and more like the commitment you have to your 15-year-old Springer Spaniel.

Nevertheless, there are reasons why you have to part with your old classic so here are five of the most common reasons why someone else owns your ’55 Chevy.

The first reason?  You got married.

You may love the Road Runner you’ve owned since you were 16 and pumping gas to pay for it but ten years later you’re walking down the aisle and now you have split loyalties.

Two years after that your first kid arrives—goodbye Road Runner—hello minivan.  Your Plymouth is gone before the kid gets home from the hospital—replaced by something a lot less cool but a lot more practical. Welcome to Real Life 101.     

The second reason?  You got divorced.

Your cherished street rod just turned into a legal football and the odds are it’s going to a new home. It’s a piece of the jumbled mess called community property so color it gone—just like the garage you used to store it in. All you have left are a few memories and possibly the donor car you pirated parts from to build it.

The third reason?  Your finances took a big hit.

In most cases, this is a business-related decision so at least you can take comfort in the fact that a fiscal downturn sent your car away on a trailer. A drug/drinking/gambling habit carries far less honor as a reason for parting with your beloved old Ford so in this case a recession was a better option.

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The fourth reason?  Reality stepped in.

You took it apart, pumped a lot of time and money into it and eventually ran out of time and money so now you have a pile of parts and no game plan. Actually, there is only one game plan—take a big hit on your investment and help the next owner load it up.

He may have a better game plan to finish it or your car is simply going to end up in an online auction for car parts and he makes a lot more than what he paid you. Call it a good life lesson and an even better free enterprise lesson.

The fifth reason? You died.

Your classic just became part of an estate sale and there’s nothing you can do about it. You had a good run together but now your automotive soul partner is going to be part of somebody else’s fleet—it’s an asset that’s going to be liquidated in a cold business deal.

This reason may sound depressing but it does carry the most honor in car guy world because it ended with the words “til death do us part”.          

Jerry Sutherland

Jerry Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer with a primary focus on the collector car hobby. His work has been published in many outlets and publications, including the National Post, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Regina Leader-Post,  Vancouver Sun and The Truth About Cars. He is also a regular contributor to Auto Roundup Publications.

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