The Car You Wish You Never Sold

Everyone has one.

For my dad it was a 1967 Mercury Cougar. My wife’s was a 1974 Porsche 911 Sportomatic. Personally, I just let go of a 2002 911 Targa in favor of a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 Mega Cab, which has a little more towing capacity and room for the family.

Will I regret it later? Only if the unthinkable happens.

The ’02 911, part of the 996 generation of cars from Porsche, remains the ugly duckling of 911s. It’s the only generation to lack Porsche’s distinctive round headlights and has the infamous Intermediate Shaft Bearing problem. The IMS bearing, should it break, blasts metal shrapnel into the engine and, in most cases, requires a new motor. Some people say up to 10 percent of bearings go bad, while others claim the problem affects about 1 percent of cars.

Needless to say, people tend to avoid the 996 generation, and thus values haven’t climbed like they have for other classic Porsches. Plus, the 996 was the first of the 911s to be water-cooled and the first to be mass produced rather than built by hand. It’s a fun car to drive and remains the most affordable 911 a person can buy, but so far, it’s not a car to buy as a collector’s item.

My wife’s 911, on the other hand, would be worth far more than the $12,000 she sold it for.

That’s the nature of car ownership, though. Unless you’re buying cars for the specific purpose of collecting, you’re buying them to enjoy and use while your circumstances allow.

Once your needs change, the Porsche goes to a new home and you’re welcoming a giant pickup into the family.

Will I regret selling the Porsche? I don’t think so. I won’t miss its expensive maintenance and cramped quarters, but if values skyrocket, you can be sure I’ll add it to my list of the ones that got away.

What car do you regret selling?