Shopping for the One That Got Away

1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

We all have one we wish we would have kept.

Mine was an ’84 Toyota Pickup. My fiancée’s was a ’74 Porsche 911. My dad had two: a 1967 Mercury Cougar and a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado.

I was a mere baby when he had the Cougar, so hardly remember the car. I was a young teen when he had the Olds and have fond memories of helping with the restoration. (And by “helping,” I mean “standing in the garage and handing him tools.”)

The Toronado’s 385-hp, 425-cubic-inch V8 engine was rebuilt, the interior reupholstered in ivory leather, and the exterior painted Crystal Green. The finished product was stunning.

After all the restoration, Dad sold the car for $5,000.

Five thousand measly dollars is all he got for a car that basically invented front-wheel-drive performance, had a sexy look and had been restored to perfection.

I hadn’t thought of that car in years, but at a Memorial Day dinner last night, Dad passed me his phone and said, “Check out what my next purchase might be.”

Half expecting to see a picture of a computer part or maybe a new subwoofer for the living room, my jaw dropped when I saw a 1966 Toronado. The price: $13,800.

He said he always regretted selling that car and wanted to find another one to cruise around in on weekends. Then he showed me the one he really wanted: a shiny black perfectly restored car priced at $40,000.

I’m guessing he pulled the same trick on my mom, first showing her the expensive one and then miraculously finding a much more affordable one. Nice strategy, Dad!

I hope he gets it. What’s life if you can’t own and enjoy the cars that make you happy?

Personally, I’d support a re-acquisition of that old 911 and enjoy every second of driving pleasure offered by that era of Porsche.

What car from your past would you want to own today?

-tgriffith

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