Everyone has a story about “the one that got away.” Might be an old boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse, but this is a car blog and we’re here to talk about something equally personal for me: the car that got away.
I was having a nice dinner with some friends last month and this very topic came up. We were all talking about “the good ol’ days” and how cars aren’t what they used to be, probably sounding very old to anyone who might have been eavesdropping on our
drinking conversation. My friend mentioned a 1967 Austin Healey 3000 (because it had a 3,000cc engine -you know, if you were wondering) that he drove when he was in college. It had no AC, no power steering, a 4-speed stick shift, foggy windows when it rained and it only ran when it wanted to, but it had something that not many cars have: a soul. Eventually, like all of us seem to do, he was forced to sell his wonderfully impractical british companion when life took a turn toward the grown-up.
So, after dinner, we talked more about some of the great cars that slipped through our fingers over the years. I mentioned a 1968 Camaro convertible I drove in high school that would be worth more than a house in Pinellas Park today. We talked about various rare Mustangs, muscle cars and even Honda beater cars that we should have kept because those old 80’s and 90’s model Hondas would never break. But the old Healey kept coming up in conversation. Before I knew it, we were looking for one for sale on my phone that happened to be similar to the one my friend had back in the 1970’s. In those days, you could find one in the newspaper for $800. These days, you need a specialty dealer or an auction at Pebble Beach to find a nice example. It seems these little cars are in high demand today! The bad news is, when we found the car he was looking for, it was priced somewhere north of what a used Space Shuttle goes for. But relentless internet searching paid off and I’m happy to report that my friend now has this lovely little red ’67 Healey tucked away in his garage and he couldn’t be happier.
My friend’s success story makes me even more nostalgic for a car that I can never seem to find at a reasonable price: my old 1993 Mustang Cobra. It was sprayed in a lovely shade of teal, which I believe is a shade of blue or green depending on your level of color blindness; that is the one that got away. I’ve come close to getting another one a few times over the years, but something always happens. This is one of the few pictures I have of my favorite little car. I never should have traded it in on that cute little Canary Yellow Ford Ranger Splash 4×4, but it was so yellow and cheerful!
How great would it be to find my actual car, #2993 of the 4,993 that were produced! I suppose I’ll have to just dream for now.
Erica Habedank | CW44 Tampa Bay