Wondertruck. My little green 1996 Tacoma. My buddy and pal.

This week’s blog post is going to be a bit different, as the topic is sort of muscle car related in principle, but mostly related to the fact that I get completely emotionally attached to my 4-wheeled friends. It has come time in my business that having a full-size three-quarter ton truck would make life easier and open up a few options on things that were not open before. I have located a 2001 Silverado 2500HD in Minneapolis that I’ll drive up to purchase just as soon as this blog post goes live. Unfortunately, with the new Silverado in the garage I’ll have to sell my beloved little 1996 Toyota Tacoma to make room, and I’ll be honest in saying I’m heartbroken about it. I’m trying to find a practical way to keep it, and I’m really struggling.

The Chevelle I fell in love with as a kid. An utter wreck, but my friend none the less.

My emotional connection to cars started at an early age with the ’64 Chevelle you see all over this website (just check the About Us page for examples). I knew early on that that car and I were friends and that it was my job to protect it. We became friends over the years, and that love grew into a restoration process between the car, myself, and my dad in high school. If that original relationship had never happened it’s highly likely I wouldn’t be writing you a blog post from the business I’ve built all around my love for muscle cars. Truth be told, had my dad not hung on to the Chevelle when it was completely illogical to keep it, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing. This is a huge point for me to consider here.

The next car I fell in love with was a ’76 Nova. It was red, a 4-door, had an inline 6-banger that sounded like a sewing machine, and was used by all three kids in my family. It was originally purchased for my older sister in 1986 for $1000, then came to me in 1990, then to my little sister in 1994, and then back to me in 1995 when she decided that driving a rusted out Nova was not cool (but I always knew the car was just trying to find it’s way back to me).  I took it to college and it was the car I drove when I didn’t drive the Chevelle (i.e. winter time, rain, when the Chevelle was busted, etc.). I put another 6-banger in it after the first one shelled, 2 transmissions, and 2 rear ends. I’ve jumped it twice (once on purpose) and took my wife on our first date in it. After college I couldn’t bare to sell it, mainly because I knew it was junkyard material, so I’ve kept it in storage ever since waiting for the day when I could make it into something. My little boy Dallas just met it. Maybe that’s who I was supposed to keep it for all this time.

SuperNova! It could carry 13 high schoolers to lunch and was started with a switch my dad rigged up. I could never force myself to sell it. And now my little boy has just met it….

So this brings me back to my little Tacoma. I’ve owned it since 2000, and I hate to admit it, but I’m fairly confident it’s the most well build vehicle I’ve ever owned. I’ve only done the book-routine maintenance to it as that’s all it’s ever needed. At 150,000 miles it still has the original clutch, the A/C blows cold, and it’s just as tight and fun to drive as it was the day I bought it. I’ve always looked forward to winter time in Iowa just because I love driving it in the snow, and even now sometimes a part of my day I truly look forward to is when I get to drive to and from work, practicing my ability to match engine revs on upshifts. I love my little truck, and it’s breaking my heart to see it go.

So this leaves me in a quandary. Should I do the logical thing and get rid of it?  It still has some monetary value, and at this point in my life that’s still a needed thing for our family. However, of all of the cars I’ve ever owned I’ve never sold the ones I’ve truly loved. Had my dad of done that with the Chevelle originally we never would have restored it together, and that huge bond we still have a result would never have been formed.  There is one other factor that is pressing me as well, and that’s the fact that both of my older kids love my little Tacoma. Actually, that’s not strong enough. They L-O-V-E it. Sometimes as a treat we go for joyrides in it together, for no other reason that it’s fun. My son can identify it just by engine note over a block and a half away. Oye.

Unfortunately I really have no way to end this post, other than to ask your help. I should state for the record that my wife is very understanding, but has pointed out that the logistics of keeping 5 vehicles at home are just a little bit stupid (even with a 2-car garage). What do you think? Is this the end of the road for my little green truck?

-Robert Kibbe

8 Responses

  1. Let me know if you come up to Minneapolis, I’ll take you out to lunch if we can get together. As for the Tacoma, tough call, good luck deciding.

  2. Here are some options I thought of:

    1)Keep it and start looking for land that you can build a large shop on so you can store all your vehicles; both present and future!

    2)If you decide to sell it, use some of the money to buy something “special” for one of your other cars. For example, a high end shifter or steering wheel for the Chevelle. Then you would always have a memory of the Tacoma.

    3) Donate it to a charity (this isn’t for everyone).

    4) If you do sell it, make sure it is NOT a local buyer, so you won’t continue to see it.

    If it was me, I would pursue option 4 followed by option 2, but it is easy for me to say that because I am not the one attached to it! Good luck.

  3. Awww that’s a terrible decision to have to make!

    Like you, our family photo albums are filled with photos of our wheeled family members right next to the human ones.

    For the most part all of our cars that we no longer can keep end up going to family members or friends. People are glad to buy (or receive) cars from a career mechanic that they know treats his vehicles like kin. Plus this helps us stay in touch with our old friends (wheeled and human) when it’s maintenance time. For example, the 1985 Ford Ranger that was always too small but well-loved nonetheless. We sold it to a friend and got to see it at least once a year until it finally had to retire with over 300,000 miles on it. I believe they still use it on the farm.

    Good luck with your decision. And hey, a big new Chevy truck? Awesome!!

  4. I agree with Laura, insurance, registration for 5 vehicles is a lot. Who needs that? Then again, what would have happened if Bill had sold the Edsel when everyone thought they were ugly and we really had no use for it? Six of one and half dozen of the other. Hope this helps

  5. After Allison Customs restore’s the Nova,slam it to the ground with 20’s and you put a nasty big block in it,Dallas is going to need to drive something in the winter!….Keep the truck! You know me Rob,I’ve had my Chevelle for 25 years,and I just sold my 1997 Silverado with 300,000 miles on it to my dad!

  6. Sell it! 🙂 Car guys buy and sell all the time. You’ll get another one you “cant” let go of.
    I just wish my dad wouldn’t have let go of his 70 GTO… Oh wait, that’s not helping!

  7. Read your post,, odd timing,, I just went through this same thing this week,, my daily driver is a 95 impala SS now with almost 300k on it, but things are starting to brake now and then, winters coming,, I have to many cars, so, I went by the Chev dealer and bought a 2011 Z71 Silverado,, the money is cheap right now, the incentives are awsum, and I think in the next 4 years prices wont be any lower, so, I now have 8 vehicles (2 motorcycles) but time to pair down even though Id never sell anything but my to do lists are just getting wayyyy to big, Im very happy with the truck, and already feel a bit more free knowing my lists will get shorter soon, sometimes letting them go is a better desicion but only in hindsight, difficult at the time.

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