A couple of weeks ago a man knocked on the door, completely out of the blue, and asked me about the car -- he'd recently got into Morris Minors, he'd been passing by and had seen mine and thought it looked great, and he'd noticed that the tax disc was out of date so inferred that I wasn't using it much, and consequently wondered if I was interested in selling it. He seemed like a decent enough chap (as far as it's possible to tell these things from a long doorstep conversation about cars), he gave me his card, and I agreed to let him come and have a look at the car in daylight, with a view to buying. So last Sunday he came back with a box of tools and a spare battery, we got the car started eventually, he poked and prodded and noted a few things that would probably need fixing, and I got all nostalgic again at the smell of petrol and the sound of the engine... by the time it came to talking about a price I felt like I really didn't want to let her go at all! But I'd been feeling for ages that it was a waste of a good car to leave it sitting outside doing nothing, and I knew that even if I'd suddenly been seized with the energy to start doing car maintenance (and the money to keep getting things fixed) I wouldn't be able to take the baby in the car for years and years (no seatbelts, hence no attachment points for a car seat) so the chances of us really using it any time soon were extremely limited... and after 5 years of sitting around outside it'd just be in an even worse condition, more expensive to fix if I decided to get it running again, and worth less if I decided to sell it then. Yes, I'm still trying to convince myself now, as you can tell. :-}
Anyway, after some rather protracted and awkward negotiations (which kept turning back into a much less awkward and more friendly conversation -- both of us admitted we were no good at haggling) we agreed on a price of £800 (quite a bit less than I paid in the first place, but didn't seem unreasonable given the work needed, lack of MOT, general neglect over the last year, etc). He handed over the cash and said he'd organise the insurance and book an MOT test first thing next morning, and come over and pick up the car once that was all sorted. So on Monday morning I set off for work knowing that the driveway would be empty when I came back. I took a last couple of photos, patted her on the bonnet and said goodbye (hoping nobody was watching), just about managed not to burst into tears, and cycled off to work. And indeed, when I got home, there was nothing there but a couple of small patches of oil.
I do think she's gone to a better home now, with someone who'll look after her properly -- the guy who bought her seemed to know what he was doing, was even willing to do small bits of welding and other things that were way beyond my car-maintenance capabilities -- and he didn't just want a show car, he wanted something he could actually drive around in, so I might even see her around Oxford from time to time. Still sad to see her go, though.