May 31, 2016 will be a day I relive in my head forever.
It's the day a part of me died inside as I listed my 1991 BMW E34 M5 for sale on Bring A Trailer (BaT). The buyer could see I was in agony over the ordeal of selling my prized collector car, and he understood. He made me a promise: If or when he parted with the car, I'd have the right of first refusal.
Recently, I was at a party celebrating my sister's engagement when I received a text message that nearly made me drop my phone: "Hey, I'm going to move the M5 on. Phenomenal car, but I need the garage space for projects. Want to check with you for interest before I list."
I showed my wife the text and she said, "Just buy the stupid thing. I'm sick of hearing about it. Buy it."
Opportunity just called, and I had to made a choice whether to answer the phone.
1991 BMW M5
It's been about a year since that black M5 rolled out of my driveway for the last time as I told myself not to cry.
My life has changed a lot in that time. We moved across the country to Minnesota, bought a house, one kid's now in pre-school part-time, and we are once again living close to family.
I'm living a completely different life now than I was when I owned the M5 and lived in Portland, Oregon.
Now back in the Midwest, I've put large emphasis on spending weekends with my wife and kids. Whether that is going up north to the family cabin to fish with dad and build sand castles with the kids or going to the Minnesota State Fair or the local splash pad, it's all about making memories with the family.
Everyone tells you that your kids will grow quickly, and before you know it they'll be young adults. How right they are. It feels like just yesterday that we had our first born and I was terrified I was going to do something wrong and break her.
Someday, sooner than later, hanging out on the beach or watching dad water ski won't be considered fun.
I'm sure that day will be here long before I'm ready.
2011 Nissan 370Z And 1990 Nissan 300ZX. Photos by Alex Bellus
Prioritizing family while I'm not working or volunteering has led me to neglect the toy I still do have: the blue-on-blue 1990 Nissan 300ZX my father and I share. It was my uncle's car before he passed, and now my father and I are its caretakers. To us, it's priceless.
The sad part is, it's now July and it's still sitting in the garage, covered, tires overfilled with air to avoid flat spotting, hooked to a trickle charger from its winter slumber.
I haven't touched it since the snow melted. It's a sad reality, but there's only so much time. Like everything in life, it comes down to choices.
1991 BMW M5
Let it go
The current owner graciously gave me a few days to think it over. He put about 7,000 miles on the car since I last saw it, and most of them were highway miles. The maintenance is up to date, and nothing major has been done to the ol' girl.
I've been twisted over selling this car since the day I listed it for sale. Just ask my wife, she'll roll her eyes and tell you all about it.
The reality is I'm in a different place in life than when I bought that car, and I'm certainly not in the right place to buy it and actually drive it.
While the want is real, I'm rational enough to recognize it would be one expensive ITB-equipped trophy in my garage next to the Z, which is in itself an expensive trophy.
I thanked the current owner for being a man of his word, but passed on buying my E34 M5 back.
Hopefully, someday my son or daughter won't read this and scream at me.
Adulting isn't always fun.