What Was It Like Seeing Your Car Again After You Sold It?

Image credit: Kristen Lee/Jalopnik
Image credit: Kristen Lee/Jalopnik
CountersteerYour true stories of good and bad things that happen in cars.

For the most part, cars change hands as their owners decide not to keep them anymore. This can happen for good reasons, bad reasons or just natural reasons. Did you sell a car once and then come across it again with its new owner? What was that like?


I feel like it would be a similar experience to seeing an ex somewhere, regardless of how you guys ended the relationship. Like, you see them at the mall with somebody else and your first reaction is, “Holy shit, look! It’s them!” And then you remember the good times you had, the bad times you and and why you ultimately split.

So, tell me, has this happened to you? You sold a beloved car that you just had to part with because you couldn’t keep up with the maintenance anymore... and it looked better than ever in the hands of someone else?


Or was the car such a problem that you sold it out of frustration, saw it with its new owner and immediately knew what that poor bastard was going through?

Writer at Jalopnik and consumer of many noodles.

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A hometown friend flew to visit me in college, because she was interested in a nearby med school. I took her out in my ‘96 Miata m-edition—75k miles, a bit scrappy—and she fell in love with it.

A year or later, I had gotten a job out of the country, and she had decided to attend that med school, so I sold her the Miata for a good price.

Fast-forward another year or so, my friend emails me out of the blue with a photo of the Miata, except I couldn’t recognize the car. A blue heap of metal was squeezed between a tractor trailer and the wall of the bridge, sitting 150ft from the ground below.

My friend had suffered a seizure (a condition she hadn’t had for a few years) on the road, swerved underneath the tractor trailer (“FF-style!”, we now joke), and then rammed against the guard wall. She didn’t wake up until the ambulance came, suffering nothing but a couple of bruises.

The post-crash report indicated that the Miata’s airbags, small weight, and low height kept her alive. Her head ducked underneath the truck and she had low enough momentum not to crash through the barrier and fall.

It was a sad photo but also a happy one. She told me how much depression she was going through because of med school, and how driving the Miata kept her happy and kept her going. She was now alive because that Miata.

Long story short, years later, I got myself another ‘96m and will never sell it.