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The other night on the way home I caught a glimpse of a car heading the other way in traffic.

Silver, E28, low… could it be my old car?

I had a 1983 BMW 528i-Motorsport with an Alpina B9 (3.5-litre) conversion, finished in Polaris Silver; a regretful sale if there ever was one.

Sadly the mystery car was gone before I could even attempt a dangerous and illegal U-Turn to confirm if it indeed was my old one – but believe me, had I been driving something more nimble than a HiLux, I would have given it a shot.

Seeing one of your ex-cars with someone else behind the wheel can yeild a mixture of emotions. Feelings of excitement and regret all blended together. Have they treated it well, or if you offloaded it at the right time, would the new owner know who you are?

jw-old-car-peugeotMum’s old Peugeot 505 GTI wagon – spotted in a garage in Burwood. The car I drove on my P-plates.


I have come across a few of my old ‘rides’ over the years and every time i’ve always made an effort to stop or at least snap a photo – something that can be done without any of the social awkwardness that comes with bumping into an ex-girlfriend…

Each time the memories came rushing back and each time I wished I hadn’t sold it.

Some of the cars had appreciated in value (although, most hadn’t) but mainly it was the heart-felt reminder of what these cars meant and what fun you had. The places you went, the songs you listened to.

jw-old-car-civic2Civic #1 in Armadale – EG VTi hatch. Good, honest, economical fun.


But the question begs, if you ran into an ex and the opportunity was there to buy it back, would you?

Car makers thrive on nostalgic influences to create and sell new models. Did you grow up with mum or dad owning a Mini? Well now you can keep the fires burning and own a Mini of your own, from just $24,950 (plus on road costs)…

There is a reason that classic car values tend to spike when a vehicle reaches 40-years of age – the children who grew up with the poster on their wall, coveting the real machine can now afford one.

pm-old-car-hyundaiPaul’s Hyundai Lantra. Not to be confused with an Elantra…


It’s not just me either, Paul has a photo of his wife’s old Hyundai Lantra Sportwagon, now proudly displaying P-Plates and parked  just a few kilometers from where they lived when she owned it.

In a perfect world, being reminded of a car you owned 10 or 20-years ago can allow you to hang on to those memories just a little bit longer, and like any relationship, hopefully fill the gaps and do the things you never had a chance to at the time.

Or is it simply trouble in disguise? Are you better to remember what was real then and leave it at that?

jw-old-car-chargerHey Charger! Big 265-Hemi under the bonnet. Many happy skids were had in this guy. Seen in Caulfield.


My VH Charger, some 7 years after we parted ways, appeared and languished, stationary, on a street in suburban Melbourne for months.

It was dirty, rusty and unloved. The big Hemi no doubt still present, but would it cut impressive circles in an empty industrial site in Port Melbourne (which, ah… a friend used to do on quiet Sunday mornings…) – probably not. The big Val would have needed a serious cash-injection to get back up to speed, and that takes the shine out of any renewed bonding.

jw-old-car-evo1My Evo VIII MR in Prahran – I’d like to say all those cool carbon bits were added by the new owner…


Even my old Mitsubishi Evo, now more modified than when I left it – was I still that guy? Pretty sure if I burbled up to the front door in the little red rocket, rotational idle crackling away, the locks would be changed before I could prise myself out of the snug Recaros.

It’s not always good news either. I once met a guy who ‘bought the floor mats’ from my beautiful GT-R after it was reduced to a crumpled wreck by a driver, three-owners down the line from me. I’ll admit, the news left me a little choked up.

Moving on is sometimes the right thing to do; remember the good, forget the bad but forge on with life all the same.

Reuniting with an ex, will it be glory, or heartache?

Have you bumped into an old car, or better yet have you re-bought it down the track?

Let us know in the comments below!