Goodbye, Edgar

It all happened much more quickly than Sara and I had expected. We put our 1993 Volvo 240 Wagon on Craigs List last week, and within two hours it was sold. In addition to the guy who bought the car, three others called to ask if they could check it out. It got me wondering about the psychology of selling. What is the right amount of time or effort for the sale of something like a car? If it sells too quickly, you think you’ve priced it too low. If it sells too slowly, you’ve priced it too high. But what is too quick and what is too slow? I don’t know, but I bet some economist does.

What I do know is that I also seriously underestimated the effect the sale would have on our kids. When Edgar—that’s the car’s name, of course—pulled out of the driveway for the last time, the kids cried. They cried hard. They cried for 15 minutes until we managed to stop them with the bribe of watching a video during dinner.

Edgar the Volvo

Sara has been sad about Edgar’s departure, too, with good reason. It was a very cool car—the last of the boxy Volvo station wagons, with a third seat that faced the back. Sara drove that car a lot and didn’t seem to mind much that one door handle broke off so that nobody could open it from the outside and another door couldn’t be opened from the inside and the CD player didn’t work when the weather was cold and the driver’s side speaker was sitting, unattached, in the front passenger’s seat and the cruise control was busted and the air conditioner didn’t work and the engine was weak and the car shook at high speeds. It was still, believe it or not, a fun car to drive.

I wish I had been more aware of the rest of the family’s attachment to the car. We needed to get rid of it, regardless, but I regret not realizing that I needed to prepare the kids for it. Next time we sell a car, I’ll approach it as if we’re putting a dog to sleep. Maybe that way I’ll act with enough sensitivity.

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7 Responses to Goodbye, Edgar

  1. PLG says:

    end of an era. This may be the last 240 that was in my world – an era that started in my youth in halifax. I am sad to see edgar go

  2. Our 1987 Toyota wagon engendered the same response. We sold it for eight dollars at a garage sale (cash). I was happy to be relieved of the electrical problems, a faulty alternator, and the leaking oil. But at 248,000 miles it had served us well–trips all over the USA, and the car helped us in the making of many good memories. Yet, while I was cheering, the kids wept.

  3. Keith says:

    I remember when my mother sold her Buick station wagon (many moons ago). It had that same kind of rear-facing 3rd row seat you described, and I also remember selling it as being a somewhat emotional experience for myself as an 8 year old who’d spent several years playing spaceship in it.

  4. Geoff says:

    Hello… you don’t know me, but I’ve just learned that there are a great many Volvos out there named Edgar, and I’m curious as to why. I came across tour log looking for an answer. I’m hoping you might be able to tell me? Please and thank you?

  5. Millsap says:

    LOL I was just looking for English lessons and found your story…It is amusing….I am interested to know how you will tell the children about the next car. Normally with a pet you can say it ran away or left. How will you tell the children the car ran away??? LOL

  6. IrishmanInUSA says:

    Dude I know the feeling, a few years ago we sold our 1983 Buick Park Avenue (Bessie), it was our first real car and it time for it to go. However, after I had sold it and purchased my 1996 SHO, all I could think of is Bessie….it was a great car for us, and we had lots of fond memories in it.

    Made a rule after that, never give a car a name, it makes it personal….don’t know why, but it just does. :)

  7. I agree with this statement although the car may be old it had to go. With a car that old it was going to explode on the road and perhaps injure you or your family you did the right thing man.

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