QOTD: Ever Gifted a Car to Your Replacement?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
qotd ever gifted a car to your replacement

Kids, as we all know, exist for but one purpose: to replace us. You’re out there on the deck, grilling steaks, and over there sits Junior. Waiting.

It’s ominous.

But kids need to get around, especially to places of employment so that they can pull their own weight. So sometimes a purchase is in order, or at least the gifting of a well-used vehicle you’d planned to sell or trade in. Ever done it?

Last week’s ‘ best used cars for teens‘ piece got this writer thinking about his younger years, in which he pined for two delectable vehicles that seemed ready to enter his possession at a moment’s notice. One, a 1987 Cutlass Supreme sedan formerly owned by his grandfather. Alas, that rusty RWD sedan went home with a “buyer” who had “money.” What gives?

The other, my dad’s ’79 Pontiac Sunbird 2+2 fastback, found an owner ready to fork over exactly what my dad paid for it three years earlier: $700. Letting that thing slip away remains a dark spot in my life’s journey.

Eventually, I did end up paying a parent for their car. A cool grand for the oft-mentioned ’93 Corsica, which remains the only six-cylinder car I’ve ever owned, and only as a stopgap measure after my own car was smashed by another driver.

Suffice it to say, gifting was not big in my family, and the thought of someone buying me a car, even at a young age, was unthinkable. Other friends found their way into domestic cast-offs, though, with General Motors ridiculously over-represented in the sample group.

We’re all adults now, and many of us have offspring of our own. Have any of your progeny ever benefited from a bought or gifted car handed over from your hard-working hands? What model was it? And if this vehicle was purchased, what criteria did it first have to meet?

[Image: Murilee Martin/TTAC]

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  • Davew833 Davew833 on Aug 08, 2020

    I've given my parents more cars than they've ever given me, and I don't have kids so... But in college I had a female friend who was a foreign exchange student from Austria. She asked me to help her find a car and we ended up getting her a mustard colored 1970(?) Volvo wagon-- I think it was a 145. Not only did she enlist me in helping her buy it, but I did several repairs on it too. When she went back to Austria, she gave it to me. It still had problems so I drove it straight to the junkyard and got $60 for it, IIRC.

  • Threeer Threeer on Aug 10, 2020

    My sister bought a 1997 Toyota Tercel under the guise of needing a cheap and economical commuter car. We went in on it together knowing full well it was going to be my son’s first car. We bought it in 2007, and gave it to my son in 2008. It checked the boxes...economical, not fast, stupid reliable (more on that in a minute) and manual transmission, as I was hell-bent that he’d learn to drive a stick. He went off to the Air Force Academy and I drove Tee-Tuu (long story on the name) for a year until he was allowed to have his own car. I shipped it to him and he drove that little box all the way through his Academy years and into the start of his pilot career, even taking quite a bit of good-natured ribbing from his fellow pilots that were driving much, much nicer rides (oh, to see that little white shoebox amongst the Corvettes and Mustangs). But he loved that car! It was fully paid for and cheap to run. He got around 40MPG out on the highway and drove it everywhere. I always told him that when he decided to step up, I wanted the Tercel back. It never went into the shop for anything other than routine maintenance...and stayed on the road well past 240k miles until his fiancé was the unintentional partner in a meeting of the Tercel with a semi truck. Tee-Tuu didn’t stand a chance...and we all were truly saddened by the loss of the car (fiancé walked away unharmed, thankfully). To this day, still the absolute most reliable car ever owned in the family. Probably also the cheapest...and the one most spoken about in reverence and respect!!

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