My cute little 1969 FIAT 850 Spider died 8 weeks ago to this day. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote about it at the time:
The FIAT suddenly decided to have a midlife crises. Well, it no longer goes forward. Oh sure, it goes . . . but not forward. Nor does it go backward. The engine is about the only thing that goes, and it just goes, but not in any particular direction for a given period of time. The transmission is no more. Of course, it had to die in the middle of an intersection in downtown Oakland. Not a particularly great place for a car to decide not to go forward any more. Luckily, I really enjoy pushing the FIAT through the middle of busy intersections. Hopefully, without owing Joe money for the rest of my life, I can have it fixed. (Joe is one of the only FIAT mechanics who won't just laugh at you when you ask for help fixing something on an 850 FIAT Spider, of the 1969 variety.)
Soon after the FIAT died, I was led to believe that there was a good chance I would be moving to Minneapolis in early December. This is a long story in and of itself. I would have been going to be SysAdmin of a small branch of our company. It would have been nice, actually, as I would have been much closer to home. My family lives in Northern Indiana (which explains a lot about my obcession with corn). Later all of this fell through, however, due to German complications beyond my control. However, since I believed that I would be leaving soon, I thought that it would be best to attempt to sell the beast, rather than spending $500 to fix the transmission. I put up an add on the Excite classifieds.
I received many emails and calls from people who were interested in the car, but only 3 people have actually visited in all of this time. The only serious offer I got for the car was $250, 2 4GB SCSI2 hard drives, a 17 inch monitor, and a modem. You know that you are living in a strange time in a strange place when people do not find it odd to barter for used cars with used hardware. I am still somewhat considering that offer, but now my roommate has expressed half-hearted interest in the car, so I am waiting to see what happens with that.
For a long time, I was keeping it in the parking lot at work. It was a sad sight to see the poor little FIAT sitting there, a dwarf amongst the other cars. It just kept getting dustier. One day the looney company that owns our parking lot decided to enforce the 10 parking spaces that our 35+ person company has. I got scared, and towed the fiat a good 8 blocks to my "house". Now it is sitting there getting dusty.
The ultimate question is, should I actually fix the car myself and screw selling it, even though I don't need the car? I really like it, but I simply do not think I have time to give it the attention it deserves. That and the fact that work is not walking distance from my house (or an even shorter bike ride), does not really give me any incentive to fix the car any time soon.
I must say, it is sad to see such a good little car go. I will miss it a great deal, and will probably talk about it a lot if I do end up selling it.