Big Midlana continues to run well, and while the car hasn’t changed since completion, I have!
Short story: I plan to sell Midlana.
Over the last few years, my interests have slowly been drifting, with other projects and ideas competing for garage space currently taken up by Midlana. My interests have always been diverse, including cars, astronomy, photography, gardening, koi fish, clock design and building, and even beer making (that was a while ago).
Regarding Midlana—or any hardcore sports car for that matter—I find that I’m becoming less interested. Around Southern California, cars rule and people drive everywhere. With most people back in the office after Covid, traffic sucks more than ever, and in a raw elemental sports car, sitting in stop and go traffic is “death by 1000 cuts”. It doesn’t do you in immediately, but over time, enjoyment slowly erodes away, and at some point, I realized that I wasn’t enjoying myself. My brother argues “just go early” for weekend drives. Yes, that works, but often, car events are scheduled mid-day. I find myself making excuses not to drive the car. I find myself going through the following thought process when planning to run out to a local store for something: “I could take the cover off Midlana, start it up, check it over, get belted in, and go”; “will what I need to buy fit in the car?”; “or take the truck and be back by the time Midlana is warmed up.” Another reason is that if I drive it, and it breaks, I have to fix it, and I don’t want to spend time on it right now. Anyway, it’s not a fault of Midlana, it hasn’t changed – I have.
Another moment happened at the Virginia City hill climb. Midlana did very well, but when the next event came up, I had zero interest in going… why? Instead of looking forward to an awesome experience again, I found myself making excuses: getting the time off, the hassle of renting a trailer, towing the car 500 miles, the $600 entry fee, the expense of food, gas, and a room, worrying about potential repairs, and, lastly, something that surprised me, mortality. You know that dream of having a really fast and agile car, one that’s as fast as a sport bike? What’s left out is the potential consequence of driving very fast on twisty roads. That never used to bother me, but now it bounces around in my head. People have died doing the above hill climb, and while it didn’t bother me then, but it does now.
Another life event that had an impact on me was my father passing away, and mom is currently at the point where she’s no longer sure who we (kids) are, it’s a reminder that we have only so long here, physically and mentally, and that if we want to do things, it’s better to do them now while we can.
Another event, one that’s been building for years, is that our sad old house was in dire need of a remodel. That kept getting pushed off due to me spending 100% of my time designing and building Kimini and Midlana. Then recently, my employer offered early retirement… and the time was right, so I took it. That freed up the ability to do the remodel, entirely on my own to save money, learn new things, and keep me busy. As I type this, it’s well underway, with new floor tile gradually spreading throughout the house, one bath redone, and the kitchen is nearing completion. Point being, my time is being spent elsewhere while Midlana languishes, battery charged and always ready to go. I think it’s time to pass it on to a new (and very likely younger) owner who’ll use it as intended.
I debated about this for awhile, wondering whether that people might think, “well what’s the point of buying his book and building a Midlana if his interests have shifted?” I can’t do anything about what other people think; all I can do is lay out the reasons for my own thoughts, and people can conclude whatever they want, and I’ll continue supporting the Midlana website/forum.
So, sometime this year, Midlana will likely go up for sale, most likely on Bring A Trailer (though it’s 100% street legal and runs fine, but whatever.) Oh and lastly, the draw to sports cars isn’t entirely gone from my system. The plan is to sell Midlana and my wife’s car, buying a fun car for shopping, day trips, and maybe longer road trips. Something more suitable for… sigh, older people. You know, something with heating, cooling, windows, and an automatic transmission, something that I don’t mind being stuck in traffic in. And no, it won’t be electric (for a commuter, yes, for low miles in retirement it doesn’t make as much sense). What it needs to be is to be something that I look forward to driving. We’ll see.