Being the parent to a 14-month-old girl means you never know what to expect: chewed up sunglasses, Sharpie doodles on the wall, temper tantrums, automobile purchases… Wait, what?!? That’s exactly what Paul Stoute of Portland, Oregon had to deal with after receiving a congratulatory email from eBay letting him know he was the proud new owner of a 1962 Austin Healey Sprite thanks to the bidding prowess of his 14-month-old daughter Sorella!
“She decided to open the eBay app, and started clicking around and one thing led to another and we own a car,” Paul told KOIN 6.
As you might imagine, Paul and his wife’s initial reaction was panic. A “‘What do we do? We can’t really afford it’ kind of thing,” he says. But, they eventually decided to honor Sorella’s bid and purchase the car, a decision that was made easier by the fact that it was relatively inexpensive ($225) and relatively close (the seller was located in Tualatin, Oregon, which is less than 15 miles from Portland).
Here’s the original eBay listing for the car, which the seller affectionately nicknamed “Frankensprite:”
The next problem was what to do with the car, which (as you can tell from the photo at the top of this post) is more of a collection of parts than an actual car. The Stoutes currently live in a condo, and keeping it there wasn’t an option. So, they gave Sorrella’s grandmother, Carlene Stenejhem, a call, explaining that her granddaughter had purchased a car.
“I said, yeah, right,” Stenejhem said. “And she said, no, Sorella bought a car on eBay and we have to buy it.”
Sorella’s grandmother agreed to store the car, and now Paul wants to make it a restoration project in hopes of possibly giving the car to Sorella when she turns 16. “I’ve done a lot of body work in the past, like bondo and stuff like that,” Paul reveals. “But this is another realm altogether.”
He has since started taking donations on fundraising site SmartyPig.com (I couldn’t figure out how to find his particular page on the site) to help with the financial burden of restoring the car. “I’m just glad she didn’t buy the $38,000 Porsche I was looking at,” he said.
And just so he doesn’t get an email next week informing him he did buy the $38,000 Porsche he was looking at, Paul has installed a facial recognition app and a pin code on his phone.