First Car

I was listening to the show this week, and a caller mentioned that she had just gotten her first car (I’ve already forgotten the model) at the age of thirty. This peaked my curiosity about others; what were their first cars, and at what age were they received? So I decided to start this discussion :). My first car was a 1974 Datsun Z, which was given to me by my brother in 2006 when I was 17.

My first car was a 1961 Mercury Montery Convertible, baby blue with a white top, in 1965. It was my parents car for 2 years then my older brother’s, then mine. Pretty nice ride in HS. My first new car was a '67 Mustang hardtop dark blue, with 289 V8, 3 speed stick, 2 barrel carb, wide oval tires. The tires were toast in about 10,000 miles (no radials back then). Wish I had both these cars back. The Mustang was FAST even if it wasn’t a high performance version.

1976 fiat 128

I got my first car in 1993, I was 15 at time and the vehicle was a non-running 1974 Ford F-100 2WD. It was about as basic as you could get, 3 on the tree, no power steering, no power brakes, no AC, lap seat seat belts, no radio. It had a rather gutless 2bbl 302. My father and I fixed it up over the course of a few months. We had it repainted (the paint job’s cost was more than the purchase price of the truck) We decided that the 302 wasn’t up to the job so we bought a 390FE 4bbl big block, rebuilt it and swapped it in. We also had the rear 9 inch rebuilt and had 4.11 gears installed. We had the seat reupholstered and repainted the interior. I drove it for about 2 years in highschool and was able to surprise many a japanese sport-compact in the stoplight grand prix. Of course it only got 7-9 MPG, on high test gas. And because we neglected to install a bigger radiator, it overheated in triple digit weather. But it was quite reliable, nothing ever broke on it. My dad still has it, but he just uses for trips to the dump and to haul around lumber and stuff like that.

My first car was a 1947 Pontiac Streamliner 6 that I bought when I graduated from college at age 20. I paid $75 dollars for the car. It got me to graduate school 350 miles from home,even though I added a quart of oil every 250 miles. The cluster gear in the transmission was worn, so it made a horrible noise in first gear, so I shifted to second as quickly as I could. I also had coolant getting into the oil. When I removed the cylinder head–no big deal on a flathead 6 – I found that the block was cracked around one of the valve seats. I put it back together, poured some K-W seal into the radiator and solved the problem. When I got to graduate school, the Pontiac became my second car. My first car was the railroad line. I could make the 350 mile trip by rail within 20 minutes of the time to drive the distance and I could study along the way. The old Pontiac was just used around town, but it got me and my worldly possessions to graduate school.

1985 Toyota Camry, purchased used in ‘91 when I was 19. Cost was $3000. Got it with 70K; drove it until 130K, when the transmission died the day after a fluid change (the “leave neglected ATs alone” wives’ tale was true in my case).

Was a decent car…a good car to learn car repair on, as the I4 had a CAVERNOUS engine bay. Alas, rebuilding the AT would have cost more than a rebuilt engine, so it had to go. (Oh, and it ate tie-rods for breakfast!)

I was 17 or 18 when I bought my first car a demo from the dealer. It was a 1965 Sunbeam Imp I paid $650 for with only a couple thousand miles on it. It was 875cc water cooled rear engine. Really strange car with large solid chunks of rubber for CV joints and 12 inch wheels.

It survived a collision with a Greyhound bus on the freeway (no injury to me - Greyhound driver had fallen asleep) and was finally totaled years later after I had sold it to an employee who fell asleep on night and crashed at 70 mph into the back of a Chevy Impala parked on an exit ramp, he got away with a couple of bruises from the seat belts. All in all a very good car.

'56 Chevy wagon. Cost me $85 about 40 years ago. Drove it for 3 years. I think that was the last financially sensible thing I’ve done.

Second year in college, I bought a 55 Desoto for $150. Sold it 2 years later for $35 when the trunk would no longer support the spare tire because of the rust. Parked the car overnight with a pan under the tranny to catch trans oil I could refill in the morning.

'71 Dodge Charger SE, purchased after my second year as a teacher.
(My father insisted that I use his car for my first two years of full-time employment, in order to build up my financial resources. As a result of his wise counsel, I purchased that Charger–and all of my subsequent cars–for cash, thus saving a small fortune over the years by not having to pay financing or leasing fees.)

It was a really beautiful-looking car, it was comfortable, and it was also reliable. The downsides were crappy brakes and gas mileage that topped out at 17 mpg, with 13 mpg being a more typical figure. And that was with the 318 V-8, the smallest V-8 that they offered!

1980 Dodge Champ my mom bought for me when i turned 16(it was the same age as me), she sold it not long after since I wasn’t keen on driving at that time. When I got my full license(age 19), I bought a 91 Chevy Corsica with my own money.

My first car was a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster (stovebolt 6)which I bought for $125 in 1958 as a college car. It lasted me till 1962 when I gave it to my kid brother who drove it another 2 years.

In the 4 years I drove it I put $600 into maintenance and repairs.

my first was a 1967 Pontiac Catalina. This is the only car I have had that I wish I still had.

My first car was a 1961 VW Beetle, bought in HS when I was 16. Or maybe I was 17. I forget exactly. It was the '60s, long long ago.

my first car was a 1966-plymouth fury,in cost $400.00 i work all summer to get it.i love that car.that was back in the days,when you could work on them yourself.

I was 19- Dodge Intrepid- was supposed to be my starter car but now it is three years later and I still have the dam thing! LOL. I will miss it when it finally does croak.

My first car was a hand me down 1966 slant six Dodge Dart. My mom ate lunch in it during her work break and left a cigerette in the car. The fire department extingusished the flames and I replaced the bench seat with bucket seats. The tires were bald so I went to the junk yard (now recyclying facility) and picked up three spare tires. On the return ride I jammed on the drum brakes and went off the road getting three blowouts, talk about luck!

1967 Pontiac Catalina 2 door coupe.
Only car I wish I still had. Bought it from my grandparents for $125.

1950 Chevrolet an uncle sold me in 1960 for $15, with bad manual transmission. I thought I was king of the universe with my own car.

1977 Lancia Beta Zagato targa top. I was 18.5 at the time, the car needed some work as it had been sitting for 10+ years.