Your first car

Hi guys! I was thinking about the one question mailed to the guys from the 16y/o who was embarrassed over the used 92 volvo. I bought my first car with my graduation money–a 1968 Buick Special 4door. It was a mintish colored green that refused to shine no matter how much I waxed it. I paid 200 bucks for it, cash. That car, purchased from a friend of my parents, lived another ten yrs at least…(I sold it to my dad for 50bucks and he later sold it back to me for 25bucks) it was a great car and not flashy at all. It makes me want to ask how you guys got your first car…did you buy it yourself? Mine was twelve yrs old when I bought it and served me well… Anyone want to chime in?

My first car was in college in 1992. It was an absolute hoot, a 1982 VW Rabbit GTI. Never thought driving could be so fun.

My first was a 1963 corvair. I guess I’m dating myself, I’m only 45.

My first car was a 1962 Nash Metropolitan convertible. It was black and white in color with a white top. It sat in my dad’s garage for years before I was old enough to drive, but I used to go out and sit in it just about every day so I could practice my “three on the tree” shifting. My dad gave me the car after my repeated pleadings to let me have it as my first car. We really enjoyed restoring that car together, and I learned many things about working on cars through that experience.

It sure wasn’t very safe, however. During left turns, the passenger side door would often fly open, and there were no seatbelts! It also had a tube radio. It was an absolute blast to drive around. With about 55 horsepower, the car was incredibly slow and not at all sporty, but it was quite the babe magnet because of its extreme cuteness. It was the perfect car to cruise Pacific Coast Highway in Southern California.

I bet it was a babe magnet! esp since it didn’t have seatbelts! could take wide turns and have your girlfriend slide right over to you! did you fashion any jethro bodine rope seatbelts? j/k. thanks for sharing. I will google the car to see what it looks like.

Jethro Bodine rope seatbelts :D. Seems perfectly appropriate for that car!

Yup, sliding worked perfectly every time with right turns, but I had to master some creative reaching moves during left turns to keep the girlfriends in the car. Kind of like the Seinfeld episode where Frank Castanza gets accused of “stopping short”, except that my moves were perfectly legit ;).

I bought my first car the summer before my senior year in high school. It was 1965 and I bought a 1960 Morris Minor. It was advertised for $195 but when I went to look at it they said $150. When I went to pay for it, they said $125. When I went to pick it up, it wouldn’t start. What a piece of junk all beat to heck but fun. The trans was shot, half the carb gone, needed brakes, tires, and so on. It got about a mile per gallon with the carb problems so I carried a can of gas in the trunk all the time. I had it painted mellow yellow and fixed it up to my budget of $250, then sold it at break even. Even though I told him everything that was wrong, I thought the guy was going to kill me when he saw me again.

Biggest problem was not starting without pushing it. So I’d stop for gas on the way to work at the drive in and have to push it down the street in my whites to get it started. We took it to the drive in and pushed it up and down the humps to get it started. The next summer I bought a 59 VW and that was much better.

In my opinion, a teenager should never hate the car they drive. Doesn’t it, in most cases, represent FREEDOM? Doesn’t matter wether you bought it or your parents bought it, it was yours to drive.

My first car I was given at the age of 12. It was a 1965 Chevelle Malibu. It did have four doors, but I didn’t care. I found out much later that when my dad was looking, next to this car was a '65 Chevelle SS convertible. My brother warned my dad that the convertible was too far gone and would require A LOT of money to fix up. I loved it, SS or not. I love that old car smell.

I will say that 283’s are a STOUT engine. It took so much abuse. I was so excited that I ran the car up to 120 mph and told my dad. Now, he was angry, but not about the speed. He said, “Those tires are not speed rated, keep it down.”

My dad did all the body work. It really should’ve been garaged, but it wasn’t. It was a daily driver.

My two favorite memories:
In shop class, my brother made a 4" X 12" cast aluminum cursive Chevelle moniker. I ended up putting it in the deck part of back window between the two custom speakers. It was laid down, faced up and could only be read appropriately from the rear. Driving down a street one night, I saw something shimmer in my back window with the street light. I turned around and it was gone. It happened again. I turned around and it was gone. This time I stared into the rearview mirror and it flashed up, “CHEVELLE”. This will sound strange, but whenever it appeared, I could hear, in my head, a woman’s voice whisper, “…chevelle…” It was readable from my mirror. It was also transparent, you could still see the “CHEVELLE” showing up, but you could also see through the name. I loved that, I loved driving under street lights.

Second memory was when I was first married. We went to Kansas City for our honeymoon in the Chevelle. Fellas, its no treat to your new wife to have a car with no AC. So we drove at night. She does not like it when I speed, so when she fell asleep on the Turnpike, I kicked it on up to 80 mph, then fluctuated between 80 mph and 100 mph. Got to The Plaza and had 1/4 tank left. After filling up, I did the math, this car still got 19.43 miles to the gallon with all that ruckus! I’m sorry I didn’t specify. It had a 2bbl, 283, powerglide, all rebuilt. I still miss those GREEN GUAGES!!

Well, I just couldn’t afford the upkeep. I wanted to give the car back to my dad, but not only did he not have room, but was too advanced in years to upkeep it. It needed a garage. With the coaxing of my wife, I reluctantly sold it. I really did cry. I know I’m gonna miss it more when my dad is gone. But, maybe someday, Gladys will come back with a venegence! (She was named after the old lady who had it since 1965) If I ever do it again, she’ll be a sleeper!

To this day, the tape to U2’s Joshua Tree always takes me back to those warm summer nights with the vents, as well as the road, open.

Thanks for the trip back in time.

Keep ‘em comin’ I love these stories!


My first was a '78 Datsun B210GX. It had a 5 speed with reverse in the normal first gear position. If you were not paying attention, you would be at a stop light, drop it into what you thought was first gear…the light turns green, you let up the clutch only to back into the car behind you…poor engineering. They put a buzzer that would sound off when you dropped it into reverse, but it sometimes didn’t work.
This car had a peculiar habit of having the carb float stick. I could smell fuel which let me know that it was time to raise the hood an whack the carb with a hammer. This usually released the float. It only set the yard on fire once with this problem…
Dollars were hard to come by back then, so I ended up having to park on hills in order to use the gravity starter once the battery began to weaken. It would smoke like heck on the first run of the day due to some valve guide seals, but it was easy on oil and gas.
The car was Hershey brown and was named “The Roach” because that is exactly what it looked like. Fond memories!

In 1963 I borrowed a few hundred dollars from my father (paid back in a few months) added that to to a few hundred I had and bought a 1962 Sunbeam Imp (demo/loaner car). 850CC 40-45 mpg. I had more fun and great use from that car than any other I have ever had. I also learned a lot about cars.

This car had 12" wheels rear engine, I could keep up 70 mph up hill if it was not too steep.

Years later when I bought my Rabbit diesel, to add to the 1970 VW Beetle, I was still able to fit all three cars (One sideways) in my two car garage.

I eventually sold it to an employee. He bought it on Friday and Monday when he came into work, he had a Bandaid on his head. He thanked me for the car that saved his life. He ran full speed into a parked Impala parked on the berm with no lights. He did not see the Impala until after the accident. I suspect he may have had a drink or two. In any case he ended up with just a scratch and a sour shoulder. The gas tank was shoved under the car as designed and did not leak. Front end collapsed as designed. Proof that small does not mean un-safe.

Funny thing, a few years earlier about three miles from that exit late at night I was in the same car when a Greyhound bus driver fell asleep and ran into me. His first run (and I would guess last) as a driver. No injury (I thought I had a flat tyre until I got out of the car.

HA! Stopped short! yes…that was a great episode! Never even thought about that being a move (being a girl that is) until I saw it on seinfeld. Very creative… ;-D

My first car was a 1947 Pontiac that I purchased for $75 in 1961. I needed a car to make the 350 mile trip to graduate school. The engine used about a quart of oi every 250 miles, the cluster gear was worn in the transmission, so it was really noisy in low gear, but the body was in great shape. I kept the speed under 60 on the highways (we didn’t have interstates at that time), and would shift to second gear as quickly as possible. I got a year of service from the car while I saved enough to buy a newer car.

Agreed. I Drove An 84 Rabbit GTI Company Car. It Really Was A Blast To Drive!

First car was a 1948 Dodge 4 door. It got totalled soon after I bought it, so my next one was a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster Deluxe “stove bolt 6”, bought in 1958 for $125 with 60,000 miles on it, which I drove for 4 years or so. It was a vile green metallic and was soon christened the “Green Hornet” by everyone.

My first vehicle was a 1973 Ford F-100 2WD. It was older than I am. It didn’t have much in the way of extras. It had 3 on the tree, lap seat belts, no AC, no power steering, no power brakes, a bad clutch, some rust, and it barely ran. An ideal car to learn on. My parents bought it for me in 1994 for $500. My dad said that if I wanted to drive, I would have to help him fix it up. The 302 2bbl was deemed to tired and underpowered to be worth rebuilding. So we scoured the junkyards and found a solid 390 4bbl and luckily a complete Ford 9 inch rear axle complete with 4.11 gears. We rebuilt the 390 added some mild upgrades, like slightly more aggressive cam, had the heads ported, and got a rebuilt 650 cfm carb. We swapped the axle out for the junkyard unit, installed a new clutch. Bought some new steel wheels, had the seat reupholstered, removed the 8 track, put in a tape player, painted the interior of the truck, bought four new tires, painted the steel wagon wheels white, got some new center caps, had the truck repainted and had some dents fixed, had some new side mirrors put on. Replaced the badges/emblems. Did a brake job, and she was ready for prime time.

Not the easiest vehicle to drive, and it was particularly bad in snow, and because we used the radiator that was meant for the 302, it tended to run hot during the summer. Fuel mileage wasn’t that great. I got around 7-10 MPG on premium. It wasn’t that safe either, lap seatbelts were all you had. But I managed with it for two years without any major trouble.

My dad kept the truck up until last month where he decided he wanted a truck with AC, so he bought a used 2003 F-150 and sold the 1974 for $1200. He only had a for sale sign on it for 3 hours before someone bought it.

How I would love to see pics of these cars and trucks! These stories are great! Keep them coming!

My first car was a '71 Datsun 510 wagon. I bought it after graduating from university in 1978 for $1600. I drove that car all over California and the western US.

Yellow 1976 Trans Am with a 455, bought for $2,500 in 1991. The car was in excellent shape, my neighbor needed room in his garage for another car. Worked all summer to save for it. Cool car for a 17 y/o, but I’d never let my kids buy one.

Had it for two years and sold it for $5,800 after putting a few dings on it.

My first car was a 1987 Ford Ranger 2.9l 5 speed No ac, bought in late 1996. I paid 1300 bucks for it and within the first month had to put brakes, exhaust and valve cover gaskets on it. It had 107k hard miles on it when I bought it and probably 130k on it when I sold it two years later.
I don’t understand when kids get a nice used or even newer car for thier first car. I had to work and earn money to but mine, and I had to pay for insurance and repairs, which I usually did myself. Must be nice to get a 2-4 year old car and have mommy and daddy pay for it.
Fwiw, I have been driving for 13 years, have driven at least 250-300k miles and have never been in a wreck or ever gotten a ticket.

1965 Ford Galaxie 500.

Bought this car when I was 17. Found it at a dealer used with 63,000 miles. They were asking $550.00. Took it for a test drive and it seemed to be in good condition. Called the ole man and ask if he could come check out when he got off work. He shows up and we take it for another test drive. Seemed to be good to him too. We get back to the dealer, the ole man gets out and walks behind the vehicle and says to the salesman the deals off! I was shocked because I liked the car. The ole man points to the ground and there were drips oil from where we drove it in. He tells the salesman that the car is only worth $250.00 because the rear main seal was leaking. The salesman gets one of their mechanics to come out and look. He looks under the vehicle and tells the salesman the rear main seal is leaking. So they took $250.00 for it.

That weekend me and the ole man removed the 289 CID engine and installed a new rear main seal. That was my first engine removal.