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Do you remember your first car?

During the week, I set about organizing some driving lessons for my son.  Like most young men, he's excited at the thought of getting behind the wheel for the first time. We've had some interesting discussions about the kind of cars he likes and which one we're likely to buy him (dream on, boy).  It made me think of that scene in the movie Transformers (2007), in which Ron Witwicky, played by the excellent Kevin Dunn, takes his son to buy his first car.  He pulls into the Porsche sales lot, only to drive straight out again once his son gets his hopes raised.

Then  I remembered. My son's already had his first car. I built it for him with my own two hands.

I built it out of Duplo bricks.  It took me the better part of three days to design the thing and put it all together. I even made a raised seating area behind the drivers seat where my daughters (17 months younger than their brother) could perch as I 'drove' them all around our front room.  It lasted about a week before the girls decided to see how fast they could take it all apart.

My own first car was nowhere near as fancy.  I didn't learn to drive until I was 26 years old.  the only thing I could afford was a 27-yr-old Mini Traveller.  It was two-tone (maroon and rust), with a push-button starter motor on the floor, next to the handbrake.


This isn't mine - for one thing it's in too 
good condition, but it's similar. 

Mine was maroon, like this. The inside was 
somewhat sparse.  No radio, air bag. Bits
of wood trimming where always falling off. 

When I first met Senior Management, she thought I was a real gentleman because I would hold the passenger door for her whenever we went out.  The truth was, the door wouldn't shut properly unless you held it a certain way, and even then, only if you closed it from the outside. 

Within a year, the engine passed away.  It hadn't been able to climb steep hills for some time, so I was half-expecting it when I came down one morning to find my little car had finally given up the ghost.  It had gone round the clock at least once and was nearly 28 (which is about 112 in human years).  My friend, a mechanic, told me the technical term for the car's problem: 'It's well and truly knackered.'  

I was really sad when they towed it away.  That was over 20 years ago.  I've had a few cars since, but not had anything like the same emotional attachment to any of them. 

How about you?

Do you remember your first car?

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( 73 comments — Leave a comment )
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Oct. 2nd, 2010 08:45 am (UTC)
I'm 27 and can't drive! I'm still dreaming about my first car.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Whatever you end up getting, you'll remember it for asd long as you live :)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
Mine was a mettalic blue mini clubman s, with racing stripes. It was my first purchase with the money from my car accident. There seems to be some sort of poetic justice in that fact. I loved that car to bits.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
oh, and I got my licence as soon as I was able to, living in the country kind of ensured the need to be independant was paramoun for a teenage.
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - eneit - Oct. 3rd, 2010 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:39 am (UTC)
Pale yellow coloured DAF 33, 750 throbbing ccs of engine and variomatic (ie, rubber band) transmission (with a left leg that didn't work properly I had to have an automatic and there were very few small automatics in those days, like just the DAF 33 and 44) Those MG drivers would laugh at the lights, until I left them in the dust when they changed to green - variomatic transmission, just press your foot and GO!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
I wonder why so few of the smaller cars were automatic.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:45 am (UTC)
Since you ask...

This was the best reasonable-likeness I could google.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Since you ask...
That's a big car. It must have cost you a fortune in gas :)
Re: Since you ask... - msstacy13 - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Since you ask... - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:47 am (UTC)
But that handmade first car of your son's is priceless.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
I probably will never forget my first car. I wasn't expecting it. My father found a Toyota Corolla [1968] that had been dubbed totaled in an accident. He fixed the car himself and present it to me in the parking lot of the high school I attended. It was just a little "puddle-jumper" but it served me well for two years.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
Wow! I bet you were chuffed to come out of school to find that Toyota there.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:31 am (UTC)
Mine was a green '72 VW Super Beetle. I loved that car, even though the rust was holding it together, and the heat only worked when it was hot out, and I had to scrape the *inside* of the windshield in winter. My mom took me to the school parking lot to learn how to drive it (I had never driven a stick shift before), and it took me maybe 20 minutes to get the hang of it. I was motivated. *g*
My sister and then my brother had it after me, and it was finally sold for scrap to a junkyard. We all have fond memories of it, though.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
I love those old VW Beetles :)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
I love that Mini traveller! - I can see why you were so attached. My first car was an 1985 Dodge Charger - My Mom gave me the downpayment when I got my first real job. I loved it :-)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
It's funny how so many things, which would have been considered the highest luxury in a car back then, now come as standard, don't you think?
(no subject) - mguibord - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:46 am (UTC)
Mine was a 1972 Chevy Caprice Classic, a true boat of car. It attracted nicknames from my friends: The Dinosaur, The Yacht. But my favorite was my brothers: The Enterprise.

I only ever met one other person who had a car bigger than mine. He had a 1972 Chevy station wagon!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
Lol, The Enterprise. Excellent! :)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:48 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I had a 1964 Karmann Ghia with Porshe wheel rims! Oh how I loved that little lemon-yellow death trap! :D
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
That's a cool first car :)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:06 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you had a lucky escape.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC)
I wrote about this a cou8ple of years ago: http://mmerriam.livejournal.com/260328.html
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:11 pm (UTC)
Wow, another lucky escape. Sounds like that Monterey of yours was built like a tank!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:30 pm (UTC)
I had my first car until last year when the newspaper delivery guy fell asleep at the top of my dad's street (he lives at the end of a cul-de-sac), went through the flower bed, hit my car, sent that into the garage and then hit my house and my car was totaled. It was a green Honda Civic, though I don't remember what year it was. It had literally no issues, I'd only had it for a few years, and the Saturday before it happened they had JUST replaced the windshield because of a crack that was in it from before I even had the car, when the previous owner had it.

The guys who looked at my car said that if it had gone any further into the garage, it probably would've caught on fire because of the gas tank.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Sounds like that could have ended much worse than it did. I hope the insurance paid out without any fuss.
(no subject) - jediknightmuse - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jediknightmuse - Oct. 3rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 3rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jediknightmuse - Oct. 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paulwoodlin - Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jediknightmuse - Oct. 4th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
Haha, aww, "it's well and truly knackered." Well, you gave it a good life, and it gave you the same it seems.

My first car had similar door problems, particularly in winter. I paid $1,000 for it from a friend who was a mechanic, so it ran good but the body ... well ...

When I got married, my protective husband didn't want me driving the old beater in case it broke down, so he gave me his new Grand Prix to drive, while he took over mine. One winter morning, I looked out to see him climbing out the driver's side window because the door was stuck again. I could tell by his face, that was the end. He got rid of it and bought himself a pickup.

I crashed and totaled his Grand Prix, because that's what I do to cars. Accident magnet, that's me. None of them my fault, I swear. Thanks for your story! Heh, I can only imagine you and your son looking at the Duplo car in a heap.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:23 pm (UTC)
Your husband gave you his brand new Grand Prix and took your old banger. He sounds like a keeper :)
(no subject) - clarionj - Oct. 4th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
1985 black Subaru station wagon with red interior. My parents actually bought in 1985, so they'd have "a safe car for the baby." (Technically, it was their second one - they bought the first car in 1984, right before I was born, but it was winter and they foolishly thought, "Oh, we don't need air conditioning!" After that summer, they traded it in for one with A/C, lol.)

Sixteen years later, the "baby" started driving it. It lasted a good twenty years, that car, but then I started losing parts on the highway, and it wouldn't pass inspection, so I got a slightly newer hand-me-down, which I still drive today.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a great car. I bet your whole family have some great memories of it :)
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