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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 03:56 pm (UTC)
a 1986 Pontiac sunbird (blue) - loved that car. I was right out of nursing school, immediately got a full time job on a surgical floor, and went to the bank for a loan - they didn't hesitate. I felt so grown up.

That's a great car you built for your son-
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Mary. I had fun building it :)

I know what you mean about feeling grown up about that first bank loan. Somehow, subsequent loans never had that same allure :(
Oct. 2nd, 2010 04:06 pm (UTC)
My first car was a 1986 Silver Chevette (affectionately called Shitvette) with 4-55 air conditioning (roll down 4 windows and drive 55) and dark blue vinyl interior. And let me tell you, in Texas...in August...my car was the hottest thing around. Literally. Imagine plastic seats in 115 degree weather. I know. I know. Only one step away from HELL! But I loved that car. (Kinda... Sorta.)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
Plastic seats + 115 degrees = eek!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
I just traded in my first car a few months ago. She was a Grabber Green* Ford Focus and was 8 years old. *sniff* I still miss my baby but my new baby is still green. She's more pastel and kind of in the 'celery' family so I named her 'Asparagus' and call her 'Gus' for short. And she actually has the majority of the electronic toys that the Green Machine did not.

I love your first car though. It's awesome!

*Like the Green crayon in an 8 pack Crayola box.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:33 pm (UTC)
Nice one. I love all the clever gadgets you get on cars these days :)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
My first car is/was a Seat Arosa in blue. Like this one, picture shamelessly stolen from the internet:

Oct. 2nd, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I still have it, it's 11 1/2 years old now and still fine ;)
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I actually just sold my first car. I had it almost 13 years (It'll be 16 years old this winter) and almost 180,000 miles on it. It is a 1994 ford escort hatchback. Nothing fancy but it held up for years. I never had any major problems with it until the last year or so, then things just started to go. It took me a full year to decide to sell it. The decision was made easier because I have a nice, newer vehicle and it was getting expensive to make truck payments and keep up the old escort. I also wasn't driving it as much despite the difference in gas mileage. It was a really kick ass car. And yes, I cried after the people who bought it drove away. It still makes me sad to think that I sold my car.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
180,000 on the clock? That's impressive mileage :)
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jongibbs - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - phoenixfirewolf - Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oct. 2nd, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
My first car was a 1973 Chevy Vega hatchback, brand new but still left on the lot and going cheap because it was bright yellow-orange. I loved that car because it meant independence, but I will also add that you should never drive an orange car if you live in a small town.-)

Supposedly the Vega had problems because it had an aluminum engine block, but I had mine for years with no engine trouble. I finally sold it when it started eating batteries.

I loved the Duplo car, BTW. Cute!
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to visualize that orange car :)

One thing's for sure, your old motor never got used as a getaway car ;)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
My first car was a Dodge Omni. I got my money's worth out of it, and it made mechanics very happy in the last years of its life.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
Yeah, old cars burn a hole in the old bank balance once they get past a certain age/mileage :)
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
My dad was a dreadful tailgater. He genuinely thought the car in front would speed up if the driver couldn't see his license plates in his/her rear-view mirror. I've no idea why.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 03:53 am (UTC)
1982. I was 18. Seafoam green 1965 Mustang.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 04:55 am (UTC)
The Terrimobile :)
Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:41 am (UTC)
A 72 Chevy Impala: a big, blue beast with a V-8 engine and real metal hull. I remember the day in English class when a fellow geek said, "I have a lot of friends, you have a big ass car. We need to combine forces." Eventually his friends became my friends, too, of course.

And I scored major points with my girlfriends by opening car doors for them, too.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 02:08 pm (UTC)
And I scored major points with my girlfriends by opening car doors for them, too.

Lol, there's always room at the table for Mr. Manners
Oct. 3rd, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
My father taught me to drive in an old green Willys Jeep. I didn't have a car of my own until after I was married but years later we acquired the 1946 CJ2A Jeep and that's what all of our children had to use for their driver training. In turn each of them took it too high school to work on in their AutoTech classes, too... girls included. It's still around, restored, and occasionally being driven by grandchildren. Those vehicles never die! (You can get a glimpse of it at: http://wp.me/phaYw-mT
Oct. 4th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
Wow! Those things were built to last :)
Oct. 4th, 2010 12:11 pm (UTC)
My first car was a brand new Fiat Uno which was a very lightweight chassis combined with a huge engine, no turning ability and no brakes. I used it to break every top speed law in existence (I believe speed limits should be banned, but, strangely, they are the only traffic law I ever break), and my best friends christened it "the death machine", despite the fact that it never had an accident.

Then I sold it and bought New Beetle, which I still have. Ten years later, that VW is still bulletproof, and fast enough to have fun in.
Oct. 4th, 2010 01:49 pm (UTC)
You can't go wrong with a bulletproof car :)
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