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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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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.
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:37 pm (UTC)
Nope! He didn't have the proper insurance to be delivering newspapers to begin with, and he's poor (he's some sort of a retired...war veteran guy with some sort of a mental issue) so we can't even sue him for the damage he caused. It was basically a huuuuuge nightmare as far as the damage was concerned. When the car hit the house, it made a pipe burst and start leaking into the furnished basement, where I had a bunch of VHS movies on the floor because I was going through them so that I could sell some of them at a yard sale, and a good amount of them got ruined. :( Most of them were movies I'm never going to be able to get a copy of again, and I think at least one or two of them were home videos.

The crazy thing is that my "friend" had slept over the night before, and we were by ourselves because my dad and his at-the-time girlfriend (now fiance) were in Seattle visiting my cousins and weren't coming home until that Sunday (the accident happened on that Saturday morning at 6:15 AM). It had been really hot that Friday night, and my friend was like "let's sleep on the couch in the living room," but I was like "no, let's just sleep upstairs" because I got (and still do) creeped out by the idea of sleeping on the second floor (my room at my dad's house is upstairs and I was used to that), so we slept in my room, but she had been like "fine, I'll just sleep down here" but I convinced her to sleep upstairs with me.

If I hadn't convinced her to sleep upstairs and the car had gone any further into the house than it did (it knocked the wall a foot in), she and I could have been seriously hurt. D:

Here's the entry with pictures from when that happened, including my poor car. :(

Oh, and I also got really, really lucky that my mom was home that day. She came over and she was able to take care of contacting the insurance company, and she found where my dad kept all of the stuff she needed (because of knowing where it was from when my parents were still together), and she got a...contractor or whatever to come out and fix up the hole in the wall and make sure the house wasn't going to collapse since it almost got knocked off the foundation. By the time she called my dad to let him know what happened (which was awkward because it was like 3 AM where he was and he had his cell phone off so I had to give her the number for my dad's girlfriend's cell and she answered) and by the time she did that she'd gotten everything all set with the insurance and such.

When my dad was having the damage fixed up, they tried to give him a hard time and only give him like $100.00 TOTAL for the flowers that were ruined. These were beautiful flowers that were not cheap, so he had to really fight with them to get them to give him more. Oh, and the insurance company gave him money to replace the movies that were ruined, so I got to order a bunch of movies on DVD- both movies that I knew were ruined and I wanted copies of and even a few that weren't technically ruined but I wanted copies of.

Edited at 2010-10-02 11:42 pm (UTC)
Oct. 2nd, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
I never understood why there aren't harsher penalties for people not having 3rd party insurance (if that's the right term for it). I hope my post hasn't brought back unpleasant memories, Ally.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
I don't know if that's really the right term for it. I think...he got fired from his job because of it, and this apparently wasn't the first time he'd done something like this. He's crashed into people's mailboxes.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Sounds like he shouldn't have been driving in the first place.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
Definitely not. He "was tired," and "didn't remember" falling asleep. There's no way he was going five miles an hour down the street when he fell asleep. His foot was ON the pedal. He woke up when the car hit the house, I think.

My friend didn't even hear the crash and she was right next to me. I heard it and thought it was the cats, and my neighbor had to call my cell phone and leave a message 'cause I didn't recognize the number. He was like "Ally, there's been an accident, I need you to come outside." I listened to it, was like "oh my God," went down stairs and opened the door to a car RIGHT there and I called my friend to come down stairs. I was FREAKED.

I do not really believe in this sort of thing usually, but my grandfather died in May and this happened in July...I honestly believe he was watching over us that day to make sure nothing worse happened to us. Something besides my usual paranoia told me that we needed to suffer through the heat and sleep upstairs that night.
Oct. 3rd, 2010 05:43 am (UTC)
You shouldn't have replaced the windshield. That crack was a good luck charm in disguise.
Oct. 4th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
Lol, apparently not. :( I'd had the car for like three years with that stupid crack in it, and it was free to get it replaced to begin with. :|

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