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What was your first car?
Posted by: McQ on Friday, March 02, 2007

This answer to the question in the AJC got me to thinking:
My first car was a 1966 Chevrolet Impala convertible. No options, just a three-speed manual transmission shifter on the column and a 283-cubic-inch V-8 engine. I drove this car throughout high school and still have it as my fun car for nice-weather drives a few days a month.

It is a lifetime rolling restoration project. I'm currently slowly restoring the interior. I'm doing the work myself, but plan to involve my three children, now all 6 and younger, in the restoration.

What is special about this car is that my mother ordered it exactly as she wanted, brand-new, in November 1965, and it is the first car I ever rode in. After I was born, I came home from the hospital in my mother's lap in the front seat of this car. After I die, my plan is to have my casket stuck in the trunk of this car for the final drive to my burial site.
That's pretty cool ... to and from life in a '66 Impala.

What was your first car?
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Previous Comments to this Post 

It was a 1954 Chevy BelAire. It had a straight six under the hood with a three speed manual on the column. It weighed about 3 tons and could go anywhere. It was probably the best kind of car for a young driver. My Father’s only bit of advice was "It’s yours now, so you keep it running." Changing the oil, spark plugs, adjusting the timing, lube jobs, etc was perfect training for a young man just learning how to drive and properly maintain a car. It was like a tank and just about bullet proof and was a sight to see that dull green tank floundering around in the boonies.
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
66’ Pontiac Tempest. Out came the 326 and in with a 73’ 455 mildly warmed over. Recently i’ve been snoopin’ for an un-rusted Tempest/LeMans to build another one. The search goes on.
Written By: markm
URL: http://
1976 light blue Camaro. The de riguer car in the upper-middle class suburbs of Texas at the time
Written By: coyote
The 1st car I ever bought on my own was a chevet with cracked heads. The used car salesman riped me off!
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
1981 AMC Eagle SX-4, man I miss that car. Would go anywhere, when it was running, hehe.
Written By: Crusader
The first car I drove was my mom’s 1970 Dodge Polara station wagon. It was great for learning to drive, because there was so much metal around me, I couldn’t possibly get hurt. And other cars tended to scatter to avoid it. I’m not sure what my mom did with it; rumor has it Israel bought it and converted it into an APC :)

The first car I bought was a 1969 Volkswagen Beetle. Learned a lot about cars with that one: rebuilt the engine and transmission. The hard part about rebuilding the engine was getting a new hamster to power the thing.
Written By: steverino
Just before going on active duty in 1967, I bought a 1938 Buick Business Coupe in need of restoration. After a new interior and the rebuild of the engine and drivetrain, a U-Haul was attached. The Maine to Ft. Belvoir, VA trip was completed without incident albeit at a speed slightly less than the other traffic. The car had great personality.
Written By: jhstuart
URL: http://
1981 Mazda GLC Hatchback. White. No frills, since none were ever offered (that I recall). Not exactly a chick magnet, but it was pretty fun to drive.
Written By: MichaelW
Ugh. Originally learned in a 1980 VW Dasher station wagon, with a manual transmission and a diesel engine.

It’s been all up hill since then.
Written By: Wiz
URL: http://
1979 Chevy Malibu Classic. White w/blue interior. Glasspack mufflers and dual exhaust. Wasn’t much to look at but she sounded great! And yes: 8-Track!
Written By: cjd
URL: http://
Mine was a 1928 Ford Model A two door sedan. My first project was to fabricate new seat covers from potato sacks. I was 14 and I paid $15 for it and drove it home. I remember learning that the windshield was not made of safety glass. The heater was a hole in the firewall that let air come in after going over the exhaust manifold. The heater had a nice swing-away door. Best to have tight exhaust manifold gaskets!
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Heh, I don’t suppose it’ll offend any of you guys to hear that my first car was (is) a 2002 Honda Civic EX Coupe with an air intake, power windows/mirrors/sunroof/locks, keyless entry and a CD player. It’s a manual, it’s comfortable (even though I’m 6’3" or 6’4") and it’s actually fun to drive—you can drive aggressively, no problem—which is especially nice considering the great mileage I get, how quiet the car is (even with the intake), and that it’s apparently a very low emissions vehicle.

100% paid for up front, in cash, with my own wages. I know almost nothing about its operation, pretty much because I don’t have to. All-around great car.

Ah, memories.
Written By: Bryan Pick
A Toyota Corona (not Corolla) of indeterminate year, but probably 1979. It was held together with rust and duct-tape, and cost $850. As these things go, it actually was fairly loaded as it had working AC, automatic transmission, and a functioning radio. I had it for about a year before its timing chain snapped and shotgunned the engine block; fortunately, by then, I had graduated from college and could buy a new car.

It was a good car to learn to drive in since I lived in Berkeley and needed a small car that could resist banging into things while I learned to parallel park :) It wasn’t much fun to drive or park - manual steering is murder and I got a great workout with it - but it went on several road trips to Lake Tahoe and LA.

Most stupid thing done in the car: driving it down the goat-road in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area without using the brakes; anything goes wrong, and it’s a 500 foot drop into the Pacific.
Written By: Foobarista
URL: http://
1978 Monte Carlo - 305 bored out to a 350. The pride of the east side! What a ride, but man did it SUCK in the snow. All that power and all that weight in the front... drive wheels in the back. Also the first car I... ummmm, never mind. That’s probably for a different post ;-)
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
94 chevy S-10, manual 5-speed, 4 cylinder. It would actually rattle (mostly from wind resistance, when I got it up to 85 mph (which was as far as the odometer went). Possibly looking to buy my first vehicle by myself. I’d really like a turbo diesel truck with good gas mileage (is toyota coming out with an diesel tacomas anytime soon?). Baring that, the Nissan 350z’s look sweet.
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
’68 Plymouth Fury fastback, and pretty much routine except for two things. First, I had to climb under the hood and adjust the points once a month. No repairman ever made the points stay in adjustment.

Second, it would occasionally start running really awful for a couple of weeks or more. I knew exactly what to do to make it run better - visit a car lot and talk to a salesman about buying another car. As soon as I got back in the Fury, it would immediately begin running much better.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
76 Ford LTD. It lasted about 3 months before a loud bang and something blowing a hole in the side of the engine. The best part about it was the fact that my 6’1 friend could lay stretched out in the back seat with his neck slightly crooked. It was 18+’ long and had a 3 dead body trunk. Great fun to haul all the friends around in, and I do mean "all". I think we had 14 people in the thing at one point.
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
I learned to drive (or started to, anyway) in my dad’s 1970-something Dodge Colt. It had a manual transmission and I didn’t understand how the gears worked, and my dad couldn’t explain it in a way I could understand because he was such a mechanical guy that he went into way too much detail. So my mom talked him into getting me a nice used Honda Accord with an automatic transmission.

It lasted until I totaled it in a crash at the age of 17. My sister and I were coming home from late rehearsals of the musical we were both involved in, and I was scared to make a left-hand turn from a tiny street onto six lanes of Sepulveda Boulevard with a parked semi blocking my view. I wanted to just take three rights and make the left at a larger intersection. But I heard my dad’s voice in my head going "What are you afraid of, just take the damn turn!!" as he had so many times while teaching me to drive, and so I took it. Thankfully no one was injured.
Written By: Wacky Hermit
I learned to drive in my mother’s ’69 Torino GT, fast as all h*ll, when gas was $0.50/gal. The first car I bought was a ’61 Hillman Minx, but I spent more time on my back, underneath it, than behind the wheel. Had to work on just about everything, so for a daily driver, I bought a ’72 Pinto hatchback. Good basic transportation if you could avoid the people behind you.
Written By: DouginIndy
URL: http://
1964 Plymouth Belvedere with a push button automatic transmission.
Written By: Bill H
URL: http://
My first car was a 1958 Oldsmobile, which my friends called an “Overcromed Mugwump” Got about 10 mpg but gas was 29.9 cents per gallon. Second car was a 1955 MG TF a vast improvement.
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
My first car was a 1971 Ford galaxy 500, 4dr, With an automatic and the 351 Cleveland. It had apparently started life as a Kentucky state police unmarked car. Very plain Jane, and very big. Maroon. Black interior. I never bothered adding very much to it; just an 8 track player.
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
1985 1/2 Ford Escort Hatchback. Where does the half-year come from? It was the 1985 body and the 1986 engine. It was a monster, a 1.9L inline four putting power to the two 14" front wheels through a wide-ratio 4 speed manual transmission...

When my buddy got the speeding ticket for going 93 mph in that car, I was damn proud it was capable of going 93. And, of course, when I got a ticket for "illegal squealing of tires" in a Ford Escort, there was a little pride there too :-)
Written By: Brad Warbiany
The first car I drove after I got my learners permit (at14) was my mom’s 1964 Ford Galaxy 500. She bought it new, and I still have it. Prior to that she had a 62 Mercury Comet. It was the car I learned to drive in (at 12). those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end
Written By: neanderthal286
URL: http://
74 Renault T12 sedan 1.3 L manual. It would make 55 mph flat out and take 30s to get there. Had a slight wiring problem that caused the lights to fail intermittantly and very vague steering.
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
1979 Chevy Luv Mikado. Rust red. No anything, including brakes half the time. If you went over 35, it would shake your teeth out.
Written By: Jamie
URL: http://
1966 Plymouth Belvedere Station Wagon. It was my grandfather’s "work" car. He a carpenter/handyman, he had 3 wood planks on a roof rack to carry panel goods. He had driven it twice to Alaska on the Al-Can hiway, and back to Montana. When he passed away and I got it, it showed 78,000 on the odometer, and had been around once. Rusted out quarter panels, and you could see the hiway through the floorboards. 225 slant six engine with 3 speed on the column. Drove it my senior year in college. Got me around town, up to the ski hill, and to visit family 100 and 150 miles away.
Written By: Loren
URL: http://
1972 VW Beetle, seven shades of rust and no brakes. Had to carry a brick around in case I parked on an incline. Broke down for the umpteenth time in Greenup Co, KY and I just left it. KSP called to let me know it’d been towed as abandoned. Apparently the Musketeers took offense at the Boyd Co plates and crushed the roof to just about level with the top of the seats and broke every piece of glass/plastic possible.
Written By: RedLion
URL: http://

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