Why is it your very first car is always special, even if it was a clunker?

>> Friday, December 10, 2010

One of my very favorite bits'o'Neil, "Long May You Run":

Mine was an old Honda Civic hatchback given to me by an aunt, silver-grey and almost as old as I was, maybe even a year older. Five speed transmission, manual choke, an FM adapter and cassette player run bolted under the dash and run through the AM. The sort of car that was indestructible until I destroyed her in a bang-up in high school. Good little car, though.



Shawn Powers Friday, December 10, 2010 at 6:57:00 AM EST  

A 1972 (3 years older than me) Volkswagen Rabbit Diesel. I have a photo of it, and while I paid under $300 for it back then, I'd happily pay many times more than that for one now.

It was a stick shift, and I didn't know the nuances of a diesel like letting the glow plugs warm up. So, every morning I had to point the car down the hill we lived on, and start it by rolling and popping the clutch. It got 63 miles to the gallon, and topped out at 70MPH. :)

Janiece Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:37:00 AM EST  

A 1980 Volkswagon Rabbit. Manual transition, and a good, safe little car for a young driver.

I loved that car.

David Friday, December 10, 2010 at 9:39:00 AM EST  

1986 Dodge K-Car, in what was probably billed as "tan" but was really an ungodly sort of yellowish puke. I got it in graduate school (prior to that I lived in big cities and didn't need a car). It was a great little car - by 1986 they'd worked the bugs out of the K-cars, and it was reliable, hard-working, and roomy enough to drive across the country.

It wouldn't start at all in temperatures below zero, though, which was a problem in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Eventually the engine required work that cost about 4x the value of the car, so I gave it to my brother-in-law, who promised to fix it and promptly destroyed it on the drive back to his apartment. I guess it knew what was coming and committed suicide.

Emilio, K-Car of Destiny, RIP.

Warner (aka ntsc) Friday, December 10, 2010 at 10:45:00 AM EST  

1957 Desoto Firedome. This was a 392 cubic inch hemi V-8, it got 12 mpg on hi-test and would do in excess of 120. Weighed in at 4800 pounds and had a 22 gallon tank.

This was not the big Desoto, but the middle sized one. It was considered a family car.

Would have loved to have had that car with a stick, but it had pushbutton drive.

Dr. Phil (Physics) Friday, December 10, 2010 at 12:18:00 PM EST  

My first "car" was a 1979 Chevy Suburban -- two-tone cordoba brown and Santa Fe tan exterior and tan vinyl Scottsdale interior -- tailgate, of course. 350 cubic inch V-8, 3-speed, automatic, A.C. -- and came with no radio but did have the windshield antenna. (I later got an adapter to use that antenna with a Radio Shack CB radio.)

Two days before Christmas 1984 the Suburban was involved in a wintry crash, which shortened it by about a foot. Rebuilt. Eventually the transmission started losing gears and I couldn't find a replacement (!). Donated it to the Kidney Foundation.

Good vehicle. With Goodyear F32 snow radials on the rear, one almost didn't notice the lack of 4WD in the U.P. (grin)

Dr. Phil

kejia,  Friday, December 10, 2010 at 7:19:00 PM EST  

guess we know the answer to your security question: what was your first car? ;)

Eric Friday, December 10, 2010 at 7:47:00 PM EST  

An example, of course, of why those kinds of security are so defective, the original versions of "security theatre."

Of course, you're assuming my answer isn't "T-16 Skyhopper" or "covered wagon." :)

WendyB_09 Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 12:44:00 AM EST  

Mine was a '69 Camero, with 365 limited edition engine, electric blue, with a white vinyl roof and white leather interior. Sweet, fast car. It was my high school graduation present and bribe to move to NC from NYC area when my family moved.

Drove that car until it dropped. Found out several years after I traded it that it was worth more with a blown engine and bad transmission than I'd got on the trade-in. Sigh.

Wish I still had that car. Double sigh.

Phiala Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 9:57:00 AM EST  

1990 Geo Prizm that I drove until last year.

Picture this: moving from New Mexico to Pennsylvania in a Prizm, with 2 people, 2 cats, and a then-80-lb dog.

It's been replaced by the substantially-larger Subaru Forester just in case.

mattw Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 4:52:00 PM EST  

A maroon 1988 Chevy Astro Van. Rusted out underneath, covered in dust inside and out. There was a styrofoam cooler between the two front seats to serve as a platform and keep the arms of the seatbelt in place. If there was a passenger in front it would squeek as we drove around. It had more than 100,000 miles on it when I got it as a hand me down. The radio had been replaced so there was actually a nice AM/FM with removable face plate and a cassette deck. We called it the dust mobile because it was never cleaned. It had a rebuilt engine and ran well, and I loved that car. We got rid of it when my parents thought it wasn't safe enough to drive any more. Ended up buy a car that was just as old and cost me probably close to $1,000 in repairs in the few short years I had it.

Denis McDowell Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 8:20:00 AM EST  

72 chevy nova with a straight 6. Great car. There is one just like it for sale up the road. Wish I could buy it.

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