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What was your first car? What happened to it?



  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,330
    You guys had it good with your '69 and '70 Volvos. Volvo actually enlarged the engine in '69 so that it had more power (OK, not much) and more torque. My father, at one point, owned a '68 144S automatic. That thing had to be driven to be believed. You could get a good approximation of its 0-60 time using a clock with no second hand.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    I can appreciate that one! I was always tempted t measure it with an hourglass....
  • JostJost northeastPosts: 19
    Mine was a 1963 Dodge 440 , 4 dr. sed. It had a slant 6 (225c.i.) and a 3 spd. tourqeflite automatic with pushbuttons on the dash. It was cream with a dark brown stripe between the chrome strips. It had over 100,000 miles on it which was a lot in those days. I used to shift it mannualy, hitting the neutral button between first and second, flooring it and trying in vain to chirp the rear tire between gears. It had rust all over... and with the way I beat on it,, it did not last very long, needless to say the trans. was the first to fail. I ended up paying a junk yard $50. to take it, noone would buy a rusted out slant 6 Dodge with a blown tranny!!!!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Oooo, just wait until andre reads this! He would love to discuss Chryslers with slant sixes with you, I'm sure. :-)

    My first car ended up going to the junk yard too - it was 16 years old and had a quarter million miles or so at that point. They don't make Corollas like that one any more, although they still do a pretty good job. ;-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    At least, the one that I bought with my own money, was a '79 Pontiac Sunbird coupe (or, cou-pay as they say on "Top Gear"). Beige with beige vinyl interior. 2.5L 4-cylinder - the infamous "Iron Duke" engine) coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission. No air, no tach, but I think it had an AM/FM radio.

    Bought in the spring of '82 just before I graduated HS. Paid $3850 for it. It had less than 12K on it (an elderly couple were the original owners). I added the following "accessories" to it:

    -> white fog (or were they driving?) lights
    -> yellow fog lights
    -> AM/FM Cassette w/ two box speakers - the rear shelf wasn't deep enough to allow for regular 6x9 or 5" installed speakers
    -> aftermarket sunroof - my cousin and I did the installation - cutting a hole in the roof was a bit scary

    Yes, I probably went overboard on the lights. They were wired independently, so I could turn them all on (with the high beams) at the same time. Got me into a spot of trouble with the cops on more than one occasion.

    That car almost got me through college. I moved to Phoenix from SoCal in February of '83 - no a/c and vinyl seats were fine for cool California (I grew up close to the ocean), but not so good once the weather warmed up in Arizona. I looked into factory air, but that was going to cost over $700, so I convinced my parents to shell out $250 for a pair of real sheepskin seat covers. With the windows down and the sunroof open, it was tolerable in 110 degree heat.

    Whilst living in Phoenix, I was involved in two accidents. First one was not my fault - a lady made a left in front of me and I T-boned her. The cosmetic repairs were fine, but the car never did run right afterwards. It had problems starting in hot weather and shifting became a problem - it wouldn't always find reverse. Took it into the shop multiple times - some of the issues I remember were a busted heater core and some broken motor mounts - but nobody was able to fix it and I was never really able to rely on it.

    One morning about 3 months before graduation (summer of '85), I was on my way to a different repair shop to have the transmission looked at (again) and, while looking over my left shoulder to change lanes, the car in front of me slowed down to turn right into a driveway. I rear-ended the car (some sort of 70's battlecruiser) at about 20-30 MPH. My car went off on a hook, while the car I hit may have had a dent in the bumper.

    The insurance company decided to total my car out. I remember getting about $2000 for it.

    It wasn't fast, it wasn't sporty - heck, it wasn't even all that reliable towards the end of its life - but it was MINE!
  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,321
    It came with 216 c.i., 3 on the tree, suicide doors, 6:00 X 16' wide whitewall tires, body by Fisher, chrome bumpers, seated 6 , running boards, and faster than a pregnant Nun going to confession.

    '39 Chevrolet Master DeLuxe 4 Door
  • JostJost northeastPosts: 19
    That brought a smile to my brother had a '70 Dodge Dart ( Swinger I think) with 3 on the tree. I was working in a gas station at the time and remember a Mercedes with 4 on the a 16 year old whose only foreign car experience was ogling series 1 XK-E's and Triumph, MG, Porche's of the day that was a confusing car to drive!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    Oh, in high school I had a Mercedes with a four on the tree! A 54 300. Loved that thing. My dad traded a $250 dishwasher for it.
  • JostJost northeastPosts: 19
    Wow, what a car that was for school. Certainly was rare at the time! anytime! Which 300 was it? I bet you had some great reaction in high school with a car like that!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    That was an Adenauer then yes? Like this?

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    That was what it looked like all right - though in no where near that condition as you could guess from the price tag. Dad bought it in November of 1968 and we had it until late 1972. He regretted letting it go almost from the minute he did it and for a good 35 year thereafter.....

    The plate says is all - 1945 300B.

    The wood was all alligatored and we stripped it and refinished it. Patched a few rips in the leather with instructions and some patches from a local shoe repair place. It didn't have a working dash until someone turned one up in a junkyard and that one was metric! We certainly had a fan club for that car back then. Great stuff.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    That's a heck of a first car, even if it was a bit of a beater when you got it. Those cars look very nice, but they cost an astronomical amount of money to restore, so unless your dad was either willing to sink a fortune into it or keep it scruffy, he didn't lose too much. A really nice one is worth maybe 30-40K today, with restoration costs double that if done properly.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    Oh, yeah. I have a brother who spouts the same things dad did about how we should have kept it but hearing restorations costs was a factor in selling it. It had reached a point where it was either bite that bullet and sink serious money into it and let the next owner do it. We ended up choosing the latter.

    Oh, it was a ball to have. My older brother took it over to a large degree after my senior year of college but I still drove it lots. Was held together with bondo and a cheap paint job nut we loved it.

    For its first year with us it had that real fun of multiple drivers and no gas gauge. My older brother always assumed there was gas in it and would get stranded. I always assumed there wsn't and did at times pull in, say "fill it" and have it take 50 cents worth....
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    I wonder what became of it when you guys sold it. Someone probably thought they could restore it, took it halfway apart, learned what they were in for, and the car was never re-assembled. That's a fate that happens to a lot of old MB sedans, especially complex and air-suspended models.

    MB of the 50s-60s are known for iffy fuel gauges, oil gauges, and nonworking clocks.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    The clock actually worked. One of the few things that work predictably....

    Over our course of ownership we replaced an engine (that's why we found the gauge cluster in the junkyard) and a load of other things.

    I don't know what happened to it but we put an as in Road and Track and some guy came up from Florida and shipped it down to restore so certainly going into it he was ready to spend. Lord knows what happened after that.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,846
    Oooo, just wait until andre reads this! He would love to discuss Chryslers with slant sixes with you, I'm sure.

    My second car was a 1969 Dodge Dart GT hardtop coupe with a slant six and torqueflite transmission. Only had about 48K miles on it when I bought it in 1989. And to show how sad the state of automotive affairs had gotten in the later years, I think that car was superior in just about every respect to my first car, a 1980 Malibu coupe with a 229 V-6. It was a great little car (okay, not little by your standards, Nippon!) and I still miss the thing. Alas, I got run off the road by an F-150 back in 1992, and whacked a traffic light pole sideways, totaling the car. I held onto it as a parts car for a few years, and some of its pieces are in the '68 Dart 270 hardtop that I still have.

    I've often wondered how long that Dart would have lasted, had it not gotten wrecked. It only had about 77,000 miles on it when it got totaled. By my calculations, I've gone over 300,000 miles since then, so I guess there's a good chance it would have ultimately succumbed. But you never know!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I think that car was superior in just about every respect to my first car, a 1980 Malibu coupe with a 229 V-6. It was a great little car (okay, not little by your standards, Nippon!)

    I was in a Dart once for about five minutes, and you are correct sir: I would NEVER call that a little car! Quite big by my standards.

    And I guess they were pretty solid - I have heard other stories about how long some of them lasted. By the time I came to the States in the mid-70s, the Japanese were already invading in California, and so I never saw much in the way of old domestic models, although I had a neighbor who had a couple of Malibus (the really gigantor older models) before switching to Toyota in the early 80s...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,496
    I wonder if one could find an old issue of R&T and see how bad your old heap was. I suspect in the 70s a pristine Adenauer was worth maybe a few grand.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,326
    Let's see.... What's the opposite of pristine?......

    BTW, I actually have to admit that would be considered my second car. In the summer of 68 dad bought a 56 Ford so that we had three cars which meant he's always have one around. Had a Thunderbird V8 in it. Was a stealth rocket. At the end of the summer he sold it which we thought was the worst thing he could do. By November 9 maybe even October) ge found that a third car was more of a necessity than he thought.

    If you want to go to the first car I actually bought taht would be a 69 Volvo 142 that I bought in 73. A slow but steady special. Definite tortoise.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,330
    The first car that was consigned to my primary use was a '60 Falcon (with the performance-enhancing 2-speed Fordomatic). My parents had bought it new, and it had served as our family car until my older sister went to college (she lived at home) and my parents bought a new car so she could use the Falcon. When it came my turn to go to college it was provided (although not given) to me for the same purpose. I subsequently got a job that allowed me to get a real car, so my parents gave the Falcon to my best friend and his wife who had gotten married directly out of high school and had their first child - well, let's say he was premature. They badly needed a car and funds were low.

    The twist to this story is that my friend was a mechanic and he went through the entire drivetrain to bring it back up to snuff. Further, he performed a similar mechanical service for a colleague who did body and interior work, with the quid pro quo being that the guy repainted the Falcon and redid the interior. The bottom line is that I saw that car about 6 months after my parents had given it to him and his wife, and it looked and ran like the day my father drove it home new. What a concept; a perfectly restored 1960 Falcon. Of course, this was about 1970, but nonetheless...

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

This discussion has been closed.