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What was your first car? What happened to it?

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  • tedebeartedebear Posts: 832
    My first car was a 1974 Chevy Vega that I bought from a used car dealer. Two mistakes already.

    It had recently been repainted and the body looked pretty good. I'd heard a little about the engine problems with this model but I figured how could I have any trouble with something that looked as nice as it did. What a mistake. I think that car used more oil than gas.

    I eventually found some adaptors that fit on the end of the spark plugs to keep oil from collecting on them as often and fouling them out. I drove it for a year and sold it to another unsuspecting buyer.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    My grandparents baught me a awesome white 1992' Bonneville SSEi around the end of September of 1995. I had it for about a month after I graduated in June of 97 and they sold it because money got tight and it had some electrical problems. My father gave me his old van to trade in on a 1988' Eldorado.

    -Rocky
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    ...but mine was a 1968 Buick Special Deluxe six-passenger station wagon with the 230 bhp 350 V-8 w/2bbl carb. I bought it in 1981 a few months after I turned 16 for the princely sum of $650. It was finished in Teal Blue Mist with a white roof and a medium blue vinyl interior. The only things wrong with the car was the blue portion was oxidized and it needed tires and an alignment. After compounding, polishing, and waxing the finish along with four new bias-ply white stripe tires and an alignment, I had a really nice car for a very modest price. I later gave the car to my brother who ran it until 1992
  • I had a 1997 Jeep Cherokee. I liked it a lot because I was really into SUV's at the time. I sold it when I went off to school though....
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,687
    1966 Galaxie 2 door HT, 390. Got about 8mpg in town, which even then (1993) would put a 16 year old in the poor house. It had constant carb problems...but once it was running properly, it was nice and loud with its dual exhaust, and it could burn rubber very easily. It got hit by an errant car a few months after I started driving, and that was my last real gas guzzling tank.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Lemko's first car was a Buick. Whodda thunk it? ;)

    That's a nice start. Makes sense about what cars followed it.

    The first car I actually owned (i.e. - I bought it) was a 69 Volvo 142. If you ever saw the size of the shift handle you'd know that Volvo didn't have all the safety figured out yet, but it was a very safe car for its time.

    It was also a slug. I'll bet I'd have lost to a VW Beetle off the line. It was dependable and comfortable. You did not want to hve a repair in that the parts cost a fortune.

    I drove it into the ground which took 144K to do. Somebody still paid me $600 for it. It only cost me $1500 5 years earlier.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,349
    Did your 142 have an automatic? My parents had a '68 144 automatic, and off the line it would have lost to a tricycle if the kid had good legs. I had a '69 142 with a stick (my first new car), and my memory is that it wasn't bad. Of course, I could have been comparing it to my parents' '68.

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

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Was a '75 Corolla wagon that I BOUGHT from my parents. That's right, after 10 years of brutal service for them, they still insisted I PAY them for it, which I did in 1985 so I could drive to work and school.

    Dark green, 4-speed manual shift. Great car, could stuff four of my friends in it and off we would go, all over the place. To the beach, to the mountains, to the desert. Didn't use much gas, didn't have enough power to! Never stranded me though.

    My dad had driven it into a wall some years before (low-speed collision) resulting in a new hood with one of those "Earl Scheib" paint jobs for $99.95 that looked good for 18 months and then faded off the car completely. So the hood was essentially bare rusting metal before too long, but I just drove it around like that. Apart from that, it had one of the usual 70s-Japanese-car problems: sagging headliner, shredded vinyl seats, and cracked dashpad, all because of that relentless LA sun. I stuck sheepskins on the front seats, ripped out the headliner, and just drove it around like that. :-)

    Mechanically it was amazing. I drove it from LA to SF with no transmission oil as the result of an auto shop screw-up. At the time I didn't know enough to figure out what the problem was, so I just crossed my fingers that despite the smoke trailing behind the car it would make it to SF, and do you know, it did! (and ran for several more years)

    In '92 it wouldn't start one day and I parked it for a month. Truth was, by then I was already experiencing early-stage CCBS! So it got sold to a scrap yard for $15, plus free tow. It had about 220K miles the day they towed it away. And given that it just wouldn't turn over, it may have been nothing more expensive than needing a new fuel pump or coil (both were the originals). It would have been so cheap to fix, I'm sure. But within 6 months I had not one but THREE replacements for it (all used), and thus began the many years of having a fleet of sometimes five cars at once...

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

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Mine was a four speed stick so I might have just nosed the kid on the trike.

    I'll actually admit to having driven something slower - a friend's 63 VW Bug. You could get passed by someone walking on the sidewalk!

    nippon - My mom had a 72 Corolla. Never gave us a lick of trouble. When she hit the point of wanting something else (actually I think someone she knew was selling something she liked) she sold it to one of my brothers for $500 with the understanding that she'd take payment when he was done with it and sold it. A few years later he sold it to his then girlfriend for $500 and handed it to my mom. I never get deals like that...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Corollas have always been a great deal: cheap to buy, hassle-free to operate, and able to take loads of abuse and just keep on chugging. :-)

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I believe it was a 277 small V-8 with a typewriter transmission and duel exhaust. May not have come that way stock but I seem to remember that was how it was when I got it. I drove that car till the reverse went out and gave it to my cousin. Seems as if I got my first new car right after that. The Plymouth started out life red with a white top. But by the time I got it the red looked more pink.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,562
    Early model (some call them '64 1/2) Mustang coupe, Wimbeldon White, 170 cid/4 speed. My sister had it first, blew a piston, I rebuilt the engine and inherited the car, drove it all through high school, learned how to pull the tranny in about 20 mins (had to frequently replace syncros - I did learn (?) how to speed shift in it). Real ruster, rear fender lip came off in my hands, pop-riveted things back together. The my brother drove it, then we gave it to my BIL, who had the great misfortune of having to jump out at 55 mph on I-70 - the fuel line to the carb let go, and the ensuing fire came through the rusted out "firewall" into the cabin. OUCH!
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,349
    I'll actually admit to having driven something slower - a friend's 63 VW Bug. You could get passed by someone walking on the sidewalk!

    LOL! Actually, I also admit to driving something slower than my Volvo 142S. The first car that I drove regularly was a '60 Falcon with the fearsome 144 cid engine/ 2-speed Fordomatic drivetrain combo. I believe that I was once dusted by someone walking with a cane. I do distinctly remember that engaging passing gear would usually get it to stop slowing down.

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

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Amazing what would pass for forward motion back in the day.

    On the other end of the spectrum, one summer my dad bought a 56 Ford Fairlane that just happened to have a Thunderbird V8 under the hood. The car was a dozen years old at the time and looked totally anonymous but took off like a shot. We only had it for a few months but it was a lot of fun.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    One of the strange things we forget is how long it took some of the older cars to get up to speed. I had an old 60 Chevy Wagon with a 250 and a powerglide. The car sounded like a B-29 taking off when you mashed the pedal to the floor but the sound was far more impressive than the speed it generated. Today in some other forums I hear people complaining that we have gotten spoiled with our vehicles and demand 0-60 times that are unrealistic for some cars so we end up with more power than we "need". But picture yourself in some micro car trying to get on an expressway merging with Simi-trucks and having the same 0-60 time as your old Ford. Not a pretty picture.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Not a pretty picture? I killed a little time visiting the Peterson in LA today, and they have that microcar exhibit running....if I could drive that Honda N600, or even the Mazda 360 coupe, I would do so in a heartbeat. Both would make a VERY pretty picture. :-)

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

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,349
    But you wouldn't want to merge one onto a busy freeway. Speaking a a person who has driven several leisurely cars, most recently a Rabbit diesel, trying them can result in serious pucker-related injuries.

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

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    I had the chance to drive a Rabbit Diesel when it was pretty new back in the 80s. You had to mash the pedal to the floor and almost speed shift every gear to keep with any traffic at all. as for the old Honda 600. A friend of mine and I were out run on a on ramp on the 57 Freeway by a Tractor Bob Tailing. We both did get a kick out of it.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,162
    I was at the Peterson Museum this past summer. It was a pretty cool exhibit on the microcars. Remember the Eshelman which was pretty much a kiddie car? Did you also see the smaller exhibit they had on alternative fuel vehicles? It shows the whole alternative fuel idea really has been around for almost 100 years.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    It was funny, I was walking around the exhibit behind this guy with his two kids, both of whom were under 5, and several cars there I couldn't help thinking those kids would be the perfect size to drive! :-P

    The alt fuels exhibit was indeed small, but I liked seeing the EV1. I think it's a shame GM not only dropped that car but worked so strenuously to destroy all the ones they had built, so I like seeing the surviving examples in the museums. Honda did the same with its EV1, another car displayed at the Peterson.

    Right outside the Peterson and just down Fairfax a bit, I got stuck behind a surviving example of my first car, a '75 Corolla. This one was worn down by the years on the outside, but it was still chugging along for its owner, who was a senior whose preferred driving mode was SLOOOOWWWW.

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

  • She was a unique light-brown/orangy color. 55,000 miles on the clock, and a big, healthy 350 cubic-inch V8 under the hood. She was a very comfortable, fast, reliable, and beautiful car. I had lots of fun with her, will never forget her, miss her terribly, and would love to have her back. I sold her to an Olds nut and have regretted it ever since.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I owned an 11-year-old 73 Super Beetle with an automatic transmission at a (low) point in my life. It was the slowest thing I ever drove. It actually DID get beaten off the line by a schoolbus full of screaming little kids one day. "Can you say humiliation, boys and girls?" I sold it not too long after that and got started on making a success of my life. I still drive German cars, but of a different make. :blush:

    Owning a car that got beaten by a school bus was one of those moments where you suddenly realize that you actually HAVE hit bottom :P

    I do have to say that it was indestructible. It could always be fixed. Always. At one point the pot metal that held the butterfly valve in the carb wore out and I had to replace the carb.....but I got it fixed and it just kept on tickin' :surprise:
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Now I would have like to race your Superbeetle with my 69 Volvo 142. THAT was a slug. Nowadays one might walk a short errand for the exercise. Baack then it was just faster...

    It was an amazingly comfortable car (at least the seats were) and all sorts of safety things for a car of the era but it did 0 - 60 in a couple of weeks. It would do 60 or better all day once you got it up there but it was noticeably louder once you did.

    Got my first speeding ticket at 24 when I borrowed my dad's 72 Impala. I was driving along nice and quietly when I looked at the speedo and saw I was doing 80. I was used to the Volvo which would have raised hell at that speed. The cop didn't want to hear it. "but officer, I've never had a ticket." "You do now."
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Assuming there was nothing mechanically wrong with your '69 Volvo, and even assuming it was an automatic, it had to be faster than a '73 Super Beetle with the semi automatic that VW offered in those days. If both were slow, the Beetle was slower.

    I don't think you could buy an underpowered new car if you tried today, at least not in the U.S. Even the slowest perform decently, and by the standards of the '60s the slowest '08 model is, at a minimum, peppy.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,436
    The manual 73 Bug I drove sure felt peppier than the '70 Volvo I drove. Lots better mechanically as well (as were the other two bugs of that era I drove). Now, the '69 Bus I drove for a year was a real dog.

    But you couldn't beat those Volvo seats for comfort as you sat on the side of the road waiting for a new rubber bellows or a tow. :shades:

    I also remember being driven over the Golden Gate bridge in one of those semi-automatic VWs back in 1969 and almost getting blown off the bridge.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    In the interest of comparing apples with apples, was the Volvo you're referring to a manual or automatic?

    The manual Beetle was considerably peppier than the semi-automatic version.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,436
    True that - t'was an automatic.

    It had a nice little tranny "access" port so now and then I'd crawl under with a big screwdriver and move the flywheel enough to find some teeth that weren't broken so I could get the starter engaged when it stopped on a gap. Bugs were like Timexes after running around in that era Vovlo. That sure changed.

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  • wesleygwesleyg Posts: 164
    This sure dates me but my first car when I was 16 was a 1946 Ford 4 dr sedan I bought from another kid. Not stock though, had a bored out flat head '46 Ford V-8, two 2 barrel carbs and a couple other minor things I can't remember anymore. You started the car by turning the key in the dash, then pushing the button next to the key to crank the starter. This was 1959 so it sure wasn't new when I got it, but nice condition. It had a big hand painted wolf head on rear trunk.

    The only traffic ticket I ever got in my life was in that baby in 1960, sold it and went to military overseas, came back and joined law enforce. for 32 years and luckily never got written up again. If I could have that car back I'd take a half dozen tickets right now.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,345
    Oh, the old Volvo was a stick - a huge, long stick. I'd have hated to be in an accident where that came flying....

    In fairness to it it was not the slowest car I ever drove. I carpooled years ago with a woman who had a 63 Beetle and usually had me driving it. THAT was slow. It did have the old insanely big roll back sunroof which was nice once you got moving.
  • It was beat-up bad when my sister bought it in 1977. Top gone, interior in tatters. It had been parked, exposed to the elements. It did not run well enough to get her home. She put it in storage. The following year, I turned 16. My dad took it off my sisters hands, and asked me if I wanted it. We rebuilt the engine, put on new tires and brakes, replaced the top, put in a new interior, and had it painted. The guy doing the painting had never painted an MG before, it's a small town. I wanted yellow with black stripes, the kind that are on the side at the bottom. The guy called me because he couldn't figure out how the stripes went on, and he couldn't find a picture. He was trying to fit them to the hood and trunk lid.

    The best aftermarket addition was the Haynes manual I picked up a few months after getting the car. You had to really baby this thing to keep it running. That dual carb set up was a real PITA.

    It was a fun car. I loved taking it up to the local cruising strip. All my muscle car friends laughed at it, but the girls always wanted a ride. Kept the car through high school into college. It was a hoot to drive on the twisties in the mountains of western NC.

    A particularly embarrassing moment - a friend and I had our eye on the same girl we worked with. We both offered her a ride home after work one night. She chose my MGB over his Gran Fury. hahahaha Well, we got in, dropped the top, and went on our merry way. Got about 3 blocks down the road and everything electrical in the car went blank. No lights, no radio, no instrument panel. So much for all my romantic intentions.

    I sold the car to a friend in college four years later for $200. He wanted a cheap runabout while he rebuilt his Torino Cobra. He in turn sold it to a collector a few months later when he was done. About a year later I heard from him that it had been completely restored and was stored away. Lost track of it after that.
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