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What was your first car? What happened to it?

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  • My first car was 56 4 door chevy, $250 it had a 265 v-8 and 48,000 miles and std trans. I went through 3 rear ends and a lot of used tires.
  • acpopacpop Posts: 1
    My first car was a 1974 Chevy Camaro Type LT, Originally purchased new with another Camaro for my uncle's wedding present by my grandfather (his other car was a Rolls-Royce!) The car quickly rusted out the rear quarter panels (before he got home from the dealer, I suspect). The car was given to my father in 1976. It served dutifully as a second car until 1987. (Dad broke down and had bodywork repaired and repainted the car in 1984). In 1987 I got the car as a Junior in High School. It had the 160hp 4-barrel V8, gobs of torque, and had such a subdued exhaust note at idle that most stop-light opponents figured it must have been a 6. Wrong! It was a good "cool" car for a pimply-faced high schooler but really was never my style. But as a hand-me-down, let's face it, it could have been much worse!
    For graduation I got a brand new Acura Integra with a 5-speed which offered involvement that the Camaro could never offer (except for straight-line speed.) However the car was next supposed to go to my little sister but by 1990 my parents decided to get her a smaller car, and instead gave the Camaro to my aunt.
    Sometime in '92 or 93' the car was totaled after running backwards off the road into a ditch. The engine, however, still ran and was transplanted into an early 70's Chevy pickup which runs to this day. I don't know if that old "Heartbeat" will ever stop.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Carnut4's '42 Studebaker Coupe provides me with a vivid recollection. I once had a near-duplicate of his car ...even down to the "engine exchange."

    The owner and his mechanic (the one with the pair of channel-locks) were lifting off the cylinder head from a '46 Studebaker Coupe as I walked by. The owner said it had "a bad knock" for the past fifty miles. The "mechanic" saw that the #2 cylinder contained no piston; only a rod and record-depth scoring of the cylinder walls. He told the owner that repairs would be beyond the scope of his channel-lock and screwdriver toolbox.

    In less than ten minutes the car was mine for $60. Body was OK, tires almost new, everything else worked. A few blocks away, the body of a '52 Studebaker Champion had recently fallen victim to a wild Fraternity party but I correctly guessed the motor was OK. Would you believe four guys with a chain and fencepost could easily lift that little engine out of the '52 in the dark of night? New piston rings, rod bearings, gaskets, brakes, starter and generator brushes pushed the total investment to $130.

    I drove the car about 25K miles with no real problems. Cruised at 60+MPH OK. Turned it on it's side during a hunting trip; three of us flipped it back on it wheels and continued no worse for the wear.

    Carnut, I believe this one would have made it to Klamath Falls! Of course, this was an expensive car; the $60 cost was 70% more than your $35. I did not have a wolf whistle but I did have a "pre-electric" Borg-Warner overdrive like yours.

    Many years later I learned that only 2,465 of the '46 3-Passenger coupes had been produced. It was the only one I recall seeing. No wonder some people asked if it was a Terraplane or a Hudson.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    the low production was probably because steel was very hard to get right after the war.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Good story. I remember at the time I had my '42, there was a '41 coupe running in B-gas drag racing around the country. That was actually a pretty good body style. If it hadn't been for that "daylight" trunk floor...a friend and I once pondered the car with a Chevy 327 and all the rest--not meant to be.. Thanks for sharing your Studebaker story.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    You're right Carnut; those Studebaker coupes looked pretty good. I, too, knew a guy with a '41 Coupe, it was in pristine condition. His was a Commander with the "big" 94 HP engine ... outclassed my 80 HP Champion altogether.

    I later had a '51 Studebaker 3/4-ton truck with the same 80 HP eggbeater engine ... acceleration was not it's strong point.

    Shiftright ...while steel availability was a problem, it's my understanding that '46 production was cut short to accommodate changeover to the all-new '47. Other that the drivetrain, that car really was "all new." I'm sure you remember that no one accused the '47 Studebaker of looking like anything else.....
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Yes, Studebaker did get a bit of a jump on the other manufacturers in re-tooling after the war. Most 1946 cars were just re-hashes of the 1941 models, as were many 1947 cars, but Studebaker did have a fresh car in '47. I think you're right, the 46 Studebaker was made only for a few months--the company probably put out no more than 20,000 cars total in 1946...that low number doesn't seem to affect value very much, but it is interesting to note.
  • prophet2prophet2 Posts: 372
    Great stories from everyone!

    I advanced from newspaper carrier peddling on a one-speed bike to gas station jockey in 1964 at age 16, picking up a '55 Chevy 210 4-dr sedan for $300: 80K on odometer, 235 "Blue Flame" in-line 6, 3-speed column shift, no radio, "4-40 AC" (four windows down, 40 mph). Body by Fischer, amended with Bond-O. A classic "beach car" which took us to many surfing/skin-diving/fishing jaunts when I had the weekend off. We nicknamed this bomb "the Black Knight."

    A mechanic's dream, however, as I experienced a constant parade of repairs and maintenence items:
    tires (6.70 x 15), radiator, clutch, shocks, head lights, carburetor, muffler, leaf spring, etc. I saved on lubrication: monthly or every 1000 miles done during "slow" periods for free.

    My brother dreamed of inheriting this "heap" when I left for college, but it was sold for parts. Today, he's a certified auto mechanic; every family should have one in-house.
  • jeffsjeffs Posts: 23
    1964 Oldsmobile Starfire Coupe, 394 ci
    buckets, console
    huge hood and deck lid, weighed 4500lbs
    tough to find parts for
    bought in '75 for $150, sold in '77 for $150
    next guy drove it for 1 year then lost track
    replaced with a abused 1970 Olds 442, 455 ci 4 speed for $500
    too many tickets before the suspension fell apart
    put the engine and front disk brakes into a 1966 Pontiac Tempest convertible
    now that was a sleeper!!
  • sebringjxisebringjxi Posts: 140
    While my first car was a 1959 MGA, my early driving experience came at the wheel of a 1969 Mercury Marquis. It was an aircraft carrier of a car with a 429-4V (that stood for 4 barrel, not valves) that declared "premium fuel only" on the breather lid. I think it was rated about 385 hp and probably 400 ft lb of torque. I had no competition on top end. Now, some guys could get off the line quicker because of lower weight and higher (numerical) rear gears, but on top end, I was king. That big sucker would bury the hand at 120 at about 80% throttle and just keep on digging. Had a buddy with a 1969 Caprice Classic with a 396 4V. It was a 4-door hardtop, that's hard to explain to kids today, but it had no pillar between the front door and back door windows. When the windows were down it looked like a 2 door car. He always tried to beat me with the Merc. Never did it. We both got our licenses late in our Sophomore year so we had almost 2 1/2 years to rag one another. I'll never forget when he came to school all puffed up and proud that his dad had traded cars and replaced the Chevy with a Pontiac Grand Ville. Anybody remember those, it was as big as a house, I think that's where the name came from! Anyway it had a 454 4V and he thought he had me licked. Nope. Same result that big Merc would out run anything but radar waves! It had a 28 gallon tank, I think, and I could fill it with Texaco's best for less than $10! Sure was hard on rear tires, though ;)
  • FIRST CAR? 1949 PONTIAC "beetleback" SEDAN, FOUND IT IN AN ORANGE GROVE IN ANAHEIM CA. MY DAD HAD A COW WHEN I DRAGGED IT HOME! IT HAD BEEN STLEN AND ABANDONED IN THE GROVE AND THE GROWER SAID IF I WOULD REMOVE IT IT WAS MINE! 1963, I WAS A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL AND ANY CAR COULD GET YOU A LOT OF FEMININE ATTENTION! THE OLD BEAST HAD A STRAIGHT 8CYLIDER, YES I SAID STRAIGHT EIGHT!!! A BATTERY ABOUT 20 INCHES LONG AND A DUAL RANGE AUTOMATIC THE OLD AM RADIO HAD ABOUT 8 VACUUMN TUBES AND TOOK 5 MINUITE TO WARM UP! I LOST MY VIGINITY IN THA OLD BEAST SO IT HAD A LO9T OF FOND MEMORYS!!!
  • badgerpaulbadgerpaul Posts: 219
    I remember the Grand Ville, my dad had a '71, it had the 455 v4 in it. The sad thing was, that in '71 the General had detuned it's engines to run on regular gas so this tank wasn't as quick as the '68 Bonneville it replaced.
  • alextalext Posts: 63
    My first car was 66 AMC Rambler Classic 770 model.

    It ran on a 237 cid v8 that roared so loud I could be easily identified up to a mile away. It was a beautiful blue-green color that was called "Coronado Aqua" in those days, and it got me from place to place very nicely. One of the best fringe benefits about having a beautiful old car in the 90's is the attention you get. I would have people staring at my rambler at every stoplight.
    Unfortuneately, the car was headed for the ground. I bought it from my uncle in Wisconsin where the winter salt on the roads rotted the undercarriage to pure hell. And going from that climate to Miami was perhaps a mistake, as the heat and humidity only loosened up everything that could be loosened. The driver's side floor collapsed and ended up like those cars in the flintstones where you could use your feet as brake pedals. The choke was is bad condition and even after getting the butterfly cleaned it would often take upwards of ten minutes to get the old beast started and running. And although Miami is as flat as a dime, any type of incline like a parking structure ramp could cut the engine off while it was running and prevent it from starting again.
    Any way, about 6 months into driving the rambler, the brakes failed and I smashed into an infiniti I30. After that, everything went downhill. I spent more than I paid for the car to replace the radiator, water pump and fan and do a complete overhaul on the front and rear brakes. I didn't have any money left over to take the rambler to the body shop to replace the front end (not to mention that rambler body parts are hard to come by).
    So to make a long story short, the rambler turned into a money pit. So, after 2 years I was within 2 weeks of moving to California and had to get rid of the rambler. Well, a friend gave me a 88 honda for free so I had reliable transportation and my parents refused to keep the rotting rambler in their driveway. So I junked it for $80. Boy was that a sad day.
    Someday, when I make enough money, I'll buy another rambler (63-69) and restore it.
  • kingjrkingjr Posts: 3
    My first was a '68 "Goat" and I still have it. I ordered it from the factory in the summer of 1967, got it in October. Because I moved around a lot during my 30 years in the Navy, I stored it in 1986, but I am taking it out of storage in June so I can get it running again.

    It is white w/red interior, 400ci (360 hp), Rochester Quadrajet, 3 spd Hurst shifter. The only modifications are radio (had to cut a bigger hole in the dash) and different wheels, though I still have the original wheels and wheel covers. Everything else is stock.

    The engine has never been apart (yet) and it has about 150k miles, most of which I put on. Very few mechanical problems during the 20 years of driving before storage. I still have all repair and oil/filter change records. A truly great car.

    My wife claims I will sell her before I sell the GTO. I asked her yesterday if she was appreciating or depreciating. Things got real quiet.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Right after WWII, my Grandpa bought a used Terraplane for little of nothing, and drove it for several years after that. That car survived a massive explosion of a fertilizer-carrying cargo ship in 47 that destroyed most of the town, my grandpa getting married in 48, and numerous other milestones before he let it go for almost nothing. The reason he sold it was because when the clutch finally went out (common occurance in manual cars), the mechanic said new clutches were not available for that car any more. My grandpa bought up all that man had in stock (not more than 2 or 3), and when he ran out of clutches, he put the car up for sale. While waiting to get on the Boliver/Galveston ferry, a man saw the for sale sign, walked over to the car, and offered him $50 bucks for that car. He said he would take it only if the man followed him home so he wouldn't have to walk. He always regretted selling that thing, saying many years later that had he kept it, it would have been worth a lot of money, but at the time, he needed the 50 bucks a lot worse than he needed an old car with no clutch.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Great story...and I think Gramps can rest easy wherever he is--unless he had the roadster or convertible Terraplane, the old sedans really don't bring much money today, so really, in terms of 1950s dollars, he probably sold it at a good time, when 50 bucks could buy a whole lot more than it does now (two lattes at Starbucks?).

    Good sturdy and honest car, the Terraplane.
  • scozimscozim Posts: 10
    My first car was a '65 Ford Falcon Futura - 2 dr hardtop, 289 V8 and rare vinyl top. The best thing about it was nobody else in school had one. The late '70's Camaros and Trans Ams were hot, but there wasn't a Falcon to be seen, let alone a 1960's car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Those were interesting cars...did you know that the V-8 Falcons ran the Monte Carlo rallye ('64 I believe, and they were called "Sprints" then) and did quite well against the finest European cars.?
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Those WERE interesting cars-simple and effective-and of course were the platform for the Mustang-which went WAY on down the road. Practical, inexpensive drivers to own now.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    I chanced to meet a very independent sort of fellow in the late 70's who owned one of he Sprints and had been involved with the Monte Carlo rallye. In his view, these cars were "Ford Sprints"; it quickly became clear that I was not to associate this performance car with the "Falcon" label.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Perhaps in the sense that it was a specially-built car, yes, but PLEASE...I'm looking at a picture of one racing in the Monte Carlo rallye and it's got the word FALCON in big letters on the left front fender! (See Automobile Quarterly, Vol 17, #4). So you can call it a Falcon anytime you want, because that's the correct version of history.
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Thanks, Shiftright. I believe you. Indeed, I am sure that Ford Motor Co. wanted the Falcon name to be seen in Rallye competition. I was dealing with an older fellow in a non-rallye-conscious small town. I think he felt a personal need to dispel the staid Falcon image in order to convey to the non-racing folks of the area something of both rallye competition and his beloved car.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well, unless he actually has one of the rallye cars, his Sprint is a lot more Falcon than it is Monte Carlo racer, that's for sure! The MC cars were extensively re-worked.
  • Shhhh ..... this one's a sleeper! I've been looking around for a '64 Sprint, 289 V-8, 4-speed, hard-top okay, convertible even better. When I was a part-time gas-jockey, my boss had one in Wimbledon White w/red interior and wire wheel covers. A customer had the '63 Sprint (260 V-8), also four-on-the-floor, in black.

    There were '64 Futuras in the two-door-hard-top, 260 V-8 configuration, but it's the Sprint I want. An alternative to the over-priced Mustangs.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    You and I might have pumped gas around the same time!

    We had a customer with a black '63 Sprint convertable. This was very much a Chevy town, but that was one nice car! The only thing he modified was the exhaust. He had a nice set of "pipes" installed with glasspacks.

    It had a sweet sound and could hold it's own against 283 Chevys and the like...

    Memories....I can still hear it!
  • pomy11pomy11 Posts: 23
    What a car it was, four door about a million pounds of steel, fluid drive. Sold it out of high school for a 64 Impala, for $75. Never saw it again.
  • Other than driving a '54 Chevy 2DR and '59 BelAire Sedan that were 'family' cars, the first car that I actually paid for was a '64 Impala 4 door hardtop. I paid $741 for it with 48K miles on it. It had a 283V8 with a Powerglide automatic. After I drove it for several years, I gave it to my sister who eventually wrecked it. Then 25 years later, I bought another one just like it to restore. Didn't keep it long before selling it to my brother who is better at fixing things and he sold it a year later.
  • My first car was a 1976 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Landau edition. (I don't know if that counts as a classic or not.) My parents bought it new when I was two years old. I inherited it my senior year in high school and am still driving it. About 190,000 miles on it. Few problems.

    Yes, I'm looking around for something else now. But I feel kind of like a traitor. :) It's basically the only thing I've ever ridden around in.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I know how you feel. check this out:
    image


    (I hope this works)
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    That's a 78 Grand Marquis my grandparents bought new. They gave it to me in 96 and I drove it till July when the tranny cratered. While I don't know the rules of classic vs. antique vs. old, I'll count your Monte Carlo as a classic :-)
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