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What was your first car? What happened to it?



  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    a big cool car, bought in '85 for $450, fit eight high school kids comfortably (vinyl power bench seat). The problem: GAS. This car got MAYBE 6 mpg (455 4 barrel, not especially well maintained), you could literally watch the gauge drop. I worked 15 miles from home and I'm sure I spent half of my $3.35 an hour just on gas to get there. I sold the car for $50 to my cousin (it had a dead battery, this seemed major at the time) the next winter, he promptly ran it into a tree at 50 mph, causing no injury to him but *some* injury to the car.
  • This was the first year for the Chrysler 300 and I bought it in 1962 in my soph.year of college.This car "honked"!For example,it had the 331 c.i. Hemi with dual 4 bbl.carbs.It had the trans.shift lever on the dash(2 speed),Park,neutral,reverse,drive and low.Thge car had ostrich hide leather(no lie),it had a tag sewn into the rear seat attesting to the fact.It had pwr.seats,air and strange,but true a 6 VOLT electrical system.I chronically had to get jump started.The car was white,got about 8 miles to the gallon,cruised at 100 mph like it was on air,and travelled to Boston every weekend for two years(300,mile round trip.I bought it then for $400.Alas,it "spun" a bearing one night,racing a 413 wedge Ramcharger,and,believe it or not,ended up selling it to the guy I raced,for what I paid for it!Fun car,a Classic!That was my 1st car!Anyother other oldtimers out there with similar tales?I'll bet there are..Later..thanks for your interest.STSMAN
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    I beleive the 6 volt electrical system was commonplace in the '50's. Now carmakers are working on 42 volt electrical systems to run all the computers and accessories on newer cars. Only thing holding it back is the fact that a short in a 42 volt system is much more dangerous than a 12 volt system.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 2,036
    You're right. The changeover to 12 volts, at least in American cars, came just about the middle of the '50s. In fact, for Ford at least, I'm pretty sure that the '55 was 6 volts and the '56 was 12.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    except VW, who waited I believe until 1967.

    Most domestics went to 12 volt in 1955, some sooner than that.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    I think the changeover was encouraged by the trend to larger high-compression V8s. Some of the last 6-volt starters must have been pretty marginal.
  • Nasty yellow, three speed manual, needed a head gasket. Put that on and got two years out of it. The last 6 or so months were more of a quest than anything.

    This would have been in about '79, I was 15. So, a five year old car barely worth $50. Way to go Chevy!!!!

    It had rust, rust, and rust.

    The engine lasted for a while. But then in good old Vega fashion started to use a LOT of water and oil. I literally went through a 55gal drum of oil in a year and a half! I used to carry 6 gals of water in the trunk.

    The last six months..... I would crank the engine over and water would shoot out of the exhaust pipe. Then I could get a cylinder or two going. Sometimes by the time I got to school (8 miles), I could have all four going. It would take a mile or so to get up to speed with 2 or 3 firing. It also had constant steam coming out of the exhaust. It would take me two "hops" to get to my girlfriends 18 miles away. Stop halfway, totally overheated, get some water in, go the rest of the way. Talk to her parents while the car cooled down, put some more water in and off to the movies!

    I sold parts off of it for about $200. So, all that fun and a profit too.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Is still with me to this day. It is a 1987 Chevrolet Nova CL sedan, 3-speed auto, with only 66k miles. Nothing ever goes wrong with this car and everything is operational. My father bought it brand new in Dec. 1987; by coincidence, on the day I turned five. Of course, there are those out there who will say that the Nova is just a badge-engineered Corolla (which it really is).
  • wgraferwgrafer Posts: 592
    In spite of my Dad's warning, I had to have this white w/black&silver vinyl seat beauty. It had a 413/4 barrel wedge (I think 365 HP), and it got 12 mpg in the beginning but dropped down to 9 over time. Working at a truck stop helped (with a .02/gallon discount gas cost me .2590/gallon), and she weighed in on the scale at 4,280 lbs. The weak spot ended up to be the rusted out trunk, but with an "adjustment" from the seller, at a $285 purchase price (in 1967) who could complain (the $15 adjustment bought some diamond plate which my Dad and I welded in to hold the gas tank up). Her name was "The Tank", and she got me and my paying guests faithfully from NJ to Niagara Falls. She also cruised around Buffalo and Toronto on occasion - a perfect road car. Her road manners were great (even if the power steering was a little on the STRONG side), and for fun you could always push the reverse button in halfway to illuminate the backup lights to scare any tailgater. The Tank was fast too - once a 'hot' '63 Ford follwed me home to see what I had after The Tank left him in the dust from a light in Ramsey NJ. After an ex-girl friend crashed into her side the insurance settlement bought her a new door and a new paint job which made her perfect, so I sold her at a $65 profit in 1968 (and have regretted it ever since).
  • My first car is lightyears from what I have now. My first car was a 1982 Buick Regal with a 4.3L diesel engine. Couldn't get out of its own way, 0-60 clocked with a calendar. Liked the James Bond smoke screen I could put out when someone followed too closely. Dad sold it with 125K miles on it (we'd bought it at 75K), for $200 more than we paid originally. That's because I'd paid for all the repairs in the meantime! My current car is a '99 Mustang GT, and I love it! No slow issues there.

    My husband's first car really belongs in this topic more than mine, because it's a '49 Chevy that he still owns. Needs some work to be safe on the street, but that's our next project. That will come before we buy a house, I'm guessing. And it's name is the Walrus, because of the tusks on the bumper. For anyone who's interested, you can see it here.

  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    The car sure doesn't *look* like it needs to be restored!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,550
    ...I wish some of the cars I've had were that "unrestored" !
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    That reminds me of an old Chevy--it may have been a '50--that a friend had. He rewired the entire car himself and, being an engineer, he made the loom. And, being an engineer, the loom looked nothing like the original, or like any other car wiring loom I ever saw. It looked more like how you'd rewire an old lamp.

    Yeah, if your Chevy's condition is as good as it looks I wouldn't rush into restoring it. You could easily get buried in that car. Use the money on a down payment for a house--it'll appreciate a lot better than an old Chevy.
  • The work we need to have done on it right now is brakes and engine work. Strictly for safety and driveability. The body needs some work, but that's on the back burner. We just want it back on the road, because it's a fun car. It is a great picture and a great-looking car, isn't it? My husband was waiting for someone to notice that the grill is a '50, although the car is a '49.

    speedshift, you're right about submerging in restoration, given the opportunity. That's why we're only concentrating on the mechanical stuff for now. We sold his house, so we have the down payment for the next house, but we don't want to sink it into the Walrus and be stuck in my townhouse. No garage is a big problem. The carport is fine for our daily drivers, but not for the Walrus. Although my neighbor has a '48 Chevy in his carport, under a cover.
  • zman73zman73 Posts: 1
    First car was a 2nd hand 1973 240Z bought which I bought with girlfriend in the summer of '76 while parents were vacationing far away. My own money, my own choice (the folks would have given me the money if only I'd bought something big, American and sensible ... being a parent now, I guess you can't blame them).

    Over the seven years I owned it (until my first son was born)I depolluted it, exchanged the two SU carbs for three Webbers, put on headers, a hot cam, Koni shocks, 7" western dish chrome rims, 215/60 Eagle GT's, anti-sways and Recaros. Everything else was stock, so it had the originally designed bumpers and original ride height ... before it became the monster 260, 280.

    The car was perfect. Reliable as hell and rode like a slot car amusement ride -- great neck snap.

    Cried when I sold it, but figured I got a kid out of the deal, so what the hell.

    Now, I've got two teenage boys and I'm just waitin till they're through with college so I can buy a toy (Z06 convertible, TT, Boxster S, Z3, etc.)
  • ghomazghomaz Posts: 68
    My first car was a 1968 FIAT 1100D. I still have it!
  • blh7068blh7068 Posts: 375
    Inherited it from my grandparents. Smogged 455 with only 200 hp. I still chuckle at myself for all the little crazy things I used to do attempting to make the 4600 lb vehicle faster.
  • bought it in '78 when I was 17. Put over 200K on the car and then wrecked the front end about 1990. Gutted the car and added a one piece front end and started drag racing. Sold it last year(body and chassis only)when I completed my tube chassis dune buggy drag car. still got the original motor and tranny in the shed. Got a '69 VW that I use as a errand car just running around town that gets 30mpg.
  • ghuletghulet Posts: 2,628
    My first car was an Electra 225 also, though mine was a '71 (base 4-door hardtop), not smogged, with 315hp (same engine as the GS). That car was pretty quick for a land yacht.
  • 1970 Pontiac Lemans 350 2bbl 4 door. Original color some kind of brown. Was painted black by some kids with a brush (my cousins actually). They gave me the car. It had a cracked block, but it was pretty fast. Horrible, horrible car.

    Next, 1975 Toytota Corona MarkII Wagon. Yellow, rusty, plate aluminum welded to the front end. $200. Had the 4M 2.6L inlne six, and 4speed. Great fun to drive. Engine seals did not last too long.

    1972 Pugeot 504. $1,600+ Painted Brisith racing green. Had to repalce the clutch for $600. Actually found a dealer in Binghamton, NY to do this. Great riding car, but geared a little short. Blew head gasket.

    1973 Dodge Coronet. 4 door Brougham. $850 plus $300 for new radiator. Driven by every memebr of my family over 100,000 miles totalled out at 180k. Beige, over perfect green velour. Green top. Indestructible interior, 3182bbl burned oil but had good midrange power. Topped out at 104mph as per speedo. Door frames begin to seperate at about 90mph. Put 40,000 miles on this car myslef. Changed fluids pretty often, and changed the brake calipers or whatever. Could not kill this car.
  • a 300 deluxe 4 with 25k that a family of nuns got rid of in 67 because the warranty expired and they were afraid something would go wrong. Mint ashtray. Car was mint too. A sweet car for $1300. Wrecked it in 1972, hit a cable divider head on at 60, thumbed the catch on the seat belt and walked away.

    But I turned down a chance for a mint yellow 57 Chevy 2 door sedan for $150 with mint black black brocade upholstery, a 210, for a car that was newer. Should have got the 57 and held on. But who knew in 1967???
  • wtdwtd Posts: 96
    That I bought in 1985 for $400 It was light green with dark green interior and vinyl top and a primered hood. It had a 400 V-8 and was a boat to drive. I drove it for two years untill I bought my 70 Monte Carlo. I sold the LTD in 89 when I was graduating college to another college kid. I saw it around town a few times after that but than lost track of it.

    My second car, the 70 monte carlo, I still have to this day. I bought it in 87 from a guy I went to college with and drove it for 5 1/2 years untill I had the body redone in late 92. Its currently on its fourth engine and third transmission since I've owned it. Its been painted twice and needs to be repainted again. It currently has a 396 big block and 400 turbo trans in it. One day I will restore it again and keep it in good shape this time. I still drive it a couple days a week.

    This car has so much sentimental value that I doubt I will ever get rid of it.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Luckily I still have my first car: an '87 Chevy Nova. Bought it new.
  • mhall02mhall02 Posts: 38
    Bought my Dad's 1978 F-100 in 1986, it had 50,000 miles on it and got a steal at $1,500, and yes, I still have it!! It has the die-hard 300 inline six with a three speed manual tranny (used to be on the column, now on the floor)and 214,000 miles, still going strong. Drove it in high school, through college, and everyday still. May need a new engine some day but it still runs great, put anywhere from 10-350 miles on it per day, some clients are suprised to see me pull up in the old beast. An overdrive tranny would be nice, since the speed limit on the interstate is now 70 mph, not 55. Gas milage still ranges from 13-21 mpg, GREAT TRUCK!!
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    My first car was a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief (4-door sedan). I paid $20 for it in 1968, drove it for a year and a half, and sold it for $20 when the tranny was slipping badly.

    The car originally belonged to my neighborhood buddy's grandparents, who gave it to their daughter (my buddy's mom) in the early 1960s. She had driven it once with the hood unlatched, and the wind flipped the hood open and wrapped it partly around the roof. The family replaced the bent black hood with a salmon-colored one from a junkyard, and never bothered to repaint it. When he first got his license, my buddy drove the car for a while, and he didn't care about the 'two-tone' look. Then the family bought a house in an upscale town, and my buddy was told by his dad that they were NOT taking that odd-looking car to the new home, especially as it now needed an exhaust pipe and was very loud. So my buddy sold it to me.

    After immediately spray-bombing the hood primer black, then replacing the exhaust pipe, I had many memorable moments in that first car (of course). Very soon after getting it, I also got my first girlfriend. Funny how that works.

    One summer day remains vivid in my mind: I drove the Star Chief, along with 5 friends, up to New York City (drinking age there was 18, in NJ it was 21). We were tooling past the upscale restaurant Sardi's (known to us from watching the Merv Griffin Show on daily TV), and we were laughing because I still had masking tape on the hood chrome from when I repainted. And on the ride home down the nearly-deserted New Jersey Turnpike, we hit 105 mph according to the speedometer. I was not a reckless teenage driver; the car just sat down and cruised effortlessly. Then one buddy reminded me of the used tires I had on the car, so I backed off.

    Gone but not forgotten.
  • mrb11mrb11 Posts: 58
    It was a 1960 Chevy Belair I bought from Mom back in 1967. It had the 348 CI with the 2 speed turboglide tranny. The fins were a sight to behold. The rear end was jacked up by putting those alum. spacers in the coil springs. She had four chrome rims and baby moon hub caps. I've alot of fond memories of the back seat in that ole Chevy.
  • fasterthanufasterthanu Posts: 210
    My first car was a blue '80 Mustang 4 cylinder. Paid $800 for it from a friend of my mom's. I drove it for about 4 years or so. It would shake and rattle at 55MPH so I never went fast in it - one of the cylinders finaly broke down and I junked it and bought an 86 Acura Legend (in 91), which lasted me 10 years. Now that I drove over 55MPH :-) Used cars rule.
  • kabererekaberere Posts: 6
    My first car was a 1982 Volvo 244GL,4 speed manual transmission with only 45K miles since new. I've had it ever since and occassionaly drive it to game park tours and during the rainy season. Apart from a slight leak from the power steering rack, I wouldn't say I've experienced any other problems. Will probably give it to my son if he wants it.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Per requested.
This discussion has been closed.