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Cars of My Past

nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
edited March 2014 in General
My first car was a 1962 Ford Galaxie 500, 10 years old at the time with 90,000 miles on her. She looked like Andy Griffith's Squad Car on the Andy Griffith Show....4 doors, slow and ugly - But, she got me through my first year of college.
Paid $400 for her...


  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    My first was a light blue 1980 Malibu coupe with a Chevy 229 V-6 that my Mom bought brand-new. I got my learner's permit in 1986, and that September, my Mom bought a new leftover '86 Monte Carlo, but kept the Malibu around and gave it to me in early 1987, when I had my license and insurance.

    It seemed like a great car at the time, but let's face it, anything with wheels that moves under its own power is going to seem wonderful to a high school kid getting his first car! Sadly, among my group of friends, I had the "muscle car" of the bunch. I could easily smoke their Pintos, Lynxes, rusted out Accords, 4-cylinder Mustangs and Fairmonts, Cavaliers, etc. But that ain't saying much.

    I liked the car though, because it wasn't all that big on the outside, but had decent room inside and a nice-sized trunk. It had about 78,000 miles on it when Mom gave it to me, and was in pretty nice shape except for faded paint and cracks in the dashboard. And there was a spot where the carpet tended to pull out from the door sill plate. But in the time I had it, it got hit in the rear quarter panel in the high school parking lot, and then one of my friends put a big dent in the driver's side door when he tried to park it one day. Don't ask me why I let that idiot drive it! I was able to pound out both dents to the point where you could hardly see them. In 1989 I rear-ended a 1982 Cavalier that slammed on its brakes in front of me. Smashed everything plastic up front, put a crease in the hood, and pushed the fender back far enough into the door that it would creak when you opened it. And from there on out, to open the hood you had to pull the inside release, but the hood wouldn't pop up until you got out and slammed the door! My Granddad and I found a 1981 Malibu in the junkyard, same shade of blue, and put its header panel on my car. And just left the hood and fender alone.

    I finally got rid of it around 100,000 miles. I would've kept driving it, but I bought a 1969 Dart GT, which was a superior car in just about every aspect, and couldn't afford the insurance on two cars back then. So I sold the Malibu for $500, in 1990. I saw it about a year later, at a local grocery store parking lot. I talked to the lady who was driving it (it was her husband who bought it from me), and she said they loved it. It had about 115,000 on it at that point, and the only thing they did to it was replace the headliner, which was drooping.

    I have fond memories of that car, but I have a feeling that if I had an identical car today, it wouldn't live up to those old memories. Y'know, that old saying about rose-tinted glasses, and you can't go home again? :P
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The first car that I owned was a 1969 Pontiac GTO, with a 4 speed manual, no A/C. The first car that I drove to any great extent was my Grandmother's 1950 Buick Special with a straight eight and dynaflow.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Didn't the 500 get the big engine? I saw a black '62 Galaxie 500 on the road last year and thought it was a nice-looking car for a sponge-sprung battlewagon. I also like black '62 Starfires for some reason.

    My first car was my Grandma's 1980 Citation, which was every bit the horror story one might expect. My next car was an '88 Sentra, which was a better car at 250,000 miles than the Citation was at 50,000. Those experiences sealed the domestics' doom in my eyes and set me on the road to being a (pre-Renault) Nissan fanboy.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    My first car was a 1962 Ford Anglia.

    It was a non-running heap at a British mechanic's shop. Nice fellow that my Dad knew, he offered to teach me about mechanicals via a rebuild of the one-liter Singer plant inside. I was one lucky little puke.

    Kept it two years while working on it and drove it for two months (legally) and gave to my Sister when Dad gave me the '65 Olds 98 convertible.

    Everybody who saw it said it was a great little car. I felt no serious emotional attachment, frankly. I liked it well enough because it was a car, and enjoyed the satisfaction of helping put it back on the road, but did you know you can fit five friends, six big innertubes and a full keg in and on a '65 Olds 98 convertible?

    Yes you can...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I'm not sure, but I think the Galaxie 500 was just a trim level. Probably equated to a Chevy Impala. There was something called a 500XL that was sportier, but I think it was like Chevy's SS package, where it had a sporty image but you still had to pay extra for bigger engines. The '62 Galaxie lineup probably went something like 6-cyl, 292 V-8, 352, 390, 406.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...six passenger wagon purchased for $650 in August 1981. It had about 74K miles on it, was teal blue mist metallic with a white roof, medium blue vinyl interior, and powered by a Buick 350/2bbl V-8. It was shod with narrow stripe whitewall tires on 14-inch rims with full wheel discs. The car was in excellent condition except the teal blue mist part of the paint had oxidized and it needed new tires. After a week of compounding, polishing, and waxing the exterior, a set of new Remington whitewall tires from the discount tire distributor down the street and a front end alignment - I had a really nice car for which I paid peanuts. I passed this car down to my younger brother who kept it until 1992.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,657
    My first car was a '66 Galaxie 500 2 door hardtop, 390 4bbl. Dark blue on blue, I actually bought it (via my dad) before I was 16, for $1000. Despite the price, it was in pretty nice shape, and was owned by an older lady. I was very intent on having a car when I turned 16, and I worked and planned for it. A few months after I started driving, the thing was struck by an errant minivan and totalled. I thought I could buy it back and fix it the damage appeared isolated to the front clip. So I took it home, removed the sheetmetal, and was told the frame was bent. I gave up then and sold it to a guy who wanted the powertrain - for $500. Not too bad I guess.

    No loss though...I found a wrench stuck between the inner and outer fender, so it had been whacked before. The car was also a horrible guzzler and was very cold loved to stall. So I didn't miss it. I got the insurance money (which was about 3 times what was paid for the car), and after awhile found the fintail that I still own, and had a few bucks left over, some of which I gave to my dad for his efforts. So it all ended well.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    1974 Dodge Colt (built by Mitsubishi)

    Dark Burnt Orange paint, light tan velour seats. A beautiful little car that ran without problems. I had it for about 3 years, and we called it "The Tank" because it had about 8 inches of ground clearance and although only a 2-wheel-drive car, it went offroad just about anywhere I wanted to take it.

    Never got it stuck in many trips into the Texas boonies. :shades:

    Sadly, I let the radiator run out of water on the way to a party at the lake and ended up with a busted head gasket in 1981, and my mom sold it for junk in 1983 for $300. :cry:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    Hey, me too, only a newer model - 1983 but way less tricked out.

    Red exterior, black vinyl interior with no A/C - VERY handy in mid-Missouri during the summer. It really helped me learn to ignore the pain from 2nd-degree burns.

    Manual transmission (adjustable for regular or economy mode), AM radio only.

    It met a similar fate... sold for bits & pieces for about $500 in 1993.


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  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    1985 Chevrolet Celebrity Eurosport Station Wagon.

    Black with tan vinyl interior, and the 15" cragar-looking steel 5 spoke wheels that GM offered in that era. It was my mom's, who gave it to me in 1988 to drive to high school.

    All in all, a good car...mechanically wore like iron, and due to the optional 2.8 (I think) V6, it had some real pick up. Could embarrass a few of the "sporty" cars of the time...

    And looking back on it, gotta say it looked nothing like the other wagons of the was sleek black with some red accents on the midline rubstriping.

    Looked like this one:

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    All in all, a good car...mechanically wore like iron, and due to the optional 2.8 (I think) V6, it had some real pick up. Could embarrass a few of the "sporty" cars of the time...

    IIRC, the Eurosport had a fuel injected 2.8 with 125 hp. It probably had fairly aggressive gearing, too. I'd imagine that it could do 0-60 in around 10 seconds, maybe a tad quicker. That might sound laughable today, but most cars that rolled off the assembly line in 1985 would've been proud to hit 10 seconds! I have a 1985 Consumer Guide that tested a Celebrity with the 112 hp carbureted 2.8, and I think it did 0-60 in 11.2 seconds. For comparison, a 4-cyl Camry was about 13.4 seconds, and I think the Stanza was similar. The Accord was around 11-12 seconds. On the domestic front, something like a K-car or Dodge 600/Plymouth Caravelle was good for around 13 seconds, while a Ford LTD with the 120 hp 3.8 V-6 was 11.9.

    I remember those rims, too. There was a similar RWD style that was common on the S-10 pickup, Monte Carlo, and I think the '82-83 Malibu. I almost got a set for my '86 Monte Carlo, but that car got totaled 3 months after I got it. :(
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    I remember those Monte Carlo wheels...similar pattern but a little more "outward" and aggressive-looking if I recall.

    I was very covetous of those Montes back then...esp. the SS versions with the "SS" decals on the lower part of the doors. :blush:

    But the "realistic" car I wanted was a Chevy Cavalier Type-10 hatchback...I thought those looked soo cool. :blush:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    I remember those Monte Carlo wheels...similar pattern but a little more "outward" and aggressive-looking if I recall.

    Yeah, for some reason RWD car wheels are like that. More "offset" or whatever you call it compared to FWD car wheels. I'm sure there's a technical reason for that...maybe the CV joints take up more space, so that's why an FWD car wheel ends up with more backspacing?
  • I am pretty sure that is the reason for the extra backspace actually.
  • faroutfarout Posts: 1,609
    My first car was as stated above. It was a seafoam green. Soon after we bought it the oil pressure was very low and took it to a shop and found the oil scoops were put in backwards! Back then there was no oil pump, only the scoops. Seems primative by todays standards. The steering was hard and the car was heavy making it more work than fun when taking the drivers test. Fuel mileage was about 14 to 16 mpg, nothing to bad when gas was $ .21 cents a gallon. However wages were $ .75 cents an hour.

  • bryanbryan Northern VAPosts: 217
    It was that orange/bronze metallic color with a beige vinyl top. It was a special edition "sun-something" edition--don't recall the exact name they used, but it had a roll-back type of sun roof that opened up most of the roof to the sky. It had the full wheel covers with white wall tires, vinyl seats and no carpet, just some type of vinyl-type floor covering that I used a wisk broom to clean. Auto, power steering, AM radio with rear speaker and the 307 V8. It would get up and go!

    It was the closest new car I could find like a convertible that I could afford to pay cash for, which is what I really wanted. I had been saving for a new car since I was 12 years old, and I was 18 when I bought it in April of 1972. One thing that stands out is the dealer could not cash the check I wrote because their "people" said I could not legally enter into a contract due to may age, so my parents had to write the check. It took the dealer three days to figure out all the legal stuff. But who cared, I had the car!

    That roof leaked like a sieve, much more so in a drizzle than a down pour. In fact, it leaked not one bit during the drive home from my job at the time in Indianhead to my home in Bryans Road during Hurricane Agnes. But by late August, still living at home, I talked my Dad into letting me get my convertible--a brand new left over 1972 Chevelle Malibu, same 307 V8, red with black interior, very few options other than auto, power steering and brakes, and again, that AM radio with the rear speaker. That car actually had carpet. I was in heaven! I remember driving to my new job in late October with the top down and seeing left over snow on the ground! It was cold out, but I sure was cool with the heater blasting!

    Ah, nothing like wasted youth on the young!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 18,583
    My first was a '65 VW Bug, it looked like this only it was red>

    I had a love/hate relationship with it. It was great to have my own car and the little Beetle was fairly well made with good steering, brakes and seats but it was really slow, noisy and scary when the wind was blowing hard or it was raining.

    I put 40,000 on it in two years and swapped it for a used TR-4A.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Didn't the 500 get the big engine?

    It didn't. It had the 292 CID V-8, once a Thunderbird engine, it was no great powerhouse by 62. VW Fastbacks were a good race for me.

    The XL models got the Police Interceptor 390 CID 4-BBL engine, and those were scary fast!!!
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I'm not sure, but I think the Galaxie 500 was just a trim level. Probably equated to a Chevy Impala. There was something called a 500XL that was sportier, but I think it was like Chevy's SS package, where it had a sporty image but you still had to pay extra for bigger engines. The '62 Galaxie lineup probably went something like 6-cyl, 292 V-8, 352, 390, 406.

    You're very good, Andre - as I stated above, I had the 292, which I believe, but could be wrong on, was the base engine for the car. The rest of your engine specs are correct - except I'm not positive you could get the 406 in a Ford. POssibly in the Thunderbird, and for sure, in the Mercury. Those were the days, when Mercury was actually more of a car than the Ford.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    My first car was a brand new 1967 Triumph GT6 - now know as the Mark 1 version - the original with the somewhat tricky swing-axle rear suspension. A 2.0L Inline 6 from the Triumph Vitesse, and 4-speed manual gearbox. I put over 60,000 miles on this car over the next two years, primarily commuting to work over 50 miles each way daily. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for the car, and interestingly, it was very reliable. The sweet and smooth Inline 6 got over 39MPG on one trip to PA one summer night. And, guess what, no problems with the electrics, because the car didn't use Lucas "The Prince of Darkness" electrics, rather Delco-Remy.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 41,657
    Sadly enough, I think a 6 was the base engine. Not many were made, but I think it was the basic engine. Was a 292 that bad?

    A 406 was available on XL models anyway, I think I have seen one before. Low volume, Ford's 409 in a way.
  • bigo08bigo08 Posts: 102
    It was green had the dual moonroofs, Grill Guard, and the rear jump seats (seated 7). It had 65k miles on it....
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,786
    we need to hear more about the disco!
    my first car was a '66 impala station wagon(3 rows of seats). 283 and powerglide.
    it sat in the garage for about a year. my dad said if i could get it running i could have it. floored the gas pedal, turned the key, it started! i think he was shocked.
    it had a bad tranny and he sold it a couple of weeks later, and always let me drive his car, after that.
    the first car i actually paid for was a '74 duster (slant 6)in mid 1978. it was blue with a black vinyl roof on the FRONT half of the roof. remember those? by the time i was done with it, it was know as the 'bruisemobile' because it was black and blue all over. :)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • oldcemoldcem Posts: 309
    A 1937 Dodge Brothers 5 window business coupe was my first car. Bought it for $150 when I was 14 years old. By the time I was 16, I had restored it to the point that I could drive it to High School. It was a huge, black 2 seater powered by a screaming 70 HP flathead six. Found a girl that liked to cruise around in it as much as I did. Sold it about 40 years ago - still got the girl.

  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Was a 292 that bad?

    I raced VW's fintail, what does that tell ya? Sometimes I won. Mine was tired, 90,000 miles in those days was nearly spent for even a V-8. It had a lot of blow by, a TON of blow by. It was really shot, probably had a couple of nearly dead cylinders, I never did a compression check on it. It ran ok, I was 18, it got me to college. I sold it when my folks gave me their 66 LTD Coupe with a 390. Now that one was fast and sleek....I was way classed up on that one.
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,736
    It had a 170 cid 6 with a 4 speed (called the Dagenham transmission, or something like that - made in England?). I got it when my sister blew a piston. I rebuilt it, drove it in high school (rusted body parts falling off at times, speed clutching leading to multiple replacements), and handed it over to my brother at graduation. He then gave it to our brother in law, who had the great misfortune of driving down the freeway when the fuel line let go, spraying gas on the engine. The fire came back through the rusted out "firewall", and he got to jump out at 45 mph. He was ok, but the rustbucket was no more...
  • te1963te1963 Posts: 13
    My first car was a 1970 Mercury Cougar. It had a 351 4bbl and would fly! It was red with a black vinyl top and interior. My parents surprised me with it in Feb, 1978, shortly before I turned 16. They bought it for under $1400. It had been bought new in the fall of 69 and the guy that bought was drafted very shortly afterward and went to Vietnam. When he got home, he couldn't afford the payments and his parents kept it and drove it once a week until they traded it for a 1978 AMC. When I got it, it had only 40K on the odo. I drove it until the spring on 1981 when the Chemistry teacher at my high school knocked the front end of it off with her Gremlin. Still depresses me! I'd love to have it back.
  • kapbotkapbot Posts: 113
    The first car I had use of was a '71 Audi Super 90. The first car of my own was a '71 Buick Skylark 2 door. It was metallic blue with a white vinyl top. Power was from a 350 4-bbl, 3 speed auto. It also had really scary 4 wheel drum brakes.

    I loved that car, and it remains my favorite.

    I also used to own a '64 Ford Econoline pickup with the 170 I-6 and 4 speed Dagenham tranny. A turd in most ways, but still the only ex vehicle I wish I still had.

    The 4-speed was a one year only option in 1964. Dammit, I wish I kept that POS!!
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    a 1971 light blue super beetle. My brother taught me how to drive it (manual transmission) At that time I thought I hated it and thought I would never get the hang of it. Now, I will only buy cars with manual transmission. I guess my brother was a excellant teacher.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 23,040
    Was a 292 that bad?

    I dunno about other years, but in searching around on the web, I found a blurb saying that the 1963 292 V-8 only put out 170 hp. In comparison, I think a Chevy 283 made something like 195 hp with a 2-bbl carb by that time. Chrysler didn't make any V-8's that small in 1962, but when the 273 came out for '64, it had 180 hp with a 2-bbl carb, or 235 with a hopped-up 4-bbl.

    I think the 292 was also kind of heavy and outdated, and wasn't much of a revver, especially compared to something like a Chevy 283. It might've been more of a torquer, though.
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