"Sailors plan for safety. For escape. For survival. Sailors rely on plans, on strategies that have worked before. Trust me, most mariners are conservative. We stick to the tried and true." Randall Peffer, "Listen to the Dead"

Saturday, July 10, 2021

What Was Your First Car?

     Occasionally we look back and remember . . . our first car.

     My parents were General Motors people, and they thought Buicks were the best (except for Cadillacs which they couldn't afford). So we had Buicks when I was growing up.

     The first car I ever drove was a 1961 Volkswagen Beetle. Red convertible. Stick shift. No radio. That was the first "second car" my parents had. They bought it used for my older brother and sister, and eventually I got to drive it when they weren't around.

We had one of these
     At one point, I don't remember exactly when, we had a Nash Rambler. That was one terrible car. It had a push-button gear shift, and labored mightily to climb even the most mild of hills. 

     The first car I ever owned was a 1971 Volkswagen 411 stick shift. It had a weird heater that always smelled like gasoline. My wife and I bought it, used, for $1,965 in 1975 when we moved out of the city.

     My first new car was a 1977 Saab 99. It cost $5,200 (as I remember.) Stick shift, manual windows, am/fm radio, no air conditioning.

     Today my wife and I have a 2015 Subaru Forester and a 2018 Volvo S60.

But never one of these
     You might ask: Haven't you ever bought an American car? Yes! We had a Ford Taurus wagon to carry around the kids in the 1990s.

     I was going to boast that I've never owned a gas-guzzling SUV. I guess that's not quite true, since B has that Forester. But it does get close to 30 mpg on regular gas.

     Enough about my reminiscing. What was your first car? Or your family's first car? Or your favorite or most memorable car from back in the day?

27 comments:

Roger said...

My first car to drive was a 1956 Ford Crown Vic which was inherited from my Step-Dad's father at his death in 1968. Also drove other family cars (67 Belvedere; 65 Valiant; 68 Satellite), but my first car owned was a 1968 Camaro purchased from my high school baseball coach back in 1972.
That was one of my favs of course, but I also loved my 66 T-Bird, 78 Cutlass, & 71 Buick. My absolute favorite was my 1966 Dodge Charger, purchased in 1996. Alas, all are gone now. Currently drive 2005 Toyota RAV4 (30 mpg) or my 2005 Toyota 4-Door Tundra (13 mpg!). Owned a 1958 MGA Coupe, but never got it running well enough to drive. Sold it for a profit after a year of tinkering. Always told my wife (aka "She who must be obeyed!") that I wanted our next home to be a 4/2.5/8 so I could have as many cars as I wanted. Thus far......no dice!

Miss Merry said...

First car was a former gas company car - a 1970 aqua blue pinto with no extras. NO EXTRAS. We had to put a transistor radio under the back window for sound.

Terra said...

My first car, bought by my hubby and I, was a Jaguar Mark 8, 1958. The finish was like a mirror, it had walnut dash and a wooden desk that folded down to use in the back seat. What a beauty.

Tom said...

Miss Merry -- We too had a transistor radio -- in the VW hanging from the knob of the front vent window. Remember the front vent windows? Otherwise, I'm clearly outclassed on the car front.

Red said...

The first car I had a a 1929 model A Ford. My brother and I bought it for $45.00! No heater! No radio. Stick shift. a goofy sounding horn.

Olga said...

My first car was a Chevy, 1960 vintage. I drove it into the ground and then bought an Opal, a car that stopped dead whenever it started to rain. I had a Ford Taurus X in the 20teens. Absolutely loved it. I bought a Ford Focus to have in FL. It's 1 2013 but very low mileage. I leased a Ford CMax hybrid/plug in. It had some great features but the electric battery did not pay for itself and took up way too much room. Now I have a 2020 FOrd Edge. I like it almost as much as the Taurus X, Eddie Bauer edition. SO Ford will no doubt stop making them. The worst car I ever owned was a 2003 Saab.I loved it at first sight, but . . . Wow, what a lemon!! A car I bought new and that cost more than my first house. More than my second house by the time I got done towing it to the repair shop time after time. I am a confirmed FORD girl now.

Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged said...

I grew up in a Ford-loyal family but my first car was a chartreuse green Super Beetle, which I had until it was stolen. I've had a few cars since then and now drive electric... I will never own a ICE auto again.

Anonymous said...

I learned to drive in the family's 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 sedan. My first car was a 1967 Olds Cutlass convertible 6 cylinder. It was a real dog and after a couple of years sold it and bought a '72 VW bus. Next was a new 1977 Dodge van conversion. 6 cylinder, three speed stick, no power anything, but it looked cool. After two and a half years of constant repairs I swore I would never own another Chrysler product. Next was a Datsun 310 coupe that I liked so much I sold it to my best friend when I left the Big City. After a succession of pickups and the odd sedan my daily driver is now a 2005 Toyota Corolla. It is the most reliable vehicle I've ever owned and occasionally gets 40 mpg on longer trips.



Arkansas Patti said...

My first car was a brand new, 61 Nash Metropolitan convertible. It was a dandy and I had it for 9 years. I didn't get my 74 VW bug till I was 60 years old. Loved that one too. In between I had a series of S10 pickup trucks to haul hay and feed. Guess you can tell I like small and cute.

Wisewebwoman said...

My very own first car was a bile green Belair. An ancient old thing. 4 in the front seat in a pre-seatbelt world.

Loved that baby.

XO
WWW

Laura Benjamin said...

My first car was left over from my stepsister. It was a clementine orange 1971 super beetle named Dammit because whenever something stuck I would say, "go, Dammit" and it went. It went back to the family in a dispute. But my next two cars were also super beetles too. They had enough space for me, a simple radio, standard transmission and they just kept going. One even definitely floated, but not indefinitely.

Tom said...

In a lot of ways our cars today are better than the old ones. But one thing we can say: the old ones were definitely more colorful!

Rian said...

I learned to drive in an old green Hudson in 1960-61. Then DH and I bought a light blue Ford Falcon after we were married in'68... to take us from LSUBR to Florida for his first job. I guess this was my first car. It served us well until we felt it necessary to buy a station wagon for the 3 kids.

Easin' Along said...

My parents were Chevy people and the first car I drove was a 1958 Chevy Belaire. It was a straight shift and I'm glad that I learned how to drive one. The car was junk however. The first car I owned was a 1955 Chevy four-door, also a straight shift. Paid $200 for it in 1966 at age 18. I would give anything if I still owned it. Thanks for asking! Great memories! Joe

Dick Klade said...

Hey, Red . . . Like you my first car was a 1929 Model A Ford. Bought it (around 1950, don't recall precisely) for $50. Drove it a year and sold it for $55. The only time I ever profited from owning a car.

DJan said...

Living in Michigan when I was young, we only drove American cars. I don't even remember anything about my first one except that it was a Chevy and metallic pink! And huge.

Anonymous said...

My father was a Buick man too. My first car was a 1966 Buick Special. My 2nd car was a 1972 Vega (used more oil than gas).

Carol Cassara said...

I had an orange 1974 Vega. Horrors!

Kathy @ SMART Living 365 said...

Hi Tom! My first car was a 1973 Nissan Fastback. I paid $2,300 for it and my father co-signed my loan. It was a stick shift, four cylinder with no a/c. Bright orange and I named it "Bud"...yes, like the beer can it was! I LOVED that car and actually drove it cross country a couple of times. It had a good 8-track stereo in it and I would crank up the tunes and drive! Very, very fond memories...thanks for the reminder. ~Kathy

Savoring Sixty said...

My first car was an automatic, white, black top convertible 1965 mustang. My dad bought it for $300 in 1972. So many happy memories were made the two and a half years I drove it. I passed it down to my younger brother so I could buy a "new" baby blue Ford Pinto (can you even imagine?!?). What was I thinking?? I had to have a radio installed, it was a stick shift (5 speed), with no air conditioning. A huge mistake since I live in Georgia and a year later moved to southeast Texas which had even more humidity!

When I drove the mustang, I would find many notes under the windshield wiper blades with requests to buy it if I was interested in selling. When my brother got anxious to buy his own car, my dad sold it to a man who was interested in restoring it. He invited us to go see it when he finished and it was gorgeous! He planned to show it in car shows. My brother and I sometimes wish we would have kept it, but find peace knowing it had a good home and we hope it is still thrilling car enthusiasts throughout the U.S.

Rebecca Olkowski said...

My first car was a yellow VW fastback which was probably a '68 - '70 model that my roommate promptly crashed when we were coming home from work. I had to learn to drive a stickshift after that. The car I remember most was my parent's 1950s Pontiac Woody station wagon in banana yellow. We would pile all of us teenagers in the back and head to the beach. My most favorite car was my Volvo Stationwagon because it was so solid. I think it went about 300,000 miles before a friend I sold it to's son left it outside to rot in the cold in Michigan. The weirdest cars I ever had were a baby blue Pacer with bubble windows that got hot in the summer and a 1962 Willy's Jeep with a box built in back for the AAA that my husband bought and I had to drive.

Mage said...

Oh, you inspire us all.

The first family car I remember is a 1939 Olds Coupe.

My first car was my grandfathers 57 Chevy. A plain Jane in Turquoise. I drove it to the east coast when I joined the army. Then came a $50.00 buck 1951 Pontiac sedan. That was followed by a 62 Chevy Station wagon, then a 66 Datsun 1600 sports car at $2500, a 70's VW squareback, a 60's fiat sports car, 69 Datsun 510 in two bodies, Then there is a gap before 95 Chevy Short Bed Step side pickup....which I still drive.

Kay said...

Hmmm... I've never had my own car, but my husband had a white VW bug when I met him. It lasted quite a while until the heater died during one Midwest winter.

Karen said...

My first car of my very own was a Mazda 323. Shortly after my husband and I married we got a 72 VW bug. My favorites will always be the several Ford F150 trucks we had. I always wanted a little MGB.

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Kay said...

The first car we had was my husband's. It was a white VW which we really liked until the heater stopped working in Chicago winter.