Thursday, March 18, 2010

Your First Crush


Do you remember your first four-wheel crush? 

My father’s visiting right now and he remembered within seconds. “A 1956 Ford Mainline Sedan. Four-door. My grandfather gave it to me. It was gray then and I had it painted dark blue. I was so proud of that car.”

I then asked my husband. “A white 1972 Plymouth Duster,” he answered.

“It had 150,000 miles when I got it. I drove it into the ground.”

Yes indeed, there’s a special place in our memory for that first pile of metal, that tank that gas guzzler, that burst of precious freedom.

Was it the car or the fact that we were old enough to drive? Was it the independence we celebrated or the responsibility of being near-grown-ups what we took to heart? 

My first car was a 1980 Chevy Caprice station wagon. It had wood panels. It was full of dog hair shed from three German Shepherds. With over 100,000 miles, it was the vehicle chosen for trips to the dump, to pick up the Christmas tree, and always, always, to transport the hounds to the vet.

One day, however, that Chevy wagon saved my life. I made a new driver’s mistake and was hit in the driver’s door. Hard. Only the steel bar in the door kept me safe from being flattened by the oncoming vehicle. A few months later, my mother borrowed my car and was rammed in the same side by a garbage truck. She walked away without a scratch.

Many cars since then, I still cannot pass a wood paneled station wagon without looking twice.

How about you? Tell us about your first love/car!

24 comments:

Sheila Connolly said...

'68 Mustang, red with a black interior. I still want it.

I had enough money to buy it then, but it cost as much as a year of college. I chose college.

Mason Canyon said...

The first car I wanted was a '66 Chevy Super Sport. I thought it was the coolest car because a guy I had a crush on owned it. But has a fantasy car goes, I always thought vets were so neat (the ones from the '60s and '70s). But I settled for a '69 Chevy Impala and was thrilled I could drive myself to school.

Kate Collins said...

I loved my first car -- a 1960 VW Beetle that my parents bought from my uncle for $200! It was a bare bones bug -- stick shift, not even a gas gauge on it. There was a lever on the floor, and if you ran out of gas, you flipped the lever to get an extra 1 1/2 gallons to get to a gas station. No heat buttons, just a knob on the floor to turn to let the manifold heat blow into the car. The paint was worn down to a dull denim finish, but I used to polish it like a fiend, hoping to get it to shine. That car saw me through college. It'll always hold a special place in my heart.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Ah, the memories. My first car was a powder blue 1963 Dodge Dart with push button transmission. I bought it the summer after my freshman year in college for about $200. I also remember gas being about $0.25/gal at that time. A bunch of us from the dorm would pool our pennies, fill the tank and have adventures.

signlady217 said...

A burgundy Chevy Vega Hatchback (a '72, I think, but that part I don't remember). Loved driving that little ol' thing; great on gas, and you could pile a lot of people in it if you wanted to (I didn't).

CindyD said...

My first car was a Chevy Vega, too. I don't remember the year but I bought it used in 1974. The salesman had assured my dad that it did NOT have any problems, but that was a lie. The car lasted one year and I do not remember it fondly.
My favorite car was my Honda Civic. My daughter is still driving it.

jbstanley said...

Sheila,

Let's go in on it together - we could each drive it for six months. I just LOVE a muscle car!

jbstanley said...

Ah, Sue Ann - those were the days of low gas prices, right? I do remember the years of lines at the pump in the 70s though. Now it's too high for people to bother lining up for it!

jbstanley said...

I had to Google the Chevy Vega. Wasn't familiar with it. That's a solid looking vehicle!

NoraA said...

My first car was a blue Chevie Bellaire that I got from my grandmother when she bought a new car. I think it was either a
'61 or '62. One night after class I was driving to a friends house.. a car was double parked with no lights and the streets were icy. I slammed into it. I did minimal damage to the other guy but my front end was smashed. I did basic repairs and continued to run it into the ground. My next car was an old VW bug which I also drove into the ground.

Now at 62yrs of age I figure I've owned over 25 cars in my lifetime.

Deborah Sharp said...

My first car was a Triumph Spitfire, and I was DEFINITELY the coolest girl at Ft. Lauderdale's Stranahan High, class of '72. Got it from my sister, who moved on to something more reliable. Had a pull choke (which had to be used a lot), and no first gear. But I LOVED that car.
Thanks for the memories, JB!

Laura Hinds said...

Mine was a Red Mercury Capri- 1980. Merc version of a Ford Mustang. Loved it! I was 17- made the downpayment and had to wait for 3 months to get it from dealer- don't remember why! Used to drive parents car to visit it on the lot! Was working as a clerk at Prudential, right out of high school, going to college at night, and once I got that car had about $3.00 a week to live on after payment, insurance etc. Lived 2 blocks from work- drove anyway! Er...hubby totaled it when I was 23. He has since been forgiven! Oh and I had a million "RUSH" bumper stickers (Canadian Rock Band) & people called it The Rush Mobile.
Ahhh...those were the days!

Aryn said...

1981 Datsun 280ZX. Two seater with t-tops. My dad bought it for $800 in 1992. It pretty much fell apart over the 2 years I drove it, but I still miss that car!

Linda said...

As a teenager I bought my first car...a tiny white Chevy Sprint. It had a stick shift and I didn't know how to even drive it when I bought it, but I quickly learned. I loved having my little car, except it broke down a lot and I remember several times being stuck stranded at the side of the road. Those weren't fun times, but even so, I was happy to have a car.

Rosemary Harris said...

A metallic green Volkswagen 412. No idea what year, but it was old when I got it at Reed's in Langhorne PA. The engine was in the back and it had a dodgy heater so if I went over 60, I froze. But I loved that hunk of junk. A boyfriend trashed it. Went out one day and came back without the car. I never forgave him.

Anonymous said...

'72 blue Chevy Nova, 2 door with (acording to Dear Hubby) too small of an engine, lol.

No carpeting, no power steering, no power brakes. Just your basic unadorned car. LOVED IT!!!

Pam aka SisterZip

Jeanne C. said...

Mine was a maroon 1976 Buick Skylark that belonged to my Grandma. I bought it from her for $1.00 in 1987! I looked less than cool toolin' down the road in that granny-mobile!

BookEnds, LLC said...

My dad's '67 canary yellow Mustang convertible. He still has it and I still get to drive it.

Andrea C. said...

In high school I drove my parent's chevy celebrity..which does not sound cool, but could fit a lot of people so we always packed in my car!
The first car I personally ever owned was a Honda Civic..I named her Phoebe...she was so cute! :)

Lover of Books said...

I had a thing for lipstick red sports cars. Not sure what kind of car it was but I drool over them. lol

Krista

CindyD said...

Wow, 25 cars and 62! I'm almost 53 and I've owned six - two or three of them for nine years each. And I don't "own" a car now - my husband and I have one car which is titled in his name, just the way it worked out when we bought it.

Katie said...

a 1993 Dodge Shadow that I bought from a friend. I loved loved that car and drove it for almost 6 years. I think I loved the fact that it was small. I called it Puddles due to the leak in the windshield that would leave a puddle in the change thing whenever it rained.

Heather Webber said...

Groan. My first car was a beat-up 1984 Chevy Blazer. It was one repair after another...until the engine blew. Not good memories.

Kinda wish I'd had a '68 Mustang.

mystery-author said...

'81 Chevy Citation in two-tone blue with orange rust. Inherited at the tender age of 17 from my maternal grandfather, the Citation's floorboards received a boost from my then-boyfriend, Phil in the form of a drip pan from his parents' Fridgidaire riveted

to the driver's side floorboards to prevent the "Flintstone" effect.

Like Grampy McCarthy, despite the years of rust and wear, that car started in the coldest of weather, plowed through every obstacle, and drove onto the tow truck.