May 11, 2016

My First Car: Part 2

You remember your first car, don’t you? That sense of pride, freedom and adventure that rushed over you every time the engine turned over.

Whether your first car was brand new or older than you were at the time of sale, every first car has something that it made it special to its owner, something worth remembering.

We asked drivers to share stories of their first cars. Check them out, and tell us what you remember most about your first car on Facebook.

This is the second part of a two-part series. Read My First Car: Part 1 here.

The Alpine Stereo

The first car I could truly call “mine” was my mom’s 1991 Dodge Dynasty, passed down to me in high school. The gear shift was a part of the steering column, and I had hung bracelets and other “decorations” from it, which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t all that safe.

I had bobblehead dogs and cats all across the back window area – probably a dozen of them, all different sizes and colors. Whenever I came to a stop light, I’d catch myself looking at them in the rearview mirror as they bobbed and jammed to whatever was on the radio.

Speaking of the radio, I had installed an Alpine stereo. Mine had flashing lights around the outside of the cover, which you had to remove whenever you parked so that no one would break into your car to steal it. For anyone who doesn’t know what an Alpine stereo is, I can assure you, it was very cool. — Teresa N.

The Installment Plan

I was late in getting my license – I think I was around 21. My first car was a used silver Dodge Omni. I don’t remember the year but it’s safe to say it was from the early ‘80s. I bought it from my close friend’s dad for around $600 and he let me pay for it in installments. It was basically a tin can on four wheels. Not my dream car, to say the least, but it got me from Point A to Point B for a little while – a very little while.

Not even six months later, I was driving home at around 1 a.m. when the engine light came on and I was forced to pull over. There were no cell phones at the time so I had to get out of the car and walk back to the service station I had passed to use their phone to call home. Not the safest thing to do on a very dark highway!

My older brother answered…Needless to say, he was not happy that I (a) woke him up and (b) made him come get me. We had to leave the car on the highway and have it towed back home later. I got it running again just long enough for me to trade it in and buy a used red Nissan Sentra. <strong— Beth H.

The Queen Mary

Shelly Gallo.2.jpg

My first car was a 1971 Chevy Caprice, with a hefty V8 engine. My two high school best friends and I named this tank the “Queen Mary,” since she could comfortably seat eight people – perfect for cruising around on Friday and Saturday nights. While we drove, it was very important for us to have our music blaring from this gem.

Unfortunately, this luxury vehicle was equipped with only an AM radio. So, whoever was fortunate enough to be sitting in the large front seat bench was in charge of changing the cassettes of our favorite 80s musicians (Prince was always my preference) on my huge boom box.

Not only was Mary a mode of transportation for all of us big-haired, Aqua Net 80s girls, she also came in quite handy when we needed to move a tent from one friend’s house to another’s. We didn’t want to disassemble it – that would be too much work (or so we thought). Instead, one of us had the ingenious idea to throw it on top of Mary’s roof, and drive it up the hill to its next destination.

Little did we realize that it would slip and slide all over the place as I was driving. We each had an arm out of the window to secure it, but it eventually crept down the windshield which made it a bit challenging to see where I was going. We eventually made it to where we were going, and even after 28 years, the three of us still laugh about it. — Shelly G.

The Lost Luggage

My first car was a blue Chevy Chevette two-door hatchback. (What can I say? I was a college student and my brother was nice enough to co-sign for the car loan.) While in college, I attended a student government conference in Washington DC. We managed to pack five or six people, and our luggage, into the car. There was so much luggage that the hatch didn’t close – we held it down with a bungee cord.

On the way home, we lost a piece of luggage. We pulled over to check to see whose bag had been strewn across the highway in the middle of the night. But, no one was missing a bag. We had somehow grabbed someone else’s suitcase before leaving DC. Don’t think we got away with that, though. We ended up losing something else on the way home…the car’s muffler. — Lucie J.

The “Still Available”

Being one of the younger people in my grade, I was also one of the last to get my license, and therefore, my first car. At that age, we all wanted to be different and stand out a bit. So, as I watched my friends come into their new cars, I made a mental list of what cars were already “taken.”

After what seemed like an eternity, my parents finally brought me to a Volkswagen dealership. I looked around for a while but everything in my price range looked like it would break down as soon as it left the lot. I wandered over to where the newer vehicles were parked, knowing that I couldn’t afford any of those cars but still wanting to window-shop.

Nestled between two newer vehicles was a white 1992 VW Passat with manual transmission. According to my list, this car was still “available.” I ran over to parents and told them I had found it, I had found my first car. They chuckled when I told them the details because they knew that it was probably out of my price range (and that I had never driven a manual transmission car before).

But when they spoke to the salesman, we found out that its price was within our budget. After almost an hour of negotiating, the car was finally mine. A couple of days later, we went back to pick it up and that weekend, my dad took me to an empty parking lot and taught me how to drive it. — Brandon D.

 

Whether you’re driving your first car or your fifth, make sure you have the right car insurance.

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