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March 12, 2008



I think I told you this one.

My first was a '64 1/2 Barracuda, silver with a black racing stripe. You know the car, big glass fastback, little tiny engine. My Dad and I fixed it up on the weekends he was allowed to visit.

Before my 16th birthday, my sister wrecked her Nova so my Mom told her she could drive my car as long as she drove me to school. One Friday she left me to drive her friends home and got the car stuck on some chat piles in East Kansas. She proceeded to rev the engine and spin the wheels until it caught fire.

I never legally drove that car.


The 11 day lifespan that was my first car, a $300 68 VWBug which was promptly t-boned right outside my house with my mother looking on by my idiot neighbor down the street who thought that doing 45 in a residential on icy roads was a swell idea. Suffice to say, his 67 Cornet was a total loss, and my VW which got hit on the drivers side door, lost about 4 inches of seat width. Amazingly, I walked away with a scratch on my finger and U2's Seconds still playing on my tape deck.

Captain Ned

First drive: 1960 Willys Jeep CJ-5
First I owned: 1984 VW Rabbit GTi

Dad had some hooptys when I was a kid, but they were gone by my driving days. I so wish he'd kept the '69 Charger with the 383 4bbl. His '73 Charger with the 400 was a mere shell of it's predecessor.


Hmmn, I'm seeing a Chrysler product theme here one way or another, Mine was a '73 Charger that somebody had yanked a slant 6 225 out of and stuffed a 440 with a six pack, it had about 3 shades of rust and 4 shades of krylon primer on top of what had faded into a flat blue and white paint job, it had no power steering, 8 inches of play left and right before it actually veered in any particular direction, 225s all the way around til I found what I think were a set of M/T slicks on some 5 oval slot rims, finally blew the motor on it going God knows how fast on I-45 headed towards Dallas racing some 69 Mustang, it sat on my Dad's driveway til I bought the house from him then I gave it to a local kid that wanted it to fix up as HIS first car.


A 1971 MGB that shortly dropped the 3rd cylinder's endcap, which led to a cracked block following an exciting engine seizure on a vacant rural state road. Rebuilt nearly everything in the engine compartment in HS shop class; the fellow motorheads with their muscle cars got a kick out of my MGB in its incremental resurrection. Loved driving it, but it was chronically ill, auto graveyards were becoming picked clean, new parts were becoming costly, and I was a poor college student, so I finally sold it off, sick of it. Yet I sometimes wish I had it now. However, I'd rather have a Sunbeam Tiger, an old British roadster with a Ford V8.


Mine was a 1977 Datsun 200SX. It was a complete piece of sh!t.


Always been a four-cylinder man, to tell the truth. V8s and even straight sixes in suburban Australia are pretty much the exclusive hallmark of the "bogan," an Australian phenomenon (look it up in urban dictionary), non-bogan revheads mostly drive trick 4-cylinders or turbo Japanese imports.

My first ever car was a Morris 1100 that my brother and I bought for $20 when I was 11. It's basically a larger, tougher version of the Morris Mini with a different rear end design. It was about 20 years older than I was, still in the original dove grey paint, apparently had no teeth left on first or third gears so we rarely got it out of second while ripping up the ground on our old five-acre lot. Learning to drive in that thing taught me many a valuable lesson about how to handle a short wheelbase front-wheel drive in slippery conditions. Saved my ass on at least one occasion on the way home from a pizza delivery, going too fast at night down a hill on a wet road and took my eyes off the road to check the demister in my crappy '85 Nissan Pulsar. Looked up to see a 90 degree left turn and somehow all those years of slaloming between gum trees on the property kicked in, reamed the wheel left, snapped off the gas to kick the tail around, and managed to slide through the corner. To this day I've no idea how I made it, by all rights I should have gone into the embankment at about 55 km/h.

The first car I drove on the road after getting my licence was a VH Holden Commodore - 3.something litre straight 6 with plenty of torque and very comfy, but guzzled way too much gas for a university student to afford, and was close to uncontrollable on the dirt - my revhead sympathies always lay in sliding around gravel corners rather than racing on blacktop.

Eventually blew up the motor on the Pulsar, the radiator cracked and I thought I could make it home, apparently I was wrong. After that got an 83 Corolla 1.3 litre (last of the rear-wheel-drive models) and despite constant thrashings for the 2 years I drove it before leaving Australia, constant mistreatment by idiot hick cousins who've borrowed it since, and never once being shown an ounce of TLC, it's still powering along strongly. The only problem I've ever had with it is when the rear drums developed a problem where they'd suddenly lock solid - makes for some interesting moments when you're doing 80 on the freeway O_o

My favorite of alltime though was the Datsun 180B i borrowed from a cousin while the Pulsar was dead and before buying the Corolla. One of the numerous mild "performance" variants Datsun put out in the late 70s with bucket seats, a trick wooden steering wheel and decent suspension. Looked the part too in honeybee yellow with back racing stripes. Unfortunately the cousin who owned it had spun it on a wet corner and put one of the front wheels through a curb, twisting the entire suspension tower and loading up massive stress on the wheel and huge toe-out. Not knowing this, I took a corner on the dirt at full pelt only for the thing to suddenly lose traction on the front end at the apex of the corner and spear straight off the road. Ended up about 6 inches to the left of a gum tree that would have put the engine block through my midriff had I hit it. So no more gravel excursions in that particular beast.

If/when I move back to Aus, I'd love to get a Datsun 1600 or 180B and trick it out old-school rally style with twin carbs, headers, maybe even a big cam and some forged pistons and slide that thing within an inch of its life through the gravel tracks near my old place. Nothing quite like howling through corners spraying dirt far and wide, then reaching the top of the hill and stepping out to look down over the entire town from the midst of the Aussie bushland with no-one else around.


The 1976 Pontiac Grand Prix: Bought it for $1300 in 1981. It was maroon with a white vinyl interior. (You ever try to keep a white vinyl interior clean?) It came with lots of options:

- 350 CID Pontiac engine (with 400-sized heads for extra weight and protection against small-arms fire)
- Power-drain downgrade package: 2 bbl carb + single exhaust
- Keyless ignition (i.e., no key needed, just turn the switch and go)
- Very little Bondo (including a nice blob of GREEN Bondo near deck lid -- sweet!)
- Ultra-automatic T400 tranny (ultra-automatic in that it would automatically decide whether to engage)
- Radiator capable of surviving winter in the Tundra (but not the summers in Texas, which is where I lived)
- Rear monoshock suspension (I'm pretty sure this was supposed to be dual-shock)
- Pot seeds in console compartment

With all that performance equipment, she was really fleet of foot. One time in Galveston, on a long, straight highway, I managed to get her up to 105 mph! It took only about five minutes to reach that speed.

Got hit in a parking lot one day, right in the rear driver's side quarter panel. Took my settlement proceeds to Fact-O-Bake to get the panel repaired AND a complete paint job. I repainted the rims (Rally IIs), threw on some used Kelly bias-ply Super Chargers (50s in front, 60s in rear). Painted the grille and selected chrome trim pieces Krylon black. Never had the hood ornament; left it off. Painted the formerly faux-wood-grained, subsequently rusted console compartment lid a way-cool 80s style checkerboard pattern (think Rick Nielsen).

Never got laid.

Chris Hunt

'69 Mustang fastback, with a 351 Windsor, headers and rotted out glasspacks. It had no choke, so I had to warm it up manually. In Illinois. In the mid-70s. Had a chance to replace it with a 428 Cobrajet, but mom wouldn't cosign a second loan while I unloaded the other one. Replaced the '69 with a '70 Mach One with a Boss paint job, 351 Cleveland with shaker hood scoop, Hurst shifter and toploader 4-speed, and 12-inch tires.

Andrew the Noisy

'86 Lincoln Mark VII, bought for $1800 in August of '98. I was fresh out of college and commuting from Philly to Northern Jersey every week. Man, could that thing eat up Jersey Highway miles. I totaled it in a blizzard in January of '99 on the Garden State Parkway by trying to pass the snowplow, fishtailed into the pilon (not the smartest thing I've ever done). I'd just put new tires on the fuckin' thing, too. The junk guy gave me $100 for it.


First car I ever owned was a 1967 Pontiac Firebird with 400ci engine and 400TH transmission. That car was loaded with every option that could have been had at the time. Of course I bought it used in 1972 but it only had about 40,000 miles on it.

Sold it the next year and bought a 1969 Mach 1, Shaker hood with 428CJ and C6 transmission. I believe I paid all of $1500 for it. Sold that one about 2 years later when gas octane dropped below 100 and the valves rattled continuously.

The idiot that I sold the Mustang to pulled out the 428 and dropped a in a 351.

Bill K

My fist was a 62 Ford galaxie 500. It's only claim to fame was it's huge trunk. I was the designated driver when we went to the drive in. I could fit 3 in the trunk. There is one of the few functioning drive in's about 6 miles from me here.


My first car was a 1965 Buick Skylark 2-door hardtop that I bought as a junior in High School (about 1972). It was brown with brown vinyl buckets. It had a 300 V8 and a Powerglide. My goal was a home made muscle car like the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Buicks of the era. I swapped the rear end for a posi-track unit and repainted the car in a cola-brown color, but traded it to a friend before I had a chance to install the 455 with turbohydromatic.

My second car was my friend's 1969 Camaro Z28. It was wicked fast because he had blown a small inheritance from his uncle to buy it and then hop it up with all the usual speed parts. Unfortunately, by the time he swapped me for my Skylark, the car was also wickedly unreliable. I drove it to Salt Lake to go the the University and endured 4 years of intermittent transportation as a poor college student unable to afford the frequent repairs. When I graduated I sold it to a coworker for $200 just to unload it and went and bought my first Saab.

Yes, I would like to have either of the two cars back, but time marches on.


1955 Cameo bought at the tender age of 14 for $50. A true junkyard jewel. replaced broke 6 holer with an LT1 and swapped in a 4sp out of a GTO Judge (direct bolt up to 1955 bell housing!) Traded for a Honda Hawk (dumb, dumb, dumb) and that for a 69 Camaro (good move) that got ruined when a Chevette got in it's way. Current ride is a '61 Falcon Futura with badass 4 spoke Cragar S/S, a 144 and a Ford-O-Matic. What I really need though is an AMC Marlin.

Mr. Blue

A 1966 Mustang with a straight six and automatic transmission- which I had to share with my sister. However, as this was in 1991, and most of the other kids at school were driving front wheel drive imports, I was able to see them off the line while leaving some quite impressive wheel smoke.
I should also mention this was in Central Florida, and the car did lack air conditioning- which ment my sister really did not want to drive it all that much. Heheheh.
Sadly, in a fit of teenage stupidity, I let her have full share of the car so I could buy a 1986 Dodge 600 convertable POS (which was about as reliable as Bill Clinton's maritial commitments). My sister then traded the Mustang for a F-150.
I still miss that car...

Jacob Rodman

That's one cool classic you had there. There are people like you who would consider their first car as their favorite. But there are some out there who love the cars that they have now. The first may not be the best for some, but it is definitely the most memorable.

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