Friday, September 12, 2008

What Was Your First Car?

I was once the proud owner of a 1974 Plymouth Duster--the very first car I bought for myself. For the purposes of this blog entry, I looked online for photos of a car similar to mine. Imagine my surprise when I found that most of the ones I came across had been souped up as hot rods. I had no idea my first car would someday be such a cool vehicle. Back then I was just glad to have the freedom of my own transportation. I'd get behind the wheel and think, if I drove all the way through the night, I'd be in California by morning. I never actually did drive to California, but knowing I could meant the world to me.

After much searching, I found an almost exact photo of "my" car. When I clicked on it and saw the photo enlarged, I noticed that the gas cap was exactly the same as mine. That particular detail stuck in my brain because on two different occasions, I did the most idiotic thing-- I went to get gas, put the cap on top of the car and drove off without it. Luckily, when I went back to the gas station it was on the ground near the pump. Yes, I was the reason they invented tethers for gas caps.

Just recently my son Charlie bought his very first car, a 1998 Ford Taurus, the black car below. Isn't it beautiful? The Taurus has a few miles on it. And a crack in the wind shield. Also, the muffler might need replacing because it's a teeny bit loud, but everyone knows that's an easy fix!

Here's Charlie putting on the license plates. It's legal and everything.

Charlie's plate-putting-on reminded my husband that he's been meaning to replace the screws on our license plates. I'm pretty ignorant of such things, but apparently some can rust and some can't and the ones that don't rust are better.

Here's a photo of father and son working on their respective cars on a beautiful day in September in southeastern Wisconsin. While they were working I was busy documenting the occasion via digital camera.

So, what was your first car? And did it have any wonderful quirks? Tell me, I want to know!


Pearl said...


My first car was a '68 Ford Falcon, old even when I got it in 1980.

Nice post!


Therese said...

I think your first car is the same kind my Grandma drove in the 70's, but hers was army green!

My first car was a 1981 Mercury Capri with almost 100,000 miles on it. My brother gave it to me when I graduated from college. It lasted a year-which was long enough for me to save up some money towards another car!

Patsy Blake said...

My first car was a red 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible. It was 10 years old and I was 16.

Karen McQ. said...

Hi Pearl, I got my Duster in 1980 also. Compared to your Ford Falcon, mine was newish.

Therese--Your brother GAVE you a car? I know it only lasted a year, but still, what a gift.I always thought it would be nice to have a brother...

Karen McQ. said...

Hi Patsy,

Fords are winning so far!

I checked out your blog and your photos and paintings are absolutely wonderful!

Khris said...

My first car was a Silver 1972 Ford Gran Torino. It came with an Alpine Stereo and floor vents and I bought it when I was 18 in 1983.

The "floor vents" were actually just rusted holes underneath the carpeting in the back seat, and about a year after I got it the holes were so big that I believe the front seat was being supported on one end because it was wedged onto the frame.

Karen McQ. said...

Thanks for sharing, Khris~

So far Fords are still in the lead...

Hope Alexander said...

Thanks for the chuckle early on Monday am !

Sid Leavitt said...

Mine was a 1950 Buick with a straight eight-cylinder engine, four bank-vault-type doors and a body weight rivaling that of an M1 Abrams tank. If you haven't guessed by now, its chief quirk was that it could hardly make it between gas stations.

Yes, I'm part of the reason our globe is now warming. I try to remember that when I see similar vehicles, although updated with new contours, multiwheel drive and electronic devices, still on the road today. I don't do it very well.

Anonymous said...

First car? Quirks? My first car was a white 1964 Rambler(who remembers Rambler from Kenosha, WI?)Ambassador. It had belonged to my grandmother, grandfather, and father before I inherited it when my family moved to Florida and realized that there was no way that the car would make it that far.

The Ambassador was the fancy version of the Rambler Classic. It had all the options-bucket seats, AM/FM radio, air conditioning, OPTIONAL seat belts in the back seat, and the best of all was "Vibratone" that could be turned on in the back seat speaker. Vibratone put a little vibration into the sound so it sounded like the voice of God coming from the back seat.

Not wanting to see a car with so much history end up in the junk yard, I gave it to one of my roommates when I graduated from college and moved to CT. I haven't seen it on the streets of Madison so I guess that eventually it found its way to the junk yard.

Karen McQ. said...

I haven't visited my own site for a bit--how cool to come back and see Sid and Anon's descriptions of their first cars. Thanks, guys!

I guess it's true--everybody has a story, and it seems like everyone has a soft spot in their hearts for their first car.

Hermine Lindsie said...

The father-son pic is priceless - working on their respective cars. Makes them both manly, yes? For how long did you have your car and what happened to it? Your son’s car, yep, they must have been fixed quite shortly.

PS: The gas cap incident - hah, how lucky you were that it was still there when you came back!