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Thread: Remembering my first car

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    First car I bought, '66 Plymouth Fury II, with a 318 ci V8.

    First and only ever new car, '77 Fiat Spider. Sweet eighteen hundred cc, dohc four cylinder. It is still high on my for great cars, but the one thing that was shyte about that car, besides the awful color, was that the vinyl seats rotted in the Texas sun in about three months.

    First bike, '74 Yamaha seven fifty twin, used. Pig. Next bike, first and only ever new bike, '85 Yamaha seven fifty four. I would have another in a heartbeat. Except that I wouldn't want to drive a bike in this area. Too long a ride over crowded freeways or crowded two-lane highways to get to someplace good to ride, and that's crowded when you get there.


  2. #37
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    You would be safer on a motorbike.
    I'm still here, 40 years+ later.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    A 64 Chevy Belair almost exactly like this but a lot rustier, bought in 1976 for $150 from a garage called S&M motors. (Really. I don't think they had any idea that the initials might have other meanings. ) It was also a lot warmer than a motorcycle.


    This was my second car. First was a 61 Corvair. Corvair was about the same green. Not many green cars anymore.

  4. #39
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    If we forget about the 1950's Vespa that I had at 15 as a bush-basher (it'd carked it by the time I got a licence), my first was a 1949 Matchless G80S. Top speed on these 5.9:1 compression, 28hp wonderbeasts was just shy of 80 mph - but mine didn't have a speedo, or a generator - so night-time riding was "interesting".



    I followed that up, whilst still at high school, with a six month old one of these



    I paid Rupert (RIP) $200 for it... it was over $600 new - because he'd crashed it a few times and had lost his licence.

    My first car was bought in my first year at uni. A 1958 Beetle, like this

    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

    I'd rather look back at my life and say "I can't believe I did that" instead of being there saying "I wish I'd done that"

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post


    The year was 1970, and I was about to enter the sophomore class at Northeastern University. While strictly speaking, I really didn't 'need' a car, I wanted the independence it represented. Living in Boston, but frequently driving down to New Jersey to visit my parents and friends, it was going to make life easier.

    So, against my father's better judgment, I cashed in my Bar Mitzvah bonds, and raised $1800 to buy one of these, brand new (mine was blue, not red, but the same model). It had a four speed transmission and 110 HP engine, which was a long stroke design... oodles of low end torque, unlike the Japanese cars that were just beginning to get popular.

    The bloom came off the rose rather quickly, though. While it had pretty good mileage (in an era when I was paying 23.9 cents/gallon for gas), I immediately noticed problems. The first was the dome light... I know, a trivially inconsequential thing, but annoying, when it began to burn out after only a couple of months. It seems that the poorly reinforced roof had a resonance that would vibrate the filament and destroy the bulb.

    That would have been pretty minor... but then I began to break the valence panel below the front bumper, whenever an errant stone flew up from the road. It was plastic, one of the earliest use of plastic panels in automobiles. The replacement panel wasn't expensive, but did not come painted, so I got pretty familiar with aftermarket paint, in spray cans.

    Then things got more serious. First, I notice that the oil consumption was rising... at a prodigious rate. I found myself having to check the oil frequently, and kept a few quart containers of oil in the trunk. It seems that the 'revolutionary' engine design was the cause; it was an aluminum block, with NO cylinder liners; supposedly, the aluminum had a high silicon content, and the cylinder walls were etched in manufacturing to leave a hard silica surface, which was supposed to wear well.

    It didn't.

    Then the rust started. Initially, on the left from quarter panel, just in front of the driver's door. I notice that MANY Vegas of the same year were showing rust in precisely the same spot. I began to invest in Bondo, and MORE spray paint, which never looked good, and didn't keep the rust from advancing. More rust, along the drip rails, the leading edge of the roof....

    The oil consumption increased, and my mentor at my co-op job suggested I bring the car to his mechanic, in Weston. The mechanic did nothing for the oil consumption, but told me that the universal joint on the driveshaft was failing, and rebuilt it... at what was, for me, a significant expense.

    Finally, the oil consumption got ridiculous.... a quart every 200-300 miles, and lots of blue smoke, with only 27,000 miles on the clock. Around this time, Chevy announced a recall, and gave me a brand new short block, no charge... and I figured that the engine problems were over.

    It was not to be; at 40,000 miles, the oil consumption was every bit as bad, and even worse. I began to scavenge used oil from my friends, just to keep the crankcase full, and was leaving quite a blue cloud, everywhere I drove.

    The end came at 47,000 miles, when I had the one and only auto accident in my entire driving career; I was hit at a crossroad, in the left front fender, a consequence of solar glare at an intersection in Norwood MA. Fortunately, the car was driveable, but I had had enough. I sold it to an electronic technician who worked at my company for $200... he was desperate for some cheap transportation. Two month later, the engine locked up... no oil.

    I replaced the car with a brand new Toyota Celica... one of the best cars I've ever owned.
    I saw this and said, "A Chevy Vega? Poor Norman!"

    My first ride? A 1970 VW bus that I bought from my Dad in 1975 for $500 after I graduated college.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Scheuer View Post
    !959 Studebaker Lark, same color, except mine was a 2-door. Responsible for a reunion in Saigon. My best buddy was in a crowded bar and overheard a loud voice with a Maine (fond of the expression "son of a whore") accent telling about one of our adventures in that car. Turned out the source of the voice was our old First Sargent in the States.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...x=0&ajaxhist=0


    Mine was a 1960 Lark!

    $50. Three on the tree, Flathead four, topped out at about 55 mph, started even in the -20 Illinois weather of that time. Got roughly 14mpg. Blew up a piston, got a NOS one from a Studebaker group for $7 and that was my very first engine rebuild. Repaired the holes in the floors with aluminum biscuit trays from Colonel Sanders where I worked. Had two tapes for the 8-track, Roundabout, and Aqualung. Ahh, sweet memories.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by earling2 View Post
    Had two tapes for the 8-track, Roundabout, and Aqualung.
    Could have been much worse!

    What are you doing about it?




  8. #43
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    well, my first production motorized vehicle was one of these bad boys when i was 9-10


  9. #44
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I saw this and said, "A Chevy Vega? Poor Norman!"
    I got sucked in by the technology claims.

    The car was a disaster, but it did have a bunch of tech innovations. Among them: a battery with terminals on the side. It was invented because Vegas were shipped 'standing on their nose' in rail cars, so the battery had to be tolerant of a 90 degree mis-orientation.

    I DID love the long stroke nature of the engine, though.... a real stump puller, totally inappropriate for the kind of car it was, but kinda fun, nonetheless.
    "Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
    --- Charles Pierce







  10. #45
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    The Vega was a truly horrible car. My first car was a close second, a 1958 Vaoxhall Victor. Likely had a better engine than the Vega but that is pretty much it.

    First car I ever bought was a 47 Pontiac torpedo. You don't det much for $35. The engine had a cracked cylinder so I put in a 48 chev moor. Interesting process that would not do at my age but 17 gives you a different outlook.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    My first car was a 1962 Plymouth Valiant Signet 200. It has an aluminum block 225 slant 6 in which the coolant passages were totally plugged. I got the car for free in 1969. After driving it for a few months during which I carried 10 gallons of water in the trunk for when it over heated (less than 20 miles on the freeway). After those first few months I bought a new cast iron short block and swapped it into the car. At top dead center the pistons in the aluminum block were not flush with the top of the block. However the pistons in the cast iron block came almost flush with the top of the block. Since I reused the head my compression ratio was closer to 10.5 to 1 than 8.4 to 1 as it was with the aluminum block so I had to run premium gas. With the new block the car had tons of power.

    The car in the picture is not my car but it is identical except for the license plate nd the cas fill cap (mine was solid white). I drove that car until 1978 when a late 50s ford wagon ran a stop light in downtown Seattle and totaled my car.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Todd D; 10-03-2017 at 05:41 PM.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    First Car, a 1971 VW Squareback. When I moved in '83 I could fit my surfboard and all possessions inside.
    image.jpeg

    First Bike, bought when I was 15 and didn't have a license, Kawasaki 90. If I laid on the tank and put my feet on the passenger pegs ( yes, it had passenger pegs!) I could get it up to 50 mph.
    image.jpeg

    Next bike was a c1978 Yamaha DT-250. It had a super comfortable seat, and cushy Mono-shock rear suspension. I loved this bike
    image.jpeg

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    I had one of these.The Worsley''s flying car was the "de luxe" with a 1200cc engine, mine had the pedestrian 997cc engine.


  14. #49
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    My first and only bike was a 1979 Motobecane SprintTour. I bought it new in 1979. I still have and ride it. Shimano 600 derailleur, araya 27x1 wheels. SR crank set. Except for the tires my bike is all original. THe picture is not my bike but is identical except I have a 1979 University of Oregon parking sticker on mine.

    Attachment 4236
    Last edited by Todd D; 10-03-2017 at 05:50 PM.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    I had a Vega (my car #2). It was a dark green GT model, with 2 barrel Holley, close ratio 5 speed and F41 suspension. It had the usual engine woes, but what handling! The close ratio box (first gear was not terribly low) and high-geared final drive destroyed any "torquey" characteristics it had, as it would do 30 MPH in first at 3000 RPM. Not good on steep, rough gravel back roads, where you wanted to crawl. However, it is still the best-handling car I have ever owned. 0.9 g on the skidpad, on stock tires, was the claim.

  16. #51
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Seems you guys had much cooler first cars than I. But in exchange, I am presuming I have the jump on you in age. My first car:
    1429020001_large.jpg
    A 1987 Dodge Aries. It was that same colour of blue, 2.5L engine, bucket seats, floor mounted shifter (auto) and a removable sunroof. The guy I bought it from had put a stereo in that was probably worth more than the car. I paid $500 for it my last year of high school. I can't think of a car that's less cool that this one. Since then I've had a 2001 Cavalier, a 2004 VW Jetta TDI, 2008 Grand Caravan, a my present car, a 2013 Golf Wagon TDI. I like the VWs but am not impressed with the Dieselgate issues lately. Not sure what I'll do with it just yet. Not a single "cool" car in there other than the VWs which are not quite cool so much as passable style wise.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Not my car, but the same colour and model. Hillman Hunter Super (1700), surprisingly quick, pretty rusty, pretty ****e, great fun. We put chains on it and drove it up skifield roads, on one of those trips it threw a rod out the side of the block and expired in a cloud of smoke and steam in the middle of south Canterbury. We pushed it into a field. When we came back a few weeks later the cows had rubbed all the trim off... I still have a fragment of the block on my shelf.
    3076239411_81a57e2f15_o.jpg

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car



    My first was a 1967 Buick Special. It was a $150.00 car, and it drove like one.

    Jeff C

  19. #54
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    1972 Toyota Corolla. Six hunderd smackers just out of college. Four banger I understood and could work on, reasonably comfortable for the type, 30 mpg with a four speed manual. The unit body sucked in the road chemicals of the north, but aside from that, I wish I had it today! I sold it, three years on, for what I'd paid. It NEVER ONCE coughed or let me down.
    Last edited by ishmael; 10-03-2017 at 07:10 PM.
    So many questions, so little time.

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    1988 1/2 Ford Escort Pony. Mine was white but looked as good as this one.

    "Please be more specific or we'll choose to order a cheaper bilge-rat to replace you."

    ~seanz

  21. #56
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    58 mga coupe. Mine was blue. If I could get into one now I'd be there for ever.
    58mga coupe.jpg

  22. #57
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by OliverBendix View Post
    I still have a fragment of the block on my shelf.
    Amazing, the stuff we collect. I still have a mangled piston from my 1962 MGB. The block that was destroyed at the same time is still anchoring a fence post on my dad's farm somewhere. To my youthful credit, I did find parts and rebuilt the engine properly before I finally got an offer I couldn't refuse. The things you do when you're young, poor, and have two young kids. Love to get another one (probably a 1973) someday.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale H View Post
    Amazing, the stuff we collect. I still have a mangled piston from my 1962 MGB. The block that was destroyed at the same time is still anchoring a fence post on my dad's farm somewhere. To my youthful credit, I did find parts and rebuilt the engine properly before I finally got an offer I couldn't refuse. The things you do when you're young, poor, and have two young kids. Love to get another one (probably a 1973) someday.

    I found the original fuel pump from my Porsche 912 in a cardboard box when I was moving last year. I have no idea why I’ve kept it all these years.

    Jeff C

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    I too had a 1964 Anglia with the small engine as my first car. (see flying car noted above from Harry Potter movie.)
    Not powerful but very good on fuel at a time when most cars were not.
    I too had a Vega. My first new car bought in 1974 so it had the bigger bumpers for the 5 mph bumper rule. I had better luck than Norman as mine never really used oil. I had rust issues with the front fenders. They had holes in the tops of both fenders about 18 months after new but GM replaced both fenders for me on warranty. I kept the car about 3.5 years and only put about 54000 miles on it but never had the engine problems that many people had. I paid $2400 for it new and sold it for $1400 so that was pretty low depreciation for a new car. Handling was good as someone else mentioned and that was probably because it had very minimal ground clearance. Something around 3 inches as I recall so I had to creep over speed bumps in parking lots.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    56512813-500-0.jpg

    Slightly used. Made it to San Francisco and back.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    First bike a Jawa, then a Matchless.
    First car an early 1950's low light rag top Morris Minor.

    A few years later I owned a 1948 model, rather art deco.
    Then an MGTC, at the encouragement of my mum who had only recently stopped racing a '34 P type. Rag tops all.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    First bike:



    Second bike:

    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    "Remembering my first car" - I'd rather not.

    Mk1 Astra, badged a Vauxhall but built in the Opel works, with the 1200 OHV Chevette engine. The older and smaller-engined Mk 1 VW Polo that replaced it was a far better car.

    'When I leave I don't know what I'm hoping to find. When I leave I don't know what I'm leaving behind...'

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Ford Escort 1970 model
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

  30. #65
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Speaking of parts in cardboard boxes, I still have the re-build kit for a 1979 Ford Econoline E-350's rear brakes. Another fine 'hicle that never let me down! The parts are here for the asking, if anyone wants to come to Bangor, ME.

    Oh, the MGA! A lovely lady friend had one of those. The car and she were both lovely, and cantankerous at times. Side curtains! The car had side curtains rather than roll-up windows. Wooden frame members! Oh my!
    So many questions, so little time.

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car



    My first car, similar to this, without the soft roof, was a 'Cooperised' Morris Mini with an 850cc engine bored out to about 960. It would rev to 7000rpm in top gear. The crankshaft did break!
    Last edited by Stiletto; 10-04-2017 at 06:07 PM.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    Mine was a 1969 Olds Delta 88. Same color as this one. Bought from my parents for $500 in 1978.




    Its hard to describe to younger folks just how big that car was. I'd cruise around with seven friends, the 8-track blaring....

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  33. #68
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    My first motorcycle:

    '73 Honda CL 100

    I rode it everywhere on a lot of back highways. It would get to 55 mph on a long downhill. I was a *bit* lighter then....Used to ride my girlfriend on the back, too.

    Elect a clown expect a circus

  34. #69
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    Default Re: Remembering my first car

    My first car was when I graduated college and my father gave me his old two-stroke SAAB 96. That thing was bullet proof.
    Gerard>
    Everett, WA

    RESIST. FIGHT THE POWER.

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