Saturday, May 22, 2021

She Was Made For The Straight Aways

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: A girl and her car is a beautiful thing. My first bought-it-myself car was a Saab that had about eleventy hundred miles on it and holes in the floor that had to be covered by heavy rubber mats in the wintertime. It wasn't anywhere near as nice as the first car I got to drive regularly, which was my brand-new husband's brand-new 1985 Mazda RX-7, with the headlights that popped open at the touch of a button and a rotary engine so powerful that the third generation, introduced in 1997, is banned for street driving in the US. (Not even kidding.) 

 

It was a sweet ride, but the rusty old Saab was mine, and, as it turned out, the first and last car I didn't have to put a baby seat (or a kid) into. 

 

My two girls have recently gone through their own vehicular rites of passage. The Maine Millennial, who has owned, shall we say, well-used cars over the past few years, was finally in the position to upgrade when her last Subaru went to that great garage in the sky. She got a 2017 Hyundai Elantra in an eye-popping shade of electric blue, with all the bells and whistles.

 

Meanwhile - really, within a week of her sister - Youngest, who had a looong journey toward getting her driver's license, got her first car, a 2002 Honda CRV (only 179,000 miles!) generously passed on to her by my sister and brother-in-law. This has lead to several life improvements for Youngest: she's been able to sign a lease on an apartment fourteen miles from the University of Maine (and thus better than your average student digs) and she can ride around in style with her Shih tzu, Buddy, who has his own special car seat. It's led to one enormous life improvement for me, namely, I don't have to make the three hundred mile round trip to Orono, ME, every time Youngest has a dental appointment/doctor's visit/political rally in the Portland area.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm very happy with my supremely sensible Honda Accord, but I do love to see my daughters rejoice in their "new" cars. I know they're vehicles they will always have special place in their hearts.  

 

So, Reds, what are the special cars that you have fond memories of? 

 

RHYS BOWEN: I wouldn’t call them FOND memories, but my first car made a big impression. In England, of course, you don’t take your driving test until you are 18. I bought my first car with money from my twenty-first birthday. It was a little red Fiat 500--a toppolino, used, of course. It looked really cute, but it was a nightmare. It would cut out at the worst times. Driving through the Peak District it cut out at the top of a hill. I coasted for miles downhill and luckily  crawled into a service station before it stopped. It started by yanking on a little pull thingie, which came off in my hand one day. Luckily my friend Roger was great with cars and fixed it numerous times.  

The added stupidity was that I was working for the BBC and living behind Oxford Street! That meant if I found a parking space I didn’t dare move the car for days. It was a happy day when I sold it.

 

LUCY BURDETTE: The one I remember fondly was a Dodge Dart, a two-door sedan with a slant-six engine. It was canary yellow on the bottom, with a black hardtop and black upholstery and steering wheel. I loved it! Until my husband and I moved to Florida. Black baking in the sun equals burned thighs and palms every time.

 

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: SO snazzy, Roberta!  My first car was a Chevrolet Vega, and it was butterscotch yellow with camel leather interior. I thought it was gorgeous, but I mean, it was a Vega. How gorgeous could that even be? But my father made me buy it myself and handle all the negotiations. I think I was 18.  

And he said: Do NOT pay for the title or taxes. THEY have to pay that. And if you can’t negotiate that, I won’t buy you the car.

So I was absolutely firm. No matter what the dealer said, I said: I am NOT paying title and taxes, you have to pay that. And if you make me pay it, I’m not buying the car.

We argued and argued, and finally I said--I’m walking out. And they finally agreed.

I told my father afterward, all proud of myself.

He gasped. And said: I never said TAXES! I said TAGS. You have to pay the taxes, for gosh sake.

I said: Well, not this time.

 

HALLIE EPHRON: My first car was a convertible Chevy Impala, chocolate brown with butterscotch leather seats… first cousin to Hank’s. I brought an older male friend with me to buy it, knowing I’d be way out of my depth. I loved that car, owned it for 2 years until I graduated. After high school I lived in Manhattan for 8 years - a person living in NYC needs a car like a fish needs a bicycle… to quote the adage. When we moved to the Boston area, we bought a Pinto station wagon. TERRIBLE car. TERRIBLE experience buying it. I still can’t believe that 5 years later when the Pinto died we went back to that same dealer and bought a Ford Escort station wagon. Another terrible car that didn’t make it past 75K. Fords: feh.

 

JENN McKINLAY: My Pontiac Grand Am coupe, merlot red, with a moonroof, and fully loaded stereo. It was my college grad gift from my parents. I LOVED that car. It died after ten years of spontaneous road trips, four big moves, three boyfriends, and 170K miles. I still miss her. 

 

DEBORAH CROMBIE: My first car was a used ‘65 silver Thunderbird--and yes, that is my favorite Marc Cohn song!! Power everything, black leather interior, it was gorgeous and probably worth a mint now. I had it a couple of years and then my dad traded it, no idea why except that he loved to do car deals.

 

But the car of my heart was my 1970 Datsun 240z, used, of course, in burnt orange. I loved that car. I had to give it up when I moved to England. My dad promised me he wouldn’t sell it, but he did. I never quite got over my broken heart. I did drive a red Honda Prelude for a couple of years, much later on, and that was a much better car but nothing ever quite replaced the Z.

 

JULIA: Grand Ams, Thunderbirds, and leather seats - we have some stylin' drivers in this group. How about you, dear readers? Did you have a car that made your heart go vroooom?

Oh and as for the title of this blog: "She was made for the straight aways/ Grew up hating Chevrolets/ She's a rocket; she was made to burn."

 

70 comments:

  1. Cars . . . I don’t like to drive but I did learn to drive a standard transmission when John and I were first married.
    Then Miss Phoebe came into my life; she was a green Saturn with a moon roof and I dearly loved her. After many years I reluctantly agreed to a trade-in [for another Miss Phoebe, a Saturn Ion]. And now Miss Phoebe is a Saturn Astra . . . .

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    1. That's brand loyalty, Joan! I've heard Saturns are good cars.

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    2. I never had a bit of trouble with any of the Saturn models . . . I'm sad they discontinued them.

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    3. I had a midnight blue Saturn SL1, standard transmission, and it was an outstanding car. I really loved it. The Saturn VUE that replaced it? Not so much. It had a 250 hp engine that earned it the nickname Rocket Sled, but the foot pedals were somehow not aligned with my body if I sat up straight in the seat. I learned to drive it leaning to the right, and traded it as soon as I could afford to.

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    4. Oh, dear . . . I don't believe I ever rode in a VUE, Gigi, nor did I ever consider getting one . . . I'm a small car person who never drove any of John's trucks or his Aerostar . . . just too big for me.

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  2. My first car was a 1950 something MGA, rag top, red, black leather, and "ising=glass curtains you could pull right down, in case there's a change in the weather" Stick, of course, with several speeds, all slow. And it was so adorable I considered sleeping in it.

    Sigh, those were the days.

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    1. So "groovy," Ann! I am jealous.
      Love the Oklahoma reference.

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    2. Groovy for sure, Ann! And youngest nephew was Curly in his senior year musical--I have a tape somewhere of him singing that song. He rocked the part, natch :-)

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    3. Very cool car, Ann! MGAs always look like they belong in a 60s spy movie to me.

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    4. What do you think I was doing in the 60s!

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  3. Datsun B210 hatchback with a stick. Neon yellow with black racing stripes. We moved her from California to Jersey to Cleveland, where she finally rusted out.

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    1. Those Cleveland winters were just too much for a Golden State vehicle, hm?

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  4. My very first "my" car was a 1962 Corvair Monza three speed convertible with a roll bar. Yes, unsafe at any speed, but then, so was I! The car of my heart, there were two - a 2000 Chevy Tahoe that had room enough for everything and everyone and a 2006 Subaru Forester nicknamed The Green Bean. We sold that car when we left Maine in 2011 and I miss it to this day. Talk about old faithful!

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    1. Honestly, Kait, the Subaru should be declared the state car of Maine. They're the most popular make here by a long shot.

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    2. Sorry, Julia, that honor is taken by Vermont.

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    3. LOL! OK,The state car of New England. They are perfect for snow climates, and they have huge personality :)

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  5. The first car I bought myself was a sixty-six VW bug bought in 1974. I loved that car. I was working at a gas station by then and did all the work on it myself. It was my kind of stylin'!

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    1. I meant to add, Julia, that I had a '70 Volvo sedan that I bought in 1980, which also featured holes in the floorboards in the back seat but had an infinite-sized trunk and a huge steering wheel. I gave it up in'85 when I was pregnant with my first child. Not advisable to haul a baby around with holes to the pavement!

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    2. Edith, that's when I gave up my Saab, as well. And, with MUCH regret, Ross's RX-7, which of course only had two seats. We replaced them with a Bronco (for him) and a Volvo station wagon for me - much more family-friendly!

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  6. The first car I bought with money from my first teaching job was a 1971 tan MGB convertible. I loved that car. (sigh) It was demolished in an accident in dead stopped traffic when a Cadillac, driven by a diabetic who'd missed lunch, drove into the rear end at about 40 MPH. My neck is still sore.

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    1. Ouch, Judy! That's adding insult to injury!

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  7. I don't have a first-car love like so many of you, but I am very fond of my current Subaru Forester. I hope my next car will be electric!

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    1. Subaru Foresters are great cars, and very popular here in Maine.

      I'm intrigued by electric cars, and would love to save the gas, but living out in the country (in a state with high electrical prices) I'm going to need to see the infrastructure build out a lot more before I consider getting one.

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  8. Hank, I think my oldest daughter had that same Vega. Which she bought used from my brother-in-law, who had also bought it used. Everyone kept passing it on as quickly as they could find a new patsy.

    My first new car was a 1976 Honda Civic CVCC, the first generation past motorcycle engines in their cars. It was adorable, tomato red with black and white houndstooth check interior, five-speed transmission that my boyfriend had to teach me to drive, and it got 52 mpg. I put a rainbow sticker in the back window, baby.

    And I've driven Hondas ever since, until last Thanksgiving. My youngest daughter was moving to Africa for three years and she pestered me until I bought her 2015 BMW 335i Gran Torino. Vroom, vroom! I still don't know what half the doodads on the dash and console do. But it sure does scoot up the steep hill on the way to our house, you betcha.

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    1. Karen, I think all women who have driven sensible cars like Hondas or child-toting minivans deserve a hot sports car once the kids have left the nest. Or country, in your case!

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    2. Julia, the funny thing is I used to say that my ultimate fantasy car was a two-seater BMW roadster convertible, which is completely impractical, and would be wasted on me because I hate riding with the top down. So this is actually kind of perfect.

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    3. I just stared laughing. A new patsy. SO true!

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  9. My first car was a "58 T-bird that I bought from my friend's brother for $300. Not sure what color it had been originally but it had been painted orange! It dies after one month and the local Ford dealer told me they couldn't fix it; they didn't know why it didn't work.

    But my favorite car was a red minivan I bought new in 2001. How I loved that car; it was so versatile. But when I built the house where I lived now it wouldn't go up the driveway if it was snowy/icy. I now drive a red Subaru Forester which I have said is the last car I intend to buy. My son asked if I plan to steal the next one!

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    1. Jokes on him, Judi - those things last a LONG time!

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    2. Judi, I said my Forester was going to be my forever car but 2 (maybe 3, it might be why it was on the used car lot) very expensive main computer system replacements later cured me of that. To add insult to injury, the second time happened on Martha's Vineyard while on vacation last Labor Day weekend. Had to have the car towed off the island on the ferry to a dealership. WE had to rent a car to get off the island to get home for work on Tuesday. Expensive vacation. Then, Triple AAA fired me! I have a Toyota now.

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  10. My first car, a blue Chevy Vega, was picked out by my dad. The engine block was aluminum and melted. The first car I bought all by myself was a pale yellow VW beetle convertible, automatic, no less, with a pretend heater. I passed it on to my brother when I went away to college and it caught on fire one day when he was driving it and sadly, the car was no more. Brother was fine. The car of my heart was a 1990-something Subaru Outback. Dearly loved, followed by a Toyota Scion Xb, which I also loved--the insurance totaled it after it was in a wreck and my bodyshop guy cried because he really wanted to fix it.

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    1. Flora, some of these stories about peoples first cars in the late 60s/early 70s make me exceedingly grateful for NHTSA safety regulations in the intervening decades!

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  11. My first car was a Chevy that had belonged to my aunt and when she died, I was given it. It took me through a year of grad school, three years of teaching, and I only got rid of it because I got married and we didn't need it, so I gave it to my brother. He had it for about 4 years, but didn't drive it much after the first year or so, when he got another (much sportier) car. However, when his "hot" car wouldn't start, the Chevy always would - even after sitting for months without being driven! It had no radio, no air conditioning and was a stick on the column, but always reliable. Having said that, we had about 6 Saabs, and would still be driving them if they hadn't sold the company!

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    1. Dang, Kitty, you should tell that story to General Motors. It sounds like it would make a great ad for Chevys!

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  12. The first car that I got exclusive use of was a 1950 Willy's Jeepster. It had been a family friend's dad's car and my parents bought it. Snap-in windows! ("With Isinglass curtains you can roll right down...") A tiny (I'm being generous when I say it was a 12" cube) heater near the floor in the front passenger foot well. Standard, not automatic by a long shot. To downshift you had to double-clutch to not leave gears on the ground.
    Not the most practical of cars in many ways (I lived in northern NJ at the time and a lack of heat was significant!), but I had mobility!
    All our cars were standard shift. Before I could drive them when I got my driver's permit I had to draw a diagram of each cars sifts pattern.
    There are younger people reading this and thinking, "What on earth is she talking about?"

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    1. Interesting. I wrote my comments and then read the others. Well done, Ann.

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    2. Libby, none of my kids drive stick (I learned on it, as well, and my dad made me memorize the various RPMs you had to shift at) and it's a shame, because 1) it's more fun and 2) if you're buying used, you can get a MUCH better deal on a standard, because, well, not as many folks can deal with it.

      My "foster daughter" who just got a used BMW, with stick, asked what she could do to repay the loan of my car for many months. I said she could teach Youngest how to drive standard. It's a useful life skill!

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    3. All of my Hondas except the last one were manual shift, and I miss that. The BMW has a hybrid shift thing, with paddles on the steering wheel, but they mystify me (there's no clutch, I think), so I have stuck with the automatic mode.

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    4. Tiptronic hybrid transmissions do not have clutches. Use the paddles like shifting a manual transmission based on engine rpm.

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    5. I miss manual transmissions, too. I learned to drive a stick on that 240Z! But they are terrible in a city with rush hour traffic...

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    6. Driving with a stick really feels like driving, you know?

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    7. I love a stick and would own one still if a Prius had that option. I taught both my sons to drive a manual on my 2000 Volvo wagon.

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  13. First car was a used bright green ‘69 Chevy Malibu. Gas gauge didn’t work, speedometer didn’t work, but I loved it. Favorite car was a Maui blue ‘67 Camaro with white hood stripes. My current MINI Cooper reminds me of it with the old-fashioned dashboard and pep.

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    1. Oh, Lisa, you've had some rockin' cars. A MINI Cooper is one of my dream rides - I just think they're so damn cute!

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  14. My first car was a Toyota hand me down. I tend to drive cars into the ground so I think drove it for 8 more years before it HAD to replaced. The first car I purchased was a Geo Metro. Brand new, off the lot, no bells, no whistles, no radio. It did have a heater. I finally replaced it after ten years. My current car is a Ford C-Max hybrid. I still get surprised when the engine switches over, thinking it has died.

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    1. Deana, the first time I drove a rental hybrid I thought I had killed the engine somehow!

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  15. As someone who got their license in the very late going, I've never really been all that into cars at any point. I mean, sure who wouldn't have wanted to drive Magnum's red Ferrari or go for a ride in the Batmobile but sticking to reality, I just don't have an attachment to cars like the stereotype of my gender is expected to.

    When I had to buy my first on my own car a couple years ago, I found what I was looking for pretty quickly. I had to find a car that had a real radio (not those blasted satellite packages) and a CD player. Once I input those needs in the search database, the first car that was affordable was the one I got.

    Of course, it is red so when I'm going down the highway and driving a "little" over the speed limit, I do imagine that I'm hearing the Magnum, PI. theme song. I own a Hawaiian T-shirt too. No Detroit Tigers hat for this Red Sox fan though.

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    1. Jay, it sounds like you need to burn a private eye soundtrack on a CD and play it when you're cruising down the highway.

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  16. I needed a car when I moved home and needed to commute to college. Dad got a deal on a Chevy Impala that had been parked by a lumberyard when a hurricane came through. The driver's side and roof was nothing but dents. I hated that car! Its size made it a real pain to park on the streets around the campus. No student parking. My whines finally worked and he got a used 1967 Mustang, diamond ice green with a black vinyl roof. Black vinyl seats that heated up like an oven in the summer. Totally inadequate A/C. I adored that car! After I got married I was idiotic enough to think my husband was knowledgeable about cars and agreed to sell it and buy his mother's used Dodge Dart. Hated it. She didn't tell us the brakes would lock and do a 180 if you braked hard on a wet road. My f-i-l was horrified at how hard the brakes were on the Mustang. He was convinced the car was accident bait.
    Anyway, over the years we went through a lot of trade-ins and I finally reached the point of enlightenment. Just because you're male does not mean you know anything about anything. I drive a 2003 Jeep Liberty, bought new, and am as happy as can be with it. Yes, it rides loud on highways. Its seats can cripple you within hours, but so could that old Mustang's. It is just the right size for zipping and maneuvering in traffic. I can do u-turns on city streets with ease and make my sister envious (she drives a full size Ford pickup). Granted you can't haul a lot in it but I didn't get it for hauling. It sits up high enough so I can see traffic on cross streets. It has a minimum of electronics, no back up camera, no built in GPS, no magic being that talks to you. I hope it lasts as long as I do. Oh! Very important. It is a manual 5-speed with 4WD when needed. I don't see any punk car thieves taking off with it. At least not very far.

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    1. Pat, another advantage of driving standard! I agree with you about the men knowing cars stereotype. My late husband, God bless him, was particularly terrible at car upkeep. We once through an engine rod because he had not replaced the oil for over a year!

      Now I'm in charge of my own car, and I faithfully get everything done right on schedule, with the result that I am still happily driving my largely trouble-free 2007 Honda Accord.

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  17. I learned to drive on a 1974 Pontiac LeMans. It was my dad's car, but I drove it a lot and loved it. He did not. They traded it for a Datsun 310 hatchback stick shift, which was when I learned to drive a manual. That poor car. My first car that was MINE was my 1990 Chevy 3/4 ton Silverado pickup that we bought new. It had all the bells and whistles of the day. We finally sold it to my nephew about a year ago and he recently sold it again. I haven't seen its new owners driving it yet, but I bet I'll cry when I do.

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    1. Annette, my son had a Silverado pickup as his first vehicle, and I have to say, I loved driving that thing around when I got the chance. There is really something about being above most of the traffic around you...

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  18. Jealous of the Thunderbird, Julia. Always wanted an aqua ragtop Thunderbird. A guy in my neighborhood has one and I take pictures of his car every time I see it. *sigh*

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    1. The Thunderbird was mine, Jenn, MINE, I tell you! I have to admit I was so tempted by those retro pastel t-birds Ford was making a few years ago. Just looking at them made me want to roll down the windows and turn up the radio.

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    2. I was with you the night we heard Marc Cohn sing that song live, at the Granada Theater. Swoon!

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  19. Julia, what year is your Accord? I swear they are the cars that will not die. Mine is 2008 and it is just the best.

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    1. 2007, and it's going great despite being well over 200,000 miles at this point (knock on wood.) They're not particularly sexy cars, but I do have heated leather seats, which feels pretty sexy in the Maine winter, and a sunroof, which is nice in our short summer. I would very happily buy another when this one dies.

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  20. Oh my, my first car bought from my sister who had never driven it because she found out she was moving to NYC, was a 65 Mustang which had been "customized" as the seller said. It had a whole array of taillights across the back . Of course only the ones which were supposed to word did. Anyway I bought it from my sister. It was 5 years old and I drove it to and back to the school where I taught. I left after 3 years to go to get my Masters degree in Houston at Rice. So I put air conditioning in it. Don't ask. Yes I should have had it in Atlanta but was a teacher and poor.. So I drove that car to Houston, pulling a U Haul it. It was an adventure. Lordy. Anyway that car went with me for 15 years until its 20th year, I had bough it second hand. Finally my new husband and I were moving into our forever home and we bough me a Volvo(which turned out to be a lemon of the first water). A policeman turned up at our front door asking about the cars in the back yard.( Old neighborhood with alleys behind the houses). Were they for sale? Hallelujah Yes! So we cleaned out the ants who had made a home in the carpets and drove tham around the interstate to rev them up and sold my car and my husbands's. Mine was 20 and I miss it. He wanted it for his daughter. My husband's 240 Z car was only 15 and the policeman wanted it for the parts. We have never been so young, but we do keep[ cars forever.

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    1. That police officer knew some things about cars with collector value. I hope he paid you well.

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  21. Sorry I'm so late to the party today--and on a day when you're talking cars, too! I love cars. My first was a metal-flake gold Pinto that was a certified POS. It had an automatic transmission and an air conditioner, but the engine was so underpowered it couldn't climb hills with the AC on, and the engine heat all vented directly onto my feet, summer or winter. Everything I know about how cars break down, I learned from that Pinto.

    I swore that I would be allergic to Fords forever, from the day we traded that POS in for a new 1978 Dodge Omni. And I was. Until 2007, when I got a Mustang six-cylinder as a rental car. Underpowered, but way more comfortable than the Saturn VUE I owned at the time. In 2009, when the economy was in the crapper and car dealers were begging people to buy, I took Debs with me to her local Ford dealer, where she said the words that sealed my fate: "Oh, go ahead. Try the GT. What could it hurt?" I've been driving a Mustang GT ever since. I dread the day I have to trade this one in and go back to driving something sensible.

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  22. Well, apparently blogger ate my comments.
    My first car given to me as a high school graduation present was a Datsun B-210, yellow with black leather interior, it was brand new. I purchased a two seater Mazda RX-7 after college graduation, it was black with red pin striping, and a red leather interior. I was married a bit before I purchased this car. We drove both these cars until there was nothing left, over 200,000 miles on both of them. Seven years after we were married , we were blessed with a set of twins, while I was in law school. I bought a red Camaro, a Z-28 and put two car seats in the back. In theory the car could seat five, this was our family car. Several years later, when the RX-7 was ailing I bought a Mustang GT eight cylinder, convertible, black exterior and black leather. The Mustang needed a new engine at 45,000 miles, never will buy a Ford again. Anyway we kept those cars until the twins were in high school, my son received the Camaro and my daughter the Mustang. I bought myself a red Porsche convertible, which is the car I still drive. We also have a Corvette, my husband wanted one since high school and a Toyota Tundra large cab truck. The truck has 170,000 miles on it and is still going strong. It made a lot of trips back and forth from the Bay Area to UCLA, where my daughter went to college.

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  23. Great post. I am still chuckling at how Hank got the car dealer to pay taxes. LOL. I am laughing because Hank's Dad said "I said TAGS, not taxes".

    Debs, I am curious as to if you had a car when you lived in Scotland?

    Rhys, I remember Oxford Street from my trips to England. I think the Wallace Collection or Gainsborough Museum is on Oxford Street?

    Julia, I had a long journey to getting my driver's license too. I finally got my driver's license about 15 years ago. The first car I drove after getting my license was the family car. It was a 1988 Volvo, which we bought as a Used car. It ran very well for 15 years before it died.

    Diana

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  24. In Alberta, where I grew up, you can get your learner's permit at 14 and your full license at 16. My first car was a hand-me-down from my dad, a 64 Comet, dark green with silver trim. I loved that car, but it also had a hole in the floor covered by mats. My second car was also a hand-me-down from my uncle, a 76 Valiant, very reliable until the year I spent travelling and my brother used it. It was never the same. I bought my first new car of my life 18 months ago, a Volvo wagon in a denim blue colour, and love it. It feels so different when it is YOURS, and only yours. (But I let my husband drive it too)

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  25. Oh Hank, what a negotiator! I loved my first Prius, which I'd been visiting at the dealer and grabbed up when they changed display models. The salesman was so laid-back that I sold it to myself, should have gotten his commission in the deal. When the big battery died last winter, a friend sold me their new(er) bigger Prius; I'm still adjusting, and haven't gone far in this year of isolation, but it has been trustworthy. I let the nearby Subaru guys take care of it, as they don't have balloons.
    When I want to tell sad stories, I tell of my Ford Pinto misadventures . . . but that's for another day. ;-)

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  26. My dad bought me my first car. It was a brand new 1967 red Volkswagen Beetle! I was spending my junior year at the University of Strasbourg in France, and I needed a car, because the house where I lived was out in the country. Rudolph (of course, I named my car) took my friends and me to class, to the south of France for Fall Break, to Italy for Spring Break, and to Le Havre where I put him on a ship to ride home. When I got married in 1970, I let my husband drive Rudolph, but unfortunately my husband totaled him in a wreck a couple of years later.

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  28. My favorite- and only brand new car I owned- was my 2004 New York Yankee blue RAV4. I just love sitting up a little higher.

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