Friday, April 12, 2013

My First Car

(photo courtesy of

"Fifty years from now, when you're looking back at your life,
don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?"
- Sam Witwicky, Transformers

   Sadly in my case, the answer was mostly "no". I was inspired to write the tale of my first car after reading a great post by Pete at Father Knows Little. His tale reminded me of my first car, and don't we all have a first car story? I remember as a freshman and sophomore seeing the older kids getting their first rides. Most were humble beginnings, with the occasional shiny and new. You were jealous at the time, but later knew those were the spoiled kids who never learned a lesson in their lives. Yes, as my 7 and 3 year olds begin asking if they can drive across the parking lot again (my father's trick handed down to another generation), I look to a day when I set them up with their first transportation statement. Let me tell you about mine.
   Due to California cutbacks in 1992 or so, driver's ed was removed from school the year I was to take it. So my single mother paid for driving school out of her own pocket (it was reinstated the year after,....thanks CA). So I got my license the week before school started back up, dashing my dreams of a summer full of dating. With my older brother off to college, I was set to inherit his blue 1980's Mustang. I rode in it for a year as a freshman, not thinking of it as ever being mine. I had dreams of a Camaro, a jeep or truck, etc. Hell, anything but that blue POS. That also was not meant to be.
   I learned how to drive a stick on that thing. My father would point out the gears grinding, the invisible people I'd just hit, and other confidence building techniques. It was a hunk 'o junk in the classic sense of the term. I tried to wax and buff, but the oxidation just made the blue paint ruin my fathers buffer pads. I tried putting in some bigger speakers along the back dash, but the sun baked durafoam it was made of gave way on the first bump and both speakers broke through and fell into my trunk. The wheels were so dirty that when my mother detailed it while I was gone for a week, she discovered white walls and was super proud to show me when I got home. The engine stalled at EVERY stop, so I had to tickle the gas peddle at every stop sign and red light. My friends called it Gonzo, and The Blue Jock Strap.
   On the plus side, the seat belts worked and the e-brake made sliding in the rain a fun pastime. There were few dates in that thing, fewer rides home given, and we finally unloaded it to the next kid in need of embarrassment.
   Yes, those were good times. It's been fun sputtering down memory lane. I'll try not to stall out.

(edit: I found a pic of Gonzo)



  1. Jason,

    Owning your first car is an experience that seems to leave a lasting impression on a man. My first vehicle was Ford F-150 truck. I think about it often with very fond memories. I especially liked the fact i could watch the gas gauge go down as I was reeving the engine....sigh....memories....

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

    1. I know, right? My first truck was a Ford Ranger. My second, and favorite truck was a f150 long bed extended cab. It had a camper shell and carpet kit with speakers for our trips with the dog to the drive in. At an average 11 MPG, I was basically driving from one gas station to another. Not a bit deal back when I lived in Utah, and gas was $0.89 a gallon at it's cheapest around 2001 or so. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

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  3. Buying a first car or Having a car is a dream for many people .There are many things that you should have to be consider in your mind before going to buy a first car.

    Lone Mountain Truck Leasing

    1. Yeah, like how much of a verbal beating you will receive from your friends for whatever you're driving. They won't make so much fun when they can't get a ride anywhere!

  4. I wasn't that lucky to have a brand new car for my first car. My car was a Nissan sedan which was passed on to me by my father. Although I'm very thankful to have a car of my own and drive whenever I feel like it, I hate how old the car is. Haha! I regularly have it checked-up so I won't have to push it in the middle of the road. Usually, first cars have the fondest memories of us when we were young and naive. I'm pretty sure it knows a lot of the silly things we did back then. Haha!Enoch Ross

    1. Funny, Enoch. I can still almost feel the engine wanting to die at every red light or stop sign. Vroom! Vroom!...would go my gas pedal to keep it from sputtering to an untimely death in the middle of an intersection. Still, as you said, the best memories, even if it sucked at the time.

  5. It may not be the car you've been dreaming of, but it's still a car, in good condition and it did serve you for quite some time. You had a lot of memories with that car, and I know that you learned to love it in the long run. Anyway, I hope that someday, you'll be able to purchase one of your ideal cars.

    -Prince Moss @ LexusOfAnnarbor