My First Car…What was yours?

Tomorrow Dave will be hosting a post of mine on his site A Sound Day…and I will be hosting a post by him… right here…end of commercial!

I wanted to shake things up a little today…This post is about my first car… what was your first car?

It’s funny how you don’t know what you have when you have it. I was 16 in 1983 and my mom surprised me with my first car. It was used…it cost her 1000 dollars. I thought it was cool and everything, but I didn’t know cars. The car was a year older than I was at the time. It was purplish…I currently cannot find a picture of it. Inside was off-white cloth seats with blue carpet…not factory I assure you.

I drove the wheels off of that car. The engine was decent, and it didn’t burn much oil at all for an old car.

Was it a perfect car for a 16-year-old boy? NO, it was not the perfect first car for a kid.

My mom had bought me a 1966 Mustang. I still cannot believe I had this car. No sixteen-year-old should have a classic Mustang…but then again…in 1983 they were not classic yet.

It looked something like this except with a bad homemade matte finish, no cool wheels, way more beat up, and it looked much older even then. In other words, the model was the same, but the similarities ended there. 

1966 Ford Mustang for Sale | | CC-1108659

Those cars do not have much room, but my friends and I made it work. Our band would have gigs or practice and the four of us would pile into the car…with our amps and drum kit. The passenger back window would not roll all the way up and in winter our drummer would be in the back seat on that side…he said his teeth would hurt because he was so cold when we arrived at our destination with the bass drum in his lap.

The first time it snowed, I got out in the car. I didn’t know what I was doing at all. No one ever taught me how to drive in snow. In middle Tennessee, we don’t get much snow now… but in the 70s and 80s, we did. We got off of school early that day because of the snow so a couple of friends of mine (Kenny and Paul) jumped in the car and we went out exploring the winter wonderland. Kenny was in the backseat with my Epiphone guitar that stayed with me. Paul was riding shotgun and we were happy getting out of school early.

I drove us around most of the day and it was at least 5 inches of very wet snow on the roads. I thought well, this is no problem. That is until we started down a certain snow-covered hill. I did the one thing you don’t do on snow…locked up the breaks. Everything was in slow motion when that happened. I suddenly said…” we are going to wreck guys”. I heard a laugh and sure enough, off we went into a creek.

We hit the creek bed with a crunching thud… everybody was tossed around. What was the first thing your humble writer asked? Did I ask how everyone was? No, the first thing I asked was “Hey, Kenny… is my guitar ok?”…Ya, I was a sensitive 16-year-old. They never let me forget that to this day. By the way, the guitar was ok and Paul and Kenny still walk the earth today so no one was seriously hurt.

We had no money on us, we walked through the snow for a couple of miles…me carrying my guitar to a friend’s house and I borrowed $25 for a tow truck.

I was extremely lucky with the Mustang. The only damage was the passenger side fender. It took me months to find a fender for that car. I finally had to order it from a junkyard, and it cost me 75 dollars in 1984.

In 1985 the Mustang broke down and I got another car instead of getting it repaired but not after racking up a lot of mileage and fun… You only get one first car…and mine was something to remember. Now when I see an old Mustang, I think of how I wish I would have appreciated mine more.



Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

58 thoughts on “My First Car…What was yours?”

  1. You had a true classic. I’m green with envy. Even then, the 66 Mustang was in demand. Not like today’s collector value, but definitely sought after. My first car was a ‘classic’ of a different kind. I had the rear-end-exploding 1972 Ford Pinto, white with a blue racing stripe, and a big dent over the rear wheel, that made a scraping sound every time I hit a big bump. It got me to work, home and college when I needed it. In a college resid hall parking lot with mostly Pintos, mine was the ugliest by far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Ford Pinto! My sister and brother in law had one of those…. I drove it a little…there is a movie called The Spirit of 76 that has a joke about that car.
      I didn’t know what I had when I had it. It was a fun car though…I appreciate it more now than I did then. It was more than just a car though…it was magical to me at the time…it was a kind of freedom. What I wouldn’t do to have it back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pintos were everywhere back then. I can’t believe they weren’t recalled. Today I’m guessing they would be. I should not have been driving that 10-year old car.

        I meant to say, that was quite a crash you had. I laughed at you asking first if your guitar was okay. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think they said it was cheaper to pay the damages than to recall which is just awful.

        I think Ralph Nader was all over it at the time…I just spent 20 minutes searching for his name lol.

        Oh yea I am going to send this link to Kenny and Paul…the guys with me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember driving home from Greenwich Village in a snowstorm with 8 guys in my station wagon and we all purchased at least a quarter pound of weed, when my car slid off the road. We didn’t have to walk that far, and I got it towed the next day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. that’s a nice first car dude! Well, except the window that wouldn’t close. Seems like my brother might have had a Mustang briefly as his first car too in the late-70s. For me, it was a ’73 Astre which was already quite old and had over 50 000 miles on it…which apparently was a lot for that type of car. They were the first with aluminum block engines (an Astre, by the way, was the same as a Chevy Vega but under the Pontiac logo) and they hadn’t worked out how to make those efficient or durable yet. But it was a cool-looking car, I put on sport wheels (ones which looked like mags but wreen’t ,but I painted them high-gloss silver) and put on that holographic pinstriping to fancy up the rather bland beige color. It was a good first car, because it was small and didn’t go fast… back then I sure didn’t need something with a V8 to play with.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not a bad first car. Mine was passed down from my dad. It was a 1981 Honda Accord 2 door Hatchback. I loved it until it was totaled in 1992 two weeks after I bought a new car…thank goodness I wasn’t in the new car at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I learned to drive somewhat in a Honda Accord…a little yellow one my sister had. Took me forever to learn the standard shift.
      Oh geez…glad it was the old one also.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My first car was a 1964 Ford Anglia – yellow. I got it on my 15th birthday in 1965 – which was then the legal age for getting a licence. Mum paid for me to have a lesson but being off a farm I’d driven all my life. The driving instructor said “Drive over the Paekakariki Hill” – which was all cliffs and ravines with nothing between the dirt road and the precipice. I did it (wouldn’t do it these days!) When I went for my licence coming out the gate of the car park I hit a dog that ran out from no where. I stopped. The cop taking the licence said “You’re fine” and gave me a licence! The driving test only too about 2 minutes! Your first car looks a lot sexier than mine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just looked up a 1964 yellow Ford Anglia…I had a matchbox car just like that! That wasn’t a good sign hitting a dog! What bad luck you had…hitting a dog!

      Remember my car didn’t look as good as that one…same model but way more beat up.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I used my mum’s cool wee Fiat at the start. It was a sporty wee thing… racing steering wheel and alloy wheels. Not really her style t all – pretty flash. (Do Mum’s have mid-life crisis too? 😉 ) And I’d be allowed my dad’s huge Ford Granada (automatic) as well.
    My first car was bought from a local garage that was later closed down by the authorities! And the car bought was typical of the crap they sold. A Ford Cortina Mk 111, it looke d the business until it travelled more than 10 miles – too far to walk back; too expensive to get a taxi!
    I got it exchanged for a Lada (yes – a 1980s LADA, which also kept breaking down as I travelled the 35 miles to work each morning.

    Eventually, I got a bright yellow Ford Fiesta Sport 1300 (complete with ”go fast’ racing stripe.) It was a brilliant wee car. Cool and nippy with great acceleration. I ran that until the engine blew up at a bust junction in the morning rush hour of Hazel Grove, Stockport, England ….. and so …

    (There’s another thirty years worth of sorry sad tales to tell, so I’ll just leave it there! 😉 :-D)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Funny you mentioned the Ford Cortina… Life On Mars’s Gene Hunt drove a Ford Cortina 2000E….I loved that car….but it does have to drive more than 10 miles!

      I just looked up the Ford Fiesta Sport 1300…cool looking car!

      Oh yea…there are some stories through the years…the reason I did this post is because a friend of mine and I were going through all of our old cars. All together I’ve had 14…my favorites being an 84 Mazda RX7, 2008 Mini Cooper, and I still have a 2000 Jeep Wrangler


  7. I Can’t Drive 55! lol….Great read Max…here’s a shameless plug as I’m live tonight at 7pm with Tim Durling who wrote the fantastic book “Unspooled” which is all on his quest for collecting 8 tracks only on Scotch On The Rocks Youtube page!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m ahead of you dude… I may have to catch the recorded version at 7:30 tonight (tonight it’s when I’m getting home) my time but I WILL watch it probably already recorded tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My aunt had one of the original Mustangs. Iacocca’s idea was to market it to women. (Mazda had the same idea, to make the Miata to appeal to women, and men bought most of them.) She gave it to my cousin, who was a car guy, and he kept it running for a while.

    I didn’t drive until I was 28, and my first car was a Chevy Cavalier, which started out being a great car until I got in a couple of accidents and burned out the transmission…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea you lived where didn’t have to drive everywhere. I can’t imagine that. I have never lived that near a town…I’ve always been at least 10 miles out with no public transportation.

      Oh I love Miatas!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yeah, you had a great one! Even in ’83 a ’66 Mustang was way cool…I know yours was a little beat up but still…way cooler than my first car. I got mine in 82 and it was a 77 Olds Cutlass. Immaculate shape. A really good car–pale yellow with a white top and white interior. It was fast too. Had a 350 engine with a after market 4-barrel carburetor…(yeah I’m a car woman. Ha!) Still, it wasn’t what I had in mind. I wanted a Camaro or a Mustang. Ha!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dad had a Cutlass Supreme that he had a lot setup install an under the dash Air Conditioner in…I loved that car! His was bright yellow…
      I wanted an Opel GT and my dad looked at one but it was rusted out too bad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would have loved a Honda Accord…yes….that first car is magical.
        A classic Mustang was a dumb car for a 16 year old…but at that time…it wasn’t considered like it is now.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A ’66 Mustang sounds like a pretty cool car to me, Max, even if it was a bit beaten up. I know next to nothing about cars but think some of these old Mustangs look great. I’d love to try out a ’68 Fastback, the “Steve McQueen model” – of course, I’d behave and wouldn’t get into a race with a Charger! 🙂

    My first car was a yellow 1978 Volkswagen Golf (Rabbit), similar to this one:

    It had a whopping 1.2 liter, 50 horsepower engine, so it wasn’t exactly a GTI. The car looked great when I got it in 1986, but it pretty much turned out to be a complete disaster. Underneath the fresh coat of paint, the car had severe corrosion. While it drove okay, it was pretty slow and would only go up to 70/75 mph. Subsequently, I learned this was due to some deposits in the cylinders.

    A friend of mine knew a car mechanic who did some kind of a cleaning. As a result, the car became a bit faster and would go up to around 90 mph. It would take forever to reach that speed!

    Despite all of its flaws I loved my Rabbit. Unfortunately, or perhaps it was a good thing, I could only drive it for about two years. Then it would have needed to pass inspection, which was impossible. I sold it for like $200 to a Turkish man who likely brought it to Turkey where they didn’t have inspections or inspections that weren’t comparable to the strict German inspections.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember thos Rabbits! A few guys in high school had them. That first car is magical no matter what it is. I sure wish I would have kept mine!

      Oh I love the McQueen car! I looked that up not long ago…someone owns it now.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It got you from A to B that is all that matters….I’m on my 14th car…it’s funny though…I don’t demolish them or anything… I just drive a lot. I have a 72 round trip drive every day to work. I never wanted to live in or near a big city.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes…it’s becoming the norm over here for IT to work from home…and I will be doing that if I have to find somewhere else. I won’t go through cars like socks after that.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I read this last night but was too tired to comment. I’m glad you and your buddies (and the guitar) survived the accident. Young people and driving often don’t mix well (I can personally attest to that also.) My first car was a 68 Chevy Impala and it looked just like this: Why my dad bought me a car like this with a huge engine in it is a mystery, as most of the time I was challenging people at stoplights and hunting up gas money. It was fun while it lasted. I never got into an accident with this car, but I abandoned it after my dad caught me smoking on the front porch (a bad influence persuaded me that smoking was cool) and took the keys back. I got p*ssed, and when a friend needed a ride to SC and was willing to pay for gas, I called my bestie at the time and us 3 took a road trip — in my DAD’S car! He never called the cops on me, thankfully. Also thankfully I made it back home alive (LONG STORY.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now YOU had a cool first car…that is more of a muscle car…I love those things. Yea my little Mustang didn’t have a huge engine in it…so that was probably a good thing.

      Ah…some rebellion there…hey we all had it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All I can think now are two things: 1) What was my dad thinking by buying me a car like that? 2) I have angels watching over me. How do I know? I’m still alive.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Well I glad you are! Yea…is it just me or did parents back then take more chances with their kids? I don’t know if they just trusted us more or…if they wanted to please so bad. Or they were living through us.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t remember how many, but many, and it never usually went far, but I’d say I was ahead most of the time. It was more about revving it up and looking over and then the squealing out at the green.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. 1977 Honda Civic…four speed (the gear shift rattled)…metallic gold. It had a choke where the spring was broken so, I had to use a piece of cork to hold it out so it would warm up. I put my first vanity plate on it…GOLDUST. Yes…”Rock on, Gold Dust Woman…” I’ve always had a thing for vanity plates.

    My Mom found this thing for me (somewhere) as I started college. She’d always picked me up from school or I caught a ride home with a classmate. I never had a car in high school but, she surely couldn’t drive me to college every day. What little driving I got to do was in her 1977 Dark Green Chrysler LeBaron and she was always a nervous wreck when I did.

    I drove the wee-wee out of that car. A guy ahead of me in high school, that I had a crush on, put a badass radio/cassette player and box speakers in it for me (in the back, where the hatch door was). I remember him, upside down, feet in the air, in my front seat, wiring the radio in the dash. He was 6′ 3″ and he looked like a giant, red-headed spider in my car. He was preparing to go into the Air Force and told me that he wanted to take my car with him to boot camp so he could play with it in the barracks (smart ass).

    I covered my slide thru an intersection here:

    When my Mom purchased it…I made the payments. I was warned not to ruin HER credit. LOL! And, I couldn’t even drive it! I had to get my buddy, Sheree, to teach me how to drive my own car! I’ve loved stick shifts ever since.

    One evening, while I was with some buddies at our local Putt-Putt, I came out to find my car had been picked up and moved from it’s parking space. The guy that put in the radio had been at the restaurant next door with some of his buddies and they put my Civic on the curb at Putt-Putt, facing its empty parking space. Luckily, the curb wasn’t that high and he got a huge laugh on the phone with me (such a smart ass).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what? I told someone that the car I first tried to learn a shift was a Honda Accord…but it wasn’t…It was a yellow Honda Civic…it was a blunt short car.
      Oh I would have laughed also! That is classic.


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