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What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 4:29 PM

My first car was a 1954 Pontiac Star Chief.

It was 18 years old when I bought it, and I was 19.

Pontiac is now Kaput.

I'm sort of sad. The world has long been a difficult place, but damn, seemed like there was some fun to be had.

Along the way I once had a 1968 Bonneville. Grandma got in and said, "Oh you have a real car."

Punched down kicking in the four barrel that thing would take off.

Made the Cadillac I had another time in comparison into a shameful wimp thing.

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#1

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 5:03 PM

My first car was a 1940 Ford V8 coupe. No front finders or hood, and no license plates. This motor had two, four post distributors, one on each side. It had a small piston as a gearshift knob. I think the top speed may have been 60MPH.

But that didn't matter cause I didn't have a drivers license anyway. That didn't keep me from driving, since it was 8 miles to the nearest pavement and plenty of Arkansas country roads in between. (One stretch was 4 miles long, but not straight, without any houses or intersections) There was only one deputy to cover 30-40 square miles. Anyway, I'd been driving on the farm since I was 10.

I think I sold it for almost nothing. The Ford, not the farm.

I hadn't thought about that car for years.

Later, I had a '55 Ford (metallic green custom paint job) that I drove into the creek, but that's another time.

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#2

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 5:10 PM

1966 Chevrolet Chevelle SS, originally outfitted with a 396 cu. in. engine, fitted with a 327 cu. in. engine when I got it at age 14.

4-speed Muncie aluminum transmission which had a misadjusted shifter; first time I drove it, thought it was in second gear. Was in fourth and reaching for 100 mph when I realized at my innocent age of 14 that I might need to slow down a bit.

Promptly ordered by Mother to "get rid of that thing".

Ah ha; traded it for what she called a "sedate" Pontiac. '67 GTO; 389 with three two barrel carbs. Still have what's left of it. Want to restore it one day. The GTO's another story.

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#66
In reply to #2

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 5:34 PM

a friend had an SS396 like yours- original owners wanted engine for a stock car and put in a 327/350 HP to replace it. Best thing that could be done- the 327 was the right size/weight for that car.

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#3

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 6:01 PM

I anticipate a lot of stories like the previous... pretty cool cars. Not so for me!

1972 AMC Gremlin; Orange (yeah, kinda like the fruit); 258 CID 6 cyl, 3 speed manual...

Hey, somebody had to buy 'em!

Not that bad of a car, all in all. I sure gave her a workout, typical high-school kid stuff. I doubt AMC intended it to be a 4WD, but that was how she got used.

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#4

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 6:06 PM

A 1963 Ford Anglia (for $50 USD), with a cracked rod bearing. I was 13 years old at the time. My father helped with building an "A -frame" hoist, and helping me get the block to & from the machine shop - the rest was up to me.

Between me, the machine shop, and JC Whitney, it turned into a good first vehicle.

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#5

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 6:12 PM

1204cc Simca with 2 twin choke Webbers and clonking big ends.

I re-conditioned the engine, it went pretty quick, but being French wallowed like a waterbuffalo on the bends. Previous vehicle was one of these.

I'd put side windows in it, but with the birth of #2 I need something bigger & better.
Del

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#13
In reply to #5

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 12:31 AM

I love Reliant :-) (Though I've never driven it....)

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#65
In reply to #5

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 3:33 PM

1961 Simca for $75. It had no driver's seat, so I used bailing wire to lash a milk carton to the floor. Fortunately it blew the cylinder gasket after a few months, since it was only getting about 20 miles/quart of oil. Probably saved my life. Got a Borgward to replace it.

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#6

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 7:14 PM

I proudly submit my first car to you, the powerful...

Renault R8! This was Renault's light weight (most would call it budget) car. It had three lug nuts per wheel (when it left the factory on any day but Friday. On Friday it may only have two). 1100 cc's of powerful 4-cylinder engine under the hood. By the way, the hood is in the back, not the front.

Best description I have for it is "A lunchbox without a handle."

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#50
In reply to #6

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 5:40 PM

Now that brings back memories! My brother had one of those. Unfortunately he had it parked too close to the gas barrel one day. I was going to pull the old Minneapolis Moline tractor next to the gas barrel, and as I came around the garage I saw his Renault after I had already committed (no brakes on that tractor). It was a quick decision, either hit the gas barrel or the Renault. The left rear tire of the tractor drove all the way over his car and left a dent and broken glass from front to back. Ah the good old days...

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#7

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 7:49 PM

I oddly don't feel so bad now.

I had a 4 door 1984 Mercury Topaz with a single BBL 2.3 l engine and 5 speed transmission and a whopping 95 HP. (or so the book said) I inherited it from my dad with 125000 miles on the car and only 25000 on a new engine.

I learned about emissions systems (and girls clothing) and how to remove them back in my high school and first year college days. That car went from mid to upper 20's fuel mileage when driven conservatively to low to mid thirties driven like a teenage boy!

I tossed the smog pump, advanced the distributer, put in better plugs and wires, blocked the EGR, gutted the converter, richened up the carburetor two jet sizes (14.7 down to 13.1 A/F ratio) gained a noticeable amount of power and fuel economy despite driving it harder, put in a the biggest diesel truck battery and cables I could fit so it could start at -30 F without being plugged in, and proceeded to drive it like a nut to 243000 miles where I then sold it to girl for $1000 who drove it another 40K before I lost track of here!

What I learned about girls in that car can't be printed here so use your imagination. (I did back then!)

I miss that car.

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#8

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 8:39 PM

An Austin 7, about 1927. I was building my own version of the Lotus Mk 1. Sadly, HM Queen insisted that I do my two in the Royal Engineers, just at a time when I had broken down the old body and just started building up the new version, so I had to practically give the carcase away.

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#9

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 9:43 PM

1972 Ford F-100 pickup. Straight 6 and three on the tree. If it had not been stolen I would very likely still be driving it. What a great truck....

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#28
In reply to #9

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:19 AM

I had an '81 same same. loved that truck. Not my first though. Manual everything with a 300-6 to boot. I wonder where it is now. . .

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#10

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 10:45 PM

'69 Volkswagen Baja Bug. Awesome little car. Replaced the exhaust and threw a set of mud tires on the back. Darn thing would go anywhere, on road or off. That was more than a few years ago, I sure do miss it, now.

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#11

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 11:12 PM

1960 Sunbeam Alpine (the Mark Nothing: later ones had Mark I, Mark II, etc badges). Engine that would lose oil pressure randomly, destroying #3 connecting rod (design flaw starved it). Traded toward brand new 1964 Triumph TR4. Both had Lucas electrics - gahhhhhhh!

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#25
In reply to #11

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:17 AM

TR-4s were great sports cars. Owned three or four and never had problems with the electrics. Probably because something else would break before the electrics could fail. :)

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#27
In reply to #25

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:11 AM

I only had two. Sold off the one I bought new with about 160,000 miles on it, to be restored. Also had a TR-3 for a while. Electric turn signals would quit working in heavy rain. Learned not to stick arm out sliding side curtain for hand signal at 60mph in thunderstorm - instant cold shower!

Weakest point on TR-4, IMHO, was exhaust valves. Even bought Stellite-faced ones, which did last longer, but one snapped at base of stem. Destroyed one cylinder. Bought new piston, connecting rod, valve (yes, just one!), and sleeve, and had it on the road again in two days. Still have the piston with end of valve embedded, spreading it and expanding cylinder to failure. That's from nearly 40 years ago - but still a novelty. Wet sleeve engines were a good idea, especially for smaller volumes, where automated tooling to make identical bores might be poor (the Sunbeam took two different sizes of pistons and rings, from the factory! Also came with three rings per piston; if repairing, you added another oil-control ring in the groove near base of skirt.

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#12

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/14/2009 11:38 PM

1957 Ford Fairlane w/312 police interceptor engine.

Rebuild the engine, replaced the leaf springs, installed mag wheels, and did body work.

I was 18, car was 15 years old and I had nothing better to do than work on car.

Sold car a couple years later and it was still on the road for an other 15 years.

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#14

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 12:36 AM

My first car was a Trabant 600 from 1964. 2 cylinders, 2 stroke, 600 cc, 23 HP. Since that the factory disappeared, so did the DDR.

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#15

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 1:28 AM

An Alphasud Ti, a thing of true beauty (before it rusted out).

They were fast and agile with a great 5 speed gearbox and an impudent exhaust note.

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#18
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 4:00 AM

Oh yeah baby, they were pretty cars, there was one where my Dad worked driven by this cute little brunette who always wore miniskirts ,<sigh>
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#16

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 1:36 AM

I was lucky that my father had a junkyard (nowdays, "automotive recycling establishment") so that I was able to buy and trade for/away lots of cars as a kid.

He would sometimes "pay" me for afterschool/summer work in cars.

Let's see..

1967 Chevy Chevelle, '66 Pontiac GTO, '67 Ford Mustang, '71 Pontiac "Judge", '53 Chevy pickup truck, '57 Buick, '55/'56/'57 Chevys, '63/'64 Chevys, '69 Ford ex-police car, Plymouth "Superbird", Plymouth Barracuda, '69/'70 Mustangs, '75 Ford "Granada", '73 GMC "hippie" van, '66 Chevy truck, etc, etc, etc.

Thinking about it, most of them disappeared when I was in school...hhmmm.

Gotta go ask Daddy about that. Suspicious, isn't it.

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#17

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 1:39 AM

The first car I was able to drive as if it was mine was our family station wagon still in the crate (for those who don't know, that means with the fake wood panel siding). It was a 1971 Plymouth Sports Suburban with 130,000 miles on it when I had it turned over to me in 1978. When I took it over, the power brake booster didn't work, starter made a funny noise (and didn't start the car either), passenger and driver windows were off their tracks and the automatic back window didn't go up and down. My father said if I could fix it, I could drive it (later on he added that I had to pay for my own car insurance and tires and gas too). It was a great experience. I had no idea what I was doing, but got everything working. It was a good car for a high schooler...except not cool driving a station wagon. That lead to what I think of as my first car (one I bought myself)....a 1974 Plymouth Duster. Unfortunately it only had the slant 6 225 cu in engine. Actually, that's probably a good thing. Later on in college I had a roommate with a Cuda that he put a 340 cu in engine in.....wow!!!!! What a ride!!!

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#19

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 4:27 AM

As a student I had a mini with the original wishing wand gear lever, cable door openers, starter button on the floor and holes in the chassis which used to let in water, saturate the carpet and soak my flairs. Hey ho.

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#20

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 5:04 AM

Mini for me too, though not as nice as the one pictured.

I progressed to a Mini estate then, once the 4 children had grown a bit, to a Mk2 Cortina estate. After that a couple of 7 seater Peugeot 504 estates then about 20 years of obsession with the Rover SD1 in 2.3, 2.6 & 3.5 V8 guises.

Now I have a sensible Vauxhall Vectra.

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#21

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 5:50 AM

62 Vanguard ute when I was 15. Then a 66 mini when I was old enough to register my own car (17). Followed by a 68 Toyota Crown, the first of many Toyotas in my life. After the Vanguard and the Brick, no more Pommy cars!!!

What would I like? How about a Chev Silverado 2500 with the 6.6litre Duramax, the one I drove in Illinois was awesome. Can't get them new in OZ though.

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#41
In reply to #21

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 11:51 AM

So, Emjay: did you climb into the Silverado through the right side to drive it?

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#79
In reply to #41

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 6:33 PM

Ron,

I'd got used to the Chevy Cobalt hire car by then.

Tuesday morning I was buying some lychees etc at a fruit stall between Townsville and Giru when a lady pulled up in the GMC version, it also had the Duramax. I told her "Now that's what I call a Ute".

When I told her what I could have had the Silverado for we both agreed what we pay here is criminal.

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#83
In reply to #79

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 7:46 PM

Sorry - just couldn't resist a little zing!

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#22

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 6:47 AM

I am curious to know what you apid for your "first car"

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#23
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:05 AM

acsh

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#33
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:50 AM

I think my first car was about £400, the most I've ever paid is £500. My current Vectra I've had for 3 years, everything works & it is smart and comfortable, it cost me £100.

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#24

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:16 AM

1959 Rover 90, right hand drive, $200.00. There's nothing like a 24" steering wheel!

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#26

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:32 AM

My first was a 1950 Ford. I paid $75 for it in 1963. The rocker panels were rusted out and the floor board was rusted through. You could drive down the road, look down at the floor, and see the road go by. It went through an oil change every other tank of gas. I only had it about 6 months and sold it for $75. Then I bought a 1960 Plymouth Valiant with a slant 6 and push button transmission. I had it for about five years until my wife wrecked it. I've had too many to count since then. The only Pontiac I ever owned was a 6000 LE. I wound up giving it to my daughter and the engine went bad and she sold it and got a Toyota.

Del the Cat - you sure have a snese of humor. I have a cousin whose last name is LaChat. We called him Joe the Cat. Probably not related.

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#29

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:31 AM

1964 Greenbriar. Air cooled rear engine. My Dad bought it for me in high-school. NEVER BUY A HIGH-SCHOOL AGED BOY A VAN! it took me YEARS to recover academically.

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#30

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:38 AM

1960 Renault Dauphine

I think I paid $50US for it circa 1965. It was a killer car, literally. A high school buddy had one and his sister lost control of it on a wet highway corner. The axles folded up and she rolled it several times, killing her.

Oh, and advertised performance of 0-60mph in 32 seconds. I don't think I kept that car even a year. It just wasn't cool enough for a high schooler.

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#40
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 11:49 AM

Horrible cars. Overheated if driven in a stiff crosswind, due to bad design (inlets to CENTRALLY-MOUNTED radiator were just ahead of rear wheels). If my 5' 1" mother drove it, I had to crawl in through the right side in order to move the driver's seat back before I could get my legs in. Gear lever rested in center ("Neutral") position regardless of which gear was selected. Cables routinely broke, making it impossible to open the "hood" (trunk lid, actually), which was necessary to reach handle to (cable) release spare tire hidden beneath front trunk. First handle was hidden up under dash! It got traded on a Renault R8, an alleged upgrade. My sister finally rolled the R8 fore-&-aft (an "endo", or, "end-over-end") on a straight & level road short enough that they couldn't have been going over about 25mph (~40 kph). She and her friend had bruised foreheads; the car had dents on every body panel and was scrapped. No one could figure out how it was possible to roll it, but I suspect that it was another axle problem.

I think I'd rather own a Trabant or a Yugo over a Renault . . . Horrible, horrible.

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#80
In reply to #40

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 6:47 PM

I saw a modern car of some sort "endo" on Tuesday just South of Guthalungra. Looked like a fatigue job. No skid marks, appeared to have been travelling North and crossed the Southbound lane down into a culvert and flipped end for end. The Firies were still watching the wreck when I came past. The Coppers and Ambos were probably already gone.

All the doors were popped open, rescue work I'd say.

Fatigue crashes are really high this time of year, all the city types who don't normally drive more than 25km decide to try the 1400k from Brisbane to Townsville in one hit straight after work.

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#31

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:43 AM

1963 Mercury Comet. Very similar to a Ford Falcon but the Comet was more stylish because it had fins.

I learned that the little six cylinder could run fine with one third of the radiator tubes blocked off, but that's a different story.

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#32

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:45 AM

My first car was a 1977 Ford Pinto hatchback that had been wrecked because that was all I could afford. After replacing the front- and rear-ends, and welding new motor mounts in it, it ran like a top for 5 years. I gave it to my brother when I was given a 1966 Ford F100 pickup (had to rebuild the motor, but later she ran like a charm). My brother dumped the Pinto into a lake one night while out "tom-catting" and we wound up having to junk it.

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#34

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:54 AM

The 1974 Dodge Dart

Followed by the 197something Plymouth Arrow GT

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#35

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 9:46 AM

A 1962 Ford Falcon with three on the tree and an AM radio. No power anything except the vaccum driven windshield wipers. It was as reliable as a hammer and would top out at about 78mph depending on the wind. I kept a towell under the front seat to defog the windows. It never gave any trouble at all in 150,00 miles. brakes, tires and,tune up's is all it recieved. It had Penzoil in its viens and a bypass oil system to put in through the top of the valve cover because a Ford mechanic told me to do it.

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#36

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 9:49 AM

1969 Ford Mustang fastback. I bought it in 1984, at 16, for $1200 USD, wrecked it the first week in a 4 car pile up after school. It was bone stock before the wreck, spent another $1200 on paint, metal flake impact blue with multiple clear coats, replaced the interior with crushed velvet, also blue, custom sound system, and wheels and tires, replaced the engine with my brother's hopped up 302, changed from an automatic to four speed, and transformed the car to my dream car. I really wish I had kept it now.

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#37

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 10:23 AM

When I was 17 my grandfather gave me his 1953 Hudson Hornet sedan. Hudson had been out of business for ten years and the car was worthless as a trade in. The car was a boat, but with its 308 inch flat head 6 and dual carbs it could move (given enough time and road). The "Goldan Hud" as it was called ( because its gold paint), became a legend around the Concord - Hopkinton area of New Hampshire. Unfortunatly every police officer in the area knew the car and I was regularlly pulled over on "general priinciples" I drove the car for 6 years but finally had to give it away because parts had become too hard to find.

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#38

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 10:28 AM

1951 Studebaker, grey with maroon roof. $95. Flathead 6, indestructible. Ran it without water, without oil, got so hot the spark plug boots melted into puddles. Could see the road thru rusted-out floorboards. Hood flew up on the highway, so I unbolted it and threw it in a field. Light switch broke, I had no money, so wired lights to a knife switch in the glove box. Sold it to the local hermit and he drove it for many years.

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#69
In reply to #38

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/18/2009 11:04 AM

1952 Studebaker Champion, bought in 1962 for $75. That flathead 6 was a wonderful engine!

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#39

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 11:16 AM

At 16 I bought a 1970 Olds Cutlass with a 350 Rocket for $1200. It didn't have the black stripes on the hood. I did a Dukes of Hazzard jump one night in the rain when I hit a new center cement curb doing about 50, cleared the whole triangular structure at a height of maybe 3ft and just avoided the vidock center column. No seatbelt, slammed into the roof with my head and back, crushed the oil pan, but made it home. Those were the days!

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#81
In reply to #39

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 6:58 PM

I had something similar happen in Toyota Crown a couple of times, didn't do any damage.

One time I overshot the corner coming out of Pomona and landed on a gravel road a couple of metres down the bank and just kept driving. The thing had a ladder frame chassis like a Landcruiser, just as well I'd say.

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#42

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 11:58 AM

Wow this brings back memories. First car was a 1966 Pontiac Lemans with a 389 punched-out .060 over. Two Holley 1050 double pumpers, transmission lasted about a week. Quickly learned how to fix transmissions. I think I kept the local auto parts store in business. I sold it and bought a 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible with the Rocket 350 engine. That car would run and it got the girls attention.

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#43

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 2:16 PM

My first car was an ugly brown four door 1968 Chevy Chevelle. I got it in 1991 when I turned 16. The only thing I liked about it was the chromed out 307. I still love to see engines with chrome plated parts.

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#44
In reply to #43

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 2:17 PM

Oh yeah, it was free! A friend of a friend of my dad gave it to me.

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#45

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 2:34 PM

The year was 1969. I was 18 years old. I bought a 1955 Chevy BelAir for $65 cash. The rear end was shot, but the guy I bought it from had a spare rear end in his back yard. I had to change out the entire rear end myself at the curb in front of his house. He was kind enough to let me use his tools. Drove it home that afternoon. It was a blue and white four door, had a 265 V8 with 2bbl carb and that wonderful 2 speed automatic transmission. Drove it for years before I "upgraded". Wish I still had it. It was the best car I ever owned.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 3:38 PM

You sparked a memory.

Loved that 265/283. Around about 1967 I took a 265, bored it to 283 and dropped it into a '63 Chevy Nova SS that originally had a 6 cyl.

I left the 6 cylinder emblems on the side of the car and regularly blew away 350 Corvettes from a roll, even with the 2 speed auto.

And '63 was the only year they offered that car in a convertible. Had to sell it when I went to Vietnam. Wish I had it back!!!

Hooker

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#67
In reply to #45

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 5:43 PM

Got my first 55 Chevy in 1966- inline 6 with a three-speed, overdirve (you lifted your foot off the gas for a second while driving in "high" and it automatically down shifted when you punched the gas to pass).

Great car, followed two years later by a TRULY great car- a 57 Chevy (unfortunately, it was a 4-door).

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 8:36 PM

I wish I had a picture of the 57 4 door that has been shortened into a 2 door, the back seat deleted. I see it from time to time, usually on a perfect day, just out for a cruise.

Probably a real hand full at high speeds, but it just looks so cool...

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#46

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 3:25 PM

My 1st car that I purchased was a 31 Chevy, in May 1965 (I was 14), for $30.00. Car was in original condition with driver's side door missing, headlights, front seats and distributor, and three bullet holes in the body (two on passenger side behind door & one dead center in the rear of the body). I decided to make it into a hot rod (street rod). I went with small block Chevy V8, 1959 283 cubic inch with 3 speed transmission, with '57 Chevy rear, and stock front axle with juice brakes. I picked up 3-2 set-up for carburation and Mallory dual-point ignition. It took about two years to make the conversion while in high school. I painted it black in color with a set of Keystone mag wheels. The '31 Chevy was finally put on the road in July 1969. My '31 was put in storage from February 1970 until June 1973, while I was serving in the US Navy. The '31 Chevy was put back on the road in June 1973, at which time I re-painted it '73 Cadillac Firemist Blue. I joined street rod car club in September 1973. A few years later, the 3 speed was replaced (blow 1st gear at drag strip) with '59 Corvette T-10, 4 speed transmission. The '31 was driven regularly until September 1983, at which time it was in need of major wood repairs. From September 1983 until May 1986, the '31 Chevy went through major changes. All wood was replaced with a kit. I also, decided to make it a little different by adding four-wheel drive. I picked up a '73 Jeep CJ-5 front axle, along with a '77 Jeep Cherokee rear axle, both with 3.72:1 ratios. A '76 Chevy 3/4-ton truck 4-speed w/transfer case transmission was used to get the power to the Jeep axles. The power plant was changed to a '62 Chevy 327 cubic inch with 11.25:1 cpr, and 3/4 race solid cam, as for carburation a Man-A-Free 4-2bbls. Manifold with gas injectors was added. A Vintage Air Conditioner w/heat system was added to keep me cool. The color was changed a little, the frame was painted the original dark blue Firemist, and the body painted light blue Firemist, and the fenders were painted medium blue Firemist. At one of the Street Rod Shows, someone dub it, "The Original SUV", so that kind a stuck. By the way I still own the '31 Chevy SUV.

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#82
In reply to #46

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 7:12 PM

I'm so impressed with your Chevy I've emailed the link to my daughter's partner who has been given (the remains of) a Chev Ute of similar vintage.

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#48

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 4:45 PM

I got my first car in 1955. It was a 1952 MG-TD. Traded it in a few years later for a 1959 VW Karmann Ghia. Also bought a 23 window VW microbus with sunroof. All three are collectors cars. I wish I still had them.

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#49

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 5:10 PM

It is interesting that few of us had a pickup truck or a van first.

I see there is a report today of the LA car show, that is somewhat gloomy.

If some kid of 18 was to today ask me what to buy as his first vehicle, I'd say get a Toyota pick up, or a van.

I have also recommended to yuts, youths, that they just go on the lot and buy something entirely brand new with a warranty since it is really just a tool, and you'll need it to make money with.

If you want to impress women have money in your pocket to buy dinner with.

They like steaks more than they admit.

I am not fond of the Ford trucks myself, having had two F 150s.

I like the Toyota 100s but know you really need a 6 cylinder since the 4s get asked to do what is really beyond their capacity, and clutches get worn out from doing too much.

I guess my view is now, buy something that will help you make money, and cars are really only intended to get you to a job.

If you have a pick up you can literally pick stuff up to either sell, or transport to a job, and are more valuable in combination as a driver, in combination with the tool.

I have been a professional driver of both cars and trucks.

First car I got to drive was a 1938 Packard the Powell family owned. We drove it around in the woods.

Second and third car I got to drive was a Sunbeam Tiger with the V8, and an Oldsmobile Cutlass 440.

These were fast cars, and the Cutlass had a stronger transmission than normal for Oldsmobiles.

The guys that taught me to drive all were licensed to drive in NASCAR races.

They taught me to drive fast.

It helped later when I was driving heavy, though I did once splinter an axle on a Mac truck.

The CargoStar International was a great truck I drove to make a living with.

Sure enough I well miss, same as the rest of us, our first cars.

That 54 Pontiac with the visor, and the big radio speaker, the flathead eight, hydromatic, and room for everybody you knew, was a real car.

For youths today, and even of yesterday, I suggest forget about cars.

Get a truck.

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:16 PM

yuts As in "two yuts" Vinnie?

When the Ford Supercrew first came out, I thought it was ugly and long. Now I drive one. It hasn't gotten any shorter.

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#52
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 7:24 PM

yup.

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#56
In reply to #49

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 3:40 AM

They like steaks more than they admit.
They like sausage more than they admit too
Del

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#57
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 6:24 AM

AWW Del, bad kitty!!

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#53

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 8:11 PM

'49 Ford two door coupe with 100,000 miles on it in 1970. Neighbor gave it to me for free.

Flat head 6 blew so much oil smoke out the crankcase breather, people at a stop light would roll their windows down to tell me my car was on fire. It blew a quart every 50 miles. A case of oil back then was 24 flat top round cans, the kind you poked the oil spout into. And if you shopped, a case was only $11.00 on sale. I kept an open case and a spare case in the trunk.

When I finally pulled the engine to put in new pistons & rings the interior of that engine was sparkling clean so much oil had blown through it.

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#54

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/15/2009 11:30 PM

1970 Dodge Dart Swinger - bright red with a white vinyl top. My Dad bought it from a dealer he had known for years. He had been a big DeSoto buyer from him.

It would have been about about 1975 and he took about $1000 USD from my account.

At first I was really annoyed because he came to my hamburger flipping workplace with it and it had 99,970 miles on it! We went out the next day for a drive because he "wanted to see some zeros". We drove about 40 miles to put it over 100,000 so he was happy. It really was a cool car for a high schooler and it really was very reliable with that many miles.

Very upset I got rid of it for another car I thought looked cool, but ended up causing a LOT of trouble. Wished I had it to this day.

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#55

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 1:56 AM

1957 MGA fixed head coupe. I bought it for $75. The previous owner thought it needed a clutch, but it needed only a seal in the clutch master cylinder -- about $0.35. Fun car. It is the car on which I learned to true wire wheels. I rebuilt the engine more than once, and bought headers, a 3/4 race cam and a glass pack muffler all from JC Whitney, if I recall. I imagined that it had a lot more power than stock. It seemed almost antique when I bought it, but is was only 9 years old.

Mine was black. If you look closely you can see a hole in the middle of the front bumper. You could insert a hand crank there for hand starting when the battery was low. (Also very handy for positioning the engine for setting valves, etc.)

I remember re-machining the carburetor mixture control needles by hand, in a drill motor or drill press, using a small grinder. It worked, sort of, to get rid of a mid-throttle flat spot.

I once made a fan belt out of scrap wire and an old bed sheet, which happened to be in the car. It was enough to get me about 10 miles to a garage.

After that, quite succession: a Triumph TR4, various VW beetles, buses and a Karmann Ghia, an Alfa Romeo Berlina, a very early Honda Accord and several other Hondas, a Citroen SM, a Citroen DS21, a Fiat X19 (fragile, but great handling), a couple American cars and trucks, a minivan or two, a handful of motorcycles, mostly cafe racers.

I had an exotic car repair business, so played with more than my share of interesting cars: several Ferraris, a couple Lamborghinis and Maseratis, a great old aluminum Bentley Continental S (with white leather interior, and previously owned by Nancy -- These Boots are Made for Walking -- Sinatra) some old Porsches, etc.

Also ran a motorcycle service department when I was just out of college, and was sponsored as a road racer, but was also able to play with all the other bikes we had, so did some observed trials, motocross, and enduros. I was competent on pavement and incompetent on dirt, but had fun.

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#58

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 11:51 AM

1970 Ford Pinto, with optional exploding rear gas tank. Ran this car for 3 weeks until I got rear ended by a Mercedes. The Mecedes had a small dent in it. The pinto was totaled. Move on to a 1971 Volvo 145 that I drove for several years. Much tougher than the Pinto

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 12:02 PM

Wasn't that the one that often exploded when rear ended?

Nearly rear ended one coming down the Brooklyn Bridge onto Flatbush.

Air brakes on the Cargostar International I was driving were failing and it took everything I had with back pushed against the seatback and leg locked to stop.

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#61
In reply to #59

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 1:45 PM

Why Yes it is. It would look much like your avatar :)

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#60

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 12:34 PM

My first car was a 48 Ford ragtop with a fairly strong flathead in the late 1950's. After two years of getting dusted by Chevy v-8's I converted over to a pretty much stock (ported and shaved heads) 53 Chrysler 331 hemi and chopped the windshield 2". No more standing start drag races; it was death on transmissions. It would burn rubber from a rolling 30mph start in 2nd gear. But usually all I had to do was lift the hood on that quiet smooth running engine to win by default.

The up side to the weak drive train was that I could always get home because it was torquey enough to start in 3rd even on a hill. Just couldn't back up. The 3/4 convertible top (covered the quarter window area) and the easily removable spring clip in the right side front seat back mount made it great for dates at the drive-in movies. Almost as good as a van.

I sold it in 1962 with a stock flathead in it and put the Chrysler motor in a bright red 41 Ford pickup (with a Cadillac tranny and olds rear). That was a great little daily driver. I fairly wore and rusted it out in the commute after we got married and I became a bit more restrained in my racing activities.

Sometimes I wonder what happened to the 48 convertible. Would be high buck street rod material today.

Ed Weldon

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#62

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/16/2009 6:31 PM

My fist car was a 1956 Volkswagen convertible. I purchased it brand new in 1956 for $2500 in Toronto, Ontario after spending a year on the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line.

We had a lot of fun with that little car in the summer, but it had a lousy heater, so driving in the winter was not a pleasant experience.

The shot below was taken in May, 1959. The little guy my wife is holding is 52 years old now. How the time flies.

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#63
In reply to #62

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 3:35 AM

Nice evocative pic.... very late 50's
We've been going through loads of old pics lately, the years do zip by.
One minute your running along carefree rattling a stick along the fence...next thing you know your kids are grwn up.
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#64
In reply to #62

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/17/2009 8:21 AM

I remember, in the 70's, riding around in my best buddy's Beetle in the winter, scraping the ice off the INSIDE of the windshield so we could see where we were going. Brrrr.

Hooker

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#75
In reply to #62

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/19/2009 1:43 PM

Truly a sweet picture.

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#70

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/18/2009 3:52 PM

G'day Trans

Only people who had one can tell how good this car was (is). It was the first car I bought in Australia. When I gave it away to some kids it had 2.1 million clicks on it. New rings at 1.2 million. It never missed a beat.

In the 1998 floods it was up to the roof under water. It was a sad sight when the floods receded. We had more important things to do than to take care of her but 3 days later after leaving the doors open to dry her out she started at the second go!!!

After doing a fluid change she was good for another 5 years and then rust did the deed.

This is not the original but it comes very close. I miss her, Ky.

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#71
In reply to #70

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/18/2009 4:05 PM

Great! So what was it?

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#72
In reply to #70

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/18/2009 4:46 PM

Holden HQ?

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#73
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/18/2009 6:20 PM

Sorry guys, it was the 1972 Holden HQ 202 straight six column gear trimatic . Its a bit like talking about an old girl friend and not dropping her name. Forgot that I'm down under for a while because here its a legend. The driving mans car we call it.

The petrol gauge was the only thing that stopped working. For that reason I always had a piece of black poly pipe to check the fuel level. The first time I filled her up I could not find the tank cap. I was really embarrassed to ask the guy at the servo if he could help me. I was new to the country and my German accent put a smirk on his face.

It was behind the rear number plate which flicked open and was then held in place by the cap in a certain position. If one drove off and had left the tank open it would dislodge and make a rattle which could be clearly heard. Never lost the fuel cap or left it at some servo.

He became the mechanic in the end and was the guy who reconditioned it. Did I mention that I bought it second hand for $2000.This was in 1986 and I gave it to some kids in 2001. It must have died a bush pig (unregistered off road soil disturber) somewhere.

Yeah, in the good old days, Ky.

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#84
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Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 8:09 PM

The HQ (H4 frame)was a shock to the system when released in '71 being so radically different to the (H3 frame) HD, HR, HK, HT and HG. How much you liked them (once the new shape grew on you) depended on what model you had. The 202 Trimatic sedan was usually a good thing. The three on the tree manual was already a dinosaur and the less said about the 173 engine the better.

My sister bought a 173 Belmont in late '71 or early '72 it went everywhere until it broke a crank and was replaced with a 186 (Holden's best red block). It survived at least 20 years of indifferent service, heavy overloading and hard yards it definitely was a stayer.

My Ol' Man bought a late '72 Kingswood vacationer with a 202 Trimatic, disc brakes etc (basically a Premier with a Kingswood badge). While it was quick for its time it had the ususal early 70s issues of rag tyres and parts that failed just out of warranty. He and my mother both preferred my 4 years older Toyota Crown so got rid of it in '74.

I bought a cheap 173 Kingswood wagon for a work vehicle. While I had it, I fixed some of the worst design faults such as the drum brakes and the fuel filler (HQ Holdens dump fuel on the road and kick back constantly). I used parts from a XA Ford van to raise the filler onto the top half of the guard (wagons had the filler on the side). No more spilt fuel and no more kick back. Old Stan Young at the servo used to comment every time he filled it (service stations note in those days) and said I should patent the modification ans sell it to all hapless Holden owners.

When I had the Holden I also had an RT104 Corona, the Holden with its 6 was rated at 118 BHP and the Corona with its 4 was rated at 119 BHP. Tell you what, that last horse must have been a big bugger, or the Holden only had Shetland ponies.

I traded it on a '77 Hiace which had a detuned 18R (Corona) engine, I've never bought another Holden that wasn't an Isuzu.

With the HZ Holden finally got their act together (as far as the red block could be fixed) in time to adopt that Opel sourced VB Commodore, Yeah bring back the Kingswood.

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#74

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/19/2009 12:27 PM

My first car was a 1965 (I think) Ford Mustang GT that I bought a week after my 17th birthday in 1976 for $200. It was primer gray, was missing both headlight moldings and was very rusty. It had a 289 cubic inch V-8 with a 4bbl carb, a 4-speed stick, disk brakes, and someone had cut a hole in the transmission tunnel to mount a Mr. Gasket vertical gate shifter. It was also very loud, as I had mounted a pair of very small resonators on the ends of the H-pipe and held them up with chains instead of hangars. No tail pipes.

The car was very fast, and handled like a slot car. It's a wonder I didn't kill myself, as I drove it like the typical 17 year old obsessed with going fast. I sold it after less than a year and have regretted it ever since.

Strangely enough, it got about 10mpg running around town and 22mpg on the interstate at 85mph.

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#76

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/20/2009 7:37 AM

Hello, all

My first car is Russian is VAZ-2123. This model combined Russian car named NIVA and US car Chevrolet Blazer. Quantity of this model is quite low (is normal for all Russian cars), but I very glad buying this model - I always dreaming about offroader. Russian road is very bad and offroader is good choice for our road.

Also, my parents live in Siberia and roads here is covered by snow 5-6 month in year. So, I think is good idea to buy offroader for Russia.

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#77
In reply to #76

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/20/2009 12:20 PM

Welcome Evgeny, I look forward to your participation in this forum. I have strong interests in Russia, especially your achievements in aviation, weapons and many other aspects.

I have long posited that the perfect resolution of the Cold War would have been Statehood for Russia.

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#78
In reply to #77

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/21/2009 11:09 AM

Thank you, Transcendian!

If you interest all about Russia, I must invite you to our forum (in Russian language as main) www.dwg.ru . In this forum there is many people who's interesting aviation and weapons and any technical problem. And there is two citizen of USA :-) (ex-Russian people). Really, I not strong interest in aviation, nevertheless I've created model of plain in childhood, and it was quite good.
I think, Russia and US have many reasons for brotherhood. I can tell you more about Russia if you ask me about it.

Sorry for offtopic.

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#85
In reply to #77

Re: What Was Your First Car?

12/22/2009 8:12 PM

Well said Trans and welcome Evgeny.

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