My First Car

I didn’t get my first car until I was 21 years old.  Sure, I drove myself to school when I was 16.  But the family poop, brown minivan hardly constitutes as my first car.  Neither does the blue Plymouth station wagon affectionately christened D.D. (del diablo or “of the devil”).  Don’t get me wrong, these were great for cramming as many people imaginable inside but they were hardly the beacon of motorized style.  No, I was just paying my dues.  And in time I was the proud owner of this little beauty:

I know what you’re thinking but don’t hate.  This rotting piece of tin was mine for three months, getting me from Laie to Honolulu everyday for my internship.  And don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I got a tetanus shot not longer after I took these pictures.

It had so much to offer.  Two tone brown rust color body work, actual rust, holes from the salty sea watered air (what you can’t see is a massive chunk of hood missing from just such a hole), and check out that snazzy ceiling cover.  The spare tire was flat (which I discovered as a result of an unfortunate incident with a flat tire that I may have to blog about some time) and had a nice film cover of spider webs in the inside and I discovered live roaches, yes you read that correctly, live roaches living in the trunk (which I also discovered as a result of the unfortunate flat tire incident).

By the end of the summer the car produced and incredibly loud popping sound whenever I turned the wheel in any direction…something about the front wheel bearings or axles?  And by the end I could only drive for about 30 or 40 minutes before the car overheated and I’d have to pull over, let it cool down, and dump water in it.  And who could forget the crazy night when both of the headlights went out when I was still a half hour from campus?  And how I couldn’t replace the bulbs because someone had stripped the screws and I had to take it to a mechanic who charged me $20 to change them even though it took him two minutes and I brought the new bulbs with me.  Or the time when both windshield wipers went out the same day during a rain shower (and no, I’m not kidding)?

But hey, the radio worked and miraculously someone actually paid me money for it when I left.  Good thing or else I was just going to abandon it in a parking lot or push it off the cliff into the ocean….just kidding…sort of.

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11 thoughts on “My First Car

  1. My first car,1980 Buick Regal was a piece of shit (too). But still, even though it was a hunk of junk, it was mine. I worked stocking shelves for months to save for it. Years later my younger sister had her first car purchased for her. But that is a whole ‘nother blog post.

    I get so annoyed when my younger brother gets things handed to him that I had to work for. But I’m sure my older sisters feel the same way about me.

  2. I had a 1976 Mustang; it was pure rust held together with dirt and occassionally gum (no, I’m not kidding). There was no a/c, the heat worked occassionally and it overheated constantly. The radio never worked, but during the warmer weather I managed to get around this by opening the windows and singing The Beatles “Yellow Submarine” at the top of my lungs to get the people around me to turn up their radios.

    But it was mine, so I know how you felt about yours.

    For some reason when I was in high school I wanted a mustang. Not one held together by dirt and gum but a mustang nevertheless. You should post some pics if you have them.

  3. I don’t know what’s better….the car or the white overalls. Fantastic!! Nice blast from the past here! 🙂

    Oh man, I loved those overalls LOL! But they had to go and so did the car.

  4. Oh gosh — I remember that car. I was seriously afraid to think of you driving that into work every day!!

    Haha! Well I made it there just fine everyday except one – Not too bad.

  5. Was that the original headliner? W-O-W!!!!!

    Hey thanks. You’re the first to notice or at least comment about it being different. Originally I had a pic of myself up there but wanted something different. So I went through all my pics and voila, my new custom header! You can see the original on my photoblog under Around Charleston.

  6. That thing was swank!

    Yeah I was definitely styling back in the day.

    My “first car” (technically my dad’s) was a 1970 Ford Maverick. God I loved that thing. It was the coolest thing in school. It had no heater or a/c but it was amazing. When it was cold, I was the only one who could start it. You had to pump the gas and turn the ignition several times in just the right sequence, but no one knew how but me. Sadly, I got into a fender bender my senior year when I was taking some cute blonde girl home after school (going WAY out of my in the opposite direction from where I lived). I hit a patch of ice, slid through an intersection, and smashed into a jeep. It took out my front grill, one headlight, and messed up my hood. I still drove it after that, but that was the beginning of the end. Shortly after, there was a bad transmission fluid leak and it just went downhill from there. When I left for college, my dad sold it.

    That totally sucks about the fender bender. Too bad it never fully recovered!

    My freshman year at USC, I didn’t have a car at all, and then the next summer I bought my first real car with my own money–a 1986 Toyota Cresica. It was a piece of crap, but it had a sunroof and it was mine. I loved it.

    I used to always want a car with a sunroof but the truth is I would never open it. I have some weird thing about the windows being open and the wind blowing in my hair.

  7. I loved that car… it was so frightening and tacky that it was cool. Didn’t it make some kind of explosion noise right before you turned it off, too? You lived in Hawaii… I think the car blended (not everyone can be Magnum PI and drive a Ferrari).

    No noise but it shuttered a little.

  8. Wow… that car could’ve also earned the D.D. nickname (¡era un carro endiablado! ;). You looked pretty happy in those pictures, though… I guess the first car always does that to you, no matter how crappy.

    I think I was mostly happy b/c those pics were taken when my family flew over for my graduation. But it’s true, I was pretty stoked to have a car and not have to ride the bus to Honolulu every day.

  9. I had an army sort of green colored 1979 mustang with supposed to be tan interior..at least that’s what they told me it was.

    I loved it and I drove it through high school and some of college until one day it coughed, sputtered, and shot smoke out the tail pipe and from under the hood then just quit…right there in the middle of 5 o’clock traffic. some man came a week later and gave me 500 dollars for it and towed it away…with the cracked engine block, bent pistons and thrown rods.

    aawwh….such memories

    Wait a minute….an internship in Honolulu!?

    Oh man, that car sounds snazzy! Yep, I completed my Jr. and Sr. years at a University in Hawaii so I stayed there to complete the internship for graduation rather than coming back to the mainland to do it. That way my family was able to come over for graduation and get a little vacation out of it.

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