Thursday, January 13th, 2011

My First Car


No one ever accused me of being a car guy. And I'm certainly not what you call a gear head. That being said, I remember that I bought my first car 21 years ago today. The date was January 13, 1990 and the car was a deep metallic red, 1990 Chevy Cavalier Z-24.

Since my birthday was back in September, I drove my parents' cars for a few months. Over the course of those few months, my parents and I worked out a deal so that I could buy a car. It wasn't much, but I made minimal monthly payments to my parents for the car and I was responsible for all of the insurance payments.

I can't find any photos of the car from its early days, so I guess I settle with this shot from September 1998. In retrospect, it wasn't nearly as cool of a car as I thought it was at the time. That's a lovely shot from my Glendale Heights apartment parking lot.

I ended up keeping that car until January 2001. I managed to squeeze several issue-free years out of that car, just routine maintenance. By the end, I was ready to drive it off a cliff.

So, if I had to rank the cars I owned, this would be my list:

1. 2009 Toyota Prius
2. 1990 Chevy Cavalier Z-24
3. 1997 Ford Explorer

I've never had help buying any car but I did get help with insurance since I was part of the family and it was a group plan. I bought my first car for $1100, I believe. It was a Volkswagon Squareback (I think they called them) that did me well until it got in an accident and the axle got bent and it always tended to get out of alignment and wear tires. But I drove it quite a bit longer until I purchased a Vega wagon for $3400, new, but a demo with 1000 miles on it if I remember. That one did me well until it hit around 90,000 and blew the engine.
LGrant   Thursday, January 13, 2011
When I bought that car, it had seven miles on it. I believe it ended up with 124,000-125,000 miles when it finally moved on.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, January 13, 2011
I've been driving for 40 years and with maybe 1-2 years before I bought a car--I've never been without one but can count on one hand how many I have owned. :) When I bought my Saturn they did this "send-off" that they were famous for and the guy said "she has her last car for 15 years--hopefully she will be as happy with this one as she was with that one to keep it so long". I'm at 10-11 now on this one. Looks like he will be right. :)
LGrant   Thursday, January 13, 2011
1st: Dad gave me a "shitwater" orange '73 Chevy Bel Air wagon
2nd: Bought a burgundy '79 Ford Granada in 1983
3rd: Bought a white '86 Chevy Cavalier sedan in 1987
4th: Bought a red-ish '95 Chevy Cavalier sedan in 1995
5th: Bought a gray '05 Toyota Sienna in 2004
6th: Traded for a silver '07 Toyota Tacoma quad in 2007
7th: Traded for a gray '11 Toyota Sienna in 2010--again. (not my
Angi   Thursday, January 13, 2011
i think my first car has you beat!


since then i have had
94 accord lx
00 jeep grand cherokee
02 chevy tahoe (which blew a cylinder & freeze plug!)
02 volvo v70
04 accord lx
08 chrysler aspen
Moore Crazies   Thursday, January 13, 2011
I was trying to remember who posted that blog. It was you.
Bill Pearch   Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Cav ranks above the Explorer? Wow.
Eric Tatro   Friday, January 14, 2011
Here are my rankings. Although I must say that I had the most fun in the Vega!
1. 77 Ford F-150, 1st vehicle I ever bought
2. 93 Ford F-150
3. 86 Nissan Stanza
4. 89 Ford Explorer, last vehicle I bought with borrowed money
5. 83 Nissan Truck (I don't even know what they called it) 1st brand new car.
6. 92 Chrysler Eagle
7. 2000 Dodge Ram
8. 75 Vega Station Wagon, Mom just gave it to me after I drove the crap out of it!

Drove many other vehicles as company cars... Currently I do not have anything but a company car.
Good News   Friday, January 14, 2011
Eric, the Explorer was too big and cost a small fortune to fill up. Bad mileage, too. I bought just as gas hit the $2.00 per gallon mark for the first time. It could cost anywhere from $60 to $80 to fill up.
Bill Pearch   Friday, January 14, 2011
My first cars were old and definitely not note-worthy, but I loved them still.
girlcarew   Sunday, January 16, 2011
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