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Would You Buy Your First Car Back?

First Car Matt Ts Final
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First cars are like first loves. Many are good. A few are bad. Most just happen, and their meaning fades over time. Some connect with your soul and never leave. Often, they’re how we measure our subsequent experiences. Let’s do a little deep exploration into our own psyches and decide if we’d buy our first cars back.

I wish my first car was the Studebaker Avanti I’m posing next to above, but I can’t currently locate a photo of the creamy beige diesel 1978 Mercedes 300D sedan I actually owned.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The MB was owned by a woman who would swim with my German grandmother at the local pool. There was a small amount of rust under the car but, aesthetically, it was in pretty decent shape and had that delightful orange MB Tex interior. It looked a little something like this one from Mercedes Motoring:

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Photo: Mercedes Motoring

I loved automobiles at 16 so it wasn’t lost on me that this was actually quite the cool first car. It was slow, of course, but I question the logic of giving a 16-year-old a fast car anyway. I delighted in cruising around in it through my boring suburban town and I wish I’d learned to work on it before we ended up selling it to a Lufthansa mechanic who had three W123s.

Would I have it back? Of course! Not only are these cars actually worth money, it’s only aged better in the years since I graduated from high school. What about you? Would you have your first car back? Why? Why not?

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[Editor’s Note: I just want to say my first car was a 1968 VW Beetle the color of Wrigley’s gum, with those JC Whitney Navajo-pattern seat covers. I bought it with my own money saved from my job selling Apple IIs at the Byte Shop when I was 15, before I could drive. No one in my family could drive stick, so I got the guy my parents were accused of trying to murder later to drive to our house. That’s true, by the way. I learned how to drive stick on my way to work, and it was harrowing. A few months later some dummy didn’t yield for a turn at a light and crashed into me, and I pulled the engine and used it in the ’71 Super Beetle I got next. I’d buy it back, no question! – JT]

A few ground rules to this question:

  • We’ll assume the car is basically in running shape and in a condition that is indicative of how you owned it (i.e., if it was wrecked you can still buy the non-wrecked version of your car).
  • If you still own your first car or have purchased it back please tell us why.
  • “first” means the first car that was your car and not the family car.

Fire away.

 

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Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
4 months ago

Mine was a 1971 Volvo 144S 4 speed – Dove Grey over Red interior – purchased in 1984.
Oh, it had it’s issues – which I now have the resources to resolve.
I sometimes still have dreams about that little car…

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
4 months ago

Heck yes I’d do it, nostalgia is one heck of a drug. Regular Cab, 4×4 5spd Tacoma from 2000. In the metallic salmon color. First time I really haggled with a car dealer. I made them sooo frustrated but they eventually did the deal for the trade and the used truck purchase. I have owned 2 more since then in different configurations, and refuse to buy a newer Taco since they are fat and subjectively ugly/overcomplicated. Keep trucks simple and small. Nobody makes them anymore.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago

Would I Buy My First Car Back? After all the shit I did to it?

No thanks!

Plus by now it’d take advanced Star Trek transporter/replicator tech to reassemble it from the four corners of the globe.

Hmm, come to think of it there’s no reason that replicator has to reassemble it as I left it. That car can be reassembled as I got it. Or even as factory fresh! Or not even as the craptastic Lima powered 4MT Pinto Country Squire it was but as a Ferrari GTO 250! Or a warp capable shuttlecraft!

HELL YES! I want my first car back! For the scrap price I sold it for back in 1980something.

Last edited 4 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Richard Odenweller
Richard Odenweller
4 months ago

Hell yeah! 1969 Pontiac LeMans 350-2V and a powerglide transmission. Interior had AC, buckets seats and floor console. Although the drivetrain left quite a bit to be desired, I’m now in a position to do something about that.

The other car I want back is from a few years later. That was a 1970 Torino GT Sportsroof (fastback), red with the “laser” stripe on the side, bucket seats, console, and disappearing headlights. Again this one had base V8 but that would change.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
4 months ago

98 Chevy S-10 extended cab in beautiful two tone burgundy and beige. Hell yeah, I freaking loved that thing. It couldn’t hit 70, got terrible gas mileage (you could see the needle move even though it was the four banger), and was downright scary in low traction situations due to it only being RWD. But, I still miss that car and wish it was in my driveway right now

Anonymous Person
Anonymous Person
4 months ago

’73 Duster with a slant-six and an automatic.
I live in the Rust Belt so I usually drive vehicles until the frame/unibody rusts out to the point of being no longer drivable. I hit a pothole with the Duster and the lower front end collapsed turning the slant-six pretty much into a flat-six. The distributor cap shattered and there was only chunks of plastic left hanging from the plug wires. Plus the passenger front tire (which was already down to steel threads and shot sparks through the rust-holes in the tops of the fenders when I turned) was now leaning inward at a severe angle. Somehow I was able to steer it enough to get chain-towed back home. I sold the remnants for $40 to the guy who owned the service station down the street. He wanted the slant-six. Most of my vehicles were gotten rid of due to severe rust so no thanks.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
4 months ago

> the lower front end collapsed turning the slant-six pretty much into a flat-six.

That’s funny, though probably not at the time.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
4 months ago

Bozhe moi! Yes, oh god, yes! 1000x yes.

Beacuse I’m a goddman lunatic who had a 1989 Renault Espace Quadra as first vehicle, and for some reason I feel like I could be a better owner now and keep that engine from chewing itself after 5 years driving it. Now, let’s be clear: I couldn’t. I bought that car halfway to the junkyard and it’s amazing that I even managed to keep it going for another 5 years.

I miss driving it a lot. I don’t miss losing track of how many times I’ve had to have it towed mid-trip. But she was something special. Never once failed me on the way to something important (it did fail A LOT coming back from something important). One of the funniest memories I have of it is picking up the phone while lying in torrid freeway shoulder pavement, on the way back home from a music festival, trying to get the spare tire bracket unstuck, and that phone call was a very cool job offer that was kinda life-changing. The year before, coming back from the same festival, the LPG system shit its pants right at the pump and I ended up having to wait for 5 hours in a remote tow truck yard/junkyard where I just saw row after row of amazing, sadly junked cars. So many unexpectedly cool memories with that car. And to be fair, as unreliable as she was, those weren’t even my worst automotive experiences ever.

I once owned an Alfa Romeo.

Duke Woolworth
Duke Woolworth
4 months ago

’51 Nash? No. Hell no.

TheCrank
TheCrank
4 months ago

Hell no! My first car was a beat to shit 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. I pretty much replaced every part on that car myself, including three transmissions (two junkers, one didn’t work, the third was a rebuild). Not too long after I paid for a rebuilt engine, the damn thing was stolen. It was found a few months later, with only the radio and wheels taken. The thieves graciously put four spares on to replace the American Racing wheels I had on there (it was the 90s, those wheels were the shit in the Summit Racing catalog!). I wanted nothing to do with that car, so we sold it to my mom’s coworker for the cost of the rebuilt engine I paid before it was stolen. By all accounts, it was a good car for them, as it should have been since everything had been replaced at that point. But for me it was a reminder of the violation I felt when I discovered it was stolen.

Rafael
Rafael
4 months ago

Well, time for some bullet points:

  • The first car that was just mine was a Brazilian econobox called Fiat Palio. My father got it then it was 2 years old, used for 2 years and then left this mortal coil (my dad, not the car). I drove it around for 13 YEARS, and left it with my young cousin when I left the country. It is still in the family, but if he decides to sell or junk the car, I like to imagine I’d buy it back and rebuild it from the ground up better.
  • The first car I purchased was a Brazilian (see a theme here?) VW Bus I got for a company I had at the time, it was the T1.5 kind we had here for a long while. It was old and in disrepair, we fixed it as much as we could, even surviving a fire. I’m pretty sure it was junked eventually. I would buy it up and bring it up to factory spec. Maybe over-restoring it a bit, because the quality from factory wasn’t exactly stellar…
  • The first car I purchased for me was an Opel Zafira Tourer that is my current daily driver. I do not plan to sell it if I can avoid it, and if I emigrate again, I truly plan to ship it by sea to my new destination (I even got a quote and it sounded totally doable!)

Of course, I’m an emotional man, so I like to treat cars like pets, and pets like kids. I still feel bad about letting the VW Bus go to the big autobahn in the sky, but at least the very first one still lives and drives like the current one, only just not with me behind the wheel.

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
3 months ago
Reply to  Rafael

Oh man, Brazilian auto industry is just so impossibly cool. Kinda funny that you’d get attached to a Zafira, but hey, I get you and even if I didn’t I still wouldn’t judge. We ended up getting the Palio SW here in Portugal for a while, as well as the Strada pick up, both of which stood out in the Fiat lineup at the time as the rare unexcpectedly cool offerings from an extremely meh brand.

Abraço desde Portugal!

Rafael
Rafael
3 months ago

Obrigado irmão! Tenho sempre um momento pra ti!
Yes, I’m very attached to my Zafira. Funny thing is, I was looking for a 7 seater that didn’t looked terrible (I was considering a Caddy), and a Zafira Tourer almost hit me on traffic while I was biking. Instead of cursing the driver, I instead thought to myself “that’s a very handsome minivan!”, and so I got one second hand.
No matter how pedestrian a car is, once you dedicate time, care and kilometres, it will become dear to you like a trusty horse (or starship, for the sci fi fans around here). Treat it well, and it will always bring you home.

Oldskool
Oldskool
4 months ago

1990 Pontiac 6000 wagon. SE with ground effects, body color STE wheels, and a bunch of STE parts I had swapped in over the years. Including the steering wheel radio controls. Loved that car. Boatloads of torque, could smoke the tires as long as I stayed on it. Got 30 mpg highway easily. Extremely reliable. It was a dealer’s personal car before I had it, and I think there were some special things about it.

It’s long since been stripped and scrapped. But if I could go back to before I started driving it in the winter and hence slowly destroying it, damn right I’d want it back. Later on I learned how rare that package was. I’d never let it see snow.

Marty Davis
Marty Davis
4 months ago

Damn right I would. 65 Olds 442. Red of course. Couldn’t turn corners or stop, but it could go forward quite well! $3.00 + fuel might hurt a bit now though…

Banpei
Banpei
4 months ago

My first car was a 1990 Mitsubishi Colt EL with a 1.3 liter engine. I loved that little and it taught me how to drive. I made two trips cross Europe (from the Netherlands to Hungary) during summer and it didn’t even feature airconditioning! Fast Forward 21 years and I can’t imagine repeating these trips without airconditioning, Entertainment systems and enough legroom.
I would definitely but it back! I know mine doesn’t exist anymore and probably was crushed. But I’d buy a similar one. And maybe one with a slightly more lively engine. And maybe one with those awesome roofs that can open over more than half the length of the car.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
4 months ago

My first car was a 1990 Ford Festiva that I installed a 900W stereo in. It was fun. I would buy it back for like $500. It was a cheap disposable car where the parts cost 50% more than the 1991 Ford Escort I had after it.

If I had that same car again, I’d put a lower wattage stereo in it with only a single subwoofer instead of the two 12″ subs I had that would give you a nice back massage in the front seat when cranked up.

The big issue with owning a Festiva today would be parts would be hard to come by and I’d probably have to go to Coker Tire to get a set of 12″ tires.
https://www.cokertire.com/tires/michelin-mx-145r12-tire.html

Last edited 4 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Bryan McIntosh
Bryan McIntosh
4 months ago

My first car was a 1990 GMC S15 in 2000 with the 4.3 L V6 and vacuum-operated 4-wheel-drive. It was good when the snow was deep and occasionally handy if I needed to toss something semi-large in the bed (which rarely happened), but that was about it. I used it mostly as a commuter on the order of 60 km each way, and the fuel economy on it was abysmal. After two years the rust that had started on the cab corners was getting pretty bad, and I just didn’t enjoy driving it at all. I replaced it with a 1988 Daytona Pacifica that my dad and I later upgraded with a Shelby Z engine/transmission, and was MUCH happier.

Curtis Loew
Curtis Loew
4 months ago

1966 Chevy II 100 2 door sedan. Bought it in high school in 87 sold it in about 04 or 05. I had a few chances to get it back over the years. I saw it on craigslist once and almost did it, saw it again on ebay a few years later. I know roughly where it is now. I ididn’t buy it back because I basically turned it into an all out drag race car by the time I sold it and that isn’t my thing anymore. I like original cars more now. I believe the only original parts left that rolled off the assembly line are the body shell and passenger door. Also subsequent owners removed a lot of the parts I had installed. My current daily driver is a 1967 Chevy II 100 4 door sedan all stock and orignal. So in a way I did buy it back.

JaredTheGeek
JaredTheGeek
4 months ago

1969 Plymouth Valiant Signet 100 2 door with no posts. Brown on brown, I would love to own it again and drop a 318 in it. Bench seats and all that open window for cruising.

William Eby
William Eby
4 months ago

1983 Chevy Chevette Scooter. Not just no, but heeeeelllllllll naw! I wrecked my car at the beginning of a snow storm, and I thought I was going to have to hike a mile or two to get to the nearest house, but a couple guys on the way to the bowling alley (you can’t stop bowlers) picked me up. I always joke that I’ve been married and had two kids since, but the day I totaled the Chevette may still be the happiest in my life. So, no. Although a Chevette resto-mod with modern engine and electronics (adaptive cruise, Apple Car Play, etc) would go a long way to healing my pain, if done right.

Mike F.
Mike F.
4 months ago

1972 Mercury Capri 2.0 in blue. I wouldn’t buy it back in the shape it was when I finally got rid of it, but if I could buy it back new – hell yeah!

Marc Fuhrman
Marc Fuhrman
4 months ago

I still have my first car, a Ford Maverick I bought for $250 20 years ago. Though it should be said it hasn’t been on the road since ’08 and I haven’t even seen it since 2012, when we hauled it to my uncle’s farm.
But if I had sold it, would I consider buying it back? Not that particular car, no. It was far too rusty and hella clapped out, as one would expect for such a cheap car. But I have considered buying another Maverick in nicer condition several times over the years. But it seems like they are one of those cars that have really skyrocketed in value over the past decade or so, so it’s not something I’ve pulled the trigger on.

Morgan Thomas
Morgan Thomas
4 months ago

My first car was a MKII Cortina, originally column auto but later converted to manual. Best bit about it was being the high trim level, it had an actual woodgrain dash (actual timber, not veneer or plastic ‘woodgrain’. Was a nice car but let down by my lack of experience working on cars and my lack of $ to do proper mods to it. I would love to have it back to be able to build it the way it should have been done if I knew how and could afford to have done it right the first time.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
4 months ago

In a heartbeat. I sold it out of necessity before leaving for college and have regretted it ever since. It was a 1990 Miata, and it had so many problems but I loved it dearly. It was one of the “less special” ones, I had the manual and LSD but also AC and power steering, and it was one-finger-steering light. I measure all other cars against it, and the only reason I’m not getting another one is the fear of rust now that I live in the Midwest.

Scott Sullivan
Scott Sullivan
4 months ago

First car was a ten year old 1965 Mustang with 70k miles. What do you think?

God my teen self deserves a dope slap

Aron9000
Aron9000
4 months ago

First car was a hand me down from my mom, a 10 year old 1991 Buick Regal sedan. Would I want it back, in the condition it was given to me??? Hell no, it was pretty well used up with the clear coat starting to fail and had a bunch of small hail dents in it. The odometer broke back in 1996 or so with 94k on the clock, Im guessing it had around 150k on it. Within two years of me driving 300 miles a month or so the trans went out, a/c compressor locked up, fuel pump quit(left me stranded), brakes needed new rotors, pads and rear calipers, parking brake never worked, it left me stranded another two times with random electrical problems.

Should have been junked when the trans blew up, would have gotten a decent civic or toyota minitruck for all the $$$ we dumped into it. Or a mint box Caprice, 80’s fleetwood Brougham, something that wasnt faux gansta like the w-body regal(I really wanted a BIG car back then)

Funny thing parents bought it new and was rock solid until I got it lol. The 3.8 v6 was nice, it rode AMAZING, and the plushy maroon velour interior looked like new(it was so much nicer than a Lumina or Grand Prix inside)

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
4 months ago

I really wanted a ’67 VW squareback as my first car, but as none were available when I needed a car, I bought a ’71 Fiat 128 sedan. When pending mechanical issues reared up, I seeked and found a what I really wanted, a ’67 VW squareback. I sold the Fiat, and I still own the squareback. This was in 1978.

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