Who Had the Crappiest First Car?
If you're like us, solidly lower-middle class, you didn't get a brand new Benz on your 16th birthday like those punks on MTV. No, our first cars were not what you would call panty-droppers. In fact, my first call was occasionally referred to as "chick repellent" and "birth control."
It was a '73 Datsun hatchback. My Mom and Dad had owned it when it was new. They sold it to my Uncle Ronald, who was one of the more unique people I've ever known. The car was a lime green when Uncle Ron got it and he painted it black. When I say he "painted it" I mean "with a brush and a bucket of paint". When it was bequeathed to me, it was 1984. We painted it white. We didn't paint it with a paint brush but it was still a DIY job. Our family was not one to splurge on an extravagance like a professional paint job. So it was white but you could still tell that it had once been black.
Also, it wouldn't turn right. I never got the full story but I guess it had been in an accident and the wheels wouldn't turn right. They'd turn left, though, so whenever I needed to make a right I made four lefts instead. There's a saying that "two wrongs don't make a right". Four lefts do, though.
Here's how Brandon Coates describes his first car:
1980 Corolla Hatchback. It was black and we called it "The Roach Coach." It got T-boned after I'd had it for two weeks. It still ran but then it broke down for good a month later.
Duke Keith, my former co-host and El Paso Sports Hall-of-Famer:
My first car was a late 1970’s VW Diesel Rabbit. Got it as a high school graduation gift from my parents.
Yeah, buddy, a Diesel Rabbit! While my friends were beefing up their Camaros and painting their Trans Ams like Smokey & The Bandit, I was cruising in a ride that really made the ladies cry…choking from the diesel fumes. Not to mention, as far as “cool" was concerned, this would be the early 80’s equivalent of a Prius. The thing got around 50 miles to the gallon! And I was really too big a geek about that to care too much about cool. I enjoyed driving that car — after I had to wait five minutes for the engine to prime. Every morning I had to pull out the cold start primer after the car sat overnight, then wait another five minutes for it to soak in some fuel. Diesel engines can’t not have fuel or they won’t start.
Of course, what was definitely NOT like a Prius was the Brontosaurus-level carbon footprint! The thing belched diesel fumes, especially when you laid on the gas pedal — a Cheech & Chong-level cloud without the smile if you breathed it in. So many people gave me dirty looks as they passed or waved their hands in front of their faces like someone cut one, which, of course, it was visibly doing with every piston stroke! And EVERYONE passed me because Diesel Rabbits are the opposite of muscle cars. Come to think of it, they probably should never have called that model “Rabbit” in the first place.
And, our Digital Managing Editor Scott Lewis:
My first car was a tan 1986 Toyota Corolla with 250,000 miles on it. I bought it for $1,500 and immediately had to replace the carburetor. I got it my senior year of high school, 1997 – which was also the year the Star Wars Special Editions started coming out. So, of course, I got a toy Yoda at Taco Bell (for my Toyota, duh) and had him placed in the rear window of my car. Then I promptly forgot about him being there. One day, I was walking past my car in a parking lot, and I saw a dark spot. I did a double take and saw the toy Yoda, which I had apparently placed near a defect in my rear windshield, and he had been roasting in the rear of my car. Anyway, I later traded the car in, and they told me they weren’t sure how the wheels hadn’t fallen off my car. I miss the s**t out of that car.
Here are some more first car stories from my friends in radio:
- Front seat was broken. I had a cooler between it and the back seat so it would stay up.
1986 Mercury Cougar!!!!!
- Literally had a hole in the floor on the driver's side that had rusted out from salty Chicago streets. The Fred Flintstone jokes were endless.
- I had a 1974 VW Super Beetle. The starter always had issues. I knew how to pop that clutch like no other! Push it down the hill, POP, it would start right up. I swear I was the only girl in school that could pop a clutch! I even helped a couple of guys pop the clutch on their trucks! BAM! Girls RULE!!
If you had a crappy first car, leave us a description in the comment section. Or, better yet, call the Neckline at (844) 805-6325 and tell us about your first car. We may even play your call back on the air.
While you're doing that, enjoy a song from Adam Sandler about all those POS cars that we hated at the time but look back on fondly (mostly).