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First Car - Whatcha Got, and the story behind it.


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May I present to you what my sister called "the den of debauchery on wheels.."

807783049_74VW.jpg.3175723a2f3195211b9110c0737c19fa.jpg

circa 1979 central coast of California.

I was saving all my nickels and dimes to get a Triumph Spitfire; my sister's BF had one, and he let me drive it around Valley Forge park after hours - it was a state park then, and the rangers went home at 5:00 PM, and I was on a learner's permit. There was a used one at the local VW dealership like the one pictured below, and when the time came, the "old man" and I went to go get it. Gawd, I think I almost pissed my pants with excitement. Once there, my dad took one look at it and said, "this isn't going to happen..." WTF pops? You know what you just did to me? Anyway, not to lose a sale, the salesperson quickly pivoted us over to a dealer demo used 1974 VW Bus telling me it had the same engine as the Porsche 914 - 1.8. Okay, I was almost sold, and my father looked at it a told me to get it, and I can thank him later. Had this all the way up to 1985 - little shy of 10 years. Over time I put in a rebuilt engine and a gearbox and a bunch of other repairs - nothing that couldn't be done with the tools I carried in an old ammo box - extra 10MM sockets included. This car was up and down both the east and west coastlines and across the country 3 times. It pulled a Sunfish, a Force 5, a few Prindle 18s, and a dirt bike trailer all over with no effort, but then again, the speed limit was 55 (wink wink).  Frau Petra met her demise while parked on the street in Long Beach one night; a guy with a little too much to drink took a turn a little too broad and hit the driver side rear quarter, almost knocking the engine out the right side of the bus.  Hard to believe these things are selling today for $15K and up...

 

1972 Triumph Spitfire MkIV (BONNIEBLUE) : Registry : The Autoshrine Network  | Triumph spitfire, Sport cars, Triumph

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My first was a 1969 type 3 square back. Got it when I was 14 yrs old for a 150.00 bucks. Sure I had to push it home and my parents were pissed. Worked on it for two years rebuilt just about everything on it and took my drivers test in her. At the time I was working in a mall and someone hit it and took off. Ins totaled it now I was pissed.

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My first car was a white Buick Le Sabre that my grandfather was gifting me at the age of 15.  It was a 1963 and the year was 1973 which coincided with how often he bought a new car.  Unfortunately, I used the back pasture as a dirt track until one day I showed up and the car was gone.  My grandfather said he gave it to a friend in need.

My grandfather's friend confided that granddad thought I was going to kill myself in his car and in his pasture.

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My first was a bright red '72 Trans Am that I bought in '79

....just in time for gas shortages.  It was no fun waiting in line to fill up a car that got maybe 9 miles to the gallon, and knowing that I'd be back in line again really soon.  Plus it was kind of a ticket magnet.

Sold it and bought a bright shiny new Honda Civic.  Figured out I could cover payments, insurance, gas and have money left over from what I'd been spending to fill the Trans Am's gas-tank.  I put together a mobile rigging shop in the back and roamed all up and down the coast... StFYC didn't love me being "open for business" in their parking lot at the Big Boat Series, but the guys who blew up halyards and afterguys sure liked being able to pick up new ones in the morning.

Only regret from all that is... a guy I knew had a gorgeous 1976 silver-blue BMW 2002tii for sale about the time I bought the Civic.  Sunroof, Blaupunkt stereo, Pirelli tires on 70s-cool wheels... had a high CDI-quotient, but I was enamored with the idea of having a car with a warranty, so I went with the Civic.  Oh well.

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1973 VW Super Beetle that my sister and I bought in 1976...

 Long story. and I'm tired, so the story waits until tomorrow.

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bought a BMW 2002Tii at 14. Stolen 3 weeks later. 

next was a 67 MGB-GT bought an extra engine and monstered it up as much as you could monster up an MG engine. 

It was too much for the stock MG rear-end and wheels.. sheared the splines off within the first hour of driving it around. 

stuck a TR6 rear axle on it and raced it up at Summit Point for a couple years. fun car. Next was a 914 with some extra motor in it too... 

Several MX and enduro bikes mixed in over the next few years.. first vehicle I bought myself to actually drive around on regular roads was a Jeep J10 pickup truck.

best truck I ever owned.  no real story behind any of em... 

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1961 Rambler American Station Wagon. When I grajiated HS in 69 my Dad gave me $100 as a gift, then told me he'd sell me his 8 year old Rambler for $200. It had an aluminum block (or maybe it was aluminum heads) engine that had been replaced once while still on warranty and had been absolutely as unreliable as you've heard Ramblers were.

Since I would be working full time over the summer I figured I'd better buy it, even if I hated it. Turns out it was the perfect summer surf mobile. Six cylinder with a push button automatic and an AM radio, all 3 rows laid down nearly flat leaving room for 2 to sleep almost comfortably on weekend trips to the shore and 2 couples could make out comfy at the drive in. With the back window rolled down I didn't need a rack to haul surfboards...

stock pic, mine was white with the side stripe painted red.

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Of course I met and fell in love with a hot chick down in Beach Haven that summer and would secretly sneak down the shore after dinner 1 or 2 nights a week for a beach makeout session and make it home easily before my 11:30 curfew... until the night they landed on the moon.

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After spending the mandatory 15 minutes scmoozing with her family at the house, I couldn't get us out fast enough. We're walking up to the beach just after dark and she notices a bunch of people gathered in the living room of a bungalow watching the black and white TV in the dark. She remembers 'That's right, they're landing on the moon tonight, lets knock and see if they'll let us in to see it!' 'No, no, no, no, no, the beach is just over that dune!' I whine.

So the total strangers let us in, gave us popcorn and soda and I got to watch those first steps on the moon in a strange house full of very kind total strangers just wishing we were 100 feet away on the sand wrapped in beach towels.

Later, after an abbreviated make out session, she insists she has to be home now, it's 11:00PM. Oh shit, I'm supposed to be home by 11:30 and it's at least an hour's drive if traffic on the island isn't backed up.

I make it out onto Rt. 72 and the road is empty through the pine barrens so I put my foot in it and get her up to 106 MPH and am doing just fine until the steam starts spewing from under the hood. I'm a few miles from the nearest traffic circle where there's a gas station but manage to limp in by stopping periodically to let her cool off. Fortunately the owner lives next door and after a bit of sincerely whiny begging I get him to reluctantly push a bucket of water out under the garage door to help me out.

I had to creep the remaining 20 miles home and the folks were waiting for me when I walked in secretively at about 2 AM. I remember getting shit and probably a week of after work  on campus (I was still only 17), which was good because that gave me time to get a new thermostat in her and running reasonably well for my next secret shore run.

I left for college a few weeks later and my Mom sold that POS to a lady she worked with whom had nothing but trouble with it, causing a bit of tension at the office, but for one glorious summer, my first independent, almost adult, freewheeling summer, that car was a chariot that took me and my buds everywhere on the Jersey shore  from Wildwood Crest to Manasquan in search of FUN FUN FUN!

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Hell, I'll play. 

In 197x my dad bought a 28' motorhome (made by Kayot, which made boats). Class A, dodge 440 big block. Got maybe 5mpg on a good day.

We (3 kids and mom) spent summers at grandpa's house in Utah. So start of summer drive the motorhome to Utah, drop off kids, at the end of summer reverse the process. 

Dad realized wife and kids needed transportation and looked into what was a good toad (towed). And dad, in an absolutely insane moment, bought a brand spanking new 1995 Chevy Vega Wagon. New. Like from a dealer and all of that. 5 spd manual because that's what could be towed. 

Towed great. Was actually great behind the motorhome. Good for running around during the summer. Dad drove it to work during the winter, unless it snowed where the Vega couldn't make it out of the driveway. No A/C. 

-- some years pass --

My older sister* ends up with the Vega as her going to college car. It's maybe 4-5 years old at this point and isn't a complete POS. She goes off to college. She ends up buying a much better vehicle (Subaru) as the Vega descends into it's planned obsolescence and deposits the Vega in the driveway of my childhood home. My other sister doesn't want to drive a stick, so my 16 Y/O self ends up with a 1975 puke yellow Vega wagon in somewhat running condition.  (My dad told me if I could get it moving it was mine. That's how I learned to drive a stick)

God, I loved that car. I cannot describe the ecstasy that occurred in that vehicle (Rear seat was removed, flat floor all the way to the front seats. Done to carry band equipment.) Girls saw that I _had_ a car before they noticed it was garbage. I  musta rebuilt that fukkin carb 10 times. God did GM design utter crap at that time. 

Drove through a riverbed once, tore open the oil pan, of course none of the idiot lights worked so unknowingly as all the oil drained out it seized the engine. Pulled the oil pan, looked like a shredded roll of aluminum foil in there. Replaced all the rod and main bearings, and it ran another 20K miles until a drunk hit me in Columbus OH. 115K on the odo on it's trip to the junkyard. 

God, I loved that car. That car was the biggest piece of shit I've ever owned or driven.  (Sistership pic...)

1975-chevrolet-vega-front-view-the-1975-chevrolet-vega-lineup_b6aa2.jpg

* Now known in my neighborhood as "The colonel" because my short, insanely brilliant, 100lb big sister ended up a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. I'm rather proud of her. 

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2 hours ago, hasher said:

My first car was a white Buick Le Sabre that my grandfather was gifting me at the age of 15.  It was a 1963 and the year was 1973 which coincided with how often he bought a new car.  Unfortunately, I used the back pasture as a dirt track until one day I showed up and the car was gone.  My grandfather said he gave it to a friend in need.

My grandfather's friend confided that granddad thought I was going to kill myself in his car and in his pasture.

This makes absolutely no sense. You're shitfaced drunk right now aren't you?

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Series one 4.2 E-Type coupe. Had all the good stuff - triple carb 4.2, ZF all syncro box, covered headlights & small taillights, toggle switch dash etc. They only made that combination for about 18 months before they had to bastardize it for changing regs.

I loved that car even when it bankrupted me and still wasn't satisfied.

It was the best car to wash of all the cars I've owned.

 

1965-Jaguar-E-type-Series-I-FHC-Rear.jpg

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64 Chevrolet Impala SS with a piece  of crap 6 cylinder engine that barely could pull it up hills. Had a cool (at the time) Radio vibronasonic system so could really blast music cruising Woodward in the Detroit area.  Now they have the annual Woodward Dream Cruise every summer with thousands of classic cars from across the country.

DD323941-A99A-4EDC-B92E-EE048279A877.jpeg

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Austin 1300, the next model up in size to the mini. This isn't mine, mine was dark green. Built from 1963 to 1971, they were the UK's best selling car of the time, I got mine 1975 and it was a 1964 model, all I could afford.. If I'd gone for a Spitfire the insurance would have cost more than the car.. It died of terminal rust, as did almost all Leylands products.  Would I want another ? NO!!6702916793_8aaae422c5_b.thumb.jpg.89bda889d43ddd01c062e39b12d9420d.jpg

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1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV. (If somebody knows how, please post a pic of a red one......)

Paid just over three grand (when a good wage was 600-800 a month. A full tank of gas was about 10 bucks, a bottle of Scotch was about 5 bucks, cigarettes were 75 cents a pack, an ounce of weed was 15 bucks, etc etc.)  Today you'll pay around 100K for a good one.

A great driver's car and one of the prettiest Italian designs ever. 

 

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image.jpeg.eff3fdabb4f594098fc2f3549b771e2c.jpeg

Like this but not this color.

!974 Toyota Corolla SR Coupe, I bought it second hand, I was so proud of the car its a wonder it had any paint left after the number of times I washed and waxed it.

I ended up upgrading to the lower mileage same model three times and each time I sold one I sold it for more than I paid for it.

First one was shit brown, second red and the final one white. First major investment was a dash mounted radar detector the second a serious for the time Pioneer Stereo

My father had a 1965 Daimler 3.4 L rare 4 on the floor and overdrive on the stork , and he was so impressed by all the bell's and whistles that came standard he became a long standing Toyota convert.

Learnt to drive in the Daimler and uncles farm truck an early sixties Ford Fairlane ute and several  tractors  I was so young and light I had to stand with two feet on the tractors clutches. Good times.

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1981 Mitsubishi mirage.  3 door with the 1200cc engine, they didn't have the supershift so 4 on the floor.

Fun fact: a 1200cc 1981 Mitsubishi mirage can get up the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street) in 2nd gear with three people in it. It won't do it with four, I tried it, so did my mate with his one...   It's only just getting over compression at the top but it does do it. You kind of have to ring the shit out it at the bottom of the hill to have the momentum but it will do it.

Ohh to be young dumb and full of cum again...

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No pics. But it was a 1968 Galaxie 500 with a 289. You could probably have fit 2 of those engines under the hood the engine compartment was so big.

burgandy with a huge chrome bumper and grill  looked great to me I hardly noticed the crumpled front fender.

had 105k miles on it. Which in 1980 meant a car was on its very last legs. Bought it for $50. Put about $150 of miscellaneous parts in it. Drove it for a summer and the frame broke. 
 

wound up getting $35 from a junkyard for it 

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1 hour ago, floating dutchman said:

1981 Mitsubishi mirage.  3 door with the 1200cc engine, they didn't have the supershift so 4 on the floor.

Fun fact: a 1200cc 1981 Mitsubishi mirage can get up the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street) in 2nd gear with three people in it. It won't do it with four, I tried it, so did my mate with his one...   It's only just getting over compression at the top but it does do it. You kind of have to ring the shit out it at the bottom of the hill to have the momentum but it will do it.

Ohh to be young dumb and full of cum again...

Is that the hill down in Duneden? We managed to get up it in 1999 in our 1984 Toyota HiAce fully loaded with camping gear... barely.

A couple of local lads didn't think too much of us being in their neighborhood and talked trash at us until they heard our yank accents, then, inexplicably, we were like long lost friends.

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5 hours ago, 130lights said:

64 Chevrolet Impala SS with a piece  of crap 6 cylinder engine that barely could pull it up hills. Had a cool (at the time) Radio vibronasonic system so could really blast music cruising Woodward in the Detroit area.  Now they have the annual Woodward Dream Cruise every summer with thousands of classic cars from across the country.

DD323941-A99A-4EDC-B92E-EE048279A877.jpeg

That was, except for the SS and Craigar mags, my second car. Bought in 1970, it had a 283 auto and the quarter panels were so rusted you could see into the trunk. Black w/ red cloth.

It took me from Dayton, OH to Calif, home to New Jersey then back to Dayton in 5 months. Bought for $400, sold for $300. Back seat was big enough to sleep stretched out in. I left Dayton solo with $60 cash in my wallet and 3 hardboiled eggs to eat.  3 days later arrived in Santa Barbara with enough cash leftover to eat at an all you can eat lunch pizza buffet.

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English Ford 100e. $10. A bunch of 10 year olds dug it out of a snow bank and pushed it behind our barn. Fixed the burned valve with Model T tools from my great grandfather, the engine was a flathead 4. The front seat was propped forward with 2 by 4s to reach the pedals. We chipped in quarters to buy gas and took turns carrying the can. Gas station was a mile away. Once saw 40mph on the speedometer before the hard left at the end of the field. Tried a snap turn in reverse and put it up on two wheels. What were my parents thinking?

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'64 Dodge Dart , Slant 6, 3 on the tree. It was a true POS. Bad paint, a few dents, driver window liked to fall down. But I drove the shit out of it and it was mine. My Dad even apologized many years later about that car. I told him I loved that car.

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207292642_1

Identical to the pic, including the color.

Powered by the old 250 cu.in/4.1l 6L engine

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38 minutes ago, F_L said:

'64 Dodge Dart , Slant 6, 3 on the tree. It was a true POS. Bad paint, a few dents, driver window liked to fall down. But I drove the shit out of it and it was mine. My Dad even apologized many years later about that car. I told him I loved that car.

Love it!

Mine was a '63. The same drivetrain. Faded baby blue. Won a few bets starting it in gear and driving away!

AKA the "Fart Dart".

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1280px-1973_Chevrolet_Caprice.thumb.jpg.206e6c9f11cf5f072386c2861cd62f1c.jpg

 

This in a four door with a 454 V8, was my grandfather's and my family got it when he passed. It was called a Captain's Special or some such since it was police spec but not a black and white. Apparently gramps always bought the cars they used to turn into cop cars back in the day. I think this may be a canada car since it has those rubber deals next to the license plate on the front bumper. I don't recall those on ours. And the hole mom put in the cinderblock wall of the garage from that bumper point couldn't have occurred with them. Our was a '73 in shit brown metallic with a tan vinyl roof. First car with cruise control I remember having. On road trips my sister would sleep on the deck behind back seat while my brother and I switched between the seat and floor well. It was huge. I got it in 1980. It would do 90 all day long and popped hub caps under hard turning with frequency. I had to drive car pool for my mom for Jr/Sr years if I wanted to have the car for school, I may have scarred some 5th graders in my sister's class for life with my driving.

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Haha... SAAB 900. I guess that started my penchant for strange cars. Saab-900-3door.thumb.jpg.87baa6657635d7bf5d12caba25930a79.jpg

That backwards Ford based 4-popper. Maybe that's why I feel comfortable with v-drives. 

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1979 Orange Ford Fiesta.
German designed and built, stickshift, an absolute hoot to drive, great cornering, jamming through the gears as quick as possible. Could park anywhere in downtown Chicago due to its short length. Used as a daily commuter. I was 6'2" and 190 pounds at the time. People were amused at this giant stepping out of this little box.  No A/C. Had sunroof.

Drove to Indy 500 with it, on the way back, all of the cops in the State of Indiana are in Indianapolis, not one on the highways. Everyone is flying with the adrenaline of the race pouring through their veins. This little bugger topped out at 78 mph, on I-65 the foot is through the floor and I have a long line of backed up cars behind me with cars flying past on the left at 100mph+.


1979 Ford Fiesta 1.3 Ghia | Place: Schijndel Origineel Neder… | Flickr

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1970 Triumph GT6+.  I learned a lot about being a mechanic keeping that thing on the road.  Luckily I found a parts car abandoned at a local airport, scavenged it ruthlessly for several years.It contributed a differential, rear leaf spring, steering box, and a front seat.  I really liked that car, but my favorite was it's replacement a 1974 Alfa GTV2000.  Great lines, and beautiful sounds.  Many long late night drives on almost empty two lane roads.  The italian cigarette lighter was great, you drop the joint (did not smoke tobacco) into it and pushed down the sleeve.  When it was perfectly lit the bell would ring, and off I went.  

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‘67 Plymouth Valiant slant 6 I bought from a neighbor for $65 in 1977. Nuthin’ fancy, reliable and got the job done for several months until I sold it for $100 and bought a ‘64 Pontiac Tempest from a friend’s granddad with the hundred bucks from the Valiant (good old days of $100 decent, reliable transportation). Sold the Tempest for $100 several months after that which is when the REAL car adventures began.

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55 Mercury Monterey. 1973

Traded 5 lids of Mexican pot to a Deadhead for it. Fucker neglected to mention the leaking wheel cylinder. Approaching a red light, Southbound on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, the brake pedal went to the floor. Lucky for me the horn worked. Unlucky for me the emergency brake didn't do a damn thing. Rolled through the next red light also and wound up turning into the red brick church parking lot on Highland Avenue and rolled around in circles till it came to a stop.

Deadheads are all happy and shit, but you really can't trust them.

I was 15. No drivers license. 

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37 minutes ago, Dorado said:

55 Mercury Monterey. 1973

Traded 5 lids of Mexican pot to a Deadhead for it. Fucker neglected to mention the leaking wheel cylinder. Approaching a red light, Southbound on Mission Street in Santa Cruz, the brake pedal went to the floor. Lucky for me the horn worked. Unlucky for me the emergency brake didn't do a damn thing. Rolled through the next red light also and wound up turning into the red brick church parking lot on Highland Avenue and rolled around in circles till it came to a stop.

Deadheads are all happy and shit, but you really can't trust them.

I was 15. No drivers license. 

hehehe, Dorado said "lids"

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1977 Honda Accord, same color. 

My Dad placed an order for this one at Honda City in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  They were in such demand that folks would hang around the dealer and offer cash above purchase as they came off the truck.  When it hit about a 2 month wait, he agreed to take one in gold.  A month later, we got t-boned and the insurance company said it was going to be totaled.  Dad got on the phone and wrangled a blue one, as he NEEDED the car.  A week later, insurance said they'd repair it - so we now have 2 of them.  I took over payments for the blue one.  1600 cc and a "Honda-matic" transmission (essentially a low/high for forward).

I loved that thing.  One night a patch of ice and a telephone pole conspired to separate us.

1977-Honda-Accord-Hatchback.jpeg

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1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, straight six with 100K miles, purchased in the late 80s for $100 from my brother in-law's mom.

Ran another 60K miles and 3 replacement radiators...

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This was the true little old lady story. Actual old photo

 

20201221_102043.thumb.jpg.e810eafb7634f86dbeb0e5368f265fd1.jpg

 

My dad was working at a local Texaco service station. He called me at home and said get down here with all the money I'd been saving for a car.

The elderly original owner of this 1966 Chevelle Malibu had been bringing it to the shop for regular service since the day she bought it. She decided she was getting too old to drive any more and wanted $500 for it. This was in 1976, it had about 35K on the odometer and was nearly perfect. Damn I miss that car.

 

Oh, and that's the childhood home I spent the most time in, we moved a lot.

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First car a 1962 VW camper I bought in 1966..  Graduated from Army basic training in December '66, went home for a 3 day pass, drove it back to Ft. Ord and hid it on post in an out of the way shed, no on-post sticker.  Drove it home for Xmas leave and reported for armor AIT at Fort Knox in Jan '67.  Had my dad sell it.  Fast forward to 1974, bought a 66 VW camper, still have it.

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13 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

image.jpeg.eff3fdabb4f594098fc2f3549b771e2c.jpeg

 

First one was shit brown, second red and the final one white. First major investment was a dash mounted radar detector the second a serious for the time Pioneer Stereo

Is this the shit brown color?  One of our classmates had this and we use to call it the Box Car, she always had three of four other girls in the car with her on any given weekend night.

1974 TOYOTA COROLLA KE20

1 hour ago, Dorado said:

Those were four finger lids, mind you. I'm all about customer service.

When my bus got totaled, the cops asked me if I wanted to get anything out of the car before they towed it to the city lot.  I grabbed everything, the AM/FM Cassette player and speakers included, except the baggy that was in the passenger side door vent channel...  awesome secret stash place. 

 

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First car was a, the cool part, 65 Mustang GT convertible, the bad part it needed freeze plugs and motor mounts, and a clutch pedal bushing, and.....  El Paso Texas, freeze plugs really?  Anyway, cut my teeth on wrenching at the Fort Bliss base auto shop and got lots of help and tips, some useful.  That car, cool as it was, never got beyond project in work status so when a guy offered me a fully driving everything works 65 Pontiac Lemans 4speed 326 4bbl and $250 for the driving project I let it go in a heartbeat.

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4 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

1977 Honda Accord, same color. 

My Dad placed an order for this one at Honda City in Glen Burnie, Maryland.  They were in such demand that folks would hang around the dealer and offer cash above purchase as they came off the truck.  When it hit about a 2 month wait, he agreed to take one in gold.  A month later, we got t-boned and the insurance company said it was going to be totaled.  Dad got on the phone and wrangled a blue one, as he NEEDED the car.  A week later, insurance said they'd repair it - so we now have 2 of them.  I took over payments for the blue one.  1600 cc and a "Honda-matic" transmission (essentially a low/high for forward).

I loved that thing.  One night a patch of ice and a telephone pole conspired to separate us.

1977-Honda-Accord-Hatchback.jpeg

Those original Accords and Civics were great, great cars.

Somewhere along the line something happened - the current ones are just like everything else on the road.

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4 hours ago, Liquid said:

1972 Dodge Dart Swinger, straight six with 100K miles, purchased in the late 80s for $100 from my brother in-law's mom.

Ran another 60K miles and 3 replacement radiators...

After the Chevy small block those slant sixes were near the top of the "Best Engine Ever Made" sweeps.

Couldn't kill them with a stick and they could be hot rodded to make some real power. Three side draft Webers on one made a great looking engine.

I always thought it was a shame they didn't put a crossflow head on them

23 Slant six ideas | mopar, mopar cars, dodge dart

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19 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

This makes absolutely no sense. You're shitfaced drunk right now aren't you?

It depends upon what you mean by shitfaced.  When did you stop beating your wife?

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My first ride was a 1977 Oldsmobile Delta 88.  Red, frame and body damage, lots of rust, and an average MPG of about 5.  Mom had all kinds of descriptions and epithets for it....

A total load of shit.  BUT IT WAS MINE!  

Drove it into the ground then I drove/lived in a series of big station wagons, then a Chevy Astro, then a Chevy Venture, then a Dodge Grand Caravan, and now a full length Ford Transit 350 XLT with all the seats taken out and stored in the basement.  Love that fuckin' thing!

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I'll play...

I was about 14 and asked my parents to pick up a new calculator for me when they went to town....they came home a few hours later in separate cars.  The 1964 International Scout was mine.  It had 152 cubic inches of slant four pure fury (valves would float at 60mph), was 2 wheel drive (well, open diff, so actually one wheel drive) with a 3 speed. 

Windshield wipers were vacuum operated -- so you step on the gas to "accelerate" and low manifold vacuum caused the wipers stop working. 

This is a wikipedia pic, but mine looked the same, except my paint job was done in the driveway on a windy afternoon using fire-engine red rust paint and a wagner airless sprayer.  Nothing but class happening here!  Had a cast-off 8-track player with a cassette adapter for tunes and the beast made all of 10mpg on a good day.  Drove it until I graduated from high school and then sold it for $400.

61Scout.jpg

Oh yeah...I eventually had to buy my own damn calculator....

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My son's first car was a compact pickup truck.  He still drives on but Tacoma's today look pretty large to me.

A small truck has limited ability for passengers.  When he obtained a license I wanted him in a vehicle with limited passenger space.

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5 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

After the Chevy small block those slant sixes were near the top of the "Best Engine Ever Made" sweeps.

Couldn't kill them with a stick and they could be hot rodded to make some real power. Three side draft Webers on one made a great looking engine.

I always thought it was a shame they didn't put a crossflow head on them

I was told many stories when people came across me in my brown, steel paneled 2 door 'coupe'!

The never die engine was #1 on the list!

160K+ miles on a '72...

Best $100 purchase ever!

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Got my license in the mid-'70s.  Took the practical test in a 1972 Buick LeSabre.  Yes, that was back in the day when you had to parallel park.

Drove my family's Dodge van through high school.  Long wheel base, slant six in a box between the front seats.    

image.png.0fba5c72334327db365b2e0595affbd3.png

In the early '80s I bought my first car.  A 1966 Dodge Charger.  (Gawd I wish I still had it)  Black, with white interior, 383 V-8 4BBL & dual exhaust, hide-away headlights and a wall to wall tail light.  I responded to the classified ad and met the Seller in a parking lot near my credit union.  Test drive went well, walked in withdrew the money and transferred the title.  Left the car in the lot and headed home in my parent's car.  A friend took me back to pick it up.  The Charger wouldn't start.  No prob, we jump it and it roared to life. Drove it home.  IIRC I went to class the next day and came home to find my roommate & cousin checking it out.  Discovered there were no belts on the engine but we found a set of new belts in the trunk. Who would have thunk!

image.thumb.png.88f5365e0e9a84c70455e8862569c1f9.png

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OK. In 1975, the summer between my junior and senior years in high school, the physics teacher at my small high school in central Washington, just up and left town. Too late to get a replacement, so I signed up for Auto Shop instead. One of the best things that ever happened to me. But I needed a project for the class. Up till then, my dad had been disapproving of my pleas to buy this or that junker with my paper route money. And then, one day, there is was on my walk to school, a car that used to park on the hilltop overlook near our house where the then owner (he was 3 years ahead of me) used to park to smoke doobies. With a "for sale" sign in it! The rear main seal had gone out and he had no inclination to fix it. It was mine for $150 and became my project for auto shop. A 1953 Chevrolet 150 Handyman wagon. Three on the tree coupled to the 235 straight six (an engine that Toyota later copied to put in the LandCruiser). I rebuilt the engine and did other assorted repairs/upgrades. But, I never really drove it much-- it wouldn't start when it was hot from driving and after I graduated, I was off on a path that took me far from my hometown. Years away in Alaska commercial fishing and abroad going to school and back to Alaska and my dear old dad somehow managed to find places to store it all those years. I would charge the battery (6 volt) and squirt fogging oil down the cylinders and start it up and drive it a bit whenever I visited my parents but years passed. Once, my brother gave me a tip, suggesting that maybe the hard starting when warm was due to overtight bushings on the starter. Hmmm, I had indeed had the local NAPA store rebuild the starter (they used to do that sort of thing, right there in the back of the shop...) back during my high school rebuild. NAPA no longer did such things but I found an old guy out in the sticks who did such things for starters on tractors and, sure enough, he changed the bushings and it started flawlessly even when hot after that. Around about 2000-2001,  I drove it with my then young kids from Washington state to Connecticut. We took Route 2 across the northern tier-- my motto was 'an old road for an old car.'  No problems at all on that trip. But, ever since the rebuild, I had been consuming oil.... A race shop in CT finally diagnosed the problem when I took them a piston and rings--  the auto parts store (a competitor of the local NAPA store) I had used for the tank cleaning of the block and for all my rebuild parts had sold me the wrong rings. It turns out that the oil ring on a 235 of that era is different in the engines Chevy put in the cars with manual transmissions compared to those that went it the cars with the "Powerglide" automatic. I hear the doubters... look it up. Before I moved to the east coast, a friend of mine in Seattle had given me a spare engine-- a 235 from a 1956 panel delivery truck. A 56 235 is a full-pressure oiling engine. My 53 had splash oiling. And the wrong rings... I decided to swap in the 56 engine. No more "matching numbers" for me. Sigh. But I had no intentions of this being a show car. It was just my beloved Handyman.

I still have it. Matter of fact, I just took it out of storage (about 4 months this time) this afternoon. After priming the carb, it started right up (like it always does) and I took for about a 30 minute drive while doing some errands and a trip to the Shipyard. The photo is from shortly after out cross-country drive. It needs to be repainted--- several years ago, the transmission seized and I left it outside my shop, covered, for two years while I was searching for a tranny (found one right next door in Mass,) and the paint suffered. But I love it. When I was younger, I used to think that I would rather have a Nomad, but now, I find a charm to the Handyman and I have had it so long I can't see parting with it. Lots of people have Nomads, but I have a Handyman!

 

53_Handyman.jpg

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On 9/3/2021 at 7:25 PM, SloopJonB said:

Those original Accords and Civics were great, great cars.

Somewhere along the line something happened - the current ones are just like everything else on the road.

One major problem we encountered was blown head gaskets.  My memory is we had to replace the gasket in both cars more than once.  Seems there was a flaw in the casting of the head and, when it warmed up, it blew between cylinders.  The first time each blew, we paid.  The next times, they acknowledged the issue and warrantied it.

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Bedford Dormobile.Bedford Dormobile - Wikipedia 1972 model I think

 

Bought it in London to travel Around Europe with from a welsh pixie that only used it to take brownies camping.

I'd only had my licence 6 weeks. Jimmy only had his a week.

I had to teach him to drive a Manual around a pub carpark

with frying pans etc crashing around as he kangaroo hopped :D

Top speed 50 MPH

Got as far as Ireland when oil in universal joint all drained away and buggered the drive shaft. Or something.

Got it cobbled together and limped back to london. 

The story of it's resale is too disreputable to post :ph34r:

Great little camper though.

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23 minutes ago, ShortForBob said:

Bedford Dormobile.Bedford Dormobile - Wikipedia 1972 model I think

 

Bought it in London to travel Around Europe with from a welsh pixie that only used it to take brownies camping.

I'd only had my licence 6 weeks. Jimmy only had his a week.

I had to teach him to drive a Manual around a pub carpark

with frying pans etc crashing around as he kangaroo hopped :D

Top speed 50 MPH

Got as far as Ireland when oil in universal joint all drained away and buggered the drive shaft. Or something.

Got it cobbled together and limped back to london. 

The story of it's resale is too disreputable to post :ph34r:

Great little camper though.

I can't believe you left to tour Europe and didn't change the U-joint oil! Oy Vey! Did you not rotate the tire air and check the turn signal fluid either?

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8 minutes ago, Willin' said:

I can't believe you left to tour Europe and didn't change the U-joint oil! Oy Vey! Did you not rotate the tire air and check the turn signal fluid either?

We took it to a fucking mechanic for an all over service before we started.

Suspect they didn't do a terrible good job.<_<

I can't believe we bought a right hand drive camper to drive around Europe in for 6 months with 7 weeks driving experience between us :o

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4 hours ago, ShortForBob said:

Bedford Dormobile.Bedford Dormobile - Wikipedia 1972 model I think

The story of it's resale is too disreputable to post :ph34r:

???

Where TF do you think you are?

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This was my first car. 1973 Monte Carlo with posi rear and a 2 barrel Rochester carb. I couldn’t drive it in cold weather if it had rained the day before because the gas pedal would be frozen in 4” of ice. The day I got it I drove from Philadelphia to the Jersey shore for the weekend. In the middle lane of the 3 lane highway at a red light when I got to the beach, a ‘68 RS Camaro pulled up on my left and a new ‘84 RS Camaro on my right and we’re revving their engines to race at the green light. The light turned green and I hit the road and left them waaayyyy behind in the dust. I killed that car for a couple of years and sold it for double what I paid. The new owner took the motor and trans out and put them in a race car. 
 

I remember being in Seaside at a big parking lot with a huge puddle in the middle. I hit the gas and loaded a couple of big hair Jersey girls with that puddle and a cop saw me and pulled me over immediately. I would have gotten a DWI if the cop wasn’t laughing so hard at the hosed down girls bitching about me…I feel bad but I was young and they were an easy target. 

54B95E35-0807-4375-BDB6-7C0B31AAD237.jpeg

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On 9/4/2021 at 9:25 AM, SloopJonB said:

Those original Accords and Civics were great, great cars.

Somewhere along the line something happened - the current ones are just like everything else on the road.

Yeah my second car was a 77 Accord, rust everywhere.

I bought a &#39;77 Honda Accord and apparently I wasn&#39;t nuts to do it

Drove it for about 5 years then had to sell because we were going to the UK to live.

Well couldn't trade in, couldn't roadworthy it to sell.

Tried the wrecker. He said steel scrap was selling at $45 a tonne and that car doesn't weigh a tonne.

The Italian kid that was painting the house said he'd take it for a fixer upper.

Saw it a couple of years later (same plates) all prettied up, rust free and still going like stink :)

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1969 Cadillac El Dorado. IIRC it had a 496 HP engine. Got maybe 10 miles to a gallon.
Was a corporate lease car that my Dad had. In those days leases were structured quite a bit differently. After 3 years my Father bought it for $1.00. Had to pay 7% sales tax. So full up $1.07. He gave it to my Mom but all us kids got to drive it when we got our licenses. Come 1976 I bought it off Mom for a fair price, she doubled her money. Car went well over 100 MPH, no pollution stuff and could lay rubber quite easily. I managed to kill it in two years and bought a Diesel Rabbit to replace "The Beast".

1969 Cadillac Eldorado | R&amp;H Motor Car Group

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I learned to drive in a diesel rabbit. It was a 4 speed stick with vinyl upholstery and crank windows. Absolute bottom of the line trim but you could pretty much hose it out and it could carry a surprising amount of junk. That thing was as slow as it was indestructible. Also, an honest 50mpg in 1982. Looking back, it was the perfect car for a broke teenage boy.

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

I learned to drive in a diesel rabbit. It was a 4 speed stick with vinyl upholstery and crank windows. Absolute bottom of the line trim but you could pretty much hose it out and it could carry a surprising amount of junk. That thing was as slow as it was indestructible. Also, an honest 50mpg in 1982. Looking back, it was the perfect car for a broke teenage boy.

My Rabbit was one of the first off the Westmoreland PA assembly line. All the details the same as yours, Silver, black vinyl interior.... but the Westmoreland cars had a more powerful engine. Not a stunner by any means but it held its own off the line with similar sized cars. It basically got like 32 MPG around town..... town being NYC. Took it to Colorado to see The Good Old Grateful Dead for their 15 Anniversary Shows in Boulder. Four guys in car and all our gear. Stuffed to the point our hiking boots were in the cabin air boxes under the hood (no shit).Got from NYC, Long Island actually,toBoulder, non-stop, in 28 hours. I was the only driver and that was after putting in a day of work...... When we fueled up at truck stops, one would handle the fuel, two would get food, and the last would check tire pressure and clean the bugs off the windows. 
On the way home it took 32 hours..... we got caught speeding in Kansas. Cop says as we peaked the first hill he had us in the low 90's. Second hill in the 80's, and third hill in the l.ow 70's as we had seen him way up the highway sitting in the median. He was laughing, staring at all our gear and kept saying there was no fukin way the car could have been going 90+...... So he gave us the maximum speed where we could be sent on our way.... but first we had to follow him to the local Post Office and post bond, seal envelope, all the cash we had but like 10 bucks. Luckily we had two five gallon jugs of fuel and a full tank (another 10 gallons IIRC). As we crossed Staten Island, hadn't eaten in like 12 hours, money all gone...... so we are on the Verrazano Bridge, flat broke. In those days there was no EZPass or Pay By Mail and the Exact Change Lanes had no gates....... we just blew on through and luckily no one came after us.
Drive to Colorado for a weekend series of concerts...... was a fukin blast.
Gawd I loved that Rabbit. It did right by me.

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On 9/2/2021 at 10:34 PM, Grrr... said:

There's my first pretty girl. 

She's sitting in a barn waiting for me to rebuild her.  Someday I'll get the time. 

image.png.bc513dc02286edd642e1f76a3e20bb67.png


Completely missed the 'story behind it', though there was one.  I was 15 when we went to pick it up.  I was excited as all heck, and wasn't exactly thinking straight.  So as my father drove us to go 'look' at it, I never considered how it was going to get home.  We got there, I saw the car and fell in love with it, and we bought it on the spot.  It was only then that it occurred to me that we had 2 cars, and only 1 licensed driver.  That didn't stop my dad!  He handed ME the keys to the minivan, and he hopped in the Trans Am and drove off.  I was left, having never really driven before, to figure out how to get the minivan home.  We were an hours drive away.

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A 15 Y.O. getting a T/A?

You had pretty cool parents.

Also a bit surprising you're still here to tell us about it.

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On 9/6/2021 at 12:26 PM, quod umbra said:

1969 Cadillac El Dorado. IIRC it had a 496 HP engine. Got maybe 10 miles to a gallon.
Was a corporate lease car that my Dad had. In those days leases were structured quite a bit differently. After 3 years my Father bought it for $1.00. Had to pay 7% sales tax. So full up $1.07. He gave it to my Mom but all us kids got to drive it when we got our licenses. Come 1976 I bought it off Mom for a fair price, she doubled her money. Car went well over 100 MPH, no pollution stuff and could lay rubber quite easily. I managed to kill it in two years and bought a Diesel Rabbit to replace "The Beast".

1969 Cadillac Eldorado | R&amp;H Motor Car Group

Woof, that photo prompted an old memory!

It's 1969, as usual, I'm a new kid at a new school running cross country in my senior year with a bunch of strangers. Out of no where one Friday in October one of the guys I hardly knew on the team asks me if I want to ride along with him and a few others to tomorrow's away football game? Hell yeah, says I, and he says he'll pick me up tomorrow at my house.

Next day, a glorious, sunny warm blue sky South Jersey day, he shows up at my folk's house with 3 other mates in this, complete with suicide doors...

138_main_l.jpg

Holy shit, total shock but what a great way to ride the 40 miles to and from the big game. Compared to my folks' Rambler wagon, this was living awful large!

Except for the fact none of us got any nookie, sheesh, what a day!

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Well…..in high school a group of us “owned” a VW bus…….I don’t really count that one…..besides it’s probably still in Baja…..or parts of it might be……down near the 7 sisters.

My first was a Opel Kadet. I’m guessing a 68? My pop sold it to me when I got out of boot camp at age 18……with a wife……and a baby……made monthly payments to him. 1/2 way through the payments toward the agreed upon value (which I don’t remember now) he said….”never mind the rest….it’s yours.”

 

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On 9/12/2021 at 12:20 AM, Point Break said:

My first was a Opel Kadet. .......... 1/2 way through the payments toward the agreed upon value (which I don’t remember now) he said….”never mind the rest….it’s yours.”

Opel Kadet???? I suspect you still got the short end of the stick.

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First car I had use of was a Plymouth Cricket. It wasn't running well so my neighbor sold it to dad for a song.

A diaphragm in the carb was replaced, and we dumbass kids beat the shit out of it for a few years. Can't remember what happened to it.

908223028_Screenshot_20210915-1431282.thumb.png.3672bdd5d3bbe8dd3cfb9694e9fd6cd6.png

 

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First car 1946/7 Studebaker . Many great  memories. Only problem was gearbox would jam at worst times  and starter button was under the clutch pedal and would fall through floor but gee would love one again just to look at in old age.  Cost 56 pounds. Same colour as below but reverse. 

B3DC7A3C-B765-4E57-B839-A8F3B8D02E79.jpeg

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1965 VW Variant S 1500 but mine was the light blue and had mismatched front fenders. Bought it used of course in 1980 for $600 USD. It had dual carbs and the linkage was a hanger wire. The brake pedal would flop back towards the driver and you would have to pump the brakes to get them to work until I put a spring on the pedal to hold it in the correct place. I got a correct throttle linkage and sync'd the carbs and put an extractor exhaust on it. Went pretty well though I almost rolled it in a high speed right hand turn on Hwy 17 due to the swing axle half shaft suspension. The heater was a word above a lever. More of an intention than an actual performing system. AM radio but the washer system worked! It lasted less than 6 months when I kid younger than I blew through a neighborhood intersection and hit me. I spun a 180 and backed into a steel light pole at speed and it peeled the left rear fender off the car. I got my 600 back from AAA and bought a 1968 BMW 1600 which was all the same color and that thing was just the ticket. Drove those and the 2002's for the next 15 years in various forms of repair and modification.

https://360carmuseum.com/data/museums/57/expo/3134/image/4.jpg

 

 

https://360carmuseum.com/data/museums/57/expo/3134/image/2.jpg

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5 hours ago, quod umbra said:

Opel Kadet???? I suspect you still got the short end of the stick.

:lol:

You drive what you can afford at that age ! It was a standard trans though so I did get a “stick”. :P

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4 hours ago, Point Break said:
9 hours ago, quod umbra said:

Opel Kadet???? I suspect you still got the short end of the stick.

:lol:

 

"You talkin' ta me?"

Turn Up The Volume and Immerse Yourself in The Sound of an 11,000 RPM Opel  - gallery

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10 hours ago, Point Break said:

:lol:

You drive what you can afford at that age ! It was a standard trans though so I did get a “stick”. :P

Hear ya. My best bud way back in those days always bout 10+ year old cars.... mid 70's. So a Buick Skylark or Chevy Nova etc. We would spend days making them "work"......
Good thing we were both handy. Of course the first upgrade was always the sound system.
We had priorities after all.

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39 minutes ago, quod umbra said:

Hear ya. My best bud way back in those days always bout 10+ year old cars.... mid 70's. So a Buick Skylark or Chevy Nova etc. We would spend days making them "work"......
Good thing we were both handy. Of course the first upgrade was always the sound system.
We had priorities after all.

so a Craig 8 track in the dash and Jensen 6x9's in the parcel shelf???

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2 hours ago, chester said:
3 hours ago, quod umbra said:

Hear ya. My best bud way back in those days always bout 10+ year old cars.... mid 70's. So a Buick Skylark or Chevy Nova etc. We would spend days making them "work"......
Good thing we were both handy. Of course the first upgrade was always the sound system.
We had priorities after all.

so a Craig 8 track in the dash and Jensen 6x9's in the parcel shelf???

Rims were first - how many kids had wheels that were worth more than the car?

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3 hours ago, chester said:

so a Craig 8 track in the dash and Jensen 6x9's in the parcel shelf???

LOL, yes to the Jensens.
Pioneer cassette IIRC.

Never did rims or any of that. Mostly everything we did was functional..... like heat, windshield wipers, crank handles on the windows......
Did have a few friends that tricked out their cars, Craiger rims, Hurst gear boxes, Holley double pumper carbs.......nitro! 

We would regularly go down to Fountain Avenue in Brooklyn to watch the street racing. NYPD and FDNY would show up and watch a few heats, then open the hydrants to put an end to the evening. Never nasty about it, never harassing the participants..... but they had to answer to their superiors, so after like 6 races from the time they arrived, they would wet down the street and ask everybody to go home......next stop, North Conduit for more racing!!!!

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My first car was a red VW Bug, paid $500 for it.  The girl who had owned it had managed to roll it and there was a huge flattened area on the roof.  I didn't mind that too much, 'cause then I could strap my big speaker cabinet (bass guitar, 4 x 12" speakers) on the roof.  I could never get the wheels aligned though, and the car wore through tires pretty quickly.  Retreads were cheap.  One day while driving through San Francisco the clutch cable broke, so I had to do clutchless shifting all the way back to Sonoma County (and for a couple of weeks after that before I could replace the cable).  Then the thing became hard to start.  I dressed the points, cleaned and gapped the plugs, but that wasn't it.  Probably the carb, but I didn't know how to work on that so I managed to push-start it when necessary.  Fortunately I lived on a tall hill.  Finally the master cylinder or something in the brake system began to leak and I had to pump the brakes a lot to get any stopping action.  The emergency/parking brake still worked, but soon after that I sold the car for someone who wanted the parts.

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23 minutes ago, valis said:

My first car was a red VW Bug, paid $500 for it.  The girl who had owned it had managed to roll it and there was a huge flattened area on the roof.  I didn't mind that too much, 'cause then I could strap my big speaker cabinet (bass guitar, 4 x 12" speakers) on the roof.  I could never get the wheels aligned though, and the car wore through tires pretty quickly.  Retreads were cheap.  One day while driving through San Francisco the clutch cable broke, so I had to do clutchless shifting all the way back to Sonoma County (and for a couple of weeks after that before I could replace the cable).  Then the thing became hard to start.  I dressed the points, cleaned and gapped the plugs, but that wasn't it.  Probably the carb, but I didn't know how to work on that so I managed to push-start it when necessary.  Fortunately I lived on a tall hill.  Finally the master cylinder or something in the brake system began to leak and I had to pump the brakes a lot to get any stopping action.  The emergency/parking brake still worked, but soon after that I sold the car for someone who wanted the parts.

I did the clutch thing with the squareback. My bud and I would get out and push if we got stopped at a light and then we would jump in and slip it into first and off we would go! New cable was like $10 in 1980. I still have 1972 Thing built for the Mexican market and a Bugatti Type 35 kit car built on a 1974 VW bug chassis/pan. Love VW air cooled cars.

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16 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

 Love VW air cooled cars.

Yeah, you could actually work on those things.  I wasn't a gear-head, but I managed to do simple jobs, like ignition, points, brakes.  These days I'm quite happy to have fuel injection, electronic ignition, automatic transmission, and a household budget that allows for professional maintenance.  And modern cars that go 200K+ miles before starting to wear out.

That Bug did need help getting up frosty hills though.  I used to carry a big sack of coal under the hood (rear-engine car) to get steering traction.  And years later my wife drove a tiny Toyota Tercel (front wheel drive) and it had trouble climbing the steep dirt/gravel road to our house.  I ended up loading the front passenger footwell with big rocks for better traction.

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21 hours ago, chester said:

so a Craig 8 track in the dash and Jensen 6x9's in the parcel shelf???

Kids that had money got those, us poor kids jammed with the Kraco stuff from Kmart.

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3 hours ago, WhoaTed said:

Kids that had money got those, us poor kids jammed with the Kraco stuff from Kmart.

if i'm not mistaken radio shaxck also sold decks...Realistic?  or maybe that was my CB radio in my 1974 Chevy 1/2 ton :lol:

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2 hours ago, chester said:

if i'm not mistaken radio shaxck also sold decks...Realistic?  or maybe that was my CB radio in my 1974 Chevy 1/2 ton :lol:

Ha yeah, Realistic. The CB equipment was actually pretty good, I had one for years after my Kraco was stolen. Good times!

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