Congratulations to @Glamis7 and their awesome '55 Chevy for getting the most likes in our First Car car show!
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I tried to add text to the picture post but failed due to my limited computer skills. Anyway this is my 1939 Plymouth 2 dr sedan that I received from my parents on my 16th birthday in 1980. It was the smartest move they ever did, the car has manual steering, brakes, a loose steering box and does not go over 40mph unless you are going downhill with a tailwind. The car I was looking to buy was a 71 javelin which I am sure I would have crashed. I still own this car but it had not been on the road since 1987 since life happened and it sat in the garage all those years. Fast forward to December 2019 and hagerty contacted me about a movie to be shot near me and they were looking for pre 1947 cars. It was the kick in the rear I needed to get it back on the road. After about a month of reviving the brakes, and fuel system I had it running and the pictures above are from when I was at the movie set. Now I have many other older vehicles some on the road some not but I learned my lesson to not let them sit if they are road worthy.
My first car was an Austin America that I purchased on my 16th birthday with money earned from my paper route. Maybe it was a ‘68? This photo isn’t actually my car; back in the Mesozoic before smartphones we didn’t know that every waking moment was supposed to be photographed and shared so I’m doubtful that a lengthy search through the overstuffed shoeboxes in the closet would turn up anything.
Anyway, my car only looked like this the day I got it. The following morning was a Sunday and it was pouring so I was excited to deliver my papers in a nice dry car. And it was going great, I was just firing those heavy Sunday SF Chronicles off left and right and having a ball. One paper in particular sailed out of my hand through the passenger window in a perfect 30 yard parabola and landed right on the doorstep and I was transfixed. Then crunch! My right front fender slammed into a tree. Lesson learned-watch where you’re going.
We jerry rigged the fender so the headlight would point more or less in the same direction as the car and that was that. Except of course that wasn’t. The Austin turned out to be just about the safest car imaginable for a new teenage driver; thanks to Prince Lucas of Darkness the car almost never ran. I ended up selling it to a guy who had another America and needed a parts car. Yep, just like the joke about needing two Jaguars except considerably lower rent.
Further lesson learned: avoid finicky unreliable old British wheels and stick to solid American iron. So I replaced the Austin America with a Chevy Vega.
Needless to say, many more lessons learned were soon to be learned.
My first car was a 1954 Chevrolet Belair 4 door. I was 14 when I bought it from a friend of my dad. My dad would not let me drive it until it had been gone through and made 100% safe to drive. The first thing was to remove the engine and completely rebuild it. It was bored and new pistons installed. I ported and polished the intake and exhaust manifolds and the Rochester carburetor got polished inside and out too. Put new brakes on front and back and once it was done it had to be dragged to be started because the clearance between the pistons and cylinder walls was 1/1000th of an inch. After starting it we let it run and went in the house. Less than 30 minutes later we heard a loud whistling hissing sound and went outside to see steam coming out of the grill. The engine had overheated breaking in those tight pistons. It took 3 more drag starts and letting the engine run for a while before the starter motor would turn the engine over and start it without dragging the car and popping the clutch. I drove the car to high school starting when I was 15 and I was a Sophomore. This car got me through high school and many more years after that. I was a bit heavy footed on that car with my blowing 7 transmissions, 7 clutches, 7 throw-out bearings, and one rear end after twisting an axle in two. All in all I had to get under the car and drop the drive shaft, and pull the transmission 21 times. At first it was an all day job but by the 21st change out I had perfected the process and it only took me 90 minutes. That was back in 1966 when I bought the car and when I was ready for another car I gave the car to a friend that needed and engine for his 1954 Chevy truck. I don't have photos of the car back when I was 15 until I gave it away because I didn't own a camera back then but I found a photo on the Internet showing the original color, white top on green bottom which I later painted orange. Great memories with that car.
My first car was a 1966 Mustang. I purchased it from my sister and brother-in-law on my 17th birthday for $100. I put a lot of work into the car and here's what it looked like a year later.
I sold it a year later, and ever since then I swore I'd own another one someday. I finally bought another 1966 Mustang 23 years later, which I've now owned for 18 years.
I still have the Mustang promotional pillow I found 40 years ago, not sure how many were made or are still around...
Disclaimer: This is not my car, but looks exactly like my car did.
I was born in 1957, and wanted my first car to be a 57 Chevy. In 1972, at age 15, my step-dad told me he would buy me my first car as long as the price was within his means. I started shopping around and found a 57 Chevy at a used car lot in Kansas City. They wanted $500. We went to look at it. The body was in excellent condition, and it started and ran. We test-drove it, and it seemed fine. We talked the guy down to $300 and bought it. We got it home, and parked it in the driveway. With no license yet, I could not drive it on the street, but did pull it forward and backward in the driveway a few times. Then one day it would not move. Then one day, it would not start. Dad was not a car guy, so he had no clue what was wrong. I had fixed bicycles and lawn mowers before, so I tried to see if I could fix it. That didn't work. I got a family friend to look at it, and he said the dealer had put saw-dust in the transmission to keep it running temporarily. The carb was shot, and it needed a complete tune-up. I had no money, or knowledge of how to fix it. So, there it sat. It seemed like it just self-destructed while sitting there. Finally, we sold the car for the $300 we'd paid for it, and my step-dad got his money back. I got my license and learned to drive using dad's 1971 Buick Le Sabre. I started teaching myself how to do simple work on the Buick, and little by little the things I learned to do mechanically grew. A year later, I got a job as a junior mechanic and quickly learned to do all sorts of mechanical work I never dreamed of, and I got paid for it! By time I got the next car of my own, a 67 Ford Galaxy, I could do everything to maintain it, except transmission work. I still credit that old 57 Chevy for motivating me to learn to work on cars.
At 12 years old I used $15.00 of my paper-route to buy a BMW Isetta 300. Missing a gas cap and with a gas tank half full of brown water that smelled like turpentine. Probably had a lot to do with it not running. A few days later the older brother of the seller turned up and offered to punch my nose if I didn't give him his car back. There was never any paper work so that seemed like a good idea.
I was 13 when the Deacon at church offered me a '49 Ford Woody station wagon his former tenants had abandoned in the yard. In pretty decent shape but the transmission and clutch were on the passenger floor. Dad towed it home with Mom driving. Got a $35 ticket for towing a $25 car without a safety chain.....
For three years I worked on my dream car. Got it back together properly, running well, refinished the all wood, did the upholstery, interior, everything.
Got my license on my 16th birthday - and wrecked it two weeks later in a routine traffic accident with serious consequences.
I would like to have that one back.....