Thursday, February 26, 2009

My First Car

Tragic Aside: Today was a sad day in Colorado as the Rocky Mountain News announced its own death effective with the Friday edition. It would have been the Rocky's 150th birthday in a just a few weeks. The Rocky was the first published newspaper in Denver. Now Denver becomes a one daily paper town; only the Denver Post continues on. R.I.P. Rocky Mountain News.

Today I have decided to do The First Car Meme from kitten at The Bookkitten. It was part of "Make Your Own Meme Monday" sponsored by The Scattered Mind of a Tattooed Minivan Mom.

1. What was your first car?
My first car was a 1961 Chevy Biscayne Station Wagon. It cost $325 in 1970 when I bought it used.

2. How did you acquire said car?
I bought it with money saved from working summers and on weekends during school. It was at the end of my Sophomore year of high school and I had to pay for my own insurance as well (although there were times Mom and Dad kicked in some bucks as well).

There is nothing like having a football game to play in on Friday night located a 3 hour oneway bus ride down the road, getting home at 3am in the morning and then having to be at work at the truck stop at 7am Saturday so you can afford to have a car. It did make me a firm believer in kids paying for their own car and insurance. Responsibility can be a great thing and knowing how hard you are working for it really makes you value it. BTW, the car cost $325 in 1970 when the minimum wage was $1.60 and I made $1.92 because I could do electrical work on vehicle wiring. And for the piece de la resistance: gas was $0.20 a gallon.

3. Were you involved in choosing the car?
All me. Then dragging Mom to see it and convincing my Grandpa P to at least nod OK on the mechanical condition.

4. Did you go on any road trips?
No further than Denver and environs. Once or twice to Casper, Wyoming as well.

5. Did you ever get into an accident in the car?
No accidents. Several periods of foot travel when I couldn't afford to repair things like the engine.

6. Did you use the car for any--ahem--"romantic activities"?
It was high school, what do you think?

7. How many miles were you able to put on the car before its demise?
I seem to remember that it had 60,000 miles on it when I bought it. I went through a couple of sets of tires and seat covers, etc. It had well over 100,000 miles on it when I sold it.

8. How did the car meet its demise?
Might still be running. I sold it to a summer job collegue at the end of the summer. (We were working as carpenters and it was ideal for tool transport to the job.) It was still running a couple of years later when last I saw it.

9. Do you miss your first car?
Sometimes, but mainly for the memories. As a car it was pretty basic. AM radio, no air, ... And like all station wagons, it tended to be a bit noisy with all the panels rattling. I like my current pickup much better since it sits higher and has better seats (and sound system).

10. Fondest memories of the car?
Need you ask? This is the car I had when I first started dating L. So it had our first date, our first kiss, etc. - all those memories. It is also the car that took me places like the Frontiers of Science Institute and the Colorado Wyoming Junior Academy of Science meetings (I was a V.P. - but it wasn't an elective office - it was based on placement in the state science fair). It also took me to visit friends I had made in places like Denver and Keenesburg and ...


  1. How awesome :) My first car wasn't until around 1986 :o I rode the bus every day of my school career. It was awful as a senior when EVERYONE was driving except me. My parents were super strict and super paranoid lol

  2. Sounds like you have a soft spot for that car. :)

  3. Sad about the paper ... my brother works at a newspaper and they are in trouble. He is having to take unpaid furloughs and that still might not do it.

    Loved this post. It is fun how much you learn about people when they just write about their first car! And what memories it had! And sounds like a car that will run forever! They certainly don't make 'em like that anymore. And 20 cents for gas ... holy moly.

  4. My husband and I paid $500 in 1975 for our first car, a Chevy stationwagon. I don't know if it was a Biscayne or if Chevy had another model stationwagon? It was used and really old looking but we needed a car quick because we loaded everything we owned in it (we were newlyweds so we owned hardly nothing)to move to San Diego. We only had it maybe 6 months but ahh the memories.

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