By on May 18, 2012

Mother’s Day last weekend got me to thinking about the first car ride I ever took: a cruise home from the hospital in my parents’ 1956 Olds 88. Thing is, that car got destroyed by a combination of Minnesota rust and Minnesota deer a few months later and I don’t remember it. My first identifiable car memory involves crawling around on the slippery blue vinyl back seat (without benefit of baby seat or even seat belts) of my dad’s late-60s company car: a 1967 Ford Custom 500 sedan with three-on-the-floor and overdrive. What’s yours?
I recall the intoxicating deep vroom of the big Ford’s 289 and the vast space for squabbling with my sisters in the back seat and Vietnam War news on the AM radio, but most of all I remember being fascinated by the action of that tall Rat Fink-style floor shift. It made me want to drive! Some of the credit or blame for my current career path certainly belongs with this Dearborn product. Your turn now, and I’m really hoping we have some readers who grew up in the ex-USSR and have GAZ-21 Volga memories!

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205 Comments on “Question: What Was the First Car You Remember Riding In?...”


  • avatar

    The first car I remember riding in was a VW Fusca (Beetle) on a trip to Rio. All I remember was how uncomfortable and hot I felt. I remember stopping at a waterfall to cool down. What a relief!

    The first ride I took was in a basket, in the (non-existant) back seat of a Puma (Braziolian ‘sports’ car with Fusca mechanicals). AH, the times! The innocence!

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, a Puma! I know a guy who used a Puma as daily transportation in San Francisco, and it was one of the greatest terrible cars I’ve ever experienced. Not quite what today’s safety-obsessed parents would consider an appropriate vehicle for baby transportation.

      • 0 avatar

        Great definition of a Puma! Great-terrible car! Hahhahaha!

        As to safety, yeah, different times. I’m sure it’d be totally illegal in today’s world. Even in Brazil!

        BTW, my Dad was a car guy. Just in Brazilian-VW thingies, he had a VW SP2 (ever seen one?) and a Karmann Ghia back in the days of his youth.

  • avatar
    optflv

    The first car I can distinctly remember would be a gold ’82 Pontiac Phoenix 4-door hatch. It was the pile of crap that replaced my father’s Triumph TR7 after I came along. Iron Duke, 3 speed auto, it was a truly miserable machine, and my father never ever washed it or cleaned it… maybe out of protest. I don’t think he ever got over trading that TR7 for it after I came along.

  • avatar
    gmichaelj

    74 Pinto – White with orange interior – very nice.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    72 Impala… beige on beige. Huge. Hot. Vinyl.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    The first car I remember riding in? Easy, it’s the one that almost killed me; a 1978 Buick Skyhawk with the 3800 series I auto. Was an itty-bitty car (compared to other 70s barges) with a great big engine and an interior that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bordello, or, as another commenter said on another post, a “common bawdy house.” The seats weren’t attached, and the belts didn’t work. My mom said it went like a raped ape.

  • avatar
    Wally Vance

    I remember sitting in my father’s lap and driving his 1949 Ford when I was 6 yrs old. Certainly would not be acceptable today.

    • 0 avatar
      DubTee1480

      I also have fond memories of sitting in my father’s lap and piloting his huge 86 F-350 the last mile to the house at roughly the same age, maybe a little older.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimmy7

      Dad’s lap, !955 Buick Super convertible, blue and white. Before that, a red pedal Fire Engine. Oh, and I can remember sitting in one of those death-trap child seats with the plastic seatbelt and the steering wheel. Ages 2 to 4.

  • avatar
    DubTee1480

    1986 Ford Escort hatch, 5 speed diesel. I would ride in the back (in the truck area) on long trips and color, play with cars and no one cared… b/c it was the 80′s. Ha, try that nowadays…

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Dad’s first car was a purple 1971 Ford Tornio Hardtop Sedan – a Brougham, no vinyl roof, covered headlamps.

    IIRC the metal high beam switch was on the floor.

  • avatar
    ArBee

    My eldest brother is fourteen years older than me, and I remember riding in his 1946 DeSoto. This would have been about 1955 or ’56. Incredible chrome plated dashboard! And cars of that era smelled different, too. It’s hard to explain, but it was a wonderful smell, a blend of cotton upholstery and warm metal. Very different from cars made since then. I still love cars of the Forties.

    • 0 avatar
      otter

      I know what you mean about the smell – I think it’s the mohair. The smell of unrestored ’40s and ’50s American-car interiors is very evocative for me, since one of the earliest family cars I remember is my grandmother’s ’53 bel Air.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Green 1952 Chevy with three on the tree. We had that car will into the 60s. When I becarme aware that you were “supposed” to upgrade your car every 2-3 years, I started to get embaressed being seen in it.
    Dad didn’t finance anything in those days so I had to wait until Grandpa sold him his 57 Chevy in 1964. Three years later, I learend to drive on it.

  • avatar
    ktm_525

    1969 Volvo 164. Cream colour over tan leather.

  • avatar
    lon888

    I vividly remember riding in the back of my mothers 1963 Impala SS. It was turquoise with a white steel roof and white interior. I would kill to have that car today.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    2-3 years old, vomiting in the back of a Checker cab speeding to the hospital after drinking too much delicious Triaminic. Still love those Checkers though.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    My parents’ 70′s-something Olds Custom Cruiser wagon, the big one. It was a dark, mossy green with matching vinyl interior. The wheels had dog-dish hub caps that didn’t quite cover the matching moss green wheels. It was quite a sight. We used to say it had “truck tires” because the wheels looked abnormally large, even on a barge like that.

    This was well before the advent of car seats. I remember lying on my back in the back seat on Sundays driving home from grandma’s. When I saw the huge painted gas tank on I-93 in Boston go by, I knew we were almost home.

  • avatar
    Marko

    1990 Nissan Maxima – bronze on tan. I was brought home from the hospital in it, and it was hit by a fire truck and a full-size Blazer when I was about a year old – nobody in the Maxima was seriously hurt. Somehow it wasn’t totaled, but my mom says the car never drove the same after that. It lasted us until 1999 or so when the transmission went out at about 230K!

  • avatar
    OldandSlow

    The one I can still remember was a 1954 Ford 2 door Customline, black of course.

    The car in old photos that I don’t remember was 50 Ford, 4 door also in black.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    A black Ford Galaxie belonging to my uncle, in the summer of 1964. Probably a 1961, though it could have been a 59 or 60. I would have been not quite 5 years old.

    I remember it because he and my father went to buy our first air conditioner.

  • avatar
    potatobreath

    Dad had a ’90 Toyota Tercel 3-door hatchback with the burning valves. The vinyl seats were terrible in the summer heat and gripped skin tenaciously. The Tercel went into the shop often for emissions, and once he got one of the original Preludes as a loaner car.

    Dad’s surprised that I remembered his many loaner cars. He eventually traded in the Tercel for a pittance towards a Toyota Camry. I wish he kept it for me to learn on though; I might have became a gearhead sooner.

  • avatar
    Battlehawk

    1981 Toyota Tercel hatchback. The car was 3 years old when I was born. Total stripper, didn’t even have a factory radio as I later found out. That car finally succumbed to rust just before I’d have been able to drive it.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    I remember stuff back to when I was 2. I remember the tan “leather” of our 79 Cutlass Supreme, which was traded in for an 84 Cutlass Ciera…that was the last GM my dad would ever buy even though it lasted for 6 years (impressive back then, I guess). Only needed 1 car back then as my dad had a refinery truck.

    My first dealership experience was in 87 when we got my mom a new space-ship AKA Sable wagon.

  • avatar
    acarr260

    1972 Chevelle SS, red with black stripes
    My dad had put it away so my mom wouldn’t drive it when they were newly married. After 4 or 5 years in storage, he put a new battery in it, and it started right up. He stopped on the country road in front of our newly purchased farm and laid down some serious rubber. Those stripes remained in front of our farm for years. Sadly, the Chevelle was driven straight into storage and has remained there ever since. I was 4 years old at the time (I think).

  • avatar
    LeeK

    1962 Buick Special, cream exterior. My family kept that car for another fifteen years and I got my driver’s license in it. Bench front seat and no air conditioning, which in Miami was a definite minus.

  • avatar
    "scarey"

    My Dad’s ’48 Buick. It was black, with plaid seat covers. As the resident car nut in our family, at age 3 or 4, I accompanied my Dad shopping for his next car. A salesman asked me why we were trading in our old car, and I told him “The front-end is shot on our old car.” We did not trade there, and my Dad said I should answer that we just want a new car. He ended up with a new ’56 Buick Special.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Citroen 2CV. I can’t recall the year but it was black and had wooden floor boards.

  • avatar
    Justice_Gustine

    Uncle’s ’59 Impala is my earliest identifiable car style memory. The bat wing trunk & fin shape is unforgettable. White with red interior. No one else drove, so every car ride was with my Uncle. He drove fast enough to push me into those bucket seats and I told him how neat that was in contrast of gramdma’s fear of it.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    My parents had a 1978 Renault 5 when I was born, however I don’t remember riding in it. My first memories of riding in any vehicle is around my Grandfather’s field in North Wales in his 1958 Series II Land Rover. I loved the thing. It was uncomfortable, all the electrics in the front were exposed (he’d rewired the dashboard himself), it smelled of hot oil, gas and the transmission whined every time he had to drop a cog or two to get up the hill into the nearby village. He bought it in 1961 and kept it until the day he died. If I’d stayed in the UK I would’ve bought the damn thing despite it’s rusty chassis. Being on the other side of the planet, it got sold at auction with everything else from his home. Still makes me sad thinking about it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    1970 Chevy Impala Wagon. It was hideous lime green with woodie panels and a hideous green interior. My father had a thing for hideous lime green.

    I remember vividly our Clark W. Griswold 17 day cross country trip ob Boston to LA and back. It was the voyage of the damned.

    The car dropped its entire exhaust system in the driveway as we went to leave (don’t remember that part – is part of family tribal lore). We were delayed by a day.

    The car was shod with Firestone 721 tires. The tires now infamous for self-destructing if you just looked at them wrong. I remember the blow out in Gallup, New Mexico. I remember being caught in a massive severe thunderstorm and tornado in Shamrock, Texas on Route 66 – with my two grandparents praying the Hail Mary in Hungarian next to me. To this day I’ve never seen a deep purple sky like I saw in Texas. It was alien appearing.

    I remember extreme boredom that the Geneva Convention would consider torture if I was a prisoner of war. And I remember it being hot, unfreakin’ believably hot stuffed in a wagon with EIGHT of us and our luggage.

    I also remember the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride at Disneyland, and eating a Jack In the Box taco and thinking it was too spicy. I remember crying because I had to stay behind with my mother while the rest of my family went to Tijuana, Mexico because, well, because they were close to Mexico. Would have been merciful had the family truckster been stolen.

    I remember spending time in more than one tire shop getting tires replaced. Oh, and I remember us driving in the desert of Utah trying to find a hotel to stay in but everything being booked. I remember vividly us stopping at this very cool teepee looking place, you could see in through the windows of the lobby of a fire place going but no one answered the door when we knocked.

    I was four at the time.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Sometimes I think God invented the area between Tucumcari, NM and Amarillo, TX to make you think maybe you should have stayed home. (I say that as a Gallup, NM resident). Doesn’t matter if your name is Juan de Onate and your traveling by horse or if your in a modern luxury car. That area almost makes Kansas and Nebraska look exciting.

      • 0 avatar
        Felix Hoenikker

        I did a year in Gallup in 2006 when I was the project engineer building the frac sand plant over in Sanders, NM
        Gallup seems to be a black hole for sucking up travellers who break down on I40. I’m amazed at how many easterners I meet who stayed there, but it the only real town for 150 miles either way.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Psssssssss Sanders is in AZ, not NM but that’s an easy mistake. I’ve been here since 2002 and I’m about to marry a local girl. (One who carries the blood of just about every culture to settle in the area in her veins.)

      • 0 avatar
        nickeled&dimed

        Not the first car memory, but on one of the many trips East, coming back in toward Albuqueruqe, we’d just done that stretch after Amarillo, as we crested this long, slow downhill toward Tucumcari the transmission gave a huge jerk and a loud clunk and we lost all motive power. Luckily we were able to coast off the ramp and directly into a shop, which just happened to have someone there, at 5pm on a Sunday. Talk about circumstances! Had that happened anywhere else in the 300 miles between Amarillo and Albuquerque we’d have been totally screwed. As it my parents had great friends who jumped in their suburban and retrieved all of us from ours. This was about transmission #3 for our suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      The Steel Radial 500 was the self-destructing tire constructed from rusty steel belts. The 721 (Seven around two wrapped by one) was constructed from non-oxidized steel and replaced the Steel Radial 500. The 721 was a good tire. Excellent rubber to steel adhesion, the lack of which destroyed the 500. Had a set myself. They saved Firestone’s reputation.
      And while I’m at it, let me defend both Firestone and Ford by saying that the Explorer debacle of the early 2000′s was in no way Ford or Firestone’s fault. If these SUV idiots would have kept air in their tires and/or paid attention to load ratings, they would not have created their ticking time bombs. You get what you deserve when you neglect vehicle maintenance. These goobers just needed someone to blame for their ignorance.

      • 0 avatar
        PartsUnknown

        And while I’m at it, let me defend both Firestone and Ford by saying that the Explorer debacle of the early 2000′s was in no way Ford or Firestone’s fault.

        If that’s true, why didn’t other SUV/tire combos fail at such an alarming rate? Were owners of Tahoes, Durangos and 4Runners magically more diligent with maintenance? Is the phrase “SUV idiots” reserved only for Explorer drivers using Firestone tires, all other SUV drivers thus possessing high IQs? Please do tell.

      • 0 avatar
        potatobreath

        Extended wheelbase 15-passenger Econolines also suffered blowouts and rollovers on the highway when the air pressure isn’t kept up in the loaded rear tire.

      • 0 avatar
        SuperACG

        @ Kevin Kluttz and PartsUnknown

        I agree that Firestone is not to blame for failed tires of the 90s, but Ford is not innocent either. The original Explorer was just a Ranger with a wagon body and a back seat, and it rode like hell! To make the ride softer, Ford specified a lower PSI for the Explorer. I spoke with Ford mechanics well after the lawsuits, and they said that they had to quickly change the PSI sticker with the higher PSI on all the Explorers on the lot, and secretly change them whenever one came in for service.

        My mom had (has) a 1993 Explorer which she got TWO free sets of tires. One from Firestone and a year later, another set from the Ford Dealer. When we got the new tires, they were inflated to the higher PSI and it rode like hell! We thought it was the shocks, but it rode even worse after replacing them! What did we do? We let the air out of the tires!

        Explorers in other markets running non-Firestone tires also had premature tire failure.

        This debacle will likely not happen again because it made everyone a “tire expert” after the lawsuits. When I was at a VW dealer, a woman limped her Jetta in on a flat tire, claiming it deflated a few blocks back so she was nearby and just came in. She wanted the leak plugged and tire re-inflated. We told her she had to buy a new tire because the sidewall was compromised when she drove it with no air. We even blew the tire up to show her the sidewall damage. Sure, the tire would hold air, but I wouldn’t trust it at speed!

  • avatar

    ’82 Dodge Omni was the first car I actually remember riding in. It was dark blue and my parents had the windows tinted when we lived in Mississippi. Shortly after moving back to Minnesota, the tint was peeling off. I’m not sure why I remember that, but I do.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    My fathers 1952 VW. It looked like this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davydutchy/5824440150/sizes/l/in/photostream/

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    The first cars I remember are my father’s 49 Chevrolet. Also my great grandmother’s late 1940′s Buick. I don’t know which year or model it was. The only thing I remember was that the radio antenna was installed at the top and middle of the windshield. There was a knob in that location inside the car to allow the antenna to be lowered when not in use or when passing under a low hanging barrier.

  • avatar
    sportsuburbangt

    1968 Ford Fairlane 500 fastback, 302/auto. My dads car, I loved riding around in that car as a kid. He had a Kraco 8-track screwed to the transmission hump with that chrome sliding mount and base, and 2 surface mount speakers screwed to the rear interior panels, this was about 1976 or so, he sold it in 1978. He used to play The Beach Boys over and over on that Kraco!

  • avatar
    dts187

    My parents’ 1986 Chevy Astro conversion van. It was burgundy with silver and beige striping on the outside. Complete with running boards, high-top roof with rack/ladder, tv/vcr, and a rear bench that folded flat into a bed.

    I remember everything about the inside of that van being burgundy. Carpet, seats, dash, and even velour curtains.

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    The first car I remember was my dad’s 1951 Crosley station wagon with three on the floor. It was the first car he could afford after he came back from WW II. I came home from the hospital courtesy of the B&O railroad.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    60 Mercury…

    Story:

    My dad bought a new set of fancy hubcaps for his car.
    First he took off the old ones. Then he proceeded to carefully tap on each hubcap with a “raw hide” mallet.

    I was watching my Dad and thought I would help.
    I ran into the garage and got a similar sizesd “sledge” hammer and proceeded to beat away on his new hubcaps!

    Needless to say he wasn’t happy. Fortunately he could laugh about the incident when I was older.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      When I was around 9 or 10 I got into my head I would “help” my father out. We had a minor ice storm the night before and his ’77 Caprice wagon (not in hideous lime green, this one in hideous dark brown – with woodie panels) and I thought it would be a good thing – scrape the ice off of the car for dad before he went out.

      You know, take the ice scraper and get the ice all off of the windshield, the side windows, the rear window, the hood, the quarter panels, the doors…

      Dad was not happy. It buffed out in the spring.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Dad’s 1950 Plymouth, of course!

    Gray, 2 dr. sedan, six/stick, AM radio. I remember the huge pistol-grip parking brake handle – brown. That car was the newest car dad would ever own – he and mom bought it when it was 6 months old and kept it ten years.

    We lived it the city of St. Louis then, until Ike took our and thousands of others’ homes for Interstate 70. I remember sitting on his lap one day, he letting me hold the steering wheel as we gently drove down our alley from the corner to our garage. Now that was cool!

    That Plymouth was also the first car I almost wrecked! I used to go outside and play in it when dad parked it on the street occasionally. I ‘touched’ that parking brake handle and the car started rolling! He must have had it in 2nd gear or 3rd, as it began to jerk like you were trying to start it by getting it rolling and popping the clutch! It stopped in about three feet…whew!

    That car was also the car I almost fell out of as mom was driving it, and the first car I almost got sick in.

    What a great car with so many memories – dad had to get rid of it as the front seat was literally falling through the rusted-out floor! That hole was so big that I used to sit in the back seat behind dad, watching the road surface go by, imagining being able to find a way to pee through that hole without getting caught! That was a sad day, indeed, when dad got a different car, especially with what he and I drove home in whereas mom could have shot him, but that’s another story!

  • avatar
    agroal

    My parents ’65 Chevy Bel Air Wagon. It was also the first car I ever had sex in. I was all alone at the time.

  • avatar
    tonyola

    Dad’s black 1957 Mercury Colony Park station wagon. I have an early childhood memory of the family going to some campground in rural Missouri. Mom and Dad were up front and I was in the back seat wedged between two older brothers (6 and 11 years my senior). The back was filled with camping gear along with the family Airedale terrier. It was a really hot day, the car had no A/C, and us three boys were shirtless. The heavily-panting dog stood behind me and drooled on my shoulder for most of the trip. I remember trying to push the dog away to no avail.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    It was the early 80s, but the first car was an old 60s forest green Skoda Octavia wagon (such as http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_SHXRapDrTBE/SyK6O7-z2cI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/M4Z-mELO-zc/s1600/1.jpg).

    Followed by a white Ziguli like this one http://filipovsky.ic.cz/VAZ%202101%20Ziguli%20-%201973.jpg

    I know a lot of people make fun of commie cars, but as someone who spend this first few years there and didn’t know any better, I thought they were awesome.

  • avatar
    SilverHawk

    I rode home from the hospital in a 47 Series 66 Olds Special Club Coupe. My first memories are of Dad’s 49 Pontiac Chieftain 2-dr hardtop. The cars that had the biggest influence on my youth were my brother’s 56 Desoto Firedome 2-dr hardtop, and my neighbor’s 56 Studebaker Sky Hawk. My lifelong interest in Mopar & Studebaker began with the many enjoyable rides I had in those cars.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    The cars from my early childhood (the ones my parents and grandparents drove) were:

    Blue on blue 1962 Chevy Impala sedan
    White on red 1962 Plymouth Fury coupe
    Blue on white 1966 Buick Electra 225 sedan
    Blue on black 1969 Ford Zodiac Executive MkIV sedan

    Would love to have any one of them nowadays…

  • avatar

    When I was about four years old, my brother let me steer his ’52 Willys Aero sedan while we were idling down a back road in low gear. I wanted to see what a large steering input would do and so we immediately careened towards the ditch. He resumed control at once.

    Now, forty years later, he’s still got the car and I still haven’t received another invitation to drive it.

  • avatar
    niky

    First ever memories were standing up in the front seat of a 70′s Caprice to watch the world go by. But those are hazy.

    What I remember the most and had the most fun in as a little child was our early 80′s Ford Laser/Escort… which was a Mazda hatchback in drag… I loved the times I was late for school and Dad had to drive me down in that little buzzbox.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    First car I rode in? 396 Chevelle SS with manual trans – momma’s ride while she was pregnant with me, but obviously I don’t remember it.

    First car I remember? Dads Cutlass Supreme coupe (I’m fairly certain it was a 1973 model) originally blue later repainted metallic silver. I can remember that car in 1978-79 (I was born in 1977) sitting in the garage freshly washed and polished within an inch of its life, late afternoon sun shining on it through the cracked open garage door – other worldly glow about it. In my memory it will forever be “the ghost car.” I can remember myself staring at it for what seemed like hours, hot Midwest summer, naked save my diaper.

    The first car I remember riding in? 1978 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, maroon with a maroon interior. Dad sold it in 1985 to buy a used 1982 Celebrity sedan (eventually my first car) and I cried as the the man at H&K Chevrolet took the Monte away. I very occasionally (every few years or so) I have a vivid dream in which I am driving the Monte Carlo through the county I grew up in. Too me it is a very strange sensation given that I never got to drive the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Oh, man…and that was the carbureted Celebrity. I would have cried too.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        “Throttle Body Injected”-thank you very much! :P I told dad after I got my license and he gave me the car (in 1992) that the badge on the fender should have said “FOOL INJECTION”.

        That car soured me on 4cyl family cars and soured Dad too. My father has not owned another 4cyl car SINCE. In fact after that he’s never owned a car with less than 3.4ltrs of displacement.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “First car I rode in? 396 Chevelle SS with manual trans”

      NOW I understand you and your big V8 lust! NOW I’m jealous…I got to ride in an SS 396 Chevelle 4 speed, too, but it was my roommate’s when I was in the air force and I was 20!

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        My mother never cared for that car, she said it would fishtail away from a stop sign when the weather was bad, even in 3rd gear! I obviously must have enjoyed the sensations transmitted to me by the amniotic fluid.

        When she tried to teach me to drive the first words out of her mouth were: “You drive like your father.” Even though they have been married since 1975, she did not say this as a compliment.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperACG

      Wow, Dan, we were born in the same year and our parents were married in the same year also…interesting…

      I think it’s neat how our mind can form new things out of things we already know all in our dreams. A few months back, I dreamed I was in a typical house in the early 80s full of random 70s decor. I was in my current state of mind, but I was no taller than the couch. I saw my late mom in the kitchen, just how she looked in the early 80s. She looked at me and smiled. I ran to her and we hugged. Then I woke up.

      You must have held that silver car in pretty high regard.

  • avatar
    SteveMar

    1968 Ford Mustang hardtop coupe in lime green with a black vinyl rook and black interior. I rode in what passed for a car seat in the back seat. The black vinyl felt like it was on fire in summer. It was a sharp ride, though with the 289 V8 — but quality control wasn’t job one at Ford just yet. So the fuel gauge stopped working, then the horn stopped working and then other things went. It was replaced by a 1972 Chevy Malibu coupe in the brightest orange gold color known to humankind and a cream colored vinyl roof. We had that car for 12 years. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how my folks thought coupes would make suitable family cars. My kids can’t understand that either, as we head off with our minivan and wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Some people in those days thought coupes were safer because the little darlings couldn’t open the back doors at speed or fall out when a poorly assembled door popped open.

  • avatar
    jco

    well, we had many crappy GM products when i was a kid including twin brown Vegas.. but my first solid memory is my mom’s bright red 1977 Olds Cutlass Supreme, with black vinyl interior. to a kid wearing shorts on a hot summer.. you can say that memory is BURNED into me forever, hah..

  • avatar
    nikita

    1955 seafoam green Pontiac 2-door sedan. I was two and it was his first new car. I remember him struggling with the clutch driving on San Francisco hills.

    • 0 avatar
      SwingAxle

      Ours was a 2-tone green 2-door sedan with the automatic. I think it was a 56, but am not sure (what were the differences?). This was pre-safety belts and I was about 5-6, so my best memory was willingly sliding across the vinyl rear seat during hard corners. We lived in Santa Rosa, and when we went to SF for a baseball game or Hippo burger, the automatic made the hills no problem.

      Back then the tires (at least ours) were not so good, so another memory was that on long trips we would routinely have to stop and let them cool down until the sidewall bulges abated!

  • avatar
    Syke

    In 1953 (I was three years old at the time) my father was the Chevrolet dealer in Johnstown, PA. One afternoon he comes home for lunch driving a brand new Corvette (in a conversation years later, he claimed it was #14 off the line). Mom and I got a ride in it, and he promptly traded the car off to Grabiak Chevrolet in New Alexandria, PA (midway between Johnstown and Pittsburgh, and in the 50′s and 60′s the place to go for a Corvette in western PA) for a couple of BelAir’s.

    Dad always felt that the Corvette was the dumbest car Chevrolet came out with. Never had any enthusiasm for the car. Or any sports car, for that matter.

    Crazily enought, seventeen years later, I found the same car – sitting in a garage at a residence six blocks from the family home. Rotting away. Turns out the owner of the car also had a ’58 (which he bought from dad) and was killed in it. His mother hung on to the car, refused to drive it, maintain it, or sell it. Just let it rot (and yes, fiberglass cars can rot). Dad and I tried for four years to get her to sell the car, and she constantly refused. After her death (1975, I think) the car disappeared as the estate was broken up.

    My second memory of a car is two and a half years later. Dad had just got his BelAir four door hardtop, red and white. My first ride in it was that night as he rushed me to the hospital for what was diagnosed as lobar pneumonia. I stopped breathing at one point that night and had to be brought back.

  • avatar
    replica

    1986. San Diego. My father had a white ’65 Mustang coupe. The “Hi-Po” 289 with light modifications (so the old man tells me) was about as far as a family man’s budget went, I suspect. The red leather interior, was, well, very red. There were some small rust spots, or bubbly paint, depending on your outloook. It was the perfect car to match the majesty of a California skyline.

    There was a flat, long, smoothly paved road in front of the suburbs we lived in. My father enjoyed stopping, stalling up the auto, doing a burnout and running through a gear or so. I’m not sure on the specifics. I was still quite occupied with the complex thoughts of a five year old like where I might poop later and mentally perfecting how to peel string cheese. I still remember how much it scared me when the motor would sit at high RPM’s making all sorts of noise. It scared me. I hated it. One time I tried to open the door and get out, I couldn’t take it anymore. This resulted in the old man pulling me back in the car right before my feet hit the pavement, followed by some swearing. He was probably more upset that I didn’t like his Mustang, not so much my impending death had I gotten out of the car. Sorry dad. I didn’t understand.

    I’ve since owned three Mustangs, one currently. I always look for a white one, like my father had, but always end up with a different color.

  • avatar
    shawa1221

    My dads 1978 AMC 2 door Concord that he ordered new from the dealer, it was the deluxe model. I remember it had a steering wheel that looked like a gremlin head to me!

  • avatar
    77MGB

    I was only three years old, nearly four, but I can remember a ride home with my dad in his 1950′s Ford pickup. Not sure what year it was, and it was sold right around the time I turned four. I can remember that one instance of riding in the truck because of what happened – he saw my aunt coming the other way and blipped the horn to say “hey!” … and it never turned off. We drove for miles with the horn blaring the whole way, until we got home and he disconnected the battery. I have lots of memories of riding in the backseat of the car that replaced that truck – a blue 1969 4dr Impala.

  • avatar
    1998redwagon

    my mothers 1957 chevrolet bel air. for whatever reason painted 1958 silver grey, so it was a one-off. she bought it when it was a year old at auction as a gm corporate loaner vehicle. i can remember playing in the backseat, well the front seat too. my dad could never figure out why it would overheat in hot weather. eventually it went away but the memories remain.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    1969 Dodge Coronet 440…listening to early Chicago on the radio.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      And Spiral Starecase…and Bread…and Trini Lopez…and Peggy Lee…on and on….Mason Williams…Glen Campbell…this was when I was with my dad. Riding with my sisters was more of an aural treat because they listened to the top 40 stations.

  • avatar
    KKidd

    My father, grand father and great uncle all worked at the same Ford dealership in the ’60s. I know that we drove in a string of $50 Fairlanes, but I really remember none of them. My first memorable ride was a ’64 1/2 Mustang my dad came home with. He like to tell that it was the 14th sold by the Elkhart, IN dealer. He sold it less than a year later as being to small for a growing family. He kicked himself for the next 40.

  • avatar
    Eddie_515

    I am going to answer a slightly different question… what was the first car you drove?

    My first three driving lessons were in a 1975 or 1976 diesel, manual Mercedes Benz, probably a 240D. I remember having to pull a lever and wait for the candeletta light to go off, before pulling further to start the engine. After those three half-hour classes, I would close my eyes at night, in bed, and practice how to balance the clutch and accelerator.

    Then, I took some classes in a Fiat 127. I simply knew how to drive by then. I remember the instructor encouraging me to speed up to the now paltry 60 kph, while the rest of the “class” in the back seat was jealous.

    After one last class in an even smaller Fiat 126, I took the driving exam in another Fiat, the stately 124. Up the hill, handbrake stick shift start, here we go. I remember the nudge of the instructor in my left rib (he was sitting behind me), when i revved the engine too long in second. The “judge” didn’t see, and I got my license. With a fake id, three years before I was eligible.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      First drove? 1982 Chevy Celebrity might Iron Duke and hydromatic 125. 92hp and 123 lb. ft. of torque all of it off idle. The car couldn’t get out of its own way at hwy speeds but could bark the tires. Still hate 4 cyl family sedans to this day. I much preferred Dad’s string of box Caprice wagons that were his work cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Kevin Kluttz

        First car driven (not just in the driveway) was our 1965 Catalina. I, of course, wish I had that jewel. It got head-on crashed sitting still. Someone was showing off and fishtailed into my dad over the crest of a hill in a 1960′s Fairlane. FWIW, he drove home even with massive damage, but the Fairlane was a total loss. And my dad was uninjured. The V-shape in the front of our beautiful car horrified me at 12 years old. Hell, me and that car was tight; I had been behind the wheel! Believe it or not, the place he let me drive was on Interstate 85 in Concord, NC before construction was finished in 1969. In fact, construction had just begun, and it was still dirt. I don’t remember exactly how we got out on it, but security was not as tight then, if it even existed. We were never approached by the law, either!

      • 0 avatar
        Eddie_515

        That’s such an interesting comment. We simply didn’t have highways when I was growing up… period. So the same general kind of car could have been a lot of fun for us… but utterly underwhelming and frustrating in your case.

    • 0 avatar
      Wally Vance

      First one I remember actually driving was a ’52 Ford Pickup (I was 10 or 11) in the field hauling hay bales.

  • avatar
    rdodger

    A 1938 Chevy my parents owned. Running boards and the whole lot.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My father’s 1970 Opel Rekord. White with red top (and hand crank sunroof!) and red interior. Every time we PCS’d back to Germany, dad always found his way to a used Opel (we had three Rekords over the 16 years we were there)…

  • avatar
    don1967

    Mid-1960s VW Beetle. Vividly remember slamming my thumb in the door at the age of 3, and being simultaneously impressed and horrified at the tight panel gap.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    My parents had a 1955 Chevy Nomad. Red. I thought it was the coolest thing on wheels when I was three (this would have been about ’62…)

    Ah, bliss. Thanks for kindling the memories….

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “My parents had a 1955 Chevy Nomad. Red.”

      That, my friend, WAS the coolest thing on wheels, along with the ’56 & especially the ’57. Still are, too.

  • avatar
    JohnA

    My father had a blue Plymouth station wagon, a 1951 model, I think. It’s floor was rusted so badly that he had put boards on the floor. My first memories of driving was looking down and seeing the road go by through holes in the floor. This was in rural Connecticut in the mid-to-late 1950s.

  • avatar
    TR4

    ’52 Wolseley 6/80 (six cylinders, 80bhp). Commonly used as British police car and seen in old movies. Leather seats, wooden dash, illuminated badge, split windshield, four speed column shift, and a radio aerial that could be rotated (for garage clearance) by a knob inside.

    One time my brother and I dumped water into the petrol tank with our toy plastic watering cans. Dad was peeved, but he was able to get it out via the drain plug.

    I was sad when he traded it in for a ’56 Hillman Husky.

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    I don’t remember the make, but it was a used, dark colored, early 1930s sedan. I was about 4 years old in 1937 and my dad had bought a used car to get to his new job in Harrisburg. The seats were up[holstered with what felt like horsehair on my bare legs and the windows were so high that I couldn’t see out from the back seat.

    Dad loved to drive. We took a lot of Saturday or Sunday drives around central PA. Dad had to patch at least one tube on just about every drive.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    Oddly enough, like Murilee, it was a 50′s Olds 88, though in my case it was a 1959 Olds Super 88. My parents told me that I got out of the crib by myself for the first time and came to the door on the day that they brought it home.

    As I grew, I eventually wore a hole through the carpet standing on the driveshaft hump by the back seat. No child seats or seat belts back then!

    They sold that car to one of my uncles when the got the ’64 Riv [the first car I actually drove], where the Olds soldiered on for quite a few more years.

    The Olds was a bronze four door. Every car they bought after that was, yup, a silver coupe.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    Though it was not my family’s car, I have fuzzy memories of what I understand to be an early 80s Volvo sedan (presumably a 240) that a neighbor-mom drove me to preschool in. What I remember above anything else is the smell of rich exhaust and real leather. I also recall thinking that the crank-opening sunroof was way cool. Even though I grew up in Buick b-wagons, I always felt a connection to the smell of that Volvo. When I was purchased a 92 960, I was instantly taken back and was probably one of the main reasons I bought the thing. Something about that real leather smell that modern cars simply do not have, coupled with that magic smell of exhaust before anyone cared about emissions control.

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    1980 Talbot Horizon – which was also the first brand new vehicle my dad ever bought. This was just a regular gas-burner, not one of those dual-fuel kerosene machines. I remember being sad that it was sold, but everyone seemed much happier with the FWD Mazda 626 that replaced it.

  • avatar
    nickeled&dimed

    Oooh! my first memory of riding in a car was the interior back seat of my parents 1981 Subaru GL wagon. I particularly remember being very fidgety strapped into my carseat (booster?) on a hot Atlanta afternoon, waiting for a very long train to pass. I don’t even know if Hotlanta has at-grade train crossings, but this is a very firm notion in my mind. Also, I remember loving the texture of the seat fabric. Very tough, with lots of ridges and troughs which catch things – but feel so cool when you drag your fingernails over them. We had that car until 1997. I think it’s the only one with roll-down windows and manual door locks anyone in my immmediate family has ever had. Since I came along, that is.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    1977 Chevy Nova, banana yellow. I remember staring at the green and black herringbone seats until the pattern started moving on it’s own… When I wasn’t riding up on the rear window shelf.

    Vividly remember a family trip to Yosemite, me and my little brother in the back seat, he got car sick all over, I lost it at the sight and smell. The whole back seat is covered in vomit. My poor dad screeches to a halt on the side of the road and spends the next hour or so trying to clean up. The mess went down the seat belt retractor, so every time you went to buckle up, a fresh load of puke would come with it. Good times.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Kluttz

      How is it people get sick in cars? Everything is in relative movement and close by; eyes and brain are not being fooled like when on the water (which I have never seen).

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        I get carsick if I try to read and sightsee at the same time. If I keep my eyes down and never look out, I’m ok. And if I keep my head up and look around I’m ok. But if I switch back and forth… we’ll be pulling over in about 10 miles.

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    It was the family 1956 Pontiac Star Chief. White with green two-tone insets and the hot green vinyl interior. It’s vague, but I remember. The more vivid memory is the car dad traded it for in 1963 when I was 6; the 1961 Star Chief. I really liked that car. Another thing of note to me back then was that my Uncle Roy would drive over from Charlotte (20 miles from Concord) in his new Chevrolets, the first I remember being a 1962 Impala SS. I’m sure I rode in that one, but the one indelibly stamped on my memory (and my favorite car from that time) was his 1964 Midnight Blue Impala SS. More than once he exercised my 7-year old neck muscles (or maybe the seatback was high enough for a 7-year old) with that 327 and that 4-speed. That thing would FLY down Independence Boulevard. And he did outrun a lot of Fords with it, I recall. He told me Fords didn’t know how to use their power. I’m still, almost 50 years later, trying to figure out what he meant, but he must have been right.
    Dad was the Pontiac man and Uncle Roy loved his Chevys. I loved both, but Pontiac was my fave. It’s a shame to know now it was all badge engineering, just not to the degree of today’s. At least the engines were still manufactured by the divisions. I actually was one of the lemmings back then who thought there was a difference between a Chevy and a Buick.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    First one I remember is a white on white 64 Chrysler 300 convertible. Of course it was 1972 so my family could afford it..lol..I remember riding in the back on top of the cover hatch down the local streets in Washington NC. Police never stopped my dad once. My two year old sister and I did it all the time. I miss that car..and I miss my dad and sister. God bless them both.
    Ok see what you guys made me do. You made me have happy thoughts at work??? Had the same feelings when I saw a 78 Ford F150 the other day. Nearly cried. OK OK picking back up the man card….

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    1935 Ford tudor sedan in the boiling sw kansas heat. I was about 3 years old and my mom was dropping us off to go to a funeral. About a 50-75 mile trip. The flathead was overheating and so were my sister and I.

    I can remember the family tractor with better thoughts just not as well because it wasn’t nearly as painful.

  • avatar
    rustyra24

    Pretty sure it was a 75 Buick regal. It also could have been a 1975 Chevy truck. What sure what body style.

  • avatar
    graytotoro

    I remember my mother’s late-’80s Subaru GL which may or may not have been a 4WD Turbo wagon which she had for a few years in the early ’90s. I mostly remember it breaking down on the way to/from daycare and the time it got tagged by a bus. Heck, I can even give you the precise location where we stopped AFTER the bus hit us. Yet that didn’t kill that piece of crap. It was dead from the start.

    By piecing together different bits of the story, it seems my dad more-or-less purchased it sight-not-very-well-seen from my cousin the mechanic back in the early ’90s from a customer who just simply didn’t want to do the work. Can’t say I blame him; have you SEEN the rat’s nest that is an ’80s Subaru, much less a 4WD TURBO model? But with this being my new immigrant mother’s first car and him being a stingy bastard, you can pretty much figure that he bought it for a song.

    Sadly, it seemed the guy had a good reason for selling it. Every memory I have of that car is it breaking down or hit by that damn bus. It broke down several feet from my house several times. I live on the top of a San Francisco hill bordered by a busy street on top and a relatively empty one that’s a steep drop down. You can imagine how much fun that was. My last memory was that of the wrecker towing that miserable white wagon off to be recycled into Chinese refrigerators. Good riddance. At least the 190E that replaced it took eight years to start dying randomly.

    Almost twenty years later I finally have a license. The Subaru is long gone and, paging Dr. Freud, I have a strange hankering for a Subaru wagon. It’s as though the sinister red letters stating “4WD TURBO” burnt their way into my pre-potty-trained mind and never left. There’s a $2500 Legacy turbo nearby. Thank God I don’t have the money or I would be all over that shit.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    1954 Ford Convertable, a relic of my father’s youth kept deep into marriage.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    ’79 Plymouth Horizon, going to the Dodge dealer to trade it in on a K-car wagon after my brother was born.

  • avatar
    makuribu

    I was almost born in a 1956 Ford (dark blue, no model), but they made it through the snow to the hospital in time. The beige 1960 Falcon Wagon is remembered mostly because of family pictures.
    The one I remember was a 1965 white Plymouth Fury wagon. Two adults, six kids, 150 miles to the summer cottage, no seat belts. 225 slant six, three on the tree, a clutch so heavy that nobody but an adult could drive it. Or two older brothers working together…

  • avatar
    Juniper

    1950 Plymouth 2 dr. humpback. Dark Blue. I remember being taught where the gears were on the column stick shift. And pretending to drive.

  • avatar
    Boff

    1970 Dodge Dart Swinger…2 door, medium blue with white vinyl roof, blue cloth and vinyl interior, slant-6 and automatic. I rode around on my mother’s lap.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    Fantastic stories.
    My first ride must’ve been in a BMW 1600-2, because that’s what my parents drove when I was born. But I don’t remember any ride in that car, only remember waking up one morning and hearing that my dad had crashed it last night.
    I do remember some rides in other cars that stand out. Like my grandma showing my little brother and me in her Opel Commodore A what a kick-down does. And riding in a Mini and a Lancia Fulvia during vacations to Italy. And in a Renault 4 and a Karmann Ghia belonging to friends from Kindergarden.

  • avatar
    someclevername

    My old man’s Rover 3500 – either in pale yellow, or British Racing Green depending on whether we were in his, or the dealership’s replacement while his was being fixed yet again.

    Sheetmetal prone to rust – check
    Electronics by Lucas – check
    Put together by a disgruntled workforce – check

    The old man never bought another British car after that.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    1947 or 48 Chevy sedan, 2-door, black. When I was 3, my father was in the Navy stationed in Portsmouth, Virginia. Bowling was very big then and my folks took me to a bowling match with some of my dad’s USN buddies. There was a big thunderstorm, which partially flooded the parking lot.The Chevy would not start and one of my Dad’s buddies, Todd Packer, used his car to give my dad a push. I can date this pretty accurately because that fall my dad bought his first new car, a 1952 Ford which was pretty much a P-O-S and sucked a lot of my dad’s money. The’57 Chevy he replaced it with was a much better car in all respects.

  • avatar
    Yoss

    It would have been the 68 Chevelle that was our primary family vehicle at the time. All 7 of us would cram in there. I don’t think I rode without sitting on someone’s lap until we got a 78 LTD station wagon a couple years later.

  • avatar
    Joss

    65 Citroen ID but not remembering much about it at the time. Stopped, kneeling on the backseat peering out the open window at the Ardenne. Having no concept that 25 years earlier the best British General had snuck his blitzkrieg through..

  • avatar
    mda36

    My dad’s 74 Eldorado convertible. I remember how hot the drive tunnel got in the rear seat, and once when we went drove onto a ship the fender extensions to the taillights broke because the rear bottomed out. Mostly I remember hating all the wind coming from all directions, haven’t really liked convertibles since.

  • avatar
    kilgoretrout

    1964 Chevrolet Chevelle station wagon. Tan with light brown vinyl seats – hot and sticky in those pre-A/C days. My 2 sibs & I rode standing on the floor of the rear seat holding the top of the front bench seat, for a better view forward, unless it was a long trip which would find us all in the “backity-back” with blankets, books & Matchbox cars. I remember the big, round gauges set in a chrome-faced instrument cluster.

    • 0 avatar

      Now that you mention it, I remember standing on the floor of the rear seat holding the top of the front bench seat. Hadn’t thought about that in… like forever! (It would have probably been the late ’50s the last time I did that.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    My Father’s 1978 Rx7. He fitted my child seat centrally in the hatch area! I remember sitting in it while experiencing my first accident when a woman fell asleep and banged into us on the highway. I also remember sitting on his lap and driving it around the naval base.

  • avatar
    yesthatsteve

    The first car I rode in was a ’62 VW Type 3 Notchback. My mom has told me numerous times they drove me all over Europe with my carrier jammed in the front-passenger footwell of that car.

    The first I remember riding in was the red and white ’59 Chevy wagon my dad bought in grad school after the army, and got rid of in about 1973, I think.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    ’63 Comet (Dad’s), then 63 Biscayne (Uncle’s), both three in the tree, the Merc with home installed tube radio under the dash, the Chevy with vacuum wipers.

  • avatar
    Tom D.

    First car I can remember riding in was the 1960 Studebaker Lark my grandfather sold to my dad, this had to be about 1965-66. It was black with a red checkerboard interior. I remeber it made a funny noise and had fake whitewall tires. I also remember the car after this it was a 1963 Plymouth Valiant wagon, red with a manual transmission that shifted on the floor. Memories, man I feel old.

  • avatar
    Hank

    For me the two earliest rides were my parent’s ’67 Dodge Polara wagon. They had a ’70 Impala before that they hated, but I was in diapers and don’t remember…my mom wouldn’t buy a Chevy for another 38 years she hated it so much.

    I also remember my grandfather’s ’69 Ford stepside from the same time period. Every time I smell gasoline, old vinyl, and old metal and hay together, I smell that ranch truck.

  • avatar
    DougD

    1960 Pontiac. Blue 4 door with 6 cyl and three on the tree. Canadian narrow-track suspension. The most amazing wrap around windshield ever!
    Although I came home from the hospital in the Pontiac my first riding memories are when it boiled over & Dad scooping water out of a creek and pouring it into the rad. Also I remember the wrecker truck taking it away & me waving bye bye and crying at the front window. I was 2 or 3 by that point and Mom knew I would be like my uncles and be an Engineer.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I have the Brougham-tastic honor of having been driven home from the hospital in a white on white 1978 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Custom Classic — the car so over the top that it perhaps caused the whole Brougham epoch to jump the shark. I think that car had some sort of special magic in it, as I love all things Brougham while my peers don’t even know what the word refers to. And I now drive a new Caddy almost in celebration of that car.

    My parents kept the Caddy until 1990 (when it was replaced by a Chrysler Town & Country — talk about night and day), and it is the first car I remember riding in. Since I couldn’t see out the back windows, I spent a lot of time looking at the headliner, which was off-white and had a pattern that always looked to me like someone had taken a ballpoint pen and made thousands of little round points with it all over the headliner. Once I graduated to the front seat, I had a ball playing with the non-operable CB radio pretending I was a cop or truck driver or what have you. The car had an Astroroof and I vividly remember losing a shiny silver helium balloon I’d won at a county fair through it when my dad opened it on the way home. I hated that Astroroof after that.

    The Caddy would sometimes lose a (color-keyed) hubcap, and I remember thinking how ugly — almost scary — the wheels looked without them. There was a point that stuck out of the middle of the bare black wheel that reminded me of someone sticking their tongue out at you. I would go on scavenging trips with my dad to junk yards to find replacement hubcaps, but we usually had to repaint them to the correct color.

    I have almost equally vivid early memories of my dad’s ride at the time (the Caddy was my mom’s), a 1976 Corvette Stingray with black interior. The shiny round shift knob all scratched up from my dad’s ring, the loud engine when he’d rev it, the hard black leather seats and the funny flat silver door handles that you had to push down on to open.

    Haven’t thought of this stuff in years…thanks for the reminiscing.

  • avatar

    Two-tone (Green/White) 1956 Mercury Montclair Hardtop Coupe. Dad bought it when I was a year old. Up til then, it was a midnight blue ’53 Olds 88 Coupe, but I don’t remember it.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    A 1960 Plymouth Valiant is the first car I remember riding in. I still think it’s a beautiful car, and greatly under-appreciated if you ask me. I don’t think it was the first car I was ever in, but that’s my first memory of riding in a car.

  • avatar
    talkstoanimals

    The family’s 1976 Dasher. Silver, 2 door hatch with gray corduroy and black vinyl seats.

  • avatar
    Steve65

    Earliest car memory is “falling asleep” in the back seat of the 63 Bug so I’d get carried into the house. That car was traded in on a shiny new 69 Bug when the tranmission failed. I remember the drive to the dealership in 1st gear.

    The 69 is the first car I really remember. Not the least because it stayed in the family for the next 25 years at least.

  • avatar
    geeber

    A white 1959 Rambler Super Cross Country wagon, with black and red interior. I remember standing on the transmission hump, looking over the shoulder of whichever parent happened to be driving. That car took my family to the New York World’s Fair in 1965.

    When the Rambler was traded for a 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air wagon in 1968, it was burning so much oil that my parents had to carry a case of motor oil on long trips.

  • avatar
    free2571

    A 1948 Desoto green 4 door, with radio buttons that were vertical, center trunk stoplight, and that mohair and cigarette smell! Dad’s red and black 1946 Dodge pickup with the screwdriver handle shifter shared the driveway.

  • avatar
    peekay

    1951 Austin A40 Devon. It was pretty new at the time :-)

  • avatar
    c5karl

    ’65 Barracuda with a slant-six engine. It was a bronzish color of some sort.

    The back seats flipped forward to create a big, flat carpeted cargo area under the fastback window. I was the youngest of three kids, and we used to ride supine in the back, watching the trees and sky go by through that big rear window.

  • avatar
    loj

    I vaguely remember Mom’s green/green ’73 Plymouth Satellite coupe. I do remember the brown ’76 Cordoba that was damaged in the accident, back when “make sure the kid goes under the dash and not into it” was a valid automotive child safety strategy. Then we traded that heap for a yellow (with brown vinyl half-roof) ’78 Diplomat.

  • avatar

    1950, when my brother was born. My father and I went to the clinic to pick them up using a Steyr Taxi (cf. http://www.google.de/imgres?q=Steyrer+Taxi&hl=de&sa=X&biw=1311&bih=885&tbm=isch&prmd=imvns&tbnid=DnqES9LM2waC-M:&imgrefurl=http://www.zuckerfabrik24.de/steyrpuch/steyrXII_1.htm&docid=wcUOiD8tmMNpoM&imgurl=http://www.zuckerfabrik24.de/steyrpuch/pics2/XII_b3.jpg&w=800&h=579&ei=M7W2T6HcLMPjtQarrc3NCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=194&vpy=164&dur=684&hovh=191&hovw=264&tx=220&ty=179&sig=104456772695704682826&page=1&tbnh=160&tbnw=211&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:70)

    Niedermeyer might remember these cars, as they have been on duty in Austria even at the beginning of the sixties.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Somewhere there is a picture of me (born in ’71) in my father’s British Racing Green ’65 Mustang convertible. However I was too young to remember that. I do remember riding in our white with tan interior, two door ’75 Ford Granada. And shortly afterwards a ’78 (?) black VW Rabbit.

    Like most kids in the ’70s we also spent plenty of time in some huge Ford station wagon (model unknown, but it was blue inside and out) with the fake wood stickers on the side. I remember how fancy we thought that car was because it had power windows. I also remember the window switches being huge and chrome (like everything else on the car) and thus burning your fingers should you attempt to put the windows down on hot summer afternoon.

  • avatar

    ’57 Olds…black and white? I had to be 4 years old. That’s the first car I remember riding in, and it was owned by a neighbor. My parents owned a red ’56 Dodge and then a ’60 Ford Sunliner that stayed in the family less than a year…all before riding in the Olds. I remember seeing those cars but no memories of riding in them.

  • avatar
    cfclark

    My first car memory would have been my parents’ 1968 Impala SS. White with black vinyl top and vinyl interior. In the spring of ’68, my parents bought a house and a new car (the last new vehicle they ever bought, IIRC) and conceived me, all in short order. :) I remember standing up in the back seat, and riding on the shelf behind the seats, which would have made a nice launching pad for the missile that would have been my body in an accident.

    I rode in my co-worker’s A3 today, with her baby seats in the back…those kids will never know the joy of romping around in the back of a car, beyond Mom’s reach(although they will be more likely to make it to adulthood uninjured).

  • avatar
    stevejac

    ’54 Plymouth Belvedere. It had a yellow roof over a black body. That was my mom’s car. My dad drove a ’52 Dodge that was so bottom of the line it only had a keylock on the driver’s side. It was coke bottle green.

    I remeber sitting in a kid seat that fit over the front seatback and had a yellow steering wheel to play with.

    If we’d had an accident I’d have crashed into the yellow metal dashboard for sure.

  • avatar
    K5ING

    My parents owned a ’54 Olds 98 when I was born, and while I remember looking at it, crawling all over it, I don’t specifically remember riding in it. The first one I remember riding in was the ’58 Olds wagon that replaced it. What a beast! Ours was white with a blue top.

    http://drjldavis.tripod.com/images/Station%20Wagons/58%20Oldsmobile/58olds7677-A.jpg

  • avatar
    replica

    So we’ve established everyone on here is incredibly old.

    I know. My time is coming.

  • avatar
    wmba

    1938 Riley Kestrel my Dad bought when we got back to England from Germany in 1951. Dad was a Squadron-Leader in the RAF and we were part of the British occupying forces after WW2, stationed near Hamburg.

    Dad always went on about it having an ERA engine, but Riley made the ERA engines anyway. He used to cruise it along at 50mph, and as a great treat on a long road near Bristol, he’d engage the overdrive and we’d soar up to 65 or so. His favorite game was to let the Morris Minors and Austin 7s of the day pass him on the flat, then swoosh past them going up long steep hills where there was a third passing lane. 1.5 litre versus 800cc, not fair.

    Became a gearhead because of that car. Leather and wood, and gigantic front headlights, overdrive lever a pull-out from the lower dash.

    http://www.prewarcar.com/classifieds/ad64699.html

  • avatar
    Maniacmous

    My first car ride was in my mom’s 1971 (I believe) Dodge Charger R/T. Was her third Charger (and her last), she rolled the first two, and sold the third, moving to a Mercury Grand Marquis. Actually, this may explain both my love of huge cars, huge performance, and Panther!

  • avatar
    texan01

    My first ride in a car was my parents brand new 1976 Chevy Malibu Classic. They also had a 1969 Chevy Malibu coupe that dad drove mostly since it didn’t have power steering. Grandma had a 1969 Ford Falcon V8 with a 3 on the tree. Neighbors had a 68 Bug, and a 72 Gran Torino.

    All of those cars lived well into the 80s, the 76 turned into my first car as it would not die, till 8 years of teenager and college abuse finally killed it.

    The 77 Malibu Classic I have now is an homage to that car, and its turning out to be just as bullet-proof as the 76 was if not moreso.

  • avatar
    Glen.H

    The first I remember was in my parents 1965 Datsun Bluebird station wagon. It was beige so it didn’t need washing so often on the dirt roads of Far North Queensland. An incredibly reliable and strong car for its time, though no ball of fire!

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    The first car I remember riding in was an early-70s Super Beetle that my Dad drove when we lived in Grosse Pointe. My brain probably didn’t start forming memories until around 1990, when I was three. The driver’s side mirror had fallen off, so there was just the one on the passenger’s side. The turn signal switch didn’t work, so Dad pulled the emergency flashers whenever he was about to make a turn. The brakes had a nasty squeak; I was afraid the car would catch fire somehow. Michigan rust was eagerly consuming the body, and the paint that remained (baby blue) was very dull to the touch, like fingernails on a chalkboard. The car had a very distinctive smell that I can’t describe well, probably some combination of vinyl and gasoline and old car stuff. Sometimes my brothers and I would lift up the back seat to take a peek at the battery. Dad always kept an ice scraper and other necessities behind the back seat. I can’t remember if the back seat had seatbelts, but if they existed, we never wore them. I don’t know how my mom let my dad drive us around in a clapped-out Beetle without seatbelts, but he finally let the car go in 1994 when we moved out of state.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    The first car I remember riding in happens to also be the car I got my first ride home in…a 1978 Mustang II fastback/hatchback. It was aqua blue with white vinyl seats and white plastic panels. It had a 4cyl and 4spd powertrain to complete the Malaise experience. I remember the other car my parents had at the time and remember playing in it, but don’t recall many rides…it was a 1972 Mercury Capri in 70s turd brown. The Capri was sold when I was 5 1/2 in my parents’ first vehicle acquisition during my lifetime to make way for the Magic Wagon…a loaded-up 1984 Plymouth Voyager LE with the 2.6L, metallic brown & woodgrained vinyl outside, brown & browner vinyl (with browner carpet) inside. This was the first time I remember seeing “cupholders” in a vehicle that weren’t parts store-counter clip-ons at the windowsill, and they consisted of 1/8″ deep depressions in the horizontal plastic shelf above the radio. Luckily someone in the aftermarket came up with a piece that glued onto the shelf that had a pop-up holder that at least would hold 12oz cans. Anything set on the factory shelf laughed and jumped off if the vehicle was doing anything other than sitting still. The Magic Wagon also was the first time I had ever heard of Cruise Control and my 5yo self thought it was an auto-pilot and it would be so cool if dad could turn around and play go fish with me on the trip to grandma’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Banger

      “This was the first time I remember seeing “cupholders” in a vehicle that weren’t parts store-counter clip-ons at the windowsill…”

      My GOD, my dad had those things in every one of his trucks. Always compact pickups with nary a factory cupholder to be had in the options list, the first thing he would do is go to the parts store and buy one of those flimsy-floppy cupholders for his window. I remember the one in the Isuzu truck (see below) always flopped and flipped when you’d roll up the window, which was quite often since the truck had no A/C. He knocked it out of the windowsill all the time, said something about “stupid cupholder” and always put it right back. Glutton for punishment, my father.

  • avatar
    Banger

    I vividly remember my mom’s 1987 Nissan Maxima. The “Four Door Sports Car,” with lots of right angles on the exterior, a square-shaped boot on the five-speed stick, and very 1980s technology and instrumentation, not to mention the button-tuck (!) plush interior. That car would go like stink. I remember being impressed by the sounds of the power window and power antenna (remember THOSE?!?) motors. They sounded substantial compared to my grandparents’ Mercury Grand Marquis. What on earth sounds substantial compared to a Panther’s switches? Sheesh.

    Mom’s Maxima was gray, and I always liked how it looked. I even thought the mandated automatic front seat belts were kind of cool (didn’t all of us ’80s kids think that?) I remember riding in the front seat from about the age of four, with a throw pillow under my butt to allow me to see out the windows. Mom and my step-father traded the car, one of the last relics of my mom’s relationship with my biological father, for a Ford F-150 SuperCab with the 300 straight six and an automatic transmission, but not much else in the way of options. I still miss both.

    I also remember riding around in my dad’s Mazda pickup, probably about the same age as the Maxima (late ’80s), with fabulous tan-on-tan color scheme. I mostly remember how one night on the way to meet my mom at the court-agreed drop-off point, the Mazda started to overheat. I remember Dad saying the head gasket was going.

    Next time I saw dad, he had traded that truck on a Nissan Hardbody, red, with no options. He traded the Nissan in short order for a Ford Ranger XLT with air conditioning because he said he couldn’t stand to look over in the middle of a humid Tennessee summer and see the sweat rolling off of a five-year-old me. I didn’t know any better, honestly.

    After two Rangers, he would eventually buy a 1993 Isuzu pickup with no options (including no A/C) for the sum of $7,500, and we would sweat it out together on many a road trip. Praise the Lord for wing windows in humid summer rainstorms. At least you could get SOME ventilation without getting soaked.

    That Isuzu would go on to become the first vehicle I DROVE, albeit it was a mostly clapped-out vehicle by that point with nearly 180,000 miles on the odometer. Dad gave it to me when I turned 16, but it had carburetor trouble that would cause the truck to stall at random– and always inopportune– moments.

    I gave the Isuzu back to him, he replaced the carburetor with a junkyard carb, and drove it for tens of thousands more miles before totalling it doing a weekend job as a pizza delivery guy while trying to get his business off the ground. Ran into a fallen tree around a blind corner in someone’s long, country driveway (ah, the perils of being a pizza boy in rural Tennessee) and speared the radiator and timing cover. He sold it to some country boy who patched it back together and was still driving it, last we knew, with what’s sure to be nearly a quarter-million miles now.

    These were great fun to read. Thanks for the post, Murilee!

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    The first would have been a ’60 Dodge Dart. I remember standing on the transmission hump holding onto the back of the front seat. 3 of my brothers and my 2 sisters were sitting behind me. My Dad piloting w/ Mom and my baby brother in the front seat. I was probably 4 years old. My brother Mike called it “The Green Bomb”.

    We replaced it in ’68 with a green Ford Galaxie station wagon. We all loved the Ford because my Dad couldn’t reach back to smack us anymore. Too big you see.

  • avatar

    My mom had a ’74 Land Rover with bench seats in the back. My dad had installed seat belts, but we never wore them. Mom would drive over the railroad tracks and we would beg her to do it fast so we could bang our heads on the roof going over the bumps.

    It was awesome!
    Nowadays she’d be locked up for child endangerment. Lame…
    http://www.motorheadmama.com

  • avatar
    ehaase

    My father’s 1962 Falcon station wagon. I don’t know if it had the 144 or 170 inline six, but it did have 3 on the tree. (My father didn’t buy a car with an automatic until he bought a 1987 Taurus LX.) As a little boy, I stood up on the bench seat between my parents. No one cared about child car seats back then.

  • avatar
    Pikadon

    My first-ever car ride was when I was brought home from the hospital in my parents’ 1955 Pontiac two-door, one of the ones with the amber Indian-chief hood ornament that lit up when the headlights were switched on.

    I asked my father years later what model the car was, and he said it was just the standard Pontiac; the only model with a name back then was the Star Chief. Our car had Star Chief trim (extra chrome on the sides), so it was apparently a special-order vehicle.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    1964 Plymouth Valiant 4 door, grey with red interior, push button automatic, A/C and kept until I was 4 years old so I could remember it. The two things that always stuck in my mind the most were the red seats and the push button shifter. Oddly every automatic car my immediate family has subsequently owned had a floor shift, except for my wife’s truck, a 93 Ranger with a column shift.

  • avatar

    The first car I recall riding in was my neighbour’s Plymouth Horizon four-door. Dark blue exterior, light blue interior. As my mom never drove — or owned a car, for that matter — he would take my mom and I to the grocery store or some other appointment. I recall slamming the door on my fingers once. I wasn’t happy, to say the least.

    The owner of the car was in his later years, and walked with the aid of a four-legged metal cane. He seemed nice.

  • avatar
    jeffcoop

    My mom’s 1969 Ford Torino Squre wagon–light blue, with fake wood siding. I was five at the time. Her previous car was a bright red Buick sedan of some kind–I’ve seen photos of it and know I rode in it, but I don’t remember it.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I can remember a “rope” that was hooked on to the front seat back. I think it might of been a 51 Pontiac? The first car I drove, was a 55 Chev. The first car I drove legaly was a 64 Chev equiped with a 230 “stove bolt” and three on the tree.

  • avatar
    cat_basilio

    Here you go, Murilee: The first car I remember riding in had to be a 1953? GAZ-20 in cream color. It belonged to my great-uncle. I remember playing inside every chance I could get. He kept the car until the late 1990s, then sold it since he could not drive anymore.

  • avatar
    erock1

    Mom’s 74 Vega or Dad’s 74 Saab 99 GLE. I remember the Vega’s black vinyl seats baking in the sun in the summer and the Saab being towed on a fairly regular basis. The Vega turned to rust in a matter of a few years and in comparison the Saab must have seemed fairly reliable as he never bought another GM product, but he did buy 3 more Saabs (before they were bought out by GM).

  • avatar
    SuperACG

    My mom had a 1972 Mercedes W109 in Moss Green, and I loved the click when you opened the door, and the thunk when you closed it! I can still smell the MB-Tex vinyl and horsehair as I sat in the backseat eating a stale hamburger, soggy fries, and runny milkshake from the Jack in the Box down the street from our house. Back in the 80s, when you ordered your food, you got it right on the spot! I always sat behind the driver. One time, I remember sitting in the back, while my little sister sat in the front seat and my mom was driving. She was trying to pull out of a shopping center and a VW Bus ran right into us! We didn’t have our seatbelts on and I hit my head against the glass. Probably got a concussion, but I never went to the hospital. The car was repaired, and kept going until about the late 80s.

    For some reason, I always thought the rear vent windows “triangle windows” would roll down, but I confused that car with my dad’s 1972 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale convertible. He drove that back to his home state to let his mom drive it, but brought it back home in the late 80s. That car is still in the family.

    I could go on about my dad’s 1968 Jaguar E-Type, 1969 Datsun pickup, grandma’s Saab, Aunt’s Fiat which was wrecked with me inside, many Mazdas in the family (dad worked at a Mazda store in the early 80s), but this post could get long…

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    The first car I remember riding in was my dad’s glistening, white 1964 Jaguar E-type coupe… I can still smell the red leather seats, see the glow of the burnished wood dash, and hear the purr of the motor… If there are cars in heaven, then surely the XK-E is still growling, still roaring around the corners of the Pearly Gates…

  • avatar

    The 1950 Studebaker. My first memory of riding in a car (my second memory of anything)–I’m about 9 months old. I’m in my baby bassinet in the back seat. We’re climbing the hill on which we lived, and my father says, “We’re almost home.” It would have been 1954.

  • avatar
    skor

    White 1964 Ford Falcon, two door, with rear windows that rolled down only half way….my parents didn’t want any escape attempts. I vividly remember the trip we made to Hoboken, to visit one of my uncles. When we came back, dad discovered that someone had stolen the battery out of the car….you young’uns may be surprised to find out that the old time cars did not have locking hoods.

  • avatar
    D in the D

    Beige 1964 Chevy Wagon. We called it Mom’s Bomber. It was pretty indestructible, but what a playground inside. No seat belts for anyone. We used to go back and forth over the rear seat while traveling down the road. Oh, the hazards! It was 1971, and there were none as far as we knew. Great memories. Dad had a ’67 Chevelle with a straight 6 at the time, but the wagon was ALL the fun!

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    I came home from the hospital in an early 60′s Rambler. The first car I remember riding in was our 68 VW Camper. I remember singing along to Spinning fWheel with my dad. I remember traveling all over the Northern Midwest and Northeast with my family. When my dad was transferred to Sicily he had it shipped over and we drove it all over Europe. I remember having to stop for every goat/sheep herd in Greece, they had right-if-way. I remember my parents using a tape measure to see if we’d fit over bridges in Yugoslavia. The family’s favorite memory was when the older of my two sisters calmly interrupted our drive up Mount Etna to announce “Mom, it’s not my fault”. After a pause my mother asked what was wrong, she repeated “Mom, it’s not my fault…..Connie fell out the back.” We all spun around to see the back gate open and my little sister running down the middle of the road.

  • avatar
    otter

    First car I rode in was my mom’s ’72 Mustang Sportsroof,but the first one I actually remember is either my grandmother’s ’53 Chevy Bel Air or my cousins’ other grandmother’s ’52 Dodge sedan; both at my grandparents’ house in Colombia, around the same time, when I was 5 or 6 or so. the Bel Air was the only car my grandmother ever had – she had it from ’54 to ’86.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    It would be 2 of them, as for which was first I’d have to assume it was the one with 4 seats but since I can’t remember which one it was.

    I’ll just have to go with either my families 1970 Mustang Fastback w/351 it even had the louvers on the window. or my families 1969 Corvette convertible w/350. I used to ride in the back of the Corvette where the top went with my parents in the 2 front seats. Try that today and every parent and government agency would go nuts. For me though it was a wonderful experience.

    I know REALLY HORRIBLE memories there :D. Shortly after that it was a 1965 Corvette coupe, I loved riding as a child in the back of that, I could see out and roll around and all kinds of fun things only a child could enjoy.

    Too bad my father later turned into a lover of all vehicles longer than trucks and bigger than a house. (old cadillacs/lincolns etc) Somewhere in there he lost his enjoyment of truly interesting vehicles and decided that luxo-barges were the only acceptable car.

  • avatar
    VelocityRed3

    My moms ’71 Pontic Catalina. Natch I’m the spring or summer of 1971. I woul have been 4

  • avatar
    tbhride

    Chevy Celebrity Eurosport. I think it was an ’84.

  • avatar
    dwight

    First remembered driving in a 1966 Ford Fairlane. Turned out to be a hunk of junk. By early 70s, they scored a 1970 Renault 8 from my grandmother’s boyfriend after he passed away. Like having a VW Bug but in a square box. Rust killed it but never caused them any troubles. It was concurrent with a 1970 Plymouth Fury III.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    My earliest distinct car memories are of my Uncle’s Land Rover that he bought new when he got back from Vietnam. That was when I was probably 4-5. When I was 12-13 he taught me to drive in the second one he bought, which was an older 109 diesel with RHD! I also remember the Beetle that he and my Aunt had when they first got married which was a bit later than the first Rover. I was brought home from the hospital in a ’69 Ford Galaxy.

  • avatar
    Broo

    1978 Toyota Corona, brown, liftback. I can’t remember if it was auto or manual though.

    My parents had a Ford Falcon when I was born, but I don’t remember it.

    Also my grandfather’s ’77 Ford Granada sedan, green with white vinyl top. He often went out for a ride and when he was babysitting me he would take me along. I have a picture of little me sitting on the hood, wearing diaper. That car was anything but aerodynamic and according to reviews it wasn’t really good. Still, it was grandda’s car and I have fond memories of it.

  • avatar
    karlbonde

    An orange 1972 Volkswagen Squareback. It had very poor heat during the winters in northern Minnesota, although it had good traction in the snow.

  • avatar
    jnik

    My dad’s ’53 Buick Roadmaster, which was about 3 years old at the time. It was grey with a white top, and the hood opened from the side. I remember he had a postwar Nash before that, but I only remember the green and cream exterior, not the inside.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    Daddy’s 1953 Pontiac Chieftain twodoor in chalk blue with three-on-the-tree and the Indian head on the hood that lit up – I thought that was cool. Clearly remember riding on the back parcel shelf – no seat belts or thoughts of being restrained back then .Odd that I remember it so clearly as Daddy traded it in on a two-tone (green and white ) twodoor 1956 Pontiac wagon so I would have only been three years old when he traded it in . He always bought Pontiacs as my uncle owned a dealership . Another car I remember clearly was a great -aunt’s 1942 or 1946 Pontiac two-door . The car I thought was the coolest though was the next door neighbor’s 1951 Studebaker Starlight coupe . That wraparound back window , that bullet nose – I truly felt like I was in a rocketship when I would ride in it – the old man’s Pontiac and the low level Ford company cars he had back then seemed so stodgy in comparison .

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I don’t remember the cars we had before I was about four. Just before my fourth birthday, we went for lunch on Sat morning, and afterwards, we went to pick up our new 1960 Chrysler New Yorker, all in black and chrome. Pretty much identical to this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1960_Chrysler_New_Yorker_2_Door_Hardtop_Coupe.jpg

    We had it for only 2 years, it had many electrical issues and it was replaced by a ’63 New Yorker, the only evidence we had it is a bad pic I took of my neighbor’s dog and the car’s rear is showing in the background. My mom hated it, it was ugly and so it was gone in a little over a year.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    My first memory of being in a vehicle was my dad’s then new ’83 Nissan pickup, regular cab, a total stripper, no radio even. The other car I remember was a ’78 or ’79 Lincoln Mark Coupe, I only remember it because he was trading it in on a new ’85 Lincoln Town Car Cartier edition and I remember the salesman asking which one I wanted (remember I was a small kid!), I picked the Town Car and lived my childhood in the backseat of that car. I miss that car. Plenty of memories and despite a few small problems (noisy door lock actuator in the rear) it was reliable.

  • avatar

    I’m pretty young, and so is the first car I remember riding in. It was a 1996 Buick Riviera Supercharged.

  • avatar
    smallenginesmakemesad

    What a great topic! I have been thinking about this for 20 minutes. Here’s my story –

    Born 1971 in Australia (for context).

    I was driven home from the hospital in my uncle’s brand new Jaguar XJ-12 (what a way to start your life). I don’t remember that one.

    I do remember riding in my Dad’s Volvo 164. He got that in 75 or 76. I remember the day he got it, but I can’t remember riding in the car that he bought before that (which was probably the day before). I remember him getting it because I got yelled at for closing my mother’s leg in the door – because I wanted to see what the car looked like with it’s doors closed and my mother was sitting in the front seat with her leg hanging out.

    Other early (pre 10 years old) memories:

    My neighbours had a W116 Mercedes 280SE. I got a lift to school occasionally in that car and it just seemed special (I have now driven Merc’s as daily drivers for 18 years) I think it’s due to that one. I even remember the licence plate – DNE-008.

    My great uncle bought a new Ford Fairlane in about 1980. It had a DIGITAL CLOCK. I was amazed.

    When the first Muppet Movie came out (1978?) there was a 1959 Cadillac that featured in the film. I got obsessed by that car – was it from a cartoon movie, or was it a real car? It took me until I was 35 until I bought one from Salt Lake City and shipped it back to Australia. I had been obsessed for nearly 30 years. I still stroke it’s fins as I walk past it every morning.

    My first ride in a vintage car (and I class this event as helping to make me a life-long car guy was in about 1978. My Dad’s business partner brought his Stanley Steamer over to our house and gave me a ride around the block. My whole family went for the ride. Dad had to stand on the running boards and hold on. It was fantastic and is forever imprinted on my mind. My main memory is the massive mudguards.

    I am still in touch with the Stanley’s owner (now in his 60′s). He remembers as a child riding in a 1909 (?) Detroit electric car in the 60′s. He now owns that car too.

    Early memories burn hard into your brain. I try to let my boys ride in a variety of interesting cars too. In my family and within 20km from home we have;

    1927 Chevrolet Tourer (in the extended family since new)
    1950 MG TD
    1959 Cadillac Coupe
    1970 Cadillac Eldorado
    1971 VW Type 3
    1973 BMW 3.0S
    1983 Porsche 928S

    Plus numerous daily drivers. My kids need to experience all these and learn about cars.

    Sorry for the long post – but I love this topic.

  • avatar
    outback_ute

    I remember going to get our new puppy in Dad’s 1979 LTD & brought him home in a box on the back seat beside me. I also remember when we took it for a test drive, but that’s not the first memory I think of.

  • avatar
    Commodore P

    The first family car I remember riding in was a 1971 Plymouth Fury Sport Suburban Wagon, avocado green with wood siding. I was three, we were living in Texas for a time, and man, were those vinyl seats hot.

    Sometimes we kids would ride in the way back, but inside a household playpen, you know, for an extra measure of safety.

    My mom would aim for armadillos on the highway, and we’d watch them out the rear window, balled up and spinning in her wake.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I’ve been trying to remember the cars in which I rode along the day.

    I was born in Venezuela (1978). I guess the ride back home was in my dad’s light grey 7something VW Escarabajo. IIRC mom told me he bought it new, so it must be 76.

    Then I remember a crash in a light blue 78 Malibu. It was dark and raining. Then I think a blue VW.

    I rode a couple of times in my uncle’s 66 Dart (inherited from my grandfather), which was modified for drag racing and was LOUD. Also seeing some of his trophies. He then bought a 72 or 73 Corvette and restored it (that’s how my love for Corvettes started). I kept the original steering wheel of that car right until the night before moving down here.

    My uncle also took me to the place of one of his buddies, which modified Jeeps putting V8s on them and other toys.

    I also remembered some of the cars dad bought, in no chronological order:

    83 Malibu, marine blue, blue interior, brand new. We went to dealer with him, but can’t recall if it was to pick it up or for the paperwork. The so many burns I got in those seats before he reupholstered them in cloth made me HATE vinyl seats to this day.

    I also remember from my early childhood 2 Dodge Dart GT, the first one was like victory red and the second metallic green. V8 of course. Of the red one I remember he changed the exhaust and put a dual system with chrome tips and those had super cool Woody Woodpecker logos each! I will get laughed for this, but I recall the interior in those cars was actually quite cool, white in both cases. I still love the steering wheel they had with the big round black horn button in the center. Dad used to chirp the tyres from time to time much for the delight of the children :). Those Darts are guilty of the Mopar bug that resides in my head.

    He also had a gold 75 Range Rover (with many issues he fixed over a couple of months and it was his reliable DD for some years), a FJ40 (crap, leaked water and the ride was harsh as hell, kept it for less than 6 months), a 72 Chevelle 2dr Malibu with a 307 perhaps (awesome picnic basket shifter) and then a 81 Caprice. The Rangie was cool, and before putting electronic ignition in it it was sometimes a PITA to start.

    My grandmother had a white 78 Malibu, which I drove for a couple of weeks around 20 years later. I liked the relaxed and smooth way that car drove. The house that was besides her’s hosted an orange 73 Camaro (which style I also love) and then there was a 2 dr downsized Continental in the house in front.

    Another uncle of mine also had a couple of cars: a Brasilia which he rally raced from time to time, an FJ40 pickup (with A/C, PS, now that was cool despite the harsh ride, also support vehicle), an 83 Malibu two tone blue with white interior and slotted mags.

    I also remember a couple of rides in my neighbor’s red Fiat 131, with velour interior and USDM bumpers.

    I can only guess which of the cars will my son remember. So far he has ridden in:

    91 Isuzu Impulse RS (victory red) and XS (brilliant red mica)
    07 Samand (silver)
    or the current one: VT Calais. He was very happy the day I took it home and took “possession of it”. Loves to ride in the car (and brum brums in general), so the petrol head genes seem to be safe.

  • avatar
    Brunsworks

    For me, it was a VW Baby Blue 1967 Type III Variant (Squareback). To this day, that model is still one of my favorites, though the example my parents owned was sold to a work friend of my father’s after my mother had to choose between rear-ending a truck or hitting a concrete phone pole. (Though creased neatly in front, it still drove and handled more or less perfectly.)

  • avatar
    iainthornton

    Ride back from the hospital was in a Rover 800 Vitesse (Sterling 827SLi)
    First I actually remember? Probably my father’s Land Rover Discovery.

  • avatar
    87CE 95PV Type Я

    Must have been either the family’s 87 Saab 900 or their 70 Dodge Dart back in the early 1990s.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Those 1960s Fords were so cool. When I was growing up, these vehicles were already mostly worn out, but I always wanted one. I still do. Every so often, I search the world over for one of those late 60s Fairlane GTs with the 390. Even though this car is older than me, I love it.

  • avatar
    DemosCat

    I remember my father’s 1958 Mercedes 220S. Black with a folding sunroof, in-line 2.2 liter 6 cylinder engine, independent suspension (a swing axle in back, hinged in the center with the differential offset to one side), electric windshield wipers at a time when most cars’ wipers ran off the vacuum manifold, a real wood dashboard and trimmings (just don’t knock your head on the dash).

    It had a column mounted 4-speed gear shift, but an automatic clutch (no clutch peddle) and a hydro connection somewhere in the transmission, because the car could be stopped at a light with 1st gear engaged. No rollbacks on a hill either, unless you left your hand resting lightly on the gear shift – that would cause the electric clutch to disengage.

    It was a very smooth ride. You could easily hit 80 MPH without realizing it. Sadly, my father sold it when it was 10 years old in 1968, before I was old enough to drive.

  • avatar
    ruckover

    Mid-fifties Ford station wagon.
    First one I REMEMBER? Buddy’s dad (who worked the Ford assembly line) had a Boss 302. Amazingly, my father, an insurance executive, did not drive like my friend’s father.

  • avatar
    imm

    Renault 16 TL in 1968.

  • avatar
    Maverick74

    The first car I remember riding in would probably be dad’s 1979 Ford F-150 Ranger. It was a red extended cab with a 460 big block. I also remember busting the rear view mirror off while playing in it.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Dads 2 stroke Saab when I was 3. I hear I rode in an Alpha Spider cross country before the Saab. How was that legal, I didn’t even have a seat! I don’t remember that far back. The reason I remember the Saab is it died dramatically in Death Valley. I also remember a Troll sticker in a window, and regular arguments at gas stations about mixing oil with gas.

  • avatar

    1967 GTO

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    1960 Ford Fairlane.

  • avatar
    MadHungarian

    1960 Studebaker Lark sedan. I used to stand up in back, holding on to the top of the front seat. Doing that these days would get Mom or Dad a ticket and a visit from Child Protective Services.

    I wish I directly remember (as opposed through photos) the car my parents had right before the Lark — a ’57 Chevy 210 2-door wagon. I think it is imprinted on my subconscious somehow, because I want one — really badly.

  • avatar
    carsinamerica

    I remember riding in the back of our Volvo 345 (it *might* have been a 343; this was a long time ago). There was a hill near our home, and I loved it when my mum goosed the car over the hill and my stomach dropped out on the other side. Good times, and one of my earliest memories.

  • avatar
    Rigaudon

    First car I rode in would be a 1954 brown Chevy wagon. First car I actually remember riding in was our 1963 Pontiac Tempest wagon with a 3 speed on the floor. My dad hated it because we liked to vacation with a tent trailer and it was too under powered to pull it well. I liked it because he let me shift it. Plus the rubber boot that covered the shifter and connected to the floor must not have been too tight because I could see the road pass by looking through a hole or open joint where it joined to the transmission hump. In theory this car had the 4 cylinder that was half a V-8 with the rope drive drive shaft. I learned about that later.

  • avatar
    solracer

    When I was born my parents fleet of cars consisted of my mom’s Nash Metro, my dad’s Triumph TR-2 and his Studebaker pickup. Oh and a half-dozen collector cars including a Packard with a Duesenberg engine. The first car I remember however was the pink Rambler station wagon my mom traded the Metro for when I got too big for the back seat. Eventually the Rambler got traded for a red ’65 Mustang with a V-8, a 4-speed and a Pony interior which even at 7 I realized was a pretty cool car.

  • avatar
    CRConrad

    VW Bug; probably about as old as I, i.e, mid-sixties.

  • avatar
    phargophil

    1957 Pontiac Chieftain, 4 door sedan, green and white with a green vinyl interior. Built like a tank.


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