By on April 4, 2017

Mark Stevenson's Former 1995 Ford Bronco, Image: © 2011 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Over the past few weeks, Jack and I have driven down the road of nostalgia as we contemplated the fate of our past fleets. Thanks to TTAC’s resident wrench and automotive P.I. Bozi Tatarevic, we were able to find closure; Jack’s Oldsmobubble went to the great crusher in the sky, while my Bronco continues to ply the roads of Oklahoma City before it meets a similar fate in a not-so-distant future.

Now it’s your turn to play “Dude, Where’s My Car?”

That’s right. We’re loaning out Mr. Tatarevic to the highest bidder, and the currency of choice here is the written word.

Have you ever wondered what happened to the Cavalier Z/24 you drove in high school that became home to many a sexual conquest? What about that Rambler that took you, your siblings, and parents across the country on your first ever, road-going family vacation?

We’re here to help, but we can’t help all of you.

If you’d like Bozi to use his unique skills to track down that lost-but–not-forgotten ride, here’s what we ask of you:

In 200 words or less, tell us why we should find your ride. Be creative, but be truthful.

The five most intriguing stories will get the nod, and Bozi will reach out to you all to get the required details to support his mission.

Let’s hear your best/worst.

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51 Comments on “Want to Find Your Long-Lost Car? We’re Here to Help, But You Need to Tell Us a Story First...”

  • avatar

    I honestly have no desire to find out where any of my old cars wound up. I “know” the answers:

    – 1987 Taurus GL: By the side of the road with either 1) a hole poking out of the Vulcan’s block or 2) a dead AXOD transmission, probably less than 10,000 miles after the shady lot I sold it to used its shiny paint to find a mark. Then to the crusher.
    – 1989 Taurus SHO: See above, but with engine accessories or the clutch rather than engine/transmission.
    – 1988 Accord LX: So rusty that it probably went straight to the crusher from the terrible Honda dealer where I traded it in.
    – 2004 Acura TSX: Some super-lucky used car buyer got a deal (it was like new), drove it for ten years and 150,000 miles, and by then it was just another used-up Honda.
    – 2006 Civic EX: It’s a 2006 Civic EX. Who cares.
    – 2009 G8 GXP: This is the one that’s a bit sad. After I sold it to a Washington state dealer, it wound up on a shady SoCal lot, priced at $43,000 (!), with a cheap and inappropriate HID conversion and a lousy tint job. They sold it very quickly and I can only hope the new owner undid the horrible mods.
    – 2013 Forester XT: Some family in Seattle that can’t do math is driving it today. (At the price, a new one would have been a better TCO deal.)

  • avatar

    I’ve reached closure on my old pickups and don’t wish to reopen.

  • avatar

    Find 2008 VW R32 3930/5000 (Blue)

    Owned it for 2.5 years. Loved it, except when it visited the shop, too frequently for the span of a year. I spotted it on Kijiji in GTA for sale last March (2016). I wanna know how it’s doin’… Return my calls? Please? Come back home? I moved on, I swear…

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    What a sweet chance for some stories of yore. There could be a few anecdotes here, maybe. I think I have read before about Bozi Tatarevi finding vehicle histories. Was it him who among other tech talents has a VIN tool searcher? What would a person need to provide the automotive P.I. in terms of old paper work or other to make it possible to track down a memory mobile?

  • avatar

    Simple: I want to find my 02 VW Jetta because I want it back.

    It was my high school car, and for a Millennial in high school a brand-new Jetta was high-rollin’, even in base GL trim but especially with the 5-speed stick and with the apparently rare Baltic Green color (model years before and after switched to a different shade of green). It was how I met a lot of like-minded gearheads in HS who appreciated the stick and color. I didn’t do anything more special than typical HS stuff, but it was enough of a car to make me feel special, and I’d really like to see if it’s still around so I can do performance mods. In the current environment where it seems popular to turn Jettas in El Cams or BBQs or stunt cars, it’s time the little Teutonic four-door gets some performance cred.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Hmm. I think I know the history of my cars:

    -1990 Honda Accord EX: scrapped when the valves got bent due tot the timing belt snapping
    -1997 VW Jetta GLX VR6: saw it driving around a few weeks ago
    -2014 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI: dealer used it as a service shuttle after I traded it in and they were unable to sell it; they probably sold it to Volkswagen
    -2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI SEL: on its way to wherever dirty TDIs go, as of last week
    -2011 BMW X5 xDrive35i Premium: hopefully destroyed; that car was evil

  • avatar

    For the most part, don’t know or don’t care. There is a latent curiosity, kind of like knowing the results of an autopsy even though the shot gun blast to the temple was impossible to overlook.

  • avatar

    My beloved 3000GT…

    I don’t think I’d be exaggerating if I said I put 2500 hours into it… It was my pride and joy. From chopping off the roof with a sawzaw because I wanted a convertible, to welding in a custom convertible top, to putting a fast-and-furious body kit, aftermarket seats and steering wheels, custom paint job (by custom I mean spray paint in my garage at 2 Am).

    I did every mod to that thing with 2 things in mind: 1. Cool factor and 2. Minimum cost.

    I was broke, but I was determined. I learned to fiberglass by building a custom sub enclosure in the trunk. I learned vinyl work by building a custom vinyl top. I learned to weld by welding support bars in place. I worked on it throughout the night for 5+ years, pouring every piece of life I had into it.

    The thing was my pride and joy, and in many times of my life, a reason for living…. an emotional feeling that only the true automotive enthusiasts can understand.

    And then it happened. I had the car in the mediocre state of New York while I was in Grad School.

    I was moving back from New York to Ohio, and my ex wife at the time said, “that car ain’t comin’ back with us”. I sold it to a guy for a good price, but he came back to me and said he couldn’t register it. You see in New York, they have some pesky emissions laws or something, and this car was modified beyond its ability to pass. I felt guilty, took the car back, and refunded him the money.

    Now I have to move it again and time is not my friend. I was asking $6000. Dropped it to $4000, 3000, then I said “Have to sell by Friday to the best offer”.

    In my 23 year old head, I thought that meant somewhere around $2500… But that’s not what happened. I’m a day out from moving day and I still don’t have a good offer, don’t know what to do if I can’t sell it, so I let it go for $400.

    You see I couldn’t afford to transport it back to ohio, I was broke as heck. My ex wanted the car gone. I sold the most important project I ever had for a measly $400. (long story short I ended up getting $600 to include the wheels because I couldn’t find the stupid wheel lock.. it had nice 17″ (not a bad size at the time) gunmetal wheels and good tires).

    So I watch some kids drive off in this thing, and I’ve regretted it every day since.

    I always wondered what happened to my beloved 3000GT. I’m sure its posted on some forum as a POS Ricer… I’m sure the owners destroyed it since I don’t think they could register it… Maybe it was even parted out?

    Or maybe someone put some time and energy into finalizing it and it ran the show circuit? Or maybe it was shipped off the Japan or Korea?

    I fear I’ll never know, but that doesn’t mean I won’t question it for ages. Today I drive a Ferrari 360 Spyder. I always wanted a Ferrari… but now I think back at that $400 car and think, “now that’s what I always wanted… I had it, and I let it go away…”

    • 0 avatar
      Brett Woods

      So why do you care what some clueless insensitive wants you do with your car? It’s not up for a bunch of dumb questions. So don’t worry about it. 2500 hours dude. It’s your art. And assuming you could drive it out and somehow get a cert in the new state… I guess you must have thought you couldn’t.

      • 0 avatar

        I should have gone and borrowed money to transport it home.

        I’d pay a multitude of what I was paid to get it back.

        But I was young and stupid and didn’t understand the value of it until it was gone!

        I still check craigslist at least once a month to see if it shows up… and this all went down 10 years ago.

  • avatar

    Ok I will throw my hat into the ring, but I will admit it may be a a but hard
    1986 Saab 900 convertible , 5 speed, only about 300 were made for the US, about 100 were sticks so a fairly rare car by the numbers, I owed it for about 7 years or so and sold it to someone who lived in France, sent it on it’s way from the port of NY about 7 years ago, he was gonna restore it he said , although he only spoke French so maybe google translate had that part wrong. I was lucky enough to have company cars so the saab was a summer car, it was my first saab but I fell in love with them and have owned several over the years including a 04 9-3 vert that replaced the 86 vert and my daily driver is a 2011 Saab 9-5 so I am a glutton for punishment according to some.

  • avatar

    Count me among the ones that don’t have any interest in knowing. When I’m done with ’em, I’m done with ’em.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Hmm.I’d like to know what happened to my 1st car 84 GTI, silver over blue-sold to an 18 y/o who totaled his Festiva (and lived to tell about it)
    – my HS grad present given to myself 10 yrs after I actually graduated, a 92 Mustang LX 5.0 emerald over gray sold to a construction worker as his daily
    – supercharged e36 coupe-sold with 140k on original drivetrain to a genuinely knowledgeable teenager car/bike guy who probably used it for drifting
    my supercharged 330i zhp sold to a single schoolteacher in Memphis via Bimmerforums
    I’ve actually started buying diecast models of my previous rides, as this still keeps the sentiment alive, even if they are not in my keep

  • avatar

    My first car was a Chevy Chevette Scooter. Fortunately, I totalled that, no need to search. I bought a 1978 Monte Carlo after that. It only cost me $600, and it ran like a top. But the lifters were clicking and my father said I should sell it. It is what I replaced that with that made me think 3rd time’s a charm.

    It was a 1983 Plymouth Sapporo Technica. The Technica package included two tone black and silver paint with red trim, and the same colors inside. It had all the neat electrical gew-gaws like digital dash and talking warning system (“Your door is ajar”, “Car, it’s a door, not a jar”). It also had a great stereo and of course, a 5 speed.

    It didn’t have a B pillar, so all 4 windows would roll down. This was good, since it didn’t have aircon and it had a black roof. I got a set of used white letter tires and they looked pretty good with the standard “turbo” wheels.

    I loved that car. I felt connected to that car. It had character. I’ve never felt for another car like I felt for this one.

    Sadly, I think this one wound up in the crusher. I sold it a year after I bought it. It had road rot setting into the frame rails, and if I didn’t sell it when I did, I might have had it split in two on me.

    Someday, I will go in search for another, although it would be when I finally have time and money. Since I have a wife, two kids, and a house, I am sadly in short supply of those.

  • avatar

    I’ll throw in two:

    My first car – a 1974 Ford Gran Torino – bought used as a high school senior in 1982 for about $700. After I bought it I realized it had been in an accident and repaired badly (the passenger side door was different – couldn’t unlock it because I didn’t have the key). But it always started – even in the coldest weather. I went practically everywhere with that car. My father helped me install a cassette deck stereo – which is a great memory. I sold it four years later prior to graduating college to another student for $200. I wonder how long it lasted after that.

    My attempt at auto restoration. I always wanted an old convertible – in 1992 I bought a 1968 Olds Delmont 88 for $1500. It shook, it leaked, the brakes went out heading down a hill. I had the engine, brakes and suspension rebuilt. Then in the October of 94 my son was born and I couldn’t keep pouring money into it. I advertised it in Hemmings. Two guys from West Virginia called me to say they were interested. Their dad had had one and they wanted to restore one for him. They came all the way to NJ with a trailer. Looked at it and said no. Too much needed to be done. I dropped the price twice – on the spot. They went home empty-handed. I ended up selling it to a local mechanic for $500. I saw it a few times and then it disappeared.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    1971 Ford Pinto, VIN 1X10W104432. It was my first car (high school), and it’s the only VIN I’ve memorized. The “4432” in the serial number identifies it as a very early build in the first model year of production.

    I bought it in 1981 here in the Pittsburgh area, and sold it in 1982 to a fellow tech school student who took it to NC, I think. He was likely its last owner.

    Many fond memories from that car, ranging from cold to hot – depending on the season and the company I was with. Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” likely played on the aftermarket radio I installed in it. Just sayin’.

    My buddy and I were once splashed on the *inside* of the car while driving through a puddle, since the floorboards were totally shot. The water sprayed right up past the floormats and soaked us.

    The Kent 1.6L was so quiet, it remains the only ICE car I could stand next to and not hear idling.

  • avatar

    I defer to others here. My nostalgiamobile is a ’94 Cavalier, and there’s no way that piece is still on the road today.

  • avatar

    I always wondered what the final fate was of Dad’s 1966 Country Sedan. He bought it new, I have a picture of five of us kids crowded in the very back of it.

    Dad bought a 1971 Club Wagon van to replace it, but he hung on to the wagon. He had the front seat recovered when it started to fall apart, but the middle and rear seats were original. The “magic doorgate” was heavily bondoed after being rear ended in San Antonio, and some of the bondo/rust was showing through near the end.

    One of my brothers was in the Sheriff’s department. He would get called out, he would jump into it, put his red light on the roof, back out of the driveway — and promptly stall it. My other brothers would laugh while he tried to get it started.

    Later, he took my younger sister and I on a trip to the Grand Canyon and back. Looking back, I cannot believe Mom and Dad let him take the three of us in middle of August on a thousand mile trip, but we made it there and back. I will never forget when that trip was, because as we were leaving San Antonio on the second day, we heard the news that Elvis had died. The news made west Texas seem even more desolate.

    My brother bought himself a Volare sedan, I think the Country Sedan then sat up for awhile at my older brother’s house. When my younger sister learned to drive, Dad handed it down to her. One time, the brakes went out on it on her way home from school; she stopped it by slamming it into Park when she wanted to stop. Somehow that old station wagon stood up to that, I think Dad got the brakes fixed, and it soldered on.

    Finally, in 1986, Dad bought us each 1984 Plymouth Reliant wagons (both lease returns.) That is where the trail on the Country Sedan goes cold. When my Reliant wagon was totaled by another driver a few years later, I picked up the family’s old Volare wagon, which then went to my youngest brother when I purchased my 1990 Dodge Spirit. He may have had the Country Sedan between his ’67 Galaxy 500 sedan and the Volare wagon, but am not sure.

    Tracking it down would be nearly impossible though, I don’t have either it’s VIN number nor the last LA license plate number for it. While it was registered in the family, it always had an I (LA Troop I) license plate, and it was purchased at Hub City Ford. That is all I have on it.

  • avatar

    I admit to spending the cash to do a Carfax on my old fleet recently. My 2004 C230 6-speed which I bought new and sold in 2007 suffered a “multiple impact collision” in the fall of 2015 in San Diego. It hasn’t been registered since. Ouch.

    I tried to FOIA the accident report but they wouldn’t give it to me because I wasn’t on the police report. I got a little nasty but it didn’t help and I did not end up with the report. Oh well. Somehow I feel she’s probably ok still, right?

  • avatar

    Try this:

    1977 Audi 100LS. It was the car I took my driver’s test in, and the car I took the future Mrs. Project337 on our first date in. It was traded in for one of those vile Pontiac LeMans built by Daewoo. Last seen in the early 1990s in the Tallahassee Community College parking lot. My avatar is a picture of the dash. It would shock me if it had survived.

  • avatar

    My now deceased close buddy was business manager at a rural GM dealer. He told me my 97 Chevy WT long box ,went to one of the service Techs. My 2009 Impala LTZ went to Taxi service. The guy that bought it, used it as his own personal car for a couple of years before he put it into the fleet.

    My meticulously maintained, never winter driven, 2008 Mustang convertible never saw the used car lot. I figure a sharp used car salesman had a buyer lined up. Somebody scooped a real good used car.

  • avatar

    What about a car that I own but have been unable to track down the history of?

    One of my Chryslers was a California “black plate car”. I know what happened to it from about 2003 onward. I have its old California plates and an old parking permit sticker for the Newport Beach yacht club.

  • avatar

    My lost love is a 1993 Geo Metro. I managed to scrap enough money during summer breaks working as a senior center janitor (scaring me from ever becoming old!).

    Being a classy teenager, the car was purchased at the local public auction. Cars at these auctions are abused, unloved, and just gross. The Metro, by comparison, was clean with 92k miles, and had a flamboyant paint scheme; factory dark blue but added two thick pink stripes along the sides and back. They were professionally done and IMO, looked great. Gambling if the car even ran, I bought it for $1800

    It did run, but had been sitting on an ant mound. Upon joyfully driving away, ants began crawling from the console. The first investment was a can of ant spray.

    The Metro became an extension of me in our small town. It was immediately recognizable and started rumors about my sexuality before I even knew about myself. Its simple mechanicals made it perfect to learn repairs on and fun to drive.

    My Mum was persistent to get something safer with airbags and A/C for college, and it was sold after buying a (much less reliable) Ford Aspire.

  • avatar

    1900 words (saved the doc) condensed down to 200..

    I’d love to know what happened to my 1969 VW Beetle.

    I bought the car from my uncle in 1986 when I turned 16 and kept it throughout high school and college. My grandfather bought it and completely restored the interior and had the exterior painted. I appreciated it then, but I appreciate it even more now that both he and the car are gone.

    On the drive back to Wisconsin, we ran out of gas, but coasted in to a gas station off the interstate. I also learned to drive a manual transmission in that car.
    I learned to fix it and realized that I needed to wear gloves when adjusting valves and also that tools don’t fly too well. I also learned that when smoke is coming from the front, RUN!
    I met my girlfriend, now wife, in 1992 because of that car and regret selling it. I kept it in original condition and love the memories I had with it. I’m not sure if I still have the VIN, but now I have to find it!

    • 0 avatar

      I learned to drive a stick in a 1968 Beetle that my dad and two colleagues chipped in to buy; it was normally kept at his colleague/friend’s house and when I was a kid I often heard about it but never saw it, making it seem a bit mysterious to me. Then in my high school sophomore year it was trotted out so I could learn to drive a manual. Light blue and still looked nice mid-’80s, though by then the headlamps were stuck in high beam so I could only drive it during the daytime. So easy to steer with the light front end despite being unassisted. So much more fun to drive than the late-’70s Bonneville that was my family’s main ride. I don’t know its fate but would be surprised if it’s still around.

  • avatar

    Let’s give this one a go:

    My first brand new car was a 2000 Honda Insight in Citrus Yellow – probably one of less than 500 produced. It was a graduation gift to myself from college and I still know the VIN number by heart. The Indiana dealership I bought it from was so elated to unload it they gave me the display picture in the showroom, which is still in my parents’ attic. Much like losing your virginity, many come afterward, but you always remember your first…

  • avatar

    I still deeply regret selling my 1994 MKIV Supra. Even thinking about it driving away is painful; my wife burst into tears as it pulled away (she’s a car nut too!) It was a car we’d lusted after forever. I finally found the one I wanted, and over the course of a few years we built it into a beautiful and formidable street car. And it was done right, too. No gaudy ground effect or ostentatious crap. It had a small single turbo perfect for street and track duty putting down 540 RWHP on pump. I even won a couple of Street Car Shootouts with it. I’m just an average guy with an average job and I had a list of cars I wanted to own in my life and I’m not wealthy enough to own more than 1 special car at a time. So the Supra went. And I regret it every day.

    **BONUS INTRIGUE** The car’s new owner had a house in Greece, and allegedly he might be taking it there. If you can find my car, I’d be mighty impressed!

    The day I got it:

    When I sold it:

  • avatar

    As a twenty year old circa 1975, my father bought his dream car, a 1968 Corvette convertible. He installed chrome side pipes and his girlfriend soon burnt her leg on one. That girl left, but the pipes stayed. Then, Dad met Mom, marriage was proposed and the Corvette…was sold. His next car was a 1981 Volkswagen Rabbit. Diesel. 55 hp. GREAT on fuel. But, my sister and I always knew Dad was at his “coolest” when he was behind the wheel of his Vette. In 2011, I found the VIN on the bill of sale from 1975. So, I carfaxed it and found the Vette…in Virginia. That was all I found out, but, I discovered that you could write to the DMV and learn who owns the car currently. When I told him that I had found his Vette, he was intrigued but not as excited as I imagined, so I didn’t look any further. Why? In 1986 he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and had been unable to drive at all since 1997. Seeing the car again would probably have been too much for him. The memories were enough. Dad died on January 31st of this year, aged 61.

  • avatar

    “What about that Rambler that took you, your siblings, and parents across the country on your first ever, road-going family vacation?”

    As the youngest I had to ride in the middle.

    I’m betting it was crushed before the American Bicentennial, well before. A Rambler was the only car my father ever bought new. He traded a perfectly good Lark (that brought new me home from the hospital) in on that PoS. The Rambler would stall when it rained. It was replaced in a few years by a reliable late model used, period-obligatory American Station Wagon (6th gen Fairlane, IIRC).

    A Volvo 164e followed, which I learned to drive in

  • avatar

    It’s an ’88 Mustang GT, and the begining of a fox body lifetime interest. My young wife and I ordered this, and she was the primary driver (I had a work truck). It is Regatta Blue/Titanium lower, grey interior, sunroof, automatic, 3.27 gears and NO AC. $15k otd. We sold it in ’91 to buy our first house. I bought it’s twin in 1995, in the form of an ’89 convert same color combo but with T5 trans and the easier to modify MAF induction.

    I have very rarely been without a Fox body since that time, and currently autox an ’82 GT (ESP). Although the ’88 may be long gone; totaled, it was a desirable car, custom ordered so you never know, it could still be around.

    Had a lot of cars, but oh for youth spring eternal.

  • avatar

    My 1986 Fiero GT

    I bought the car the day after my 14th birthday, which was also the day I received my learners permit. The car was purchased with a blown engine, but was in very good condition. My dad and I spent the next year rebuilding the motor and returning the car to roadworthy status. Once the car was “done” it was only driven on special occasions with my father in the passenger seat. I so longed to take the car out on the road by myself. After Christmas break my freshman year of high school, I received my school permit, which allowed me to drive from home to school. I was so excited to finally drive my car! About two weeks into driving to school, my parents informed me that because my car didn’t have airbags or a backseat for my sisters, I had to sell the car. Because the title was in their name and they were paying my insurance, I had no say in the matter. Two weeks later, the car was sold to my father’s friend. I never saw the car again. That car made me fall in love with cars, taught me how to work on cars, and was a project I got to experience with my father. I spent more time dreaming about driving the car than I did actually driving the car.

  • avatar

    I’d be stunned if any car I’ve ever owned is on the road. I tend to drive em til the wheels fall off. Even a couple years after in one case of a catastrophic rear end failure.

  • avatar

    The car I would love to find again.. my 2007 Dodge Magnum SXT. Purchased it in 2008 with around 15K on it. Great car. Traveled all over the place with it. Reliable, looked cool and rode wonderful. Drove that car everywhere. Towed loaded enclosed trailers and other vehicles all over the state of Michigan. Never let me down….. Drove though 16″ of snow (RWD) when the only things moving were SUVs!

    Then I had two issues, the gas tank got damaged (and replaced) and the starter died. After about $1500 in repair, my wife demanded that I get rid of it. “Too many miles (140K)”, “going to leave you stranded”, “Need something newer and more reliable”, etc…..

    What did I get???? My wife JAMMED me into a 2016 Jeep Patriot 4×4 lease! The dealer STOLE my Magnum for a “supposed” $3,000, but the totals don’t add up. The sales rep was high pressure and between my wife and the staff, I was loosing my mind). By my math I got less then $2K for the trade-in. ANDI HATE LEASING!!! Drove that heep all of about a week, and began trying to unload that POS onto any dealer that would take it. No takers unless I wanted to cough up $10K….

    Meanwhile I watched that dealer’s website, within a week, it was listed for $6,500 and SOLD within 1 week. I know it’s still around, I’ve ran the VIN and it’s still shows up.

    I miss that car… It was my loyal steed and my companion. I would go anywhere in that car. We were the Two Amigos and nothing stopped us. I would love to park it back in my garage next to my classic 1975 Dodge Coronet Wagon and have both to take to car shows. It would be great..

  • avatar

    Just one. My dad’s 1996 Dodge Ram. Bought new in Germany, it was shipped to me shortly after he died (passed in October of 1997, I got the truck several months later while initially living in Detroit, MI). I got married and we moved to Bristol, VA where I sold the truck to a dealership (to a dealership just over in Bristol, TN) to clear some debt so I would be in a better position to buy our first house. I could kick myself for basically giving away that piece of my father’s story. Bright red, 4×4, standard bed and cab. He made quite an impression with “Bubba” in the small town my mom and dad lived in. Most mornings he woke up to find nose and finger prints on the glass as it would not fit in their garage.

    I later found it and the new owner but was in no position financially to buy it back. It may be scrap now, or lifted several feet in the air muddling its way through the hills and hollers. Either way, would love to know if it is still out there on the road…the old Master Sergeant sure did love his truck and I had intended on keeping it basically forever…

  • avatar

    Oldest car so far: My user namesake, a 1955 Chevy 210 Delray Club Coupe, the first car bought by my mother after my father died way too young.

    I was a very young tot, and only vaguely remember the car’s arrival in our driveway. I was afraid of it at first, because it was new and unfamiliar. It became the family car for the next 6 years, accumulating only a total of about 30,000 miles. We visited Washington DC in 1957 and Niagara Falls in 1960 in this car, the only trips past 100 miles or so outside the Pittsburgh area.

    It was resplendent in its sky blue color with an ivory roof and matching blue and white all-vinyl “waffle pattern” interior with full carpeting. The only options were a heater and outside rear view mirror. It had a radio block-off plate, dog dish hubcaps, and blackwall tires. I don’t remember the car having any real problems, including rust. It was sold to my uncle in 1961 and then passed down to his son (my cousin). I last remember seeing it in 1964 parked on the street across from their house.

    I have no VIN equivalent, but it was purchased from Parker Chevrolet, Lincoln Avenue, Bellevue, PA in June 1955. It spent its first 9 years in zip code 15136.

    Edit: Just checked Google Maps — there is a “Classic Chevrolet” at or close to Parker’s former location:

  • avatar

    My first car….1971 Plymouth Duster. 318, 3-spd on the floor, bench seat deluxe interior, Straight exhaust (more on this later). Bought with money i borrowed from the owner of the grocery store i worked at all thru high school. Many stories with this car, as usual with a high school hot rod too many to list but I will list two that are near the top. Senior Prom, car is detailed to perfection, retrieve date and proceed to school for pictures etc. Large crowd outside of school, I graduated in a class of 360. Had to make a statement as we were leaving for the ball cough cough….. Brought the engine up to roughly 4000 RPM, side stepped the clutch and left, no exaggeration, the longest strip of smokey wonderfulness the length of the school ruining everyones pictures…hahahahaha……

    Now for the straight exhaust I mentioned earlier. The small town where I grew up had an upper and lower main street. Top street had stop signs at every cross street. As i am getting ready to pull away from the first stop sign, I see one of my friends in his clapped out Nova on the bottom street and decide to rev up my car to get his attention. My car was extremely loud due to the fact that I had gutted a set of glass packs which provided straight exhaust. I hadn’t noticed the local police sitting in a adjacent parking lot, the second time this happened to me which is another good story. Well he flips the lights and pulls me over claiming I was racing. How sitting at a stop sign revving the engine constitutes racing is beyond me and he writes me a citation. As he is handing me the little yellow paper he states that if I fix the exhaust he will drop the charges. I have to take the car to the local state police barracks to have it inspected and be signed off. So I go to the local hardware store, buy a huge amount of steel wool and stuff the pipes until it was as quiet as a cadillac. Take the car, driving like a saint to the state police, pass the inspection, and drive back to the local police department with a still quiet car. the officer is satisfied and rips up the citation. After leaving, I find the nearest on ramp to the local interstate and hold it to the floor. The amount of hot steel wool that released out the duel exhaust was amazing. I instantly had my LOUD car back and it only cost me 10.00 dollars. The citation was in the neighborhood of 150.00 if memory serves me.

    Kept the car until after I got married, but ended up trading it for a beat up fox body 5.0 LX mustang to a guy I worked with. The guy moved away and I heard through the grapevine that years later he got busted for dealing weed or something. Never saw the car again but would love to find out where it ended up. Worst case is that it ended up in a scrapyard and crushed but a guy can dream………..

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    Dumb kid in the ’60’s. Stuffed a 396 in a ’56 Chevy Handyman. Strong runner, but sold as I couldn’t afford the expenses. Mistake #2: Low mileage ’65 Buick Skylark convertible,new bright red paint, sold in 1969 as expenses piling up. Mistake #3: ’69 Roadrunner post, 383 – 4 speed bench seat – Sold in 1971 because I was still dumb, muscle cars were plentiful – and I received a new company car…a 1971 Vega wagon 4 speed.

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    I would be amazed if it was still around, but my VW microbus was a wonderful toy. While it had started life as an ordinary microbus, the previous owner had done his own camper conversion, with a platform bed over the engine compartment and built in bench and table. The windows had sweet little curtains made out of the perfect stars and moon fabric to complete the hippie mobile look. I did a brake job and got new tires, used it for basic transport for a while, and got to take it camping, but once I got married and was moving down state, my mom insisted that the VW had to move too. I couldn’t realistically do that so I put an ad in the paper and sold it in a day. I would love to find out that it was still rolling.

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    LOVE the stories ! .
    I bought my 1960 # 117 DeLuxe VW Beetle with sliding sunshine roof for $50 on time payments in…..1971 IIRC, I had no driver’s license but that never stopped me nor did the lack of a battery ~ I just push started it any where and every where .
    I had the usual foolish fun in a 36 horse powered bug with a non syncromesh tranny, learned it would go placed Jeeps were afraid of, learned it *is* possible to have great sex in an old VW if not highly recommended, so forth and so on .

    I sold it in 1977 IIRC, Cal. license # LTV 562 .

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    To keep it short, my grandpa’s 1936 Dodge Pickup that we worked on all the time when I was a kid. The first vehicle I ever drove, and spent hours most weekends working on with my grandpa. It’s the vehicle that truly got me interested in cars and what I wish I had to this day as a daily driver. My grandma sold it in 2005 after he passed away for $2k without telling me, no matter how many times I asked. My hope is that it’s been long since restored and is getting appreciated like it always deserved.

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    It was the first new car my parents got after I was old enough to care. We picked up the 1965 Peugeot 404 wagon shortly after arriving in Paris for the year, probably around August 8 or 9 of that year. I was 12. It was likely the first Peugeot wagon in France to have rear shoulder belts. My parents insisted, and my father solved the minor topological problem for the guys at the factory, enabling the installation.

    It was an intriguing car, the doors so thin, and light weight, the car so well put together. There was the first gar synchromesh, a novelty, and the rack and pinion steer, and the superb suspension that once back home, took potholed Massachusetts roads with aplomb. We drove it all over France, taking frequent weekend road trips, and we drove it all over Europe the summer of ’66. In ’69, it was the first car I drove legally, 35 miles from the RMV in Hyannis to the summer house in Wellfleet, my mother gaining confidence in me with every mile.

    At the end of the summer of 1970, we went to Stanford, CA for the year. I asked for the ’62 Falcon, instead of a plane ticket, as they were going to sell that car for the price of a plane ticket. They also sold the Peugeot in August 1970 to a young man named Vijay, for $600 ($3700 in today’s $). It was much later that I realized they probably would have given me the Peugeot had I asked for it.

    I began missing that car recently, and wishing I had it. Much of that has to do with what a nice car I remember, but it’s also tied up in nostalgia for that year in Paris. I would guess that it’s long gone. But if it’s still around, I’d love to have it. If it’s in at least half decent shape.

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    Looking back, many of us feel the pains of regret for the one that got away. Whether relationship wise or on four wheels, that uneasy feeling of what could have been lingers in the back of our hearts and minds long after the good ones are gone. To the ones who can move on and not look back, kudos to your strength. I’m not as good at letting go. I’ve had a few of both slip through my hands over the years. Unlike so many failed relationships, the hope of getting that vehicle that we thought was the one back is far more realistic.

    The vehicle that stands out the most for me is a vehicle I never had the opportunity to enjoy. We all have a list of those automotive ‘someday’. Someday I am going to own XYZ. Some people have unrealistic dream cars, but that is the point of dreaming. On my short list are a bunch of oddballs and all are realistic in the fact that they are attainable for any dreamer. Datsun B-210, Infiniti M30, Lincoln Versailles, Pontiac Bonneville Model G, 1960 Plymouth, 1973 Imperial LeBaron, and a few other characters.

    The oddball I wanted was a two year only fling for Ford. A car that when new wasn’t a blip on anyone’s radar. I bet not many today would even look twice at. Maybe not even once. A cynical, even by 80s standards, example of badge engineering to see just how far they could push the envelope of ‘Americans will buy anything’ approach.

    One of the most forgotten Fox bodies of all, a 1982 Mercury Cougar LS sedan. Four doors and one the boxiest designs this side of a Volvo, with full size overhangs on a midsize chassis and width, pre-dating Chrysler’s Virginia Slims K cars by a couple of years. Powered by a 1960s Ford straight six, this particular Cougar that got away was a baby Lincoln on the cheap and optioned almost exactly how I would have done it, if I had been born yet and had $ in 1982! Heavy duty suspension, 20 gallon tank, wind up windows, Cougar VIP package, a/c, cruise, tilt, slick top, and more.

    I wanted it badly when it came up for sale. At the time, I owned a 1981 Ford Granada L two door that I enjoyed and didn’t have room or funds for two Foxy boxes. I wasn’t able to acquire the mint beauty when it came across my computer screen. Never knowing what it would be like to float along the road, watching the Cougar hood ornament bob with the horizon, enjoying the twin comfort lounge seats and premium sound am/fm stereo or deluxe chimes for the seatbelt/key ignition indicator. She didn’t have to be beautiful to everyone, because she was beautiful to me.

    1MEBP77B4CG608246 in the 10+ years I first drooled over it, has never reappeared. She was taken in on as a trade at a Honda dealership and sold to some lucky stranger on the electronic bay. She stood out amongst all the plastic and dullness that Honda was peddling at the time. Light Spruce green, chrome bumpers, no less than 7 Cougar emblems festooned all over her flat flanks. Ribbed dark green body moldings for your pleasure. All I have now are the few pictures from the original ad to stare at and wonder what if. On my list of automotive regrets, that rare cat will always linger beyond my grasp.

    (My apologies for going over the word limit. Guess missing out on ‘the one’ is still a sensitive topic I need to hash out with a professional!)

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    I would love any help that you can provide to track down my old Camaro. It was a 1984 L-69 Z/28. The VIN is 1G1AP87G4EL113028. It was silver and no t-tops. I sold it in 1993 and CarFax shows it was sold a few times and last registered in Ft. Pierce, FL in August of 2001. FL title number of 60173519

    This car was bought new by my father and I took it over in 1986. When I sold it, the car had been heavily modified with an RHS 383 stroker motor, Ford 9″ rear, sub-frame connectors, HD Clutch, Gale Banks exhaust, cowl induction hood and Center Line Auto Drags. At the time it was a 12-second car, which was pretty rare back then.

    I would just love to find out if the car is still in running condition.

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    This annoys me, but … every car I care about I killed. The ones I parted with were the ones I didn’t care about. Maybe I’m a “keeper”, maybe I’m the destroyer.

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    As a teen car enthusiast, I have always wondered what started my obsession with cars. Although my Dad’s 1995 Taurus Wagon was my start, Dad had a car before that which began my family’s Ford brand loyalty.

    Dad’s first car was a white 1990 Ford Escort his host-parents bought in 1995 from a professor in Huntington, WV. Since they already owned a Tempo & Taurus, it was natural for them to purchase the Escort for him. The Escort was simple. Its 1.9L and 3-speed automatic were economical and adequate enough for him to go about town, often with my Mom.

    Dad recalls a time when someone dented the Escort’s front fender. With a rubber mallet and a weekend, he pounded the dent out from the roomy engine bay. Sadly, with the death of his host-parents he inherited the Taurus. By 2001, I was about to be born; he promptly sold the Escort to a student in Montgomery, WV for a mere $800.

    And so, the Escort bowed out of his life. I’d like to find my dad’s first car so I can finally have a story to tell him! I would love to know if it still lives on.

  • avatar
    MOD and ANGRY

    The ’85 Buick Century Limited that slipped through my hands. My grandfather bought it new with every available option; glass sunroof, center console, leather seats, alloy wheels (the best looking available on an A-Body in my opinion), and the 3.8L V6. I always loved riding in this car as a child, it was one of the highlights of my childhood. The smell of the leather combined with his pipe tobacco was my personal little slice of heaven. When I was 14, it was gifted to my father. Shortly after, he let me drive once by myself through a KOA site. A year later I got my learner’s permit and learned how to drive in that thing. I loved it with every fiber of my being, and couldn’t believe it was going to be mine in just one more year. But right before I turned 16, my parents decided it was practical for my sister and to share a car, and he sold the Century. It was a devastating blow, and a piece of my childhood I want back. I’ve never again seen a fully optioned A-Body on Autotrader, eBay, or Craigslist.

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    White 1985 Honda CRX, first car I ever owned, paid $3,500 the summer of 1991 as a 19 yr old college sophomore with all the money I had ever saved. It was a manual – and I had never driven a manual before buying it but I managed to drive her home from the outer reaches of Sterling Heights to Farmington. Quite a few antics pulled in that car and many more memories,including a trip from Chicago back to Detroit @ 90 mph somehow averaging about 40 mpg and that time she stranded me on NY State Thru-Way in a 2″ per hour blizzard while driving back to school after winter break, or the time the radiator froze. She didn’t deserve the fate she befell when I moved to Brooklyn for my first job after college – broken into at Coney Island and again multiple times near my apartment before finally being stolen outright. I was poor, and since RI (where I had been in school) didn’t require insurance at the time – I didn’t have any. Also, the MI registration had expired which had gotten her towed to impound and her plates confiscated. I still have both keys and the title.

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    I hope I am not too late. I have been on this mission to surprise my husband with his grandfather’s car back in February 2017 for his birthday. However as you see I have had no such luck of finding it.
    I am getting ahead of myself, let’s go back to the reason why.
    My husband and his grandfather went out and bought a 1998 Pontiac firebird brand new off the lot. It was my husband’s grandfathers last adventure when he found out he had cancer. My husband and him were thrilled about this car they raced around and had a blast in it. It truly started my husband passion for cars. He now owns a 2005 Pontiac gto that he would love to pour money into if we had it. Unfortunately the cancer took his life and that beautiful firebird stayed in the garage as my husband was only 10 and grandma wanted nothing to do with it. The firebird was supposed to be my husband car when he turned 16 but hard times happened and his grandmother had to sell it. My husband was heartbroken and still is. My husband has all the original paperwork when they bought the car off the lot along with pictures of them driving it framed hanging over their man cave desk in my master bed. If you could help me find this car for him, if it still exists in the world out there. It would mean so much to me and 1000 times more to my amazing husband. I am sorry if there are millions of typos I am typing this on my phone at 10:25pm at night with my husband fast asleep next to me. :) Thanks, A loving wife

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    Back in 1973, my grandfather was an avid hunter, and bought a brand new 1973 Ford Bronco, orange exterior with orange interior and houndstooth seats. He installed heavy duty steel bumpers and a Warn PTO winch to get out of those deep woods hunting spots. I always admired the Bronco, and after my Grandfather passed, my Grandmother drove it occasionally, mainly in the woods to find huckleberries to make my favorite pie!

    My Grandmother knew how much I admired the Bronco, and when I was able to drive – she gave it to me! What a great vehicle – 302 V8, auto trans, with factory a/c this was an amazing unique vehicle. We ended up moving, and passed the Bronco on to my uncle, with the understanding that it would stay in the family. Unfortunately, a few years later he sold it, and I so often think about that Bronco, and how I wish I had it now to restore back as an homage to my Grandfather.

    Last time I searched the VIN, it showed up as registered in Texas, and I often check Craigslist in Texas hoping to find that Bronco. There was a description a few years back that resembled many of the options, but when I checked they had already sold it.

    So – here is hoping that my story will move Bozi into using his unique skills to help me find that Bronco! There can’t be that many orange/orange Broncos out there, right?

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    So as a kid in Honolulu Hawaii my father built a duesenberg replica that we drove to church occasionally until it had a electrical problem and he parked it , he had took out a loan against it to start a Buisness and the Buisness failed and the bank came to repo it however they never came prepared to get it and the bank finally sent someone out to it and they couldn’t get the hood open so they went back to the bank and declared it not worth recovery so my cousin went into the bank with a few hundred bucks and bought it . He put all the chrome back on the car ( my father had removed to prevent rust ) after a couple years he and his family had to move back to California so they donated it to the Salvation Army , they had said they were gonna ship it to Salvation Army headquarters in Los Angeles and it disappeared out of my family’s lives . We used to have pictures and papers of the car but a water leak ruined all the paperwork and now we have nothing on it except the first three letters of the Vin were my fathers initials PWT1……… etc it was black and chrome everywhere and had a hand carved dash and it had a convertible top it had a 351 Ford and was built on a thunderbird chassis . My father hand built this car (he was a sheet metal fabricator and used a matchbox car as a model ) I would love to get this back in the family but would settle on knowledge of where it ended up . My father built it as a wedding gift for my mother and I wish to see it again and possibly my parents as well thanks

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