By on June 14, 2017

1991-ford-taurus-sho-beige-front-quarter

It’s been a couple of weeks since we took a stroll down memory lane together. I asked you in May about the worst car you could recall in your high school parking lot. The incoming responses made it seem like our enthusiast B&B members were often aware they were the winner of the bad car blue ribbon in school. That speaks to our level of enlightenment and self-awareness. Think of how many people go through life not ever realizing how bad their cars are.

For today though, we run away from the rust buckets and 75-horsepower Malaise Wonders. I want to hear about the most awesome car in your high school lot.

There were always one or two high school rides that stood out from the rest. Whether through parental generosity or hours of owner labor, these select vehicles possessed an unmatched level of coolness and desirability. Speaking from personal experience in a purely hypothetical sense, these are the cars other students admire and look upon covetously as they walk past. The deep sparkle seen in the metallic paint, expensive wheels glinting in the sun while walking to your ancient front-wheel drive Audi own ride — which is awesome, but not quite as cool. My pick for coolest ride still stands out in my mind today.

Image: 1988 Merkur Scorpio, image via Craigslist

That’s right, a big Taur… I mean Merkur Scorpio. Of course, it was the only one on the lot, and I’d never seen one before. The Scorpio was a rare European ride, it looked expensive, and it was a large car (all my favorite things).

Image: 1988 Merkur Scorpio, image via Craigslist

Owned by an upperclassman, I think it was in this sort of condition circa 2002.

Image: 1988 Merkur Scorpio, image via Craigslist

If I planned my drive to school just right, I could occasionally arrive after the Scorpio was parked but before all the spots were taken. Then I could either park next to it or in a space where I’d could walk by. Such was the subject that filled my early morning mind in high school: Advanced Parking Strategy.

Image: 1988 Merkur Scorpio, image via Craigslist

Now as I recall, the Scorpio didn’t make it all the way through the owner’s senior year. The black beauty disappeared at some point, replaced (suitably) by a newer and less interesting light bar Mercury Sable. Looking at the pictures above brings back all my memories. Car stalking is real!

So what’s your pick for the most awesome ride in your high school lot?

[Images via eBay; Craigslist]

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135 Comments on “QOTD: What Was the Most Awesome Car at Your High School?...”


  • avatar
    Timothy Cain

    My grade 10 history teacher had a blue Miata. He drove it through the winter.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      My high school was generally small enough that we had a science teacher, a history teacher, etc… (I graduated in a class of 48 students.)

      The science teacher had a 1st gen Miata and a late 80s Nissan pickup (this was in the early 1990s). In retrospect the Miata was cool but at the time all this corn-fed American Midwestern boy could think of was Camaros and Mustangs.

      • 0 avatar
        69firebird

        One of my fellow High School students had a white/blue striped 68 Shelby and a buddy I used to ride to auto mechanics classes with had a 72 small block,tubbed out Vega that he decided to run up to about 120 over the Severn river bridge one morning.Got my first gray hair that day.

    • 0 avatar
      redgolf

      Had to be my 55 Buick Century, 2 dr. hardtop, bought it off my brother for $150.00, living in Michigan I know it was a southern car, it was a beautiful blue/turquoise color, my buddies and I gave it the Blue Corral treatment! It was so cool I had to wear my shades 24/7 while driving it! Class of “67” Southgate High.

    • 0 avatar
      Shinoda is my middle name

      Art teacher at Cabrini High in Allen Park Michigan in the mid-70’s had a ’72 240Z in medium green. He rocked the Faculty division.

      In my class, a great car guy named Bob Littlepage had a smoking fine 1971 Cougar which defined MINT…he helped me rebuild my first carbuerator….in brown with brown leather. I rocked a 1970 Boss 302 in Grabber Blue…and another dude had a 1970 triple black Lincoln Mark III. I would rank them Cougar 1, the Mark 2 and my Boss 3 in terms of overall appeal.

      Them was the days….oh wow, I just realized 40 years ago.

      Back in the day, Ford ruled.

    • 0 avatar
      ijkumsaf

      My english teatcher had a black NC he had bought new when it came out.
      That guy also had some storys about driving a Stingray on the Autobahn and getting in trouble with a deputy sherriff in the middle of texan nowhere…

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Among teachers and administration – 1965 Corvette Stingray convertible.

    Among student owned cars: 1970 Malibu SS 396.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Unlike in the USA, in suburban Canada, during the 60’s to 80’s it was relatively rare for a high school student to have their own vehicle.

    Out of 1,500+ students in our high school in the early to mid 70’s there were generally around 2 dozen at any one time who actually had their own operational vehicle.

    The best car in our school belonged to an auto shop teacher who had an actual Jensen Interceptor! Can’t get much rarer, more exotic or unreliable than that.

    Other than that students generally had air cooled VW’s (including mine), hand me down Darts/Valiants, the odd Chev/Pontiac sedan (also had 1), Ramblers and a smattering of European sourced ‘domestics’ such as Firenzas, Cortinas, Capris and Envoys. Probably the most prestigious student owned vehicle was a Gremlin.

    Again unlike the USA, I cannot remember one student owned pick-up.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      That’s amazing, our music teacher also had an Interceptor, provided by her husband, I presume. Music teachers weren’t paid particularly well.

      After her divorce, she switched to a VW Super Beetle, with the numbers and stripes that made it look like the movie car from “The Love Bug”.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    55 to 57 Chebbys, 58/59 Impala two door hardtops, and 56 through 61 Fords…A coupe of VW bugs…

  • avatar
    JimZ

    we weren’t Grosse Pointe rich kids, so we all had second- (or third- or fourth-)hand pieces of junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      So you’re not going to tell us the best piece of junk.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Yugo.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        there was none. All forgettable, disposable dreck like Chrysler L-bodies (e.g. my ’87 Duster,) and K cars, Chevettes, hand-me-down half primer Fairmonts, Malaise-era junk being held together by Bondo and paint.

        I literally cannot remember anyone in my class having a notable car.

        • 0 avatar
          operagost

          I graduated in 1991. One of my not-rich classmates had a 1967 Mustang GT fastback in excellent condition. It was a lot more affordable back then.

          We were rural, so while we had a lot of beaters in the lot most of them ran well, because if you couldn’t turn a wrench you knew someone who could.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Coolest student rides in the 1995-ish time frame that I was graduating high school?

    Mid 80s Chevy 4×4 with a loud exhaust and aggressive tires. Unfortunately driven by a grade A, #1 a$$hole.

    Mid 80s Pontiac Bonneville G-body with V8 and supposedly bored 30-over. It moved like it was bored out.

    A couple of the last of the 442s and Hurst Oldsmobiles for those guys who were far more interested in work than in study.

    In hindsight the 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale DIESEL was cool just because it had survived. Although the owners father was a farmer and mostly bought it because he could fill it up from the diesel tanks already on his property.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Unfortunately driven by a grade A, #1 a$$hole.”

      rather non-specific, that pretty well describes nearly every high-school-age guy.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Let’s put it this way – when he went out with a baseball bat to smash mailboxes and the bat bounced back and damaged the car he was riding in the the remainder of the class grinned with schadenfreude.

        He missed his calling by not joining the WWE as a bad guy. He wouldn’t have needed much training for his role.

  • avatar
    JCreams

    A buddy drove an 80’s XJ6 all through high school, then picked up a brand new Ford Lightning pickup shortly before graduation. This was in 2002 so one of the last available. Considering the next most impressive car on the lot was a 2001 Integra (automatic, natch) that 360 hp was kind of a big deal. He drives a C63s now.

  • avatar
    brettc

    A guy that I took grade 11 auto shop with had two Fieros (this was in about 1994). He apparently loved the things and would work on them on the lift sometimes. He also had a glorious blonde mullet to go along with his car choice.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I went to a pretty affluent school in the late ’70s / early ’80s, so there was never any shortage of cool (for the period) rides –
    Trans Ams, 280ZXs, RX-7s, etc. But two cars stood out:

    1) ’65 Corvette Stingray convertible, fuel injected, red with white top. Started out mint, but it was driven by an a-hole who ran over mailboxes over with it.

    2) ’67 Buick Riviera GS, black on black, mint. Looked EXACTLY like this one:
    https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1967-BUICK-RIVIERA-GS-2-DOOR-HARDTOP-132841

    I was friends with the kid with the Riv for one summer and we cruised around in it quite a bit. God, I loved that car.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      The Riviera is very naughty.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        The first-gen Riv gets the all the press, but I actually think the 66-67 is the better looking car. I’ll go one step further: it’s one of the best looking American cars ever made.

        And it was damn fast too.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I must disagree, because I prefer the matching Toronado.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          I think the ’66-’67 Rivs are terrific; I just don’t think they’re quite as nice as the ’63-’65s.

          On-topic: I saw a mint ’63 out in the wild on Sunday – gorgeous!

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            The 63-65 is a beautiful car, no doubt, but the 66-67 is…sexy, voluptuous, maybe even a little dangerous. Look at this rear quarter view. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

            http://cdn.barrett-jackson.com/staging/carlist/items/Fullsize/Cars/132841/132841_Rear_3-4_Web.jpg

            If I were relating this to two iconic ’60’s ladies, I’d say the ’63 is Jackie Kennedy, and the ’66 is Raquel Welch. Guess what kind of lady I prefer? :)

          • 0 avatar
            SilverCoupe

            I can’t say which were the best or worst cars overall, as I really only paid attention to the cars of my close friends, but I had the ’64 Riviera that is my avatar. My best friend had a ’66 Mustang convertible, which the girls preferred.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      All of the cars listed in these responses are……just…damn.

      THESE are the kind of flagship cars Lincoln and Cadillac need. Unapologetically American, full size, highway cruisers that have no concern for ring times, tossability, or MPG.

      The Riviera in particular is just bad-ass looking, but the Toronado has the cooler front end, I think.

  • avatar
    BiturboS4

    Had to be mine . . . Imola Yellow 2001 Audi S4 Avant

  • avatar
    tonyola

    In 1972 (my senior year in high school), the coolest car in the parking lot was a 1959 Superior Cadillac ambulance painted international orange. It was driven by a super-smart and somewhat geeky kid who bought it from a small town police department for next to nothing. He didn’t drive it very often because it sucked down gas like crazy and I think his parents eventually made him get rid if it because they didn’t like having the thing parked in front of the house.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    ’68-’71: A black jacked up & built ’55 Chev with M&H drag slicks, 6-71 blower. A gorgeous green/blue 55 T-Bird. Then there was the black GTO, orange fastback Mustang, and the pink ’53 Ford 4WD F-1 panel.

  • avatar
    ajla

    The coolest student owned car was a 1970 Buick GS. It was a 350 / 4-speed. The student was an odd guy though (there was also some semi-comfirmed talk about him being into voyeurism) so most people avoided him.

    The coolest faculty car was a turquoise 2002 Thunderbird.

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    Student ride – Chuck O’s ’54 Chevy BelAir two-door. Painted the ubiquitous white over green (a popular combo for that model year), custom tuck’n’rolled black and white naugahyde (very popular back then) interior, raised around 8″ all around (you needed a step-stool to get in), chrome-reversed wheels with fat tires, glass pack muffler with good sound, 3MT with a floor shift on the 235 stovebolt 6 with a pair of 2-bbl’s attached. A beautiful car and an obvious labor of love. Not fast but, d**n, it was a cool ride.

    • 0 avatar
      operagost

      Way too much carb for that 6, and I know it was popular then but I hate that gasser look. It was the Pro Street of the 1960s: made your car uglier, less efficient, more dangerous to drive and probably even slower.

  • avatar

    For context, I drove a 1976 Toyota Celica ST fastback with a 5 speed, but the coolest car at my high school was a tie between a Lotus Esprit Turbo and a Buick Grand National GNX. This was in the late 80s in small city Canada.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    My junior year (99-00) a senior got a brand new BMW 330Ci. It was the first time I realized you can still be a lame even with a nice car. Dude was not able to capitalize.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    New cars were rare, so the red ’92 Celica stands out. One guy had a blue Trans Am with the screaming chicken on the hood.

  • avatar
    VW4motion

    My dad had the same Scorpio, only in white. True pos car.
    Coolest cars were the 16v Scirocco’s and Pontiac Trans Am’s.

  • avatar
    incautious

    Shop teacher had 66 BB Vette. But my money was on Al and his 68 Hemi GTX and Billy’s 70 Cuda 440-6

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’m going to win this. We had, every day or at least regularly, from 1996-2000, a Rolls Silver Seraph, a Mercedes 500SL, a Dodge Durango Shelby SP-360, a smattering of E38 740is and 750is, and a black Lamborghini motherffing Diablo.

    I went to school in the shadow of Foxwoods casino in SE CT as it was exploding and the money the tribal members had to throw around was insane.

    • 0 avatar

      Ha CT in the 90’s here as well. But my town had gone from wealthy to working class by the 90’s. Still plenty of wealthy people there they just sent all their kids to private school (which had an impressive parking lot).

  • avatar
    srh

    I grew up in Alaska. Coolest car was by far a slightly lifted rough Suburban, bumper stickers included “I AM THE NRA”. Vanity license plate with the owner’s initials, which happened to be WAR.

    Not that I agreed with the politics necessarily, but it was well done.

  • avatar
    snoproblem

    I had an English teacher who owned an MGB in hunter green. Pretty sweet ride… and I’m referring to the CAR, you animals.

  • avatar
    vtecJustKickedInYo

    Honda Odyssey. Fast enough to beat V6 Camaros, big enough for the whole crew, beige enough to get looked over by officers of the law, and free because parental hand me down.

  • avatar
    mrentropy

    At my school, in the mid- to late-80s, a guy had a white late 70s Pontiac Trans-Am. Instead of the firebird on the hood he had Eddie, the Iron Maiden mascot, airbrushed on there (well, it looked airbrushed; I don’t know how they do that with automotive paint).

  • avatar

    1988 Celica GT-S, 5spd. Red with red leather interior (classy I know). Power windows AND power adjustable seats with adjustable side bolsters.
    Should not have sold it for a Mustang GT, good times either way though.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    Back in high school I drove a 1966 4-door Chevy Bel Air sporting a fresh coat of red Earl Scheib paint. It felt far more than the 15 model years old it was at the time. Contrast that to today. I drive a 1999 f150, making it nearly 19 model years old. But the truck *feels* younger than that. I’m not sure why there is a striking difference in the feel of the two vehicles. I suppose vehicles are just built better these days and my ability to maintain vehicles is vastly improved over high school.

    • 0 avatar
      operagost

      Any 1966 model simply wears out a lot faster than a 1999. Making it to 100K miles in anything made before the 1970s was a laudable achievement.

      Meanwhile, your Bel Air would have been totally sweet if it had been a 2 door. It was a nice looking car, nonetheless.

  • avatar
    wintermutt

    Students – Porsche 912, Jaguar XKE 6 cylinder (same guy), 1970 Chevy Z-28’s owned by two brothers (brand new) they matched.
    Teachers – not much although my geometry teacher had a TR6.
    The year was 1971 FYI.

  • avatar
    mike1dog

    Had a guy who had an early seventies Dodge Challenger with a 440 6 pack in it. This was 1982 when they were just used cars that got bad gas mileage. I now wonder how a sixteen year old got insurance on such a car. Of course in Mississippi at the time insurance wasn’t mandatory.

  • avatar
    slance66

    My High School was a gear head high school. Early 80’s, so we had several very nice Chevelles, a Plum Crazy Barracuda, a couple of Mustangs, including a Mach 1, a 67 GTO, a 66 Impala, and I rode to school in my friend’s black 65 T-Bird. There were some tricked out Novas and stuff as well.

    My sister went to High School in a more posh town in CT, and those kids all had Saabs, early BMW 320’s etc. Nicer cars than any of the teachers.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I was in high school from 76 to 80.

    A couple of the rich kids had new Trans Ams.

    A friend had a ’66 Chevelle with a 350 HP 327 with a 4 speed. That car absolutely flew, and would blow the doors off any late 70s car, including a Corvette.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      My ’75 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon (with all the emissions controls removed…thanks, Dad) could surprise all kinds of malaise-era “muscle” cars.

  • avatar
    BenMixson

    Wow – that SHO is identical to the one I used to own. It gave me more trouble than any car I’ve ever owned. God I hated that car. God I miss that car.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Among teachers the only one that stands out was a 95/96 240SX. It was brand new (graduated 1997), all black, real shiny. Not into that kinda thing, and wasn’t then, but it was a flashy car driven by a too-nice young short scrawny bald male teacher with a lisp. One of my drafting/shop teachers drove a nice lifted Ramcharger in excellent condition, which was only notable to me because I drove a much less nice bone-stock Ramcharger.

    Among students the nicest to me was a 1969 Boss 351 Mustang. It was in show condition when the guy’s father bought it for a steal. The father wisely pulled the 351M and replaced it with a much tamer 302 before letting the kid drive it to school. It was backed into in the school parking lot, at which time the kid’s anger caused him to punch the trunk lid denting it. About a year later the kid rear-ended somebody which took the Mustang off the road but it was still repairable/restorable.

    Another student drove a black Trans Am GTA notchback. It was reportedly purchased from Richard Petty. Even if the pedigree was fabricated they’re pretty rare cars.

    There was a guy who claimed his father had a mid-60s big block Corvette convertible and he was allowed to drive it with his father. I never saw it, but as he was the semi-spoiled child of the CEO of a local/regional company I didn’t completely doubt it.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    Early to mid 80s –my friend occasionally drove a red 66 Mustang to school. Also, a guy drove an early Z-car (neither driven by *cool* kids. Quite a few upper middle class folks, but nothing else really sticks out.

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    Camaros and Trans AMs ruled the parking lots from 90-92 in my small town high school. You were doing pretty good if you had one. I had a charcoal gray ’84 Z28 with 60K miles that I paid $3800 for in ’90. I was considered “rich”, even though I had been saving the money working at my grandparents gas station since I was 13.

    1st gen – you were the man
    3rd gen – rich boy
    2nd gen – where can I get some weed?

  • avatar
    nlinesk8s

    In high school late 70’s:

    Two cars of note:
    1) Studebaker Hawk
    2) 63 (I think) split window Corvette, but pop up headlights glassed in for permanent rectangles (sigh)

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    We had an upperclassman who drove an old (early 1970’s?) Cadillac hearse. It easily topped the rusty Mustangs and Chevelles in cool factor.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    At my HS in the late 70’s, it was Z28s and Trans Ams. One kid who had a new black Bandit T/A, totaled it. Then his parents bought him a new white T/A, he totaled that one. Then they bought him a new Formula Firebird (trying to save some $$ over the Trans Ams), and he totaled it. I graduated after that so I’m not sure what he got for his senior year.

    We lesser-privileged kids had VW Rabbits or Sciroccos, with a few Datsun 510s, 810s, or Toyota Celicas.

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    The coolest car(s) in my suburban southern California high school parking lot was a 1987 Ford Mustang GT with the cheese grater rear taillights and round foglamps. There was a white one, a gray metallic one, and a gray metallic convertible. Seeing them always made me envious.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I graduated in 1985…several 7 series BMWs and S-Class MBs, one kid drove a pink mid-50s T-Bird occasionally, there was a silver Avanti II with red leather and wire wheels. Several guys’ parents were car dealers, so they tended to have new cars with dealer plates….Joseph Chevrolet, Pulte Oldsmobile, Fiehrer Pontiac, Walker Mercedes, Cronin VW, Schiller Ford…lots of dealer kids.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I would submit my ’84 Trans Am. It was garbage, but at least it looked good. And I paid for it myself. My cousin had an IROC that was slightly newer. Another total A-hole (who actually mellowed out considerably when he got a girlfriend) received a ’72 Monte Carlo from his dad. It was really clean, 350, but… Powerglide.

    There were a few rich girls who received brand-new Wranglers (all red, for some reason). Another guy had a new 240sx hatch, which I didn’t realize at the time was a cool car. A friend of mine received a new Z24 from his parents, all black. Not many new cars at my school, mostly hand-me-downs.

  • avatar
    GTL

    There were three (or four):
    ’69 Chevy SS 396 (I drooled over that car)
    ’69 Dodge GTX, kid totaled it, then got:
    ’70 Pontiac GTO “The Judge”
    ’70 AMC AMX

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    I drove a ’76 Chrysler Cordoba with Corinthian Leather and a 400 engine, my best friend had a ’77 lemon ice Lincoln Mark V. We were considered the rich kids, as everyone else drove old Chevettes.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    I never figured out who it was, but someone at my school would frequently show up in a pretty lovingly-restored 1972 Mercedes 280SE. That’s probably the one that stood out the most in the student lot, and one of the chemistry teachers (who was already a pretty eccentric character) had a Citroen H van.

  • avatar
    shoshone

    Through the golden eyes of time, everything seems desirable to me now. Circa 1976:

    Highlights of my friends include Corvair Van, Dart 340, MGA, Renault Dauphine, Rambler American.

    The staff had 68 Cougar, Porsche 356, Bonneville wagon and Subaru 360!

    We carried the 360 and hid it behind some bushes. Motorcycles were rare but included Black Bomber Honda, 750 Honda and 250 Ducati.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    In the early 90’s, a kid I had gone to school with since kindergarten somehow found a first gen BMW 3 series in pretty damn nice condition. I think a 320? I remember that it had a cassette/CD player, a BMW one, and thinking “that must have been one of the first ever in-dash CD players”, but my friend said it came from a later model and was put in by the previous owner. I also remember that it had a 5 speed manual that seemed to shift pretty nicely.

    One day after soccer practice, he offered me a lift home, since I lived 3 blocks from his dad’s restaurant/bar, which is where he was going and where he worked.

    We took another teammate home out in one of the new developments that bordered farmland, and my friend floored the BMW on a wide open back road and at the time, I thought it was the quickest, fastest thing I had ever been in. I know by today’s standards, it’s not a fast car, but at the time, I was trying to get my 75 Nova running, and my dad drove an Aerostar, and my mom drove an old Citation, and the only cool cars anyone in my family had were one uncle who came back from a 4 years stint in the Marines with a Beetle and a Karmann Ghia…both of which were slllllooooooowwwwwww, and his brother, who had a first year RX-7…which was not slow, but not as nice a ride as this old BMW.

    My irrational desire to own a German car started here. And now, almost 30 years later, I have two in my garage.

    No one else had anything quite like that car. One guy I didn’t know had an old Saab of some sort (a 99?). It was orange, but the clearcoat had faded so it was this weird matte finish that made it look like rust. So, he decided to have it professionally painted in something close to Polestar blue….maybe a bit lighter. It looked cool…..but sounded like crap.

    That’s it. Everything else was 70’s and 80’s vintage Detroit and Japanese models, old vans, wagons, and pick ups. Pretty typical for a declining steel town in PA at the time.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    My high school principal had everyone beat. She owned a 1997 Honda del Sol in samba green.

    Like this:

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/2d/25/64/2d2564e38469bf2396448ac1fe518c5a.jpg

  • avatar
    Zackman

    When I went to high school, the coolest, most awesome cars anyone could have in the late 1960s was either a 409 Impala SS, an SS 396 Chevelle, an SS 427 Camaro, or any other powerful Chevy.

    Ford, Chrysler, AMC? Whoever owned one of their hot rods was in the club, too.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    There were two student cars and two staff cars that stood out. The student cars were a new ’75 Trans Am and a new ’75 280Z. The owners of both cars came from divorced homes, I’m guessing that was Dad’s way of compensating.

    Much less new but way cooler were a ’65 Corvette fastback and a Lotus Europa owned by one of the P. E. coaches and a member of the maintenance staff.

  • avatar

    Easy. Our HS Chem/Science teacher had a silver Corvette.
    The vanity plate read HIHOAG

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    ’70 Sedan de Ville. Black. In rural New Hampshire, circa 2007. Never did figure out who owned it.

    The coolest car in my group of friends, though, was a Saab 900 SE (NG) – turbo, automatic, metallic pine. That poor thing did the greatest reverse-gear donuts I’ve ever witnessed firsthand.

  • avatar

    Went to school in central CT in the mid 90’s odd town half working class half upper middle class. I went to the public school the privates in the area had more high end stuff.

    One shop teacher had a 65 bigblock manual vette and another had a BB chevelle. The one with the Vette also had a 76 Caddy Deville as his daily.

    For kids a few stand out.
    One friend had a new F350 power stroke then a new cummins.
    Another friend had a 78 f150 restored reg cab short bed 6″ lift 35″ tires and dukes of hazard orange paint.
    One girl had a restored beetle convertible she redid with her dad in time for here senior year, which she drove every day.
    There was also a guy who dropped out that had a fox mustang with a blower and all kinds of parts (he worked for a mustang specialty shop) that was damn quick.
    And one more I can think of was one guy got a Dodge Stealth twin turbo for graduation.

  • avatar
    mason

    I got a 70 El Camino my junior year in high school. That fall I grenaded the original 307 so it got parked for the winter. Dad had a built 383 sitting in the barn from an a Camaro that got totalled out when someone rear ended him. After much begging he ended up selling it to me on a payment plan. 11.5:1 pistons, 190cc trick flow heads. I don’t know what it pushed for hp but it was a tire shredder. He almost repo’d the engine from me when the school suspended my driving privileges for a week for doing a burn out at the end of the school drive.
    The grand finale was seniors last day of school. Our high school had the practice foot ball field in front of the school with the entrance on one side and exit on the other. I was one of the first to leave so the parking lot was full. I roasted the tires from one end of the drive to the other. Twenty years later, everytime I see a former classmate that’s the first thing they remember about me, LOL.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    I went to a weird high school..only 65 in my class. The young white guys drove 240z’s while the young black ones drove Mustangs of that era 82-86. Me…I was poor and took the bus but sometimes walked due to being bullied…

  • avatar

    Class of ’71, so we had some nice ones, even in our mostly blue collar area.

    Most bada$$ vehicle was likely a ’69 SS396 Nova, then modified with 2x4bbl on a tunnel ram. Street driven. Visited the gas pumps often. He got it for making honor roll one semester.

    68-69 Chevelles were popular, again not cheap at the time, so still mom/dad were helping.

    We had all sort of assorted hand-me-down Falcons, Chevy IIs, Darts, Belvederes, Coronets, Fairlanes. Favorite older car was the ’63 Impala, and already guys wanted Tri-5 Chevys also.

    Rode to school for a year with Mark, in his ’64 Sting Ray convertible, another gift. He just had to provide gas and insurance from his part time job.

    I had my mom’s ’55 Dodge Royal Lancer to use, then finally my ’58 VW Beetle. Probably a half-dozen VWs on the lot, any given day.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I just thought of another car that was not cool at the time but is cool in retrospect. Elementary principal and later superintendent (by the time I reached high school – the whole district was basically self contained in one building) drove an early 80s Crown Victoria wagon with the towing package. That was back when the tow package had factory dual exhausts.

    I wouldn’t mind that now with the exception that the poor wagon was robin egg blue.

  • avatar
    3XC

    I graduated in 1996.

    One guy had a 4runner with electric blue metal flake paint and hydraulics (I went to school in the city of Baltimore). That was pretty wild. Any wheel bigger than 17 inches on anything in the mid 90s was flashy. This had spoked 20 inch wheels and the guy who drove it became “the man.”

    Another kid had a Mk III Supra Turbo. The Mk IV was unobtanium.

    One rich kid had a new 95 or 96 Mustang GT convertible.

    My favorite cars that other kids drove included a lifted K5 Blazer and a very cool black Torino GT with the yellow/green laser stripe.

    I had a 1984 Dodge Colt with a red velour interior and 63hp carbed Mitsubishi 4 cylinder. With an automatic. Ugh.

  • avatar
    Ron

    Class of 1958, in Baltimore. Alan Sagner had a new 1957 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner hardtop convertible. (This may have been the only new car owned by a classmate — the rest were rust buckets.)

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    My high school parking lot contained the following cars (in 1999):

    1980s Caprice
    1985 Camaro Z28
    1980s Mustang GT
    1999 Mercury Cougar
    198x Sebring Convertible
    late ’80s Isuzu Trooper
    early ’90s Escort Wagon (“cooler” now than in 1999)
    1993 del Sol
    1969 Pontiac GTO
    Bricklin SV1

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    daily driver or parental car that was borrowed?

    Daily driver would probably be one of the E46 BMWs, Lexus IS300s, Z3s, or the SLK320.

    Parental car that the kids got to bring to school is a bit more difficult. Hard to choose between the 911 Turbo, Countach, Viper, and E type.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I got to take my dad’s ’75 Mercedes 450SE to school a couple of times. Back in the day (late ’70s – early ’80s) a Benz was still a big deal, and that car always got looks.

  • avatar
    thirteen20wrx

    I went to a fairly affluent high school (97-01) but for whatever reason there weren’t a ton of gearheads. Senior lot was full up with one-generation-old generic family sedan/SUV hand me downs with the occasional Lexus ES300 or Infiniti I30 thrown in there. One girl had a brand new Trans Am, I believe with the WS6 package. As an avowed Ford guy from an avowed Ford family, I was precluded from thinking it was anything special at the time. In retrospect, it was a pretty nice car for a high schooler. There were three guys (myself included) who drove Electric Blue 2000 Civic Si’s (remember, this was the era of the original FnF and the height of the import craze) so I think we were right up there. The other two ended up stolen, but mine made it through unscathed (although I did catch two dudes trying to break into it in the senior lot and chased them off). One kid occasionally drove his dad’s S2000, and I got to bring my dad’s 1999 35th Anniversary Mustang GT every once in a blue moon. The next year, he replaced the GT with a 2001 SVT Cobra…and I still have it to this day.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    A then-new late-90s purple(ish) Camaro Z28 driven by an insanely gorgeous senior girl.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    One of the young women in my class drove her dad’s old MGB. We used to have to push start it out of the senior lot.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Student-owned? One friend (hey Roger!) had a ’69 Riviera *and* a ’57 Chevy Apache 3100. Another guy had a mildly jacked up red ’73 Grand Torino rocking Cragar S/S wheels – like the Starsky & Hutch car, only without the stripe. But it wasn’t a S&H thing – he called it “The Big Red Machine”, after his beloved Cincinnati Reds, who were at the time the top team in baseball.

    For quirky cars, it would have to a Subaru 360. And the guy that drove it was not a little guy.

    Teacher-owned? Easy – a silver Honda N600 sedan. The teacher started off the year parking in the south student lot (we had two big lots, as we had 4,000+ students enrolled), that is, until some of us picked up her car (front end, then back end, then front end) and turned it in the parking space, making it impossible to back out. After we did that a couple of times, she starting parking in the faculty-only lot.

  • avatar

    My grade had an E92 335is and M3, and then a WRX sedan. Other than that, there were a few G35s and maybe my IS250

  • avatar
    threeer

    Certainly not mine, though I dug the fact that my bright orange 1978 Plymouth Arrow GT stood out, especially with the arrow graphics package! Nicest student car? Kid got a brand new Toyota MR2 (Mk1) after his father sold the MG Midget he was driving around. Coolest teacher car? While in Germany, one of the teachers had a rather beat to heck mid 70s Porsche 911 that she was “going to restore one day.” Not sure that day ever came. Honorable mention goes to my English teacher in Germany that bought a (then) brand-spanking new E30 3-series. The Blau mit Weiss lust ran deep over that one. Funny mention was the poor VW Beetle that served duty carrying around one of the, um, bigger-boned teachers. That poor Bug (something like a mid 70s, likely) leaned hard to port every time she got in. I honestly felt sorry for the car…she sold it some time later and bought a new Volvo.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    A friend had a 302-powered ’68 Fairlane 4-door sedan – we’d roll all the windows down in the winter and play freeze-out, doing 80 in a 40mph zone. Occasionally he got to drive his mom’s new Mazda RX-4 sedan with 5-speed. It was a trip hearing that rotary wind up to 7000rpm. We street raced a ’68 Satellite with 318, one afternoon after school – four of us in the Mazda against two people in the Plymouth, and we smoked it.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    To me? My ’69 Volkswagen Bug 1300 L. To everyone else? Probably anything else.

    2nd place goes to Simone’s immaculate Toyota Corolla Liftback. One of these: http://www.oldparkedcars.com/2015/02/1982-toyota-corolla-liftback.html

  • avatar
    SixspeedSi

    When I was a freshman in High School a kid from the senior class had a 05 Verde Ithaca Gallardo. That thing was sweet and you could literally hear it from a mile away. No, he didn’t buy it, his father ran a largish used car dealership in a town over, a shady one too. He later went on to twin turbo that lambo and produced viral YouTube videos with it. Unfortunately, he passed away last year, but was definitely something you’d never expect to see in the school parking lot.

  • avatar
    onyxtape

    I went to high school with the daughter of the guy who owns Yoshida soy sauce. No idea why they put her in our very ghetto public school. I heard second hand that they bought her a Lexus LX when she got her license, then she wrecked it, and it was promptly replaced with the same car.

    Other than that, Acura Integra GS-R was probably it.

    Runner-ups:
    Merkur XR4Ti
    Lexus SC400

    A girl bought a very well-used late 80s Jaguar around junior year. It didn’t last very long.

    I remember a teacher in middle school who just got out of college got a brand new Honda del Sol from her daddy. She and daddy had lunch everyday, and was mocked sufficiently for it by us 7th graders.

    Another kid I grew up with who went to a school in a rich neighborhood had a hand-me-down 190E Mercedes. It had a 6-cassette tray that slid out of the deck. He drove that thing until he graduated from college.

    • 0 avatar
      oldmangrimes

      That’s funny, I went to school with a Yoshida daughter too! We graduated in 1992, and the Yoshida daughter (the oldest) I went to school with had a BMW I think, not a Lexus, with vanity plates which was also the nicest car in the parking lot. (Note: I don’t like you calling our school ghetto, although it kinda was now that I think about it)

      I drove grandma’s red 72 Chevelle Malibu hardtop sedan with a slow tired 307. No A/C, no power brakes, no passenger side-view mirror, manual windows, crappy cheap cassette player I added.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Yeah, I was there several years after you. I was there along with the younger Yoshida daughter – though we didn’t have any classes or mutual friends together (and it seems like she was never at school anyways…). By then, the school was still OK, but you can start to see the decline of the community starting to set in. A few years after I left the school, it seems like half the graduating class who didn’t make it out of there had white-flighted 10-15 miles east to avoid the crumbling surrounding community.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I don’t know if it counts, but a guy’s dad at my school had a Typhoon that he would sometimes get to borrow. It always drew a crowd.

  • avatar
    TeamInstinct

    I graduated in ’13 picking coolest car at our high school is easy though. There was a guy who I played baseball with who had Fox-body Capri.. no idea the year. Perfect condition, big V8, stick, I wish I had asked him more about what his had done to it.. it was fast. It’s also the only Capri I’ve ever seen.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    A senior had a new yellow ‘Cuda with all the goodies.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    For teachers it was an early 80s Charleston Citroen 2CV. Students, there was one at my high school with a Datsun 280Z.

  • avatar
    azmtns

    I was in school from the late 70’s-the early 80’s. I remember the most beautiful girl drove the most beautiful 1971 purple Cuda.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I would say the most awesome cars at my high school were GTOs, 442’s, Challengers, Camaros, Cobra Mustangs, Roadrunners, Chevelle SS, and a variety of muscle cars from the late 60’s to the early 70’s.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Class of 81 here.

    My school was decidedly middle class, but merely having your own car meant something. Most of us drove our parents’ cars.

    My friend had a ~72 Buick Electra 225 – enormous car – and she was maybe 5’2″.

    I had a 71 Pinto near the end of high school. I was broke, it was junk, but it fit my 6’7″ frame, and I learned how to keep it running.

    For the prom, I had the distinction of taking the smallest car: my dad’s 78 Ford Fiesta. Good times.

    Fast forward to today: At my son’s college a few years ago (Penn State Erie), the imported students were driving the likes of Maseratis – no joke. I drove a series of 3 junkers to get through college. Both school and the cars were mostly self-funded.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      I went to a 4-year state school (albeit a somewhat prestigious one), and every fall there will be some Saudi student moving into the dorms with a semi backing into the parking lot – and out rolled a bright green Lamborghini or something like that.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Northern Westchester NY mid-late 70’s. Think Dazed and Confused including many of the same vehicles. My high school parking lot consisted of everything from full and mid-sized GM cars. 73-77 GM Colonades were popular. The obligatory Dart/Valiant/Swinger/Scamp/Duster/Demon. Some Pintos, Mustang II’s and early Capri’s. A few Vega’s with replaced engines under warranty as well as Monza’s and Sunbird’s with the 262 V8.

    After the 1st gas crisis you started to see more Japanese cars. Corollas-the late 70’s shooting brake/hatch and coupe, Datsun 510’s etc. People were also gravitating toward them because they had some bad prior experience with a domestic product. Some upper middle class folks would let their kid drive their W122/W123 Benz or Volvo to school. BMW’s were a rarity back then since it was pre 320i yuppy era though one teacher had a nice orange 2002. Other teachers drove MG’s, Triumph’s and one had a Honda 600Z in green. Once a few wayward students as a prank lifted it and turned it sideways in a parking spot.

    But the best were the pony and muscle cars. Since they were still a few years old and barely modified or left stock were still in pristine almost Barrett-Jackson like shape. The best being the GTO’s, Challengers and Barracuda’s as well as a couple of fairly rare Olds 442 with the W30 package.

    Myself A 1970 Mustang coupe in harvest gold with a ginger interior and the optional Western Vinyl roof served me well. I bought it for $300, rebuilt the knocking engine and drove it for years after.

  • avatar
    claytori

    1969 Northern Secondary in Toronto. No student parking provided. Street parking or nothing. One guy had a Mini Clubman. But the most memorable was BUILT and owned by our machine shop teacher, “Mr. Ferguson” (last names only for teachers, and mostly for students). He built a full custom roadster on a Corvette chassis. Made his own female moulds for the glass parts. He also made his own custom cast aluminum wheels and badges (also windshield frame) from patterns he designed and made. He called it the Ferguson Super Sport, and it was flawless. It won first prize at the Toronto custom car show that year. Another female teacher had an MG sports car. She would recruit 3 male students to help her put the top up. One might be selected for a “ride” home…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    One kid’s dad got him an ’83 Pursuit Mustang (back in ’86) at a police auction, and I thought gawd damn!Lucky!!!

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      A friend got a police auction Beretta. He was told it was a getaway car and it had a custom push-button ignition which of course was the coolest thing at the time.

  • avatar
    bultaco

    I graduated from high school in 1980, for context. Best faculty cars were a worn late 50s Austin Healey 100-6, a 1970 442 convertible, and a 1969 Mustang Mach 1. Coolest student cars were many. My friend’s 68 SS396 Chevelle convertible, an original 69 Z28, a 71 Buick GS Stage 1, 71 340 Cuda, and many run of the mill 60s Camaros, Firebirds, Mustangs, etc., plus a handful of ratty British roadsters. These were all just old cars in 1980, but we knew they’d be valuable someday.

  • avatar
    cherberg

    I owned a Merkur exactly like the one pictured. It has been my favorite care I have ever had and I drove it for about 100K miles. Traded it in 1993 for an brand new Acura Legend.
    Now back to what was the coolest car(s) at my High School. (class of ’86) My picks would be between the Jeep Grand Wagoneer (with the faux wood panels) or the brand new Pontiac Fiero.

  • avatar

    Class of ’89 and it had to be a friend’s ’67 Charger with the hidden headlamps. I think it had the 318. It was maroon with a black vinyl top and still in good condition, but starting to show rust on the quarter panels – go figure, it was a Mopar.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    So whose SHO is at top?

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      That was in the TTAC image gallery, so I dunno.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        Ah, ya killin’ me. That would have been my personal favorite at my high school (where the coolest cars were a ’70 440 Satellite, ’71 Chevelle SS, and a Maserati BiTurbo).

        I had a bicycle in high school. (It was a custom built Dyno with lots of GT parts, but, yeah).
        Everyone’s rides were cooler than the bus I guess.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Well, I was spoiled. The 70s Malaise Era was Peak Kewel for high-school gearheads. We had, Peaches & Cream, a five-five two-tone; we had a Gen1 Mustang. We had a handful of SBC SS models…they were so common as to be forgettable. We had a basket-weave Willys wagon, I think 2wd. Kewel now, not then.

    And we had the local Rambler dealer’s kid in our school. The dealer had just taken on the Jeep line – in 1974, AMC and Jeep had mostly kept separate dealerships, and the pressure was on Kaiser-Jeep dealers to take AMC cars.

    But the Jeep Renegade was just out, and with its uber-kewel faux-denim top and seats. The longer stretched CJ hood, and the new body-tone windshield; the sports steering wheel, and the V8. No more of that chuffa-chuffa flathead Willys engine noise coming from under.

    That did it for me. It was something I couldn’t afford then and can’t now, either. I did later own, for a time, a fake CJ7, a YJ with a CJ front clip…not quite the same as the utilitarian-yet-sporty early denim Renegades.

  • avatar
    ruckover

    While I attended a high school (late 70s) in a very middle to upper-middle class area, all of our parents must have been children of the depression–There were very few amazing cars in our lot. One student managed to buy a brilliant Chrysler Super Bee, and another had a new X1/9, but that was about it. On the other hand, there was amazing diversity in what was driven, and many of these cars, at one time, were either hot or at least interesting: I remember seeing (in various states of the cars returning to their original chemical components) an Opel Kadett wagon, a Fiat 850 convertible, a VW Karmann Ghia convertible, a TR4A, a VW type 3, an MGA, an MGB GT, a Datsun 510, a Barracuda fast back, and a bevy of Novas and Chevelles.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    In my junior and senior years of 69-70 I had a 68 GTS Dart with a 383. It was definitely one of the coolest cars at my high school.

  • avatar
    ijkumsaf

    Some guy in last year had a 2008 Dodge Charger Superbee, back when it was brand new. That was in Germany of all places where a €60k, 5.7 l HEMI muscle car is a unicorn anyway, even more so in a high school parking lot driven by an 18 year old.
    Never got to know that guy and thus never got a ride in the Dodge, sadly.

    Otherwise there was a guy whose parents had handed him down their tried Volvo XC90, huge for german surroundings as well.

    And a lot of older BMWs as well, of course, 318s, 116s and some e36 compacts…

  • avatar

    The Holman brothers had a pair of Edsels that were powered by motors built by their father; who made his living building motors for drag racers.

    Supreme sleepers.

  • avatar
    EAM3

    South Florida, circa 1986.

    A kid in my school had a wild supercharged 1981 Corvette with custom bodywork, custom interior and more power than any high school kid should have at his disposal. It also had a nice bottle of NOS in case its way-too-powerful-but-equally-unreliable engine wasn’t enough.

    Another one, whose dad owned a Ford dealership, had a Mustang GT with full IMSA bodywork, extra wide Enkeis and a handful of power mods under the hood. 2 Pontiac 6000 STE flush headlights replaced the 4 headlights. There was also a nice ’61 Corvette that was driven on nice days (a nice E30 was the alternative on rainy days).

    At a nearby private school a kid had a Testarossa (father made a promise while drunk at party and kept his promise). Unsurprisingly the father went to jail for not-so-legal matters not too long after that.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Our HS share the parking lot with a JC next door. The best car everyone dreamed of is a white MKIV Supra. I also liked the mid / late 90s yellow Mustang convertible along my bus ride to school. For actual student owned cars, it would have been Integra GSR.


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