A discussion on Twitter this morning about sexy cars vs. practical cars vs. sexy + practical cars got me thinking about the cars I’ve owned over the years.
I’ve not been much of a car person in this life. Even though I bought my first car when I was 8 years old (yes, you read that right) I didn’t actually get a drivers license until I was 20. Of course, that didn’t stop me from owning and driving cars before I was legal – I was just very, very careful when I drove.
And I drove a lot.
Anyway, below are the handful of cars that I’ve owned over the years that were actually mine vs. the cars that I drove that happened to belong to people in my household.
1962 Ford Ranchero Falcon – My first car. I bought it when I was 8 years old for $200 after cashing in a bunch of savings bonds my grandmother had given me over the years. My dad decided to “restore” it at one point, he actually repainted one of the front fenders. It was the most impressive front fender in the world at the time.
1981 Chevy Malibu Station Wagon – I bought this for $900. I never drove it legally, it didn’t last long enough for me to do so. My favorite memory of it was getting a G.B.H. cassette stuck in the deck – I got rather tired of that album after about 300 plays.
1986 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport SS (2 door, rather rare) – To date the Celebrity was the only car I’ve ever financed – I hate credit – and it cost me $1,800. I paid it off on time and it was toast about 2 months later. Lesson learned. Still, in its day it was Really Fucking Fast – and of course it was, the original engine was replaced by a large V6 meant for a Camaro. The incompatible engine ensured that I was replacing motor mounts every 2 months.
1988 Dodge Omni – I can’t remember what this car cost. I only remember that I lived in it for several months on two different occasions and that it would destroy its own CV joints on the passenger side every 4 months or so. I didn’t care. I was on way too many drugs at the time.
1986 Porsche 928 S4 – I paid $4,000 for a project car…and like any other project, I never finished it. I’ve always regretted it. I moved to Portland after spending about 3 months on it and never had anywhere to put it once I got here. Thinking about it just makes me sad. It sold for $24,000 about 6 months ago, the guy I sold it to finished it. It was amazing. I’m going to barf now.
1997 Toyota Tercel – My mainstay for about a decade. The best car I’ve ever owned. Period. If I could find another one for a reasonable price and in decent condition I’d buy it. I’d own a fleet of them. I never changed the oil, never did a damn bit of maintenance on it, never treated it well – and still, it gave me over 100,000 miles in addition to the 85,000 it already had on it.
NOTE: None of the pictures above are of the actual cars I owned, they’re all “as close as possible” pics that I scammed off of Google images. I never really owned a camera and a car at the same time except for the Tercel. I have real pictures of that one somewhere – lots of them – but who wants to go digging? Not me.