My love is bigger than a Cadillac... : LUSENET : ASTRUC : One Thread

Cars you've known and loved. The VW Bug you lost your virginity in. The MG you built and rebuilt in your garage in high school until your mother threatened to burn the garage down if you didn't get that thing running. The Spridget in the backyard.

Tell me true.

-- Sara Astruc (, June 19, 2000


My first car, a 1931 Model A Ford Victoria, what a honey.

-- Denver doug (, June 19, 2000.

Oooh, Doug, must have details! What was she like? How much did she cost?

-- Sara Astruc (, June 19, 2000.

This makes me feel old. I used to have GREAT SEX in small cars. Austin Mini, MG Midget. Now I can't even drive in them comfortably. Best ever car...was a van. An old, ex-Post Office Commer van. Handpainted bright yellow. Could drive with the sliding door open. Sun coming in, smell of the hedgerows, and diesel fumes, whistling at women,driving to the beach at dawn, and Stonehenge at midnight, making love on the sand,fresh and new, and on the altar stone, five thousand years of wondering who else had and was going to. Cost me one hundred pounds, way back when a pound was worth at least..oh, seven shillings and sixpence. When the world was young. And so was I. Damn you, Sara Astruc.

-- Stephen (, June 19, 2000.

Hmmm - first car of my own was a 40 Ford convertable - $75. I ended up swapping engines with another 40 Ford. I'd never done anything like that before. After sitting in my folks backyard for several years, I sold it for $125 to someone who said they'd restore it, and with a jump, it started right up. It was a great snuggling car in college because the back seat had no side windows and only a tiny back window, so it was very private.

My next three cars were Minis - 850, Cooper and Cooper-S. No sex in those, thank you, but I rebuilt the engine on the Cooper-S three times before I sold it after 20 years and 134,000 miles for the same amount I paid for it. The new owner sent me pictures of it after he restored it and tarted it up. A great driving car, but I got to hate the constant maintenance.

-- Terry (, June 19, 2000.

My first car, in 1984, was a 1974 Volvo station wagon -- guess what color -- whose heater warmed up in about 20 seconds flat. Ahh, Swedish cars...I drove that thing into the ground, finally giving it up in 1988. The frame was rusted out, but it was in prime mechanical condition. I didn't have $900 to fix the frame. Sigh.

I love my current car, a 1995 Jeep Wrangler, as it is customary for other Wrangler drivers to wave hello to you as you pass them on the road. You sit up high like in an SUV, but it's compact enough to park in tight spaces. It has all the luxury of a metal box, but sure is easy to clean. Too bad the best it gets is 17 miles to the gallon.

Oh, and since this is the internet, and your readers can't hear the chorus of answers many are sure to be shouting, the Volvo was green.

-- The Last Girl Scout (, June 19, 2000.

Further on my 1931 Ford Victoria "Model A" It cost me $100, considering I was making $4.65 a day it took awhile to get it paid for.

It had that distinctive hump on the lower back, original fabric top treated with waterproofing compound (black of course) which was in good condition. The car must have been made when old Henry controlled the circus, you could have any color you liked - - - - as long as it was black. The paint was in good shape.

It had one foible, a previous owner who seeemingly had trouble keeping the bucket of bolts together had almost all mating parts brazed together, no way to dismantle anything to make repairs. It was real up to date, had 600 x 16 tires rather than the skinny wheels and tires of the originals.

It was in 1943, gas rationing time. The farmers did fairly well. City types couldn't even get enough gas to make it to and from work. But her Majesty ran quite well on kerosene and moth balls. I seem to remember routing the fuel line through the manifold heater as part of that routine.

I moved out of town by rail and had to sell it, more the pity.

-- Denver doug (, June 19, 2000.

In 1986, I was allowed to drive the 1977 Ford Torino my sister had been given for her 18th birthday three years before. I myself did not receive a car for my 18th birthday (May '86), which I thought was most unfair. That car died in January 1987. I had not been allowed to take it more than 20 miles from home, because of my parents' freakish fear of the outside world more than because of the car's unreliability. Having no car limited my 1987 summer job possibilities to dishwashing at a bike-distance restaurant, and therefore in 1988 I spent the summer in Boston, renting a cheap room with a friend and holding a variety of menial jobs, which frightened my parents so much that...

for my 21st birthday in 1989 I was given a 1979 Dodge Omni. It was in my name, which meant that I could drive it wherever I wanted without my mother being able to call the police to report a stolen car (which happened once when I drive the Torino 15 miles in the rain to visit a friend she didn't want me to see). That car was mine, and oh how I loved her. I named her Fugly, because a two-tone (maroon above beige) Omni can be nothing but fucking ugly. I had a box in the front passenger seat because the radio didn't work and of course there wasn't a tape or cd player. Also on the front seat were a selection of tapes (whose spines are now sun-faded) and my platypus Banzai (the car and the platypus were both birthday presents and belonged together). In the hatch I kept several quarts of oil, because Fugly leaked.

I drove that car for 3.5 years until her transmission finally died. New brakes (front and back), new shocks, lots of welding, deteriorating steering, no emergency brake, no audible horn, and man did I love that car. I drove her all over Connecticut and to Boston (the limits of my little world). I ferried friends hither and yon. I hauled all my stuff to school for my last three semesters. I moved myself into my boyfriend's and my shared apartment, and then the transmission died, RIP Fugly January 1993. We were right on campus and he had a car and I couldn't afford to replace her, so I went carless for a while.

I couldn't drive Rich's 1977 Volvo with 300K on it, Sugaree. It had the one clutch I could never master. In the spring of that year we bought a stripped Tercel--no radio, no air-conditioning, a puny trunk. It was serviceable until we moved to Denver 2.5 years later, at which point the lack of AC (coupled with black interior) made it a major hellhole, as well as a distinct hazard since it barely could make the climb into the mountains.

Neither of us miss the Terrapin or considered keeping it when last May ('99) we bought Cassidy, a green Subara Impreza Outback. You can shove untold millions of cubic feet's worth of stuff in it. It zips up hill and over passes and manuevers like a dream over snow. The skis can go in as well as on it, as can the bikes. It has AC and a stereo, which after a year still seem like tremendous luxuries. I love this car, and I'm going to drive it into the ground, and then I'm going to buy another Subaru.

-- Lisa Houlihan (, June 19, 2000.

My 1966 G.T.O.

389 with a tripower, 360 horse, Madeira Maroon with a black hardtop and black interior (heavy use of beach towels on the seats in the summer).

There's nothing finer than pulling up to some stoplights and getting a 'look' from some doofus in a hopped-up Acadian. My Beauty goes like stink in a straight line, and leaves most guys in my dust. Lovely :)

Thanks for letting me boast.

p.s. btw, the car came from Missouri in horrible condition. It went through a body-off restoration and the only thing that wasn't done in the garage was a tranny rebuild.

-- Meg Stone (, June 19, 2000.

Do Motorcycles count? My Honda ST1100 was fantastic. It took me and my wife around Europe without a single complaint and did the 'thrash' through Londons traffic everyday likewise. V4 1100CC, awesome. I know bikes are dangerous, in fact I`m now in a wheelchair due to a bike accident, but everyone should experience the thrill of the open road on a bike.

Happy days indeed!


-- Adam (, June 20, 2000.

I'd love to say my first car was something cool. You know, a cherry red Mustang or a VW Bug convertible. Sadly, it wasn't. It was a 1978 (?) Dodge Challenger. With a plaid interior. That was followed by lemon yellow Ford Escort station wagon with tiger print seat cushions (ah, the glamour! The sad part was, guys still hit on me while I was driving...I'm surprised they could see me at all, what with the glare off the paint job and all). This was followed by my mom's Plymouth Horizon, which she gave to me when she moved to Hawaii. That free car cost me $1500 in repairs. Then I wisely wrecked it, collected $1500 for it--apparently its non-working a/c upped its value--and bought a used Geo Metro LSI. And though it isn't the new Saturn or Toyota or PT Cruiser of my dreams, it has a $139 loan payment and working a/c that makes it a jewel. A tiny green one that would fold up like an accordian in the smallest of wrecks.

-- blanche blank (, June 20, 2000.

This could get lengthy. I have a deep affection for travelling machines. I'll always remember that 1963 VW that I bought for $75 when I was 13 years old. My parents let me drive it on the dirt roads in my rural hometown. I owned a different car every year, usually two or more at the same time. I would drive a car a few weeks, fix what was broken, then sell it or trade for something better.

I bought my first new car in 1978. I was in the 11th grade and had made enough money for a good downpayment. I bought a 1978 Chevy Camaro Z-28. It was black with gold trim. My car payment was about $100 per month and my parents paid my insurance, which was probably more. I kept the car three years (a record that still stands) and put over 70,000 miles on that car. I sold it when I fell in love with a 1967 Porsche 912. That was the first car I ever completely rebuilt. I only kept the Porsche a few weeks after I finished it. I made a great profit on it, but began a series of bad purchases. Notable cars in this catagory were the 1979 RX-7 with the racing motor (almost got my license suspended with that one) and a Fiat X- 1/9, which was the best handling car I owned but the most failure prone. I discovered that sex is difficult in small cars, unless you have a top that opens. Privacy is not an option.

I'm going through a British car phase now. I'm picking up another Morris Minor, this one a small wood-paneled station wagon, while I'm on vacation. If I hadn't already committed my money for that car, I'd be trying to buy Camilla. I'm sure she just needs some TLC to be dependable again.

-- Rick (, June 22, 2000.

Adam: Motorcycles definitely count.

And Rick: Camilla is definitely for sale. :)

-- Sara Astruc (, June 23, 2000.

One of the first cars I ever owned - a matte green '65 Chevy with a Hurst floor shifter. I used to trust that car SO MUCH that I'd drive to Point Reyes Beach (California) on mushrooms and just *feel* my way through the gears and the winding highway to the beach.

It was in this same car that I got to do an ex-girlfriend's mom (a loooong story) after a pint of rye and a found joint. Mom had strongly disliked me and had disapproved of her darling and I UNTIL I bought said fab Chevy (oooh, such chrome!). After she took a spin in it with me she turned as creamy as gumbo and we had one fine late night experience. I LOVED that car!

-- Kent Alexander (, June 24, 2000.

My favorite car will always be my 1960 Falcon, "Jezebel." I bought it when I was fifteen in mint condition with only 38,112 original miles on it. Since I didn't get my license until I was eighteen, I can count how many times I drove it on my fingers and toes. She was black with a white top, and everything was just the way it was when she came off the lot way before I was even born. I even had wallet size pictures of her. But, man, it was my beauty, and it broke my heart to sell it after my first year of college. I wouldn't have sold it even then if it hadn't have been for my other car being stolen before I paid it off. Treasures like Jezebel just aren't meant to be used for everyday driving! So, I traded her for the balance owed on my stolen Mazda which was never recovered (what a way to teach me the necessity of full-coverage insurance). I've seen her tooling around town a few times, and I got a tad wistful to chase her new owners down and buy her back.

-- Elan Kesilman (, June 25, 2000.

Well, I just got the word about Camilla. Brakes: expansion valve, nitrogen bottle, accumulator. Air conditioning. Total: $1100. I can't afford to fix her.

I can't believe it's over, I thought I'd have the next two months. I'm just heartbroken. I know it's just a car but I've had her for years and she's just so beautiful, and it's not like I'm ever going to be able to buy another Jaguar.

I'm crying more about this than I have over some of my exes.

-- Sara Astruc (, June 26, 2000.

A man comes cheap and quick - - - and a good one is already married. A good car is a member of the nuclear family, along with the Fridge and the Washer (dish and clothes), yes ?

-- Denver doug (, June 26, 2000.

Sara, my condolences on Camilla. I cried like a baby when Herman, the family VW station wagon was deemed unrepairable.

I loved - and named - nearly every car I've driven. Autmobiles I Have Known include:

Yup - I get a little too attached to my cars.

-- Lisa Schmeiser (, June 26, 2000.

My neighbors probably rejoiced as their property values went up, but I wept the day my sullen and crotchety '86 Dodge Diplomat was hauled off to a slow and undignified death at Pick Your Part.

Recently, my trusty Chevy was stolen. I got it back within 24 hours. That was the good news.

The less-than-good news is the cops recovered it after they chased it.

After Smokey and The Bandit exchanged glances, the latter tried to outrun the former by driving over sidewalks and median dividers and through rush hour traffic at, oh, 100 mph or thereabouts. Guns were thrown out the window during the chase, there are little bits of cellophane all over the back seat and the interior smells like burning plastic and solvents.

Kids today, I tell you.

Anyway, I just got the bill from the mechanic and I can no longer afford two cars.

So, Sara, I've got a 1963 Volkswagen beetle with the fabric sunroof, all original, that I can let go, cheap!

-- matt (, June 26, 2000.

Poor Sara. Camilla sounds like such a honey. I've always thought Jaguars were the most beautiful cars ever made.

Also, I've found that when you lose a car, it's not just the car itself that's gone. It's also that sense of self-sufficiency and mobility. Having a car means you can always get up and go, whenever and wherever you want. You control your movement. To be giving up the car at the same time that you're leaving the apartment and the state must be a very unsettled, uprooted feeling.

Um, sorry, I'm not trying to make this worse for you by rubbing it in :) Just sympathising.

My first car was a Chevy Cavalier, named Rocinante. She's still my favorite to date, although I've been through higher quality cars since. And my first motorcycle, a Honda Rebel, tiny engine on a full- sized body, will always hold a fond spot in my heart. You always remember the first.

-- Karen (, June 27, 2000.

I can't say I loved my first car, a '79 Chevy Chevette, but I did love the freedom it gained me. It was white and didn't go over 60 MPH but it did let me escape my parents house and riding the bus to school.

And compared the the car I had after that which did nothing but eat money and the car after that one which rusted away, it was a good car.

-- Colleen (, June 27, 2000.

Okay, let's see. Dates are approximate:

My very first car was the very first car I absolutely loathed and then was the very first and only car I fell in love with. I had requested, as a 16th birthday present, a brand new black Toyota Celica Automatic! (Didn't ask for much did I?) Well imagine my surprise when they presented me with my "new" car on my birthday: It was a 1976 Opel Kadett, white exterior, red interior, 8-track stereo and it was a 4-SPEED! Was this some cruel joke? Nope. I at first refused to try and learn to drive the thing, but since I was told that would be my only mode of tranportation, I had better learn. Well I did learn and that was the most fun I had ever had driving a car. I would drive anywhere, run anyone's errands, drove to the beach every weekend and just cruised around town when things got boring. Well I drove that little car until I only had 1st gear and 4th gear left. I sadly traded it in, but have never forgotten that sweet, little car.

-- Suzette (, June 30, 2000.

My 1984 Honda Prelude. Her name is "Grace" because at this point, over 250,000 miles, it's an act of Grace whenever we complete a trip together. She's silver and still has a lot of pep, and she fits me so comfortably that I can drive for hours and for hundreds of miles and not get tired. She starred in one of my funniest life-stories ("How Cait and Rhy Drove Ten Hours to Eat Roadkill"). Bruce, my mechanic, tells me that this winter it will be time to buy another car. I'm grieving.

-- Cait (, July 24, 2000.

Okay, okay, obviously this comes to this thread a teeny bit late, but I'm puttin' it up anyway... here goes:

When I was nine, Pop took me to a car show. I fell in love with two cars: the Shelby Cobra [drool with me] and ...


the classic, the one, the only: the Volkswagen Beetle.

Wanna guess which one I got for my sixteenth birthday? Hint: NOT the Cobra. My SuperBeetle was a surprise gift; I didn't think we could afford for me to have my own car. Pop bought him a year before I turned sixteen and kept him hidden while he worked on him. The man he bought him from did the paintjob that my father designed -- brilliant green with a diagonal white and yellow stripe.

His name is Tweeter -- my favorite song at the time was "Tweeter and the Monkeyman," by the Travelling Wilburies.

On August 18, I'll be 24 -- that's eight years. The car has made it through seven years of Pennsylvania and now, one year of Arizona. I have driven around with five people in that car, one of whom was 6'8" tall. Sure, we couldn't go over 35 at that point, but that's fine. The paint job is still sweet. He's still a damn trooper; we zip all over Phoenix [yes, even when it's 115 degrees out]. I love that car. I'm buying the "for-sale" sign tonight, and I get weepy just thinking about it.

I'm hoping someone from out-of-state will buy it. If I ever see that car on the street, being driven by some stranger, I will have to pull over and cry like a baby. It's not just the car [my baby, my beautiful baby!], it's the memories. Working in the garage with Pop - - I learned how to change the universal joint. I learned how to take the engine out. We installed a new stereo. I figured out how to take apart the steering column and got the windshield wiper fluid to stop dripping on my feet. Pop would tell me what to do, sometimes point out how to do it, but I'd do it. I learned how to take apart my carb and clean it out, and learned that that's basically all I had to do if the car wasn't running nicely.

We could make that car purr... if he couldn't get it running for some reason, he'd have me do a "laying-on of hands," and the car would start right up. We spent hours in the garage and we always came back into the house laughing our asses off.

Yeah, I'm gonna cry like a baby every time I see that car.

-- Maggi (, August 08, 2000.

Aw, hell, Maggi, it's never too late!

-- Sara Astruc (, August 10, 2000.

I added a new member to my family of cars during the course of this thread. As with all of the cars I have owned, it is not a fancy vehicle. It has a soul. This one is at . The story will soon be at in the "cars" section.

-- Rick (, August 14, 2000.

This forum is closed! Visit ThreeWay Action to post!

-- Sara Astruc (, September 10, 2000.

1964 studebaker 6 cyl. challenger(lark replacement)inherited from dad who bought it in '65 for less than a volkswagon,drove it to work 'till '70 when it swallowed a valve.fixed 6 for $100 of parts,drove it that way 'till i found a low miles '58 packard(big studebaker).swapped 289 4 barrel v-8 ,posi rear and brakes,along with borg warner t-10 (4speed).now i had something!later found golden hawk super charger. ran like hammers of hell,got 20mpg!only got rid of it because of too much rust.plan to buld another one as a street rod retirement project.

-- duke downey (, December 22, 2000.

Mmmm my fist car was an MG RV8, i got it when i was 17 of my dad. It was to much to insure so i got a MG metro, mint little gocart and after about 6 weeks i rolled it 7 times going down a country lane. I was goin 94 mph when a bend jumped out at me! Then i got a midget ( MG ) and totaly restored it with origanal colours( crome bumper) whicth i still have after 9 years of tankin around!!!

-- jonathan russell (, March 07, 2001. first love was a 1992 toyota Corolla 1.5 SE Limited in dark grey with grey interior. it wasn't brand new and some local hog had had some fun in it. it sported quite a few scratches and dings and had a big dent in one of the rear pillars...but, i'm suer u know the feeling.....i loved that car more tha any woman i have ever known. i actually bought her at night and thought she lokked pretty good, even out standing, but when i went to collect her the next morning i realized the depth of the saying never buy a car at night. the poor thing had a lot of war wounds but i took her home and stripped the interior and for a whole week i just cleaned her and cleaned her until she looked like me atleast..but i still remember when i used to listen to oldies like susie Q on her panasonic stereo and i even some how managed to get second hand 14" 185 bridgestones and she looked phat. one night however while making out "while driving" she fell into a deep ditch and got crushed on one side and well after spending a fortune on bad quality repairs i had to let her go......but believe me i still think of her as most guys are likely to think about old girlfriends, with a longing and a pang in the heart.............

-- khurram rizvi (, June 22, 2002.

Ya'll just don't understand. I see a couple 1976 Caprice Classics on the board, but you just can't appreciate them. Big. Yellow. With the addition of my personalized "BOODYAH" liscense plates, she was aptly named the Big Yellw Boodyah. My first car, still only four years ago when I turned sixteen. She was five hundred dollars from my stepfather's grandparents, the original owners. What a boat! I hate to admit that I've dented a few newer, nicer cars in the parking lots without realizing it and driving away. Ooops. And the sex in that thing, let me tell you. Four people can fit comfortably in this car, eight with lap usage. Try a threesome in the backseat of your car? ;-) She did me well. I kept her for a year before getting a 1991 Chevy Lumina Euro, also the second owner, and also did me good until this past summer when her little heart could take no more. Now I'm carless, but I see a 1995 Olds Cutlass Supreme in the near future (Thanks, Mom).

-- Lisa Mikus (, September 26, 2002.

My first real accomplishment was an '82 volkwagen rabbit. Ungly piss yellow, a large whole in both front floors, transmission fluid in the engine oil compartment, no radio, it smelled like shit, it got me my first license suspension for running a stop sign, (didn't pay ticket 'cause I was too damn poor), and I never got laid in it! But you know what, the most wonderful feeling i have ever felt besides the birth of my son and losing my virginity to a bisexual white girl from Louisiana was buying that car with my OWN money and sweat from my forhead. The feeling of buying your first car without the help of your F*$@#'n Mommy and Daddy is one of the most fullfilling experiences anyone can experience at 16. Thank god!!!! AA

-- Allen Alarcon (, May 27, 2004.

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