The first car I ever got to drive was my dad's 1976 International Scout II. It was really one of the earliest generation SUVs and I got to drive it around our country property. It had the IH V-345 engine and four wheel drive. It was a nice little truck, other than the mild Japanese steel that was used in the body that caused it to rust out into giant holes when less than 4 years old.
The car I learned to drive on the road with was also my father's, a 1979 Datsun 210 Sedan in lime green. Classy. 4 speed manual transmission and a 4 cylinder motor. By the time I got to it, she was in pretty poor shape. As a teenager, I knew it would be difficult to get laid or even look remotely cool in that ride, so I came to the conclusion that if I killed it, my Pa would have to replace it. So I road it down hills as fast as I could, which was about 84 miles an hour. Engine screaming transmission protesting I would beat that car as hard as I could. And I couldn't kill it. It just refused to die. In the mean time, my Uncle, who was on hard times, moved in with us. He let me drive his car, especially in the summer when he used his motorcycle exclusively.
It was a 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix Model J with a Pontiac 400, a four barrel carburetor, full posi-traction rear end and a Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission. This is the car I should have died in. By the time I got to it, it was 1987 and I took this 17 year old rusty monster on its questionable tires at speeds up to 140mph where it would start to shudder. I loved the feel and the smooth power of this GP. I embarrassed a 20 year old who had a new Camaro on the highway with this car. He must have had the six cylinder in the Camaro and decided to challenge me on the highway. I let him hold on for about a mile, then looked at him and waved. When he caught up with me later, his girlfriend was laughing her head off and he was red-faced and refused to look at me. I loved that old white GP. I was happy to hear that they guy my uncle sold it to later restored it to cherry condition. What a ride….not something a 17 year old should have been driving. After the GP, I bought my own first car.
A 1981 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Two-tone in Pastel Waxberry (yellow) and Metallic brown. I also started working for the local Chevrolet dealership in the parts department as a shipper and gopher. It had a v6 229 and was an absolute pig on the road. But I loved it. I had it repainted (same colors, clearly I am an idiot) and put Camaro wide track rally wheels on it. I also installed air-shocks in the rear so I could raise the back end of the car to give it a "cooler" feel. The air shocks (designed for cars that need to pull cargo and level the load) stiffened up the suspension quite a bit. That and the wide Camaro rims and widetrack tires made it corner pretty good for a '80s lead sled. I loved that car, regardless of all the work I had to put into it to keep it running. I put 20k a year on it for three years before replacing it because I just couldn't keep up on the maintenance and the 229 was pretty much spent. I loved this car and dream about it even today. Ain't memory stupid?
I replaced the Monte Carlo with a white 4-door 1987 Pontiac 6000. A reliable ride with a red interior, I was quickly not thrilled with it. It came with a LR8 TBI "Tech IV" 2.5 L engine. A reliable motor until it hit about 120,000 miles where they all died. Underpowered, shoddy and somewhat noise, the 6000 would be a car I kept throughout my early twenties, to be joined later by another 1987 6000LE in black with a LB6 MFI 2.8 L V6 later. The LE version of the car with the 6 cylinder was powerful and one of the most reliable cars I have ever had. I drove it until I had it taken away to the junk yard.
At the same time, I bought a used car for my girlfriend and now wife. A 1983 Nissan Sentra four door sedan in blue. I got it for 500 bucks because she needed a car. It had been in a hail storm and looked like the entire car was dimpled. Little did I know that I would end up driving this 5 speed manual car throughout the time we owned it while she drove the white 6000. It didn't want to run in the rain and probably had more little inconvient problems than almost any car I have ever owned. It took six tries to figure out why it didn't run when wet. Turns out the windshield leaked down through the dash and into the fuse block. Damndest thing. I sold it to a mechanically inclined buddy for three hundred bucks later.
There was a transitional car in there that I drove right before getting the black 6000LE. It was a free car I got from my wife's great grandmother, a 1978 Chevy Nova four door sedan with a straight six motor. It smelled of moth balls, road like a drunken clown car and required maintenance almost every day of the three weeks I owned it. I sold it to a mechanic and bought the 6000LE for my wife to drive. Later I traded the white 6000 in on a pickup truck.
A 1991 Chevrolet C/K pickup with the Silverado trim package in blue and white two-tone. Big Chevy 350 motor, 8 foot box, two wheel drive monster. I was proud as punch with this truck, but sadly it was one of the biggest pieces of shit I have ever owned. The 350 had plastic valve guides and it needed at top end engine rebuild before hitting 80,000 miles. The transmission fell out at 110,000 miles and it developed a serious case of cancer, despite good care of the body. I was proud of this truck, it was pretty the first couple of years. But at the end of the day, it is one of the worst vehicles I have ever owned.
These days I drive a big Dodge pickup truck, but the C/K was probably the last car I had any real emotional attachment to, so I'm gonna stop there.
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