Roving Reporter: First CarsBy Sharon Brown (Sharon) on August 14, 2011
|We asked this question: "Tell us all about the first car you ever owned." I didn't realize the answers would bring with them memories, but I should have known. It brought memories for me, too.|
My first very own car was a sparkling brand new 1964 Prairie Bronze Mustang. I loved that car, the interior was the exact same color as the exterior and since the sun was my best friend at that time, I was about the same color as the car. I was teaching in Louisville in those days and I remember my high school students standing in the parking lot admiring my car. A car like that marked me as a very cool teacher! I was barely 21, what did I know about teaching? I just wanted to be cool!
My parents never gave me a car, I had to buy my own. Since it was my money, I didn't let anybody influence me; the choice was all mine. I had a scholarship for college and I lived on campus. I had worked for years, had done without a car and saved my money. I graduated college in 1964, the year the Mustang was born. I had to have that car!
That gorgeous bronze Mustang; not only was it a guy magnet, but it also was a cop magnet. I remember getting stopped a few times on Watterson Expressway, but since I only remember getting one speeding ticket, I think mostly they just wanted to get a good look at my car. That car took me lots of places and it piled on the miles. It was eventually replaced by one more Mustang, this one was Candy Apple Red with a black vinyl top and red leather interior. Oh boy! That car was hot! My students loved it too. And so did the cops!
My favorite car of all time belonged to my high school sweetheart. I'm going to tell you all about it, that 1958 cream-colored Chevy Impala complete with continental kit on the back. But before I do, let's read about some of your first cars . . . and the memories that go with them.
The first car I owned, paying it with the settlement of my divorce, was a 1991 Dodge Caravan. In that car I traveled the length of California, into Utah, the Dakotas and Idaho before making my first trip to Kentucky.
My first vehicle was a Chevy Citation hatchback bought right after I got out of college. This was overall a wonderful car purchased for about $3000, used of course. It had front end drive, which gave it better traction than many other vehicles. At the time, I lived in upstate New York where there was a fair amount of snow, and while other people's newer and more expensive vehicles would bog down, I would drive this thing through snowplow piles and snow up to a foot deep. It was always fun to have my cheap ugly car plow through where most others got stuck. I think I even jump-started other vehicles every once in a while.
Having grown up driving my parents '68 wagon, the 1985 Dodge Daytona really caught my eye. I wasn't too wild about the idea that it was a 4-cylinder but this had something new; EFI ~ electronic fuel injection. That was just what my heavy foot needed.
My first car was wonderful! It was a 1957 Volvo - white. It cost $150 and I'd begged my Dad for the money to buy it! LOL
Technically speaking, I don't know if I actually owned the car, but my father claimed he bought it for me. You see, my father never outgrew his teenage "hot rodder" stage once he became an adult.
Thank you all for sharing your first cars and your memories with us. Aren't memories fun?
Now as I promised, I'll tell you the story of the first car that ever really caught my eye and still to this day makes my heart flip.
It was late summer of 1959 and I was in American History class with a young man who sat behind me. He was absolutely the most handsome young man I'd ever seen as I watched him beneath lowered lashes make his way past my desk to his seat. I thought he might surely hear the thumping of my heart, it was so loud.
He was driving an old Buick at that time and I wasn't very impressed with the car obviously since I don't even remember its color, but I was quite taken with him. I'd watch for his car to drive up my narrow dirt road as he came to pick me up for a movie. One day, it wasn't the Buick that drove up that road, it was a gorgeous cream colored 1958 Chevy Impala. It looked to be a mile long with that continental kit on the back, but oh boy, it was one hunk of a car, driven by my handsome hunk of a man.
It was automatic, which suited me just fine, since he could drive it easily with only one arm; his other arm was, of course, around me. He had a stereo installed soon after he got it and we must have echoed all over the mountains as we drove that Impala listening to Elvis sing "Now and Then There's a Fool Such as I"; the Drifters' "There Goes My Baby"; and Brenda Lee's "Sweet Nothings".
It was our hideaway, that car, it cocooned us, kept the world at bay and we went everywhere in it. He was a musician, my guy, played a trumpet with a sound that my heart can still hear. Except for the trumpet that had a prominent place in the back seat, the Impala belonged only to us. I don't think anybody else ever rode in that car.
We rode all over the mountains of southeast Kentucky through '59 and on into 1960 in the cream colored Impala. It was time for our senior prom and my dress was selected to perfectly match the Impala. My guy gave me red roses and we danced the night away with the rest of the crowd, but when it was over, we were back in our car. The songs that year were those that linger even now, and we listened to all of them: The Drifters and "Save the Last Dance for Me"; Elvis and "Are You Lonesome Tonight"; and Sam Cooke's " It's a Wonderful World". I think our all time favorite was Al Hibbler's "Unchained Melody", or maybe it might be The Platters singing "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". We must have listened to those songs thousands of times and sometimes he sang them to me.
The cream colored Impala with the continental kit on the back, the amazing stereo on the dash, and my incredibly handsome best friend boyfriend, carried us through 1960 and into '61. We parted then, my guy and I, college and life separated us. But we carried with us beautiful memories, memories that have lasted a lifetime, memories that were made in that wonderful 1958 cream colored Chevy Impala. It still visits my dreams sometimes.
If you'd like to hear music from those years, you might enjoy this.
Now we'd like to hear about your first or most favorite car and the memories that go with it. Please tell us in the comment threads that follow this article.
Thanks for joining us, come back again next week for another edition of Spotlight.
(If you'd like to see a continental kit on the back of a 1958 Chevy Impala, please go here and scroll down. You can't miss it!)
|cars, interviews, vintage cars|
|I am a retired Art and Humanities teacher living in western Kentucky. I love writing and art with equal measure, but I also have a passion for nature and plants.|
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