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First car stories

Updated on October 15, 2014
This photo was submitted to Wikimedia Commons by Beeblebrox5000. The summary described it as "My first car, a 1994 Volkswagen Polo 1.3 CL mk IIF hatchback."
This photo was submitted to Wikimedia Commons by Beeblebrox5000. The summary described it as "My first car, a 1994 Volkswagen Polo 1.3 CL mk IIF hatchback."

First-person accounts of first cars

A lot of people have a special place in their hearts for their first car. It brings a new kind of freedom and opportunity to one's life and represents the passage from childhood to adulthood.

This page gathers firsthand accounts of people's memories of that first car.

This photo was submitted to Wikimedia Commons by Beeblebrox5000. The summary described it as "My first car, a 1994 Volkswagen Polo 1.3 CL mk IIF hatchback."

The story of MY first car - Set the Wayback Machine to 1983

A friend of mine (she's German, just like the car!), leaning against my old Karmann Ghia. El Paso, Texas circa 1986
A friend of mine (she's German, just like the car!), leaning against my old Karmann Ghia. El Paso, Texas circa 1986

When I was 19 years old, I saw car ownership as a sign of maturity and responsibility. I had no desire for either. I had graduated early from high school, had my bachelor's degree, and was working an adult job, but not calling myself an adult. I considered it the best of both worlds, and I reveled in refusing to grow up.

But after a while, commuting from Carson to Redondo Beach on the bus became less and less bearable. I finally broke down and decided to buy a car (I literally broke down; I cried and everything).

I started scanning used car ads, and found one that looked attractive. A 1973 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.

I brought a friend along when I went to look at the car, partly because I needed transportation and partly because I still felt anxious about car shopping. We traveled down Hawthorne Blvd. in Alvin's brand new, air-conditioned Nissan, until we got to the place where the car was parked. There it sat alone on the street, it's body slightly dented, it's interior a bit worn. I fell in love immediately. I went through the purchasing process with the current owner, a surfer who was upgrading to hotter wheels, and Max was mine.

My friends had a wide range of reactions to Max. Some were intrigued by his exotic-sounding brand name and bright color. Others showed disdain for his less-than-perfect body (Alvin nicknamed him "Rusty"). But I didn't care. True love rises above the criticisms of others.

Being an early high school grad, I had never taken Driver's Ed. Buying Max put me in the situation of having a car but not a license to drive. He waited for me as I completed my lessons with Sears Driving School. After passing the test by the skin of my teeth, Max and I became a steady item. My real driver's education came in the succeeding months, driving home from work through the rush hour traffic on the streets of Redondo Beach, Gardena, Torrance, and Carson. Max served me faithfully all through my learning curve.

Having a car enriched my life in ways that I should have expected, but I hadn't. I started exploring the world around me. I discovered restaurants, museums, and bookstores that I had never known existed before. As the years went on, Max accompanied me through amazing adventures. We drove through the desert with no air conditioning, through (light) snow with no snow tires. Max was the perfect companion, never telling me that something couldn't be done.

His death was unexpected. One day he was experiencing some kind of little problem and stalled out (those things happen occasionally with a gentleman of his age). I was very close to my work at the time (I had changed jobs and was working very close to home), so I left him there and went on to work, planning to attend to him the next morning, a Saturday.

When I got to him in the morning, I was shocked to see that he had become a statistic, a crime victim. The front seat, back seat, and dashboard were burnt out. There was no damage to the engine. The police agreed that it looked like arson. The mystery of whodunit was never solved. I bid Max farewell and replaced him with a car that turned out to be an absolute dog, giving me nothing but grief.


Picked up from Twitter:

how many roads does a man walk down, before you can call him a man? hmmmmmmm hes a man when he buys his first car:)!

Others share their first car stories

Check out these first car stories and vote for your favorite! (You can click on each one to read the story.)

See results

"First Car Face-Off"! - Rate YOUR first car!

We want to hear about the first car you ever had. Did it serve you well, or was it a nightmare? Tell us about it in our "First Car Face-Off"!

Was your first car a good one or a bad one?

First car videos

There are a lot of these on YouTube. You can feel the excitement as people give us guided tours of their very first car.

The first car as a life lesson

A fond farewell to a first car

This is a goodbye video just before someone gets rid of their beloved first car.

Make your own first car video

Seth38101 on YouTube is inviting people to make their own first car videos to add to his list.

Books and music about first cars

My First Car
My First Car

Music download


Vroom! - Before you drive off, leave us a greeting!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great stories and I love these stories. I have created a blog about car stories that I would like to encourage people to leave stories on as well It is "cars and stories" on blogger and I look for any stories similar to these.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 8 years ago

      Great stories! Loved the videos especially.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

      Fun to read this one!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 8 years ago

      I love personal stories on Squidoo. To this day I still love my first car, it's the best car I ever had. Blessed by an Angel.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. My first car was a VW bug, but I later acquired my grandfather's 1964 Karmann Ghia, which my father and I restored. I wish I still had it, though it didn't even have seat belts! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • missbat profile image

      missbat 8 years ago

      I always wanted a Karmann Ghia when I was a kid. What a great story to make a lens for. Well done! :)

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Nice addition of the first-car Tweets!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      My first car was a Mini!! Up until I got it, all my other cars "belonged" to my husband or my Dad. Lovely idea for a lens Joan. SquidAngel Blessings for you!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Karmann Ghia Max Rocked!!

    • AlishaV profile image

      Alisha Vargas 8 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      Great topic for a lens! My first car was my ticket to freedom and adventure, and I certainly remember it well!

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Well, I think Max was a beauty!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      You're right, we do have a strong attachment to our first cars and our first taste of real freedom. Great lens!