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Why Your First Car Is So Memorable To You

Updated on April 14, 2012

Your First. Your Car.

My first car was a 1996 Plymouth Sundance. It was cherry red and I loved it! Thanks Peggy W for creating the discussion question, "What was your first car?" The question left me asking myself why exactly first cars are so memorable.

As a scrolled through the comments of several other HubPages readers who listed the exact years, makes, and models of their first cars, I realized I was not alone in the clearness of my own memories. I delved a little deeper into why your first car leaves such an impression in your mind.

That's me. My 1996 Plymouth Sundance. All mine.
That's me. My 1996 Plymouth Sundance. All mine. | Source

Freedom and Independence

Your first car represents freedom. You get behind the wheel and drive to wherever you want. You leave home whenever you want. Well, almost. If you still live at home, you may still have to abide by parental rules. You get the point.

If you took driving lessons, they now end. You no longer have to meet regularly with an instructor or drive a car with a billboard on the side of it and two wheels on the dashboard. If a family member or friend taught you to drive, you are now able to drive without him or her. What freedom!

If you were relying on public transit or rides from friends who already have their drivers' licenses to get you from point A to point B, those days are over! You now rely on your own car, your own piece of property.

A Great Accomplishment

Your first car is also memorable to you because it is a large accomplishment in your life. Whether you took driving lessons or were taught by someone you personally know you worked hard to learn have to safely drive your local roads. You invested time and energy practising parking, 3-point turns, and remembering what way to turn your wheels on a hill. (Don't worry; there will not be a quiz on these points).

You have earned the right to have that car. You are likely very proud of your accomplishment. The car therefore stands out in your mind as a milestone and a goal successfully reached. That is a key reason why your first car is so memorable to you.

As well, you now have responsibility. You must maintain the car, which includes completing any repairs, washing it, and regularly heading to the gas station. As you are likely young when you buy your first car, you may not have had many responsibilities prior to this point in your life. Taking on more responsibilities makes you stronger and is part of the transition to adulthood. A major stepping stone has occurred here for you!

My hands are positioned at 9 and 3. Both hands on the wheel, hey I learned that!
My hands are positioned at 9 and 3. Both hands on the wheel, hey I learned that! | Source

Car-Related Adventures

Your first car is likely also memorable for the adventures you had while you owned the vehicle. Some memories actually tie to the car. For example, I had a car crash in the snow while driving my Sundance. It was my first car crash (yes there have been others). It was a minor incident that slightly dented the front of my car yet whenever I think of car crashes I think of that first one. I remember the car. Significant memories relate to the first cars of many people.

As you were likely young when you got your first car, there may be other significant memories tied to your first car. As a late teen, you are transitioning to adulthood and learning a lot about your surroundings. Perhaps you remember driving around your friends to fun places or the first time you pulled up alone to a drive-in window at a fast food restaurant.

The car also provided you the opportunity to become really familiar with its features. You learned the way the car turned corners and how to park just right between the lines of the parking stall. You likely grew attached to your first car as you became so familiar with its "personality".

A good or a bad memory in the treasure chest?
A good or a bad memory in the treasure chest? | Source

Your Driving History

Perhaps you keep your first car in a treasured place within your memory as I do. Perhaps you despised your first car as it always broke down and was an embarrassment compared to your friend's vehicles. Either way, your first car is very memorable.

Your first car often represents your first form of responsibility and provides a significant step to becoming more mature. There is freedom and independence as you now drive alone.

Remember those times, but keep in mind that we live in the present.

Whether the car-related memories are good or bad, they have helped shape us into who we are today. Enjoy your present day and seize your current opportunities, whether they are car-related or not!

Do You...

Do You Remember Your First Car?

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      I have

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sounds fun Jane! I think we need to get back to those gas prices :) Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Jane Carroll 

      6 years ago

      My first car was a 1958 VW beetle...that still had some blue paint on was 1970! I was the only one of my group with a car and we had a ball in it...could go two weeks on $2 worth of I miss that car!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @gabriel, interesting how we want our cars to go to good homes! Well you can rest easy thinking you took good care of it. I also learned a lot from my first car.. and from here at HubPages too :)

      @Peanutritious, your car sounds like it had a fantastic look! Your raspberry milkshake pink car would have hit it off with my cherry red car :) We could have coasted the roads together - can you imagine?!

      @Stephanie, I love hearing stories like yours! What great memories of your Pontiac. Thanks for sharing!

      @Daisy, Mine was used as well but I loved it. Glad you have fond memories too. Thanks for the comment.

    • gabrielthomas72 profile image


      6 years ago from Shrewsbury, England

      I had a lovely 2 Litre Vauxhall Cavalier. It had been owned by an old lady and was immaculate, hardly any miles on the clock. Treated it with a lot of love and learned a lot of basic mechanics from it. When I eventually came to seelling it, a friend bought it off me and wrote it off within 2 weeks of owning it, I was mortified :-(

    • Peanutritious profile image

      Tara Carbery 

      6 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Ah, my first car. A raspberry milkshake pink VW Beetle with white wheel trims. I loved it! It used to backfire though. I had to sell it when I failed my driving test and couldn't afford to take the test again. I did drive it to college once or twice in a fit of rebellion before I sold it though. I put it down to being a bit of a silly 17 year old!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      I love reminiscing about my first car - a very ugly green 1949 Pontiac stick shift! It was old and had a ton of miles on it. It burned oil in a black cloud, had frequent flat tires; once I lost the brakes coming down a hill! But I have so many fond memories of my first car! Thanks for a fun hub!

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 

      6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      What a fun Hub! Thanks for bring back memories of one of my first cars, an orange Mercury Capri...used, with lots of miles on it, but it was mine.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Anil and Honey, funny how our memories of our first car stays in our minds. Thanks for taking a read.

      @lovedoctor926, Sounds like you had rules to follow! Your mom must be wise as she has raised a wonderful woman like you :) Thanks for sharing your experience - my first car was red too - yes we're similar in many ways!

      @dwachira, Quite right! The first car represents so many milestones. Thanks for the comment.

    • Anil and Honey profile image


      6 years ago from Kerala

      I remember my first car. that was my teacher of driving.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love this hub. My parents bought me my first car at 17 years old. I had already graduated from high school and had three more months before I turned 18 years old. My first car was a red Honda civic sports coupe with moon roof. I was so excited, but I was only allowed to drive during the day and wasn't allowed to drive any friends around. In my case, I didn't have too much freedom. All my friends were crazy drivers. I was the most responsible driver in the group and yet my mother preferred me to carpool with other people. I never understood why. I really enjoyed this hub.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 

      6 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      All those hustles one goes through trying to make the ends meet saving for the first car, who can forget? they make the memory of the first car unique and worthy.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @John, I'm glad you connected with the hub! Yes the first car has a special place in many of our hearts. Car payments can sure be expensive can't they... Thanks for the comment and vote!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Christy, this is a very nice hub. I love cars myself and have written a few articles about them. My first car was a green 1979 Mercury Marquis - green is one of my favorte colors. It was special to me, because, I've always loved big cars. It was nothing - I mean nothing next to the car I currently own, but it was paid for, which is more than I can say for my current $880.00 a month car payment....

      Voted up


    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Nomascus, thanks for the great comment! You should be proud of your purchase, that's great! I hope to entertain you with more hubs :)

    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 

      6 years ago from A Country called Earth

      Nice hub! I definitely relate to this as I cannot even choose to get rid of my first car - I think the only way for me to get rid of it is if the MOT is more expensive than a new car. It represents freedom and I am proud that I paid for it myself. Thanks! look forward to read more of your hubs!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Eddy, thanks for stopping by to comment and follow. I am now following you too :) The feedback is great, it is appreciated!

      @Tanvir, You still shared your viewpoint and that is a great contribution!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A great hub and thanks for sharing, I now look forward to so many more from you.

      Take care


    • profile image

      Tanvir Alam 

      6 years ago

      Can't share anything. Have no car :(

      anyway nicely written. I would be feeling like that :) Stay well.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @molometer, our first cars do seem to teach us a thing or two... I hope you wound up with a better model for you in the end!

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      My first car was an old Ford Capri. Not the new 70's shape either lol.

      I owed it for 20 minutes. It was a wreck and I took it back pronto.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Rolly, it sounds like you have a knack for fixing up cars. You are a speed demon! Thanks for stopping by and for the hugs :)

      @alipuckett, Yikes, well at least you learned your lesson about red lights and slowing down. Thanks for sharing your story and taking a read!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @Peggy, Thanks for stopping by to comment and share too. I enjoyed writing a hub in response to your intriguing question :) It sounds like you have nice memories of your car.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      6 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Christy... Great hub and interesting as I was just thinking about the other day. It was a classic and of course being a speed freak it would not go fast enough. I did what they said would be impossible and dropped a large engine into it and satisfied my need for speed until I built the next and the next...

      Hus from Alberta

    • alipuckett profile image


      6 years ago

      I remember my first car, because I totaled it 7 days after I got it (and my license). I plowed into another car at a stop light, which hit the car in front of it too! No one was hurt... except for my ears bleeding with the sound of my parents yelling at me. Ah, the folly of youth.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      My first new car was after I started my nursing career and it was a lovely Pontiac. Ahh...the good old days! My dad negotiated the deal for me which was nice. Thanks for answering my question with a hub. Nice job! Voted up and interesting. Will also share this hub with my followers.

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Awe, Emily your poor little black Jetta. I don't blame you for being sucked in to it, when it's the first car looks are pretty important! And think how much you learned from the experience. Thanks for your compliments and for the share of your own vehicle :)

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @billybuc, Okay I'm off to read it now :)

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @marc, I like Honda Civics, they are a classic type of car. Yours sounds like it was a sporty ride... well until it blew out!

    • emilybee profile image


      6 years ago

      Ahhh, first car memories. My first car lasted about a week. It was tragic. I was so sad..I felt like my heart was ripped out. I bought a car on Craigslist. Bad move on my part. Everything imaginable was wrong with my little black Volkswagen Jetta but it looked SO FLAWLESS and beautiful on the outside. I was suckered into the car by its gorgeous looks and how clean it was. We were totally scammed. You've got me thinking about my little Jetta now :) I think I might go write about it sometime. Very enjoyable hub and very thought provoking, too.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christy, go visit my new are in it!

    • Marc Babineau profile image

      Marc Babineau 

      6 years ago from Cornwall, Ontario, The Seaway City

      Mine was a 78 Honda Civic with Pirelli tires and a 5-speed tranny - it flew, until the engine blew!

    • ChristyWrites profile imageAUTHOR

      Christy Birmingham 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      @billybuc, Oooh that car would likely be worth a good amount! Let's go find it and restore it for you :) Thank-you my friend for the compliments.

      @Pamela, Freedom behind a steering wheel, as a youth there is little to compare to the feeling. Thanks for the vote.

      @teaches, Awe, your VW bug sounds great. You have great memories associated with the car, I can tell! Thanks for your comment and share with me.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A 1969 Chevy Camaro and I absolutely loved that car. Sigh! Wonder what it would be worth today? Great hub my friend; thanks for the memories!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I felt exactly like you with my first car. Freedom and yes I earned my car also. It was a responsibility but I sure loved it. Interesting hub. Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I agree with you analysis that it's the freedom and rights you earned to drive that makes it so memorable. It is an exciting event for sure. I remember my old blue VW bug, it was my first step into freedom. It was great to be able to drive down somewhere all alone. Independence! Enjoyed your hub, great write up on this one!


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