1. What was your first car? Model, year, color, condition?
The year was 1996 and I purchased a black 1977 Chevy Blazer. Its condition? It was over 200,000 miles, on its second engine, the guy I bought it from was no mechanic but he had remounted the gas tank after it fell off in a rear-end collision, it had no back seat left, and the driver’s side wheel well had rusted completely out. The previous owner laid a piece of plywood over the wheel to keep from getting hit in the head with mud and gravel as he drove. It got about 4 miles to the gallon and the automatic transmission’s linkage was so far off P was reverse, R was drive, and you couldn’t actually get it into ‘Park’ so I used a split log to chock the wheels if I had to park on any sort of incline for a long period of time. For short periods I just wedged a heavy-duty cardboard tube between the driver’s seat and the brake pedal. Oh, and the seatbelt mount had rusted completely out on the driver’s side. In fact the whole door frame was in dire need of repair.
It was a “fixer-upper” I guess.
2. What adventures did you have in it, good or bad?
Cripes, I could write a small book on this one, but the best story is that I acquired my 2nd vehicle after smashing into it with my 1st vehicle while exiting the student parking lot of our high school. I was in the wrong, I smashed into the car when somebody honked and I smacked the gas trying to get out of their way. My fault, I’ll pay for it. They gave me a repair bill for $1500. They only paid $500 for the car so I offered $500 to buy it. The father said the car was actually worth $1000 so I offered that up, went to the bank a few days later, got a cashier’s check, and showed up at their house. Suddenly the car was worth $1500. So I went back to the bank and got another $500 cashier’s check.
Not the smartest financial move in the world, seeing as how my legal liability was $0, but it only cost me a month’s worth the wages. Never lost any sleep over it and I can look myself in the mirror. Ya gotta wonder about the other guy though. Getting a 16 year old kid to pay you 3x what a car cost? Classy.
3. What happened to it, what’s the end of the story?
After about a year of service I drove it to the junkyard. During inspection the junkyard fellow asked how the heck I got it there. “I drove it here” was not the answer he was expecting seeing as how the driver’s side door wasn’t even closing anymore. I had to hold it in the whole way there. I got $50 for the heap. I paid $700 for it, but I got a lot of learning out of that thing with with all the repairs I learned how to do on it.