Your first car? / Car history?

What was your first car?

To learn on? To drive? To own? (**note pics are from google, not my actual cars)

I learnt on my dad’s '84 BMW 318i stick shift. Dunno how many times I stalled going up and down the block.

Then I first had access to my mom’s 87 (I think) 740 Volvo that I kinda wrecked the headliner of transporting wood to build a stage for the high school fashion show I was Creative Director of.

Got the bimmer in University and drove it until the paint tranny and more failed. and had to prop up the driver’s seat with a PVC pipe to keep it from reclining… I repainted the roundel in the design studio shop I was interning in and while masking took off some clear c0at…

First car I bought (leased) was a circa 98 New Beetle, Snot Green.

First car I really bought (cash) was a 69 MB 250…

(my actual car)

Then a 328xi coupe

Now onto another classic, '87 535i

Stories, pics, welcome!


Learned to drive on, and later inherited Volvo 440 GL -89

About 1 month after I moved to a bigger city, someone tried to steal it. They didn’t succeed but managed to do so much damage that the insurance company didn’t want to fix it, and just gave me about $1000 to destroy the car instead. That’s what you get for paying insurance for 19 years.

I needed a car to get to work, so I instantly used the $1000 to buy a newer version of same car. Volvo 460 -95.

It lasted me 2 years, and I managed to sell it for $700 the same day I bought my “real” first car that I actually wanted to have: Audi A3 -05

(google pics, not my actual cars, although I had those same colors)

Learned to drive in an 89 Nissan Maxima

and a 94 Olds Aurora (with the “autobahn package”!)

First car was a 95 Pontiac Grand Am. 2 Door V6, Purple. Ladykiller.

Next up (and most favorite)

1997 Audi A4 Quattro Turbo. Still wish I wouldn’t have sold it.

Then on to a 2004 Mazda3 5-Door - Electric Blue.

Sold that to buy an engagement ring…

Now I have a wife, 2 kids and un-fun automobiles. Story of my life.

Got my first driving lessons when I was a kid with this IZ 2715. Dad still has it, altough it hasn`t been driven in 10 years.
Sits in the garage in the country.

At the same time we also had a Moskvich 412 that I got to practice with in the country roads. This one is long gone now.

Then it was this Mitsubishi Lancer, also dads car. Used it alot after I got my DL.

And then bought my own car, the 320i:

*The pics are not of the actual cars, but similar ones found from the net.

Wow you guys love your German cars lol
First car was 1995 Ford Escort had for 2 years

1995 Mazda Mx-3 Still have it

Now 2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Oh come on guys, this is really dull. This is the equivalent of looking at girls in American malls who dress exactly like their mothers.

I’m no car guy, (although I’ve totaled three in my time…) but you seem to driving the stodgy stuff your parents would park in a suburban driveway.

Well I`m going to buy my dream car Lamborgini Diablo as soon as all my million dollar ideas take off :laughing:

But in all seriousness, many of the old exotic cars that can be aquired for cheap are not at all cheap to maintain.
Keeping a more reliable daily driver is sometimes just common sense.

What are you driving these days?

PS for the 6300 dollars I paid for my Mx-3 it’s an amazing car and extremely fun to drive. To me that’s greater than any 50 grand BMW which you won’t be able to afford to fix in repairs after you drive it 80k.

Bought this 1981 Fiat X19 when I was 17 for about $3800 (Canadian$)
Had it until I was about 20 (pre-design school)
The (now recognized as terrible) plastic hubcaps were added as the originals were missing. At the time I of course thought they were totally bad-ass.
At this point in my life I had no clue what industrial design was - however in retrospect, my choice of a sunset timed shot to get the best color on my washed-out paint job and turning the front wheels 3/4 probably mark my humble beginnings as a designer. :slight_smile:

I miss this car!

Not a car guy? Why bother reading this thread, let alone replying to it? If you want to share something, share something relevant to the discussion, or say nothing at all. You are not required to comment.

First Car from the parents: 1989 Chrysler New Yorker, broken air suspension, dragged ass around town. Plushest leather seats

First purchased car: '02 Sentra Spec-V

Handed down when my father passed away: 1973 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (Blue one), sold in '07 when I graduated, didn’t have the money or space to keep it running.

'08 Acura TL Type-S purchased after getting my first job. My current and only car.

'01 Corvette - Purchased in '09, sold in '09. Tons of fun (525+ horsepower) but insanely unreliable and sold it to help pay for an engagement ring.

First car: 1986 Ford Taurus Wagon. $2k at the time, pretty bombproof and cheap to repair. A lot of fun during Vermont winters with snows on the front wheels only (that whale tail would pass you if you weren’t careful). I’m still a wagon-loving freak:

Second car (my first independent purchase): 1993 Subaru Legacy Sport. My first turbo, first manual transmission :slight_smile: A lot of car- probably overpaid, but rare and it went like stink (WRXs weren’t available in the US yet):

Third (first bought new): 2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege. Horrible color, but got $5k off sticker because of it. Fast, fun, and a bit silly. No cruise control (!). Doesn’t match my personality, so didn’t last long…

Fourth: 2005 Saab 9-2x Aero. Cheaper than a WRX, better dealer service, too. GM were throwing money at consumers to get these off the lot at one point, so I bit. Tuned it a bit, drove it like an arse at times, got horrific mileage for the most part. The seats weren’t very comfortable either- the main reason I sold (plenty of 5-7 hour drives out here in the desert):

Current: 2007 Saab 9-3 SportCombi 2.0T. Everything I need. Peppy turbo’d engine, manual transmission, enough room to throw my road bike in the back with both wheels on, mountain bike with front wheel removed. 30mpg @ 80mph. Cheap to insure. 40k miles and fewer issues than the Mazdaspeed or Saabaru. Fell off the truck on its way to me from Salt Lake City. Frightening depreciation, though:

Just for fun: We lifted my girlfriend’s 2005 Subaru Outback Sport (Impreza). 9.5in of ground clearance with Forester springs and wheels. :smiley: Surprisingly capable on moderately nasty dirt roads:

My second car was a 1990 SAAB 900 SPG (turbo), modified to Hell and back, won some awards at car shows… really got me interested in Industrial Design. The car had whatever you can think of… boost controller, big upgraded turbo, homemade water/alcohol injection, huge 3" thick FMIC, cold air intake, 3" downpipe to tail exhaust system, upgraded fuel system, etc, etc. Wish I never sold it. Pictures are of my actual car when I owned it. (First car was a 1989 SAAB 900 S, non-turbo).

(current owner took this photo of the engine, I sold the car back in 2006ish)

Does anyone remember the scene from Dances with Wolves, near the end where, in near panic, Kicking Bird (Grant Greene) is rampaging around the tepee because he can’t find his cherished pipe to trade with Lt. Dunbar (Costner)?

Well, that’s been me all afternoon looking for my old photo album that contains the original photos of virtually every car I’ve ever owned… .

Got to be the most obscure movie reference/real life comparison I’ve ever seen.

And yes, I know exactly what scene you’re talking about.

I’m not going to spend the time to scan photos of my first 4 cars, but here’s my car history.

1984 VW Rabbit GTI (faded Red)

1987 Toyota Corolla FX-16 GT-S (Really Red)

It had an awesomely 80’s interior

1989 Toyota MR2 NA (Really Really RED)

1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo T-Bar (white, almost exact as shown, different brand 5-star wheels)

2003 VW 20th AE GTI (actual car shown)

2008 VW .:R32 (actual car shown)

Not a bad car in the bunch IMO. I’m torn between the 87 MR2 and the 20th AE GTI for my favorite. The .:R is a clutch pedal away from being perfect.

oh yeah.

Learned how to drive stick in this 84 or 85 4Runner 4x4

93 Firebird Formula V8 AT was the other car I drove during the learners permit days

The one, and only, car I’ve ever owned is a Citroen Ami 8. Lovely car, great memories, but unfortunately my grand plans of restoration never materialised and I lost a bundle of money on it. Lived and learned while enjoying the show.

You guys have had some nice rides!

Below is my history, the good, the bad, and the UGLY! I wasn’t always glamourous you know :wink:
Here is the honest truth.
I learned to drive on a 1991 Mitsubishi Diamante. I loved that car. The cool thing was I was turning 16 when my Mom bought it, so I knew I would be learning to drive on that car. She wanted a Lexus 300 ES, but I persuaded her to get the Diamante because it had the Mitsubishi 3000GT’s v6 in it! Thought i didn’t tell her that. It also had a killer stereo in it, where you would tell it how many people where in the car and it would adjust the sweet spot of the speakers. It also had an aux line into the stereo so I could connect my Discman. It was pretty pimp on a date… even though it was an automatic transmission. I also loved the knock off BMW 5 series look to the front end at the time. Ours was white with the same LS trim as above.
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It went decidedly down hill from there! In college I bought my grandfather’s 1989 Buick Somerset Regal for $1 (it was one dollar, and in good shape). Check out this beauty. Mine was the same, but a grey interior. Digital instrument panel. Super odd center stack, nearly vertical rear window, and probably one of the ugliest front end’s ever! It was a total POS, but something about it was fun to throw around the road. The radio ate a cassette and would not eject it, even after removing the front of the radio and fiddling around, so I kept a giant ghetto blaster in the car. Problem solved… I hated that thing! It is so god awful, that it is kind of awesome.
I wish I could say it got better… maybe it did, but not by much. For some reason after the sweet Diamante my Mom bought a 1996 Pontiac Sunfire. Black just like this one. I think she thought it was little and cute. After a couple of years she was done to it and she gave it to me… and it needed constant fixing. I remember once I pushed the door unlock button and the switch pushed right into the door and fell to the bottom. As much as I hated it, it was pretty good for a 90’s GM. The sculpting was decent, and at least GM remembered how to make curved glass at that point. It was black with a 5 speed… I had to take the entire door panel a part to fix it! I kept it for about 3 years and then…
I got married in the year 2000. My wife and I both liked cars and we wanted to buy one together to replace my Sunfire. We had a pretty limited budget, I set the cap at 25k all in. Kristina really wanted a new car because she didn’t want me getting stuck on my commute of about 30 miles, in the New England winter… we lived in Connecticut at the time. We test drove a New Beetle, a Mazda Protege 5, a Toyota Celica, a Ford Focus, a Mercury Cougar… and a the Toyota MR-2 which had just come out. Tiny, rear engined, rear wheel drive, with barely enough storage space for a laptop bag. After a few days of haggling with dealers, I was able to get the price knocked down from 25k not including the taxed to 22k all in (it was the middle of January in New England, I told the guy, hey you can sit on this thing for 3-4 months and maybe get your full 25k, or sell it to me now!)… it was horrible in the snow, really non functional, but we loved that car and loved that our first ride was so impractical. Ours was just like this one. we bought it in erly January, snow was on the ground, but we drove home with the top down! :wink:

The MR-2 was great, but man was it small. We couldn’t really take it on road trips because Kristina would end up having to have a duffle bag on her lap. It was great on the back roads, but it was so light that on the highway it felt like driving a go cart. This got bad once we moved to Oregon where the big highways have tractor trailer ruts. I also liked to turn in pretty hard and lost the back end a couple of times… I like to have fun when I drive… It would get a little funny above 80MPH and of course I insisted on going 90-100, at least sometimes, when I thought I could get away with it… it also seemed to have zero sound insulation. but it was fun to hear the motor behind you. It had a horrible radio, but I never used it much anyway.

Back in 1998, Kristina and I went to the New York auto show. The Audi TT concept car was on display then. I remember Kristina just loving the spider. I told her that car would never come out because it was way to designery and simple. She told me that she thought it would go to production, and that we would own it. As usual, she was right on both counts. We wanted something with a little more room than the MR2, and a little more civility. I was done with pretending to be a boy racer.

I had kept my eye on for a used TT, and in 2005 I spotted a 2001 spider, dark grey with the baseball glove interior, just like the concept car. Even better it had low miles and Quattro with the HO turbo motor, which was a rare set up on the original spider. I went over on lunch and test drove it, then started haggling. We went back and forth for about 2-3 weeks, and I surprised Kristina by pulling into the dealership on a Saturday. I showed her the car, and said that if she drove it and liked it, it was ours… we left that day with the car.

These are some shots of it in our driveway when we lived in Oregon. There are so many nice details to this thing. The way the seat heater switches pop out and turn, the way the HVAC looks analog but it digital, the solid chunks of aluminum that are the radio cover, shift gate bezel, steering wheel trim, glove box door handle, and air vent bezels… it feels like it was made for me. I just wish I didn’t have such a wondering eye. I could easily own 5-6 cars all used under 30g’s each.


sorry for such an homage… :wink: