I recently asked readers, via Facebook, to submit their "first car" stories. It is the second installment in this ongoing, reader-driven series. This was the original prompt: Do you remember your first car? Mine was what is now referred to as a "previously owned" 1969 Dodge Dart, with safety features that included a steering wheel that occasionally fell off at inopportune moments (such as when I was driving). I was 18 years old and loved every ugly brown inch of it, and was terribly proud when I put my purple " Kenyon College " sticker on its bumper. The car never made it as far as Ohio, but it lives on in my memory.
Please keep your stories and photos coming. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following reminiscence of cars long gone is from reader William Steward, of Norwalk.
My first car was a Volkswagen Fastback . I bought it sight-unseen in a Michigan bar. The owner had abandoned the vehicle on the highway and was looking for cash to get home. After consummating a deal for under $100, I hiked up the embankment to the highway and found the VW leaking fuel on the side of the road. I opened the trunk compartment to the engine (the hard part) and re-attached the gas line (the easy part). I drove it for over a year.
The car had its limits. The first time I tried to change a tire I used the car-supplied jack and attached it, as directed, midway on the side of the car. I cranked the jack up and, as expected, it lifted the middle of the car. Unexpectedly, the wheels didn't leave the ground. I stepped back to see the car had bent into a nice arch. Happily, it returned to "normal" when the jack was released. I became a fan of "How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive; A Manual of Step-By-Step Procedures for the Complete Idiot." I don't, however, miss the skinned knuckles "earned" while adjusting its valves.
I sold it to an unsuccessful boxer for $140, who, in turn, sold it for $300.
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