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Try to Remember Your First Car

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

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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