Monday, August 15, 2005

Rollin in my 5.0 3.8

I was going to do another pseudo-weekend recap, including my missing the cut at the PGA Championship Friday, then shaving my head and filling in for Paul Shaffer while he attended the Pamela Anderson roast. (I turned that mutha out!) But, it didn't seem all that exciting. I had a conversation yesterday about parents buying cars for their 30-year-old "kids", which led me to think about my first car. I already posted briefly about the cars I've had last March, but this will be a little more detailed.

Venture back to 1989, a time of stone-washed jeans and denim jackets. Virtually every girl at my high school had a perm. The favorite request on the late night dedication shows was "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison. And I had just discovered Milli Vanilli and New Kids On The Block.

In February, I turned 16, and my parents decided that I would get Mom's car and she would get something newer. So there it was, a black 1980 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. And it was all mine. Sure, it had a few miles on it. How many, I'm not really sure because the speedometer had already broken. But I knew it had power. A 3.8L V-6 under the hood. (Parental warning: I don't recommend giving your children this much power when they're 16.) Vinyl seats. Wire wheel covers. Stop drooling.

Sure, there were a couple of quirks, as there are bound to be with any old classic car. There was a slight hesitation problem with the accelerator. It did not exactly have the lightning fast response one would hope for. It took a little sputtering and three or four seconds before those 229 cubic inches would kick in. It also featured the always popular AM/FM radio with the cassette player which only had fast forward, no rewind. So I would have to flip the tape over and try to guess at how long to fast forward it if I wanted to listen to a song again. What genius came up with this brilliant cost-cutting brainstorm? How much extra does it cost to put a simple rewind button on there? Anyway, last, but not least, for some reason the car would not stop running for a few seconds (or a minute) when the ignition was turned off. I remember many days pulling up to the Piggly Wiggly (my first job), turning off the car, taking out the keys, and getting nearly to the door before it would completely cut off. Funny thing was, when I would start it back up and back out, it would go dead if I didn't jam it from reverse into drive and give it gas in less than 0.4 seconds.

There were good things about her, though. The cloth interior had come loose from the ceiling and hung fairly low. So, if I rolled the windows down (which I often did since the air didn't work), the wind would give it this super-cool rippling effect. You might be surprised at how much attention this drew around town. Oooooh yeah! Everyone wanted to get a look at Bone and his sweet ride.

Anyhow, I drove the MC for a few months. Oddly, I never had a date in that car. Now that's weird. Working at Piggly Wiggly (where my uniform consisted of a brown smock over a button-down shirt and one of those 80's solid colored nylon ties) and driving that marvel of modern machinery, one would think the ladies would be all over me. (GW Bush voice:)I guess I must have been too fast for 'em. Heh. Couldn't catch me. Heh.

Nope, the first official one-on-one-pick-her-up-take-her-out-and-bring-her-home date did not occur until I landed my next ride. A 1984 baby blue Ford Escort, with sport stripes down the side and black louvers on the back window. Went out with the algebra teacher's daughter. But alas, that's another story for another day.

So, what was your first car?

"Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money. Boys will laugh at girls if they're not funny..."


  1. Great descriptions! I've been there - done that with the tape player without rewind and with the rippling in the wind header. My first car was a 1971 Dodge Dart - metallic green. It had vinyl seats that I covered with beach towels because, you know what? They burned my legs in the heat during the summer!

    It had over a 175K miles on it since it was my parents car before I got a hold of it. It didn't have FM radio or a cassette player until much later on in my possession of it. The knob on the drivers side window fell off and exposed a three inch long screw - which one day when I was in a hurry - I sliced my knee open with. I still have the scar.

    I bought a newer car (a 1985 Pontiac SunFire) when the headlights on the Dart kept going out. I'd be driving home late at night and all of a sudden, no lights. Very scary! It happened to me probably about 3 times, and then one night it happened when my parents had borrowed the car for a short trip. They drove me to a dealership the next day.

    Great entry and question!

  2. An I-don't-know-the-year Chevy Cavalier. My dad bought it for $200 at an auto auction. Had a guy of his fix it up and get it running. It didn't even run for a year. But this was good.

    Because the extra car in the driveway was a candy-apple-red Mazda RX-7, 5-speed (with overdrive), Turbo II engine. Imagine a hot(?) 17 year old girl in this performance machine...oh yeah. I was smokin'! :P

    Then, after graduation, I didn't get to take the it was back to junkers for me. Some old, silver Honda Civic with A/C that would only work on the freeway. At stops it would overheat in a matter of minutes if I kept the cold air cranked. :(

  3. I love your blog...

    My first car was a 1984 Volvo 240 GL. I loved loved loved that car. It was a trooper. I hit a toilet in it (another story for another day), and she kept on keepin on.

  4. Great post - Bone!

    Mine was a 1986 Pontiac Fiero. :) It was already 12 years old when I swooped it up, though. Slammed a couple of perverted bumper stickers on the back - put my little blonde self inside - and we were good to go. Only a two seater, though - all too many occassions that one friend sat passenger and another sat between their legs on the floor - oh so legal.

    Good times, noodle salad.

  5. I had a 1984, dark blue, Honda Prelude. I miss the sunroof! I loved that car. It was fast and fast cars are not a good thing for me to have. I had my Greenpeace, Peta and Amnesty International stickers on the back bumper. I distinctly remember putting a kitchen knife in the tape player for one reason or another. That car taught me how to eat, smoke and drive a stick shift all at the same time!

    I love that the ceiling material in your car fell. My friend had a car like that...hilarious!

  6. My first car was a 1983 Jeep Wagoneer. It was often called "Woody" for the wood trim on the inside and outside.

  7. cindy: A 1971 Dodge Dart? I think you may have us all beat :-)

    lass: It wasn't an '85 Cavalier, was it? Because I had one and it might have been worth $200 when I got rid of it. Hmm, a red RX-7... hot!

    oc girl: You hit a toilet? I can only imagine... no, actually, I can't even imagine.

    robyn: I used to love those little Fieros! Cool.

    carnealian: Love the kitchen knife comment. I didn't learn to drive a stick until I was like 21.

    lindsy: How many people would fit in that thing?

    Great comments, all! I think I feel a special kinship with you people now :-)

  8. Oh no. It wasn't as new as an '85. Let's see...I got it my Sophmore year. That was 1990? It was at least 7 or 8 years old. So maybe an '81 or '82? Is my math right on that? I know cars do the whole one year up thing...

  9. Stand back...

    1972 VW Squareback... the old VW station wagon. Vinyl interior, FACTORY sunroof, no A/C.

  10. im still driving my first car ever!!! hehe. 1995 Chevy Corsica, with about 160,000 miles on it. Just praying that it lasts for a couple more sister's first vehicle is much cooler. my dad and her fixed up a 1966 Chevy Pick Up. Its kinda beautiful. Too bad I dont know a thing about cars.

    great post though. yeah, my high school (and summer college) job was at the local DQ. dont know why the guys werent all over

  11. oh, the radio doesnt work very well, and it doesnt have a cd player or anything. forgot to add. but it gets from point A to point B with grace

  12. OK, we have to race the 72 VW Wagon and the 71 Dodge Dart. It'll be sorta like Grease, except not really.

    Crys: Yeah, my little sister always got better cars than me. I dated a girl who worked at a DQ!!! Two, actually :-) Not at the same time.

  13. My first car was a 1984 Mazda Protege, with a sun roof. Oh yeah, don't be jealous! It was dark maroon, and in order to actually GO after stopping at a stop sign..I'd have to floor it...and after about 5 would go, HAHA. I had it for almost 2 years, and I bought it parents NEVER bought me anything like that haha.

    It used to quit on me when I'd slow down to take a I had several times I was stranded by the local graveyard.. Creepy, yes.

  14. That's not bad. Sun roof. Look at you!! Stranded by the graveyard, huh? Is that kinda like running out of gas "by accident"? ;-)

    I think I'm going to link to your other blog. This LJ "friends only" thing is for the birds.