My First Car


Linking up to Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop today. The prompt I chose is to write about my first car (thus the title of today’s post).

As my high school graduation neared, my mom offered to put a down payment on a car for me once I found a job.  I wasted no time getting that done. The car we found was a (used) 1964 Mustang,  yellow with black interior. I entered the world of car payments, car insurance and car maintenance.

Oh, and this Mustang also had a manual transmission: 3- speed in the floor. On the day I was to take possession of MY car, a co-worker dropped me off at the dealership after work. For some reason, I thought I knew how to drive a straight shift. Although I really can’t remember why I would have thought so. And attempting to drive MY car away from the dealership only reinforced my inability.

But I huck-a-bucked on home and practiced until I perfected driving a straight shift. And once you learn to “drive a stick”, you never forget.

I was very proud of my little car. Unpleasant memories of my Mustang include backing into a tree in our yard (no damage to the car).  But it gave my mom a chance to teach me a lesson: no matter where you’re backing up, there’s ALWAYS, at some point,  going to be something to stop you.

I also forgot to check the oil regularly, but thankfully figured out that problem before any damage was done to the engine. Another lesson from mom: it’s more important to keep check on the oil than the gas. You can’t drive a car when the gas tank is empty, but you can drive it with too little oil. And do lots of damage.

But there were fun times and good memories with my Mustang.  Those were the days of Maggie May on the radio, and 8-track tapes (for me, it was Three Dog Night, Neil Diamond, The Grass Roots) if you were lucky enough to have a tape player in your vehicle.

I traded in the Mustang a few years later on my dream car: a (used) 1969 Chevelle. But that’s a blog post for the day that Mama Kat’s prompt is “My Second Car”.

Mama’s Losin’ It


24 responses to “My First Car

  1. Oh my goodness, I LOVE it!!! I still would love a ’64 yellow Mustang, and may take that over a ’94, really 😉 And a ’69 Chevelle? Also a beautiful car. Cute picture! My friend taught me to drive a stick in his Mustang years ago and I still have dreams my skills are put to the test. Such a fun post.

  2. I remember how proud you were of that car. Driving 12 miles home in a stick-shift when you’d never driven one before was a real accomplishment.
    I have no idea why I thought your second car was a Camaro?!!! At least, Chevelles and Camaros are both made by Chevrolet! Unlike you and John, I’m not that car-savvy!!

  3. Oh wow, I can’t even remember the last time when we put oil into our cars. I really miss those full service gas stations! Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Great post! Great memories! I am 46 and still don’t know how to drive a stick shift. Now that my 14 year old is starting to learn to drive I have a whole new take on the learning-to-drive process (Lord help me!).

  5. Great post!! You’re lookin’ ready to roll!! I notice Epps farm in the background, there …..

  6. well, i was all nostalgic and remembering my first car too as i was reading along. then i got to the ‘1969 chevelle!’ and it all went out the window. my DREAM car is a 1970 chevelle… every time we see one in a movie or out on the road, i salivate… dang! so my heart went pitter-patter and now i want to see yours! 🙂

  7. (and i still drive a stick shift – can’t give it up…)

  8. Wow…a hot chick with a hot car! I had to share my parents ford with my brother too! I didn’t get a car until I was 21 years old (1971) and married. We got a school bus yellow ford van and back then you had to pay extra for a passenger seat! We tricked it out with panelling and shag carpet! Did I mention we lived in S. Calif. and my husband was a surfer? One of my many past lives.

  9. I used to forget to check the oil in my car all the time too. Thankfully no damage done. I never backed into a tree but I did hit other things like garbage cans.

  10. That soft yellow was a perfect color for you!
    I bet Motor Man wishes you still had either one of them muscle cars! (A Chevelle is a muscle car right?)

    • Yes, my Chevelle was much more a muscle car (SS 396) than the Mustang. And he says he’s looking for a ’69 Chevelle in good condition for me!

  11. What a great first car!

  12. I always wanted a mustang! They were the coolest cars (but after reading my post you could tell we were a VW family). You are giving me flashbacks – 8 track tapes (Anne Murray) and my Dad had to sell a ’69 chevelle to pay for me!

  13. Mustang & Chevelle, both classics, I’d prefer the Chevelle (GM girl). Had 8 tracks, and the same music. We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?

  14. My second car was a red Mustang that I bought new in 1994. I traded it in 1998 when I found out I was pregnant with my first son but I have had a thing for Mustangs ever since and would love to own another one some day. The older mid 60’s models are my favorite!

  15. Funny!! I also learned to drive using a standard shift. I was always horrified to pull the hill out of town; what if I had to stop in traffic on that hill, kill the engine and roll backward! I guess everyone should learn with a standard shift.

  16. That was a fun memory. 67 Firebird here.. had a six cylinder (dont’t tell Motor Man) Better than the story was those cool shorts! I think I have seen you in those at the track?

  17. Super car. How fun! Wonderful memories too.

  18. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    My first car was a two tone blue 1967 camaro. It was my parents car and they only owed a few more payments on it so they le me take over the payments and insurance and it was mine. I loved it.

  19. “And once you learn to “drive a stick”, you never forget.” I learned on a 1954 Chevy, the children’s car, which shifted from the wheel. I enjoyed the feel of picking up speed and the gradual pressure of releasing the clutch until I got to 3rd at 45 mph. Very tame to what your “Motor Man” does but a skill nonetheless…right?

  20. Susan Burt Smelser

    Too funny that you thought you could drive a manual transmission! My older brother, Richard, taught me how to drive in his 1964 Chevrolet Impala with a manual transmission, and when I was in high school I usually drive a 3 speed on the column white 1961 Chevrolet station wagon. My first car was my parent’s 1969 Chevrolet Impala. Mama gave it to me because she felt guilty that they made me pay for my business school tuition! It had about 125,000 miles on it when I got it.

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