First Cars

“It’s not just a car – it’s my first car.” ~ Derek Kreindler

First Cars

I bet you remember your first car. You started thinking about it as soon as you saw the title of the blog post. You’re either feeling nostalgic or a “thank God I don’t have that one anymore” emotion. Well, read on for a few family “first car” memories.

Bart’s first truck- The Passion Pit

“Fast cars are my only vice.” ~ Michael Bay

My husband was quite a character. I’d add “in high school” but, well…he’s always had a reputation for originality. So much so that by 5th grade I was enamored with him and told my friends I was going to marry Bart WILLIAMS one day. (That “one day” happened in August of 1987.)

Here’s one of his college photos. Tall, dark, and handsome. Just my type!

He still makes my heart race!

His first vehicle was a yellow Mazda pickup truck he called “The Passion Pit”. It was high school…in the 80’s- it was a great name at the time. He’s had a lot of original vehicles but for now we’ll stick with the Pit. It looked something like this:

A Mazda pickup similar to what Bart owned.

Only Bart’s truck had a camper and was a little more beat up than that. (Yellow was my favorite color, by the way). He had to rebuild the engine before he could drive it but he’s a genius mechanic and he was motivated to drive (because how else could he come and see me??). He often had to drive without lights. Once he drove home in a thunderstorm with no headlights because the battery would go dead all the time. He had to weld the exhaust back on at least once a week. He tried everything to get that exhaust to stay on. He’s a good welder but that Mazda wanted no part of an exhaust pipe. There was never any doubt as to when Bart arrived on the scene. You could often hear his music before (or at least at the same time) you saw his truck. Here was one of his favorites:

(I can’t imagine why it was one of his favorites! Lol)
Sammy Hagar- I Can’t Drive 55

During high school I spent quite a bit of time suited up in coveralls and laying underneath some old vehicle working on it with Bart. Actually- he was working and I was learning. Lots of memories. I can’t even include all the memories here. We’ve just had a whole conversation about that vehicle and some of the memories connected to it.

My First Car

“Fast cars are my only vice.” ~ Michael Bay (Yes- I repeated this quote because apparently Bart wasn’t the only one with a “need for speed”.)

My first car was a blue Nissan 200sx- about a 1983 model.

Me in high school.

My car was a cute little sports car. I really liked it. It had a louvered window on the rear hatch. I’m pretty sure I had to argue with my parents a time or two to get that car. As all parents do, they wanted a more sensible (and probably less fast) car for me to drive for a few years. Here is a picture of a Nissan 200sx close to the model I had.

1982 Nissan 200sx similar to mine.

The official color code was “Blue Mist Metallic”.

paint code

I loved that color. It was just a great car.

Mine was much prettier. I owned it for about a month and then I totaled it one night. Turns out they don’t teach you how to negotiate sharp curves in the rain at night when you’re taking drivers ed. Who knew? I nearly killed both Bart and I. I went to my bachelorette party with a big ole black eye leftover from the wreck. And frankly- I was lucky Bart and I weren’t hurt more. Yep- I nearly killed (or seriously maimed) both of us just a few weeks before the wedding. The car(s) I got after that weren’t nearly so cool. They were all pretty practical- just like my parents wanted me to have in the first place. I should have been more careful!

Rascal Flatts- Fast Cars and Freedom
One of my fave choices to end my section.

The “Next Gen” of First Cars

My son’s first car was a silver Volkswagon Bug that my parents gave him. And not just any bug-a TURBO bug. We couldn’t take that car to the shop without laying down $1,000 just to get started. I always thought he was a good driver but then he took the bug to Dallas with him and I got one of his tickets from an automated camera at a stoplight. He never did pay me back for that ticket. He called one night begging for a GPS after he’d gotten lost in Dallas (again). We sent him one. He named it Princess Leia.

Derek in high school. Looks like I need to clean up this photo a little. This was during his week as a Page for the Oklahoma Senate.

A silver bug similar to Derek’s.

My daughter’s first car was also given to her by my parents. It was more practical- which is funny because my daughter was definitely the more cautious driver. She got an Oldsmobile Cutlass about a 1997 model. She got hit at a stoplight and it kind of went downhill after that.

Shaina in high school.

An Oldsmobile Cutlass similar to Shaina’s.

This is a song we used to listen to often on our way to play practice at the Amphitheater in Disney, Oklahoma. And yes- we listened to the original version. Bart didn’t believe in censoring music. He wanted to hear it just the way the artist wrote and performed it.
Black Eyed Peas- Let’s Get Retawded

We all had multiple parts in the play. It was fun, but exhausting.

Speaking of First Cars…

When my parents got married, my dad owned a two-tone green 1957 Ford.

My parents when they were young.

She didn’t say what kind of Ford. My mom says they don’t have any photos of that car. In looking at paint codes, I would imagine their car was probably painted with one of these two colors:

Paint codes for 1956-1957 Fords.

I vaguely remembered my Dad talking about a Ford Fairlane and he verified it was, indeed, Fairlane. He called it “The Green Weinie”. Here’s a similar green two-tone 1957 Ford Fairlane:

Green two-tone 1957 Ford Fairlane.

I though this song would make an appropriate ending to this section:

Playmates- Beep, Beep

Lightweights and Cars

My mom has told me stories about my Granny and Papa’s first car (Troy “Lum” and Jessie BATES).

Granny and Papa when they were young.

Papa and Granny used to laugh when they reminisced about that car because it was a crank start and Papa was such a lightweight he had trouble starting the car. He always was tall and skinny. I seem to recall that car was also a Ford.

Ford crank start

I always imagined that car looked like the photo above. I didn’t realize that these were also crank starts:

Newer Ford crank start.

Here is a basic primer on crank-starting one of these vehicles. If you prefer videos, you can get this one on Youtube.

Here’s an old car song I bet you’ve never heard:
Jack Dalton and The 7 Blue Babies- I’m Wild About Horns on Automobiles (written in 1928)

Here’s One (or a Few) For the Road

I hope you’ve enjoyed a trip down memory lane about first cars. Post a photo of you and your first car. I’d love to see it. If you’re not quite done reminiscing, I offer you a little “road music” as you continue down your own Memory Lane.

We must start with this classic:

Johnny Cash- One Piece at a Time

My Uncle Carl LARKIN played and sang this one with my son, Derek, at his 3rd birthday party. Derek sang this song for years afterward. This was right before my daughter, Shaina, was born.
Ray Charles- Hit the Road, Jack

Derek, circa age 3.

carl larkin playing guitar.jpg
Carl playing his guitar.

From my kids’ era (you know you downloaded these from Napster- don’t lie!)
Pink- Get this Party Started

This is one of my all-time favorite songs. I enjoyed listening to it on the radio when Shaina was a newborn and we were driving from Oklahoma to Idaho where we lived for the next 10 years or so.
Tom Cochrane- Life Is a Highway

Shaina- she was only one month old when we moved so this is definitely not what she looked like then but she was a cutie.

One more of my faves from Rascal Flatts and then I’m done:
Broken Road

I’ll leave you on your own now to come up with your favorite tunes about driving and cars and road trips as you truck on down your personal “Memory Lane”. Don’t forget to post that picture. (And you’re welcome for the memories.)

Until next time,
Lisa @ Days of Our Lives
P.S.- Today’s blog theme was blue. The word ‘blue’ made me think of my first car which was blue and once I thought of that the whole post focused ITSELF on first cars. Also, “The Passion Pit” is a highly inappropriate name for a car but we were teenagers at the height of rebellion and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, adolescence is all about freaking out your parents. #AmIRight??

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