Cars I have Owned

So I was sitting in another Branch team meeting (and has anything significant in the history of Human Civilization ever been accomplished due to a Branch meeting? I think not.) and idly started listing all the cars I have owned in my life (owned being defined that I paid for the license plate and any taxes.) I was a bit surprised that over the 40+ years since my first car, I’ve only had 10 (I do not count the 4 years I spent in Abu Dhabi, as that was in an old Toyota Cressida that the UAE provided).

And since this is Mundane and Pointless stuff, I felt I must share it.

They are (in more or less chronological order):

  • Ford Galaxy 500 - Was my uncles car that he gave to me as a graduation gift from College; spent the next three years spending my meager earnings keeping the )(&&^% runnig.

  • Chevolet Vega–Bought it from my neighbor, it was where I learned to drive a stick shift, and it served me well for the time I had it.

  • Mercury Bobcat–My first brand new car. Also a stick, and basically a Ford Pinto with different badges.

  • Chevy Cavalier Station Wagon–The first car I bought on my own, without family or firends assistance. First car that I really loved, it got me out and around this country in fine shape (except for overheating at Pike’s Peak) and sold me on Chevy’s for quite a few years.

  • Chevy Corsica–It was a nice 4-door car of which I have no particular memories.

  • Chevy Beretta-- This was basically the Corsica in a 2-door, slightly sporty version and like it’s brethern, while servicable transportation it was nothing special in my memories

  • Dodge Grand Caravan–Why a batchlor needed a 7-passenger minivan is a mystery I haven’t solved. Probably because I thought bigger would give me more leg and body space (not really), mostly since I was heavily into coaching youth soccer and the space allowed me to carry equipment and players too and from games.

  • Honda CR-V–I bought this in April 1999; in August 1999 I moved to Abu Dhabi and managed to sell it back to the dealer for the cost of my loan. So no idea how it would have played out.

  • Toyota Highlander–Of all my cars, this is the one I loved and truly regretted selling. I was a just-right fit, it did everything I wanted it to do, and I was never disappointed in it. Some days I wish I still had it, even though it would be 12 years old now, and like most pre-teens, a bit cranky. But still my all-time favorite.

  • Chevy Equinox–My current car, and while I cannot complain and it hasn’t given me any reason not to like it…it just isn’t that Highlander.

Come about 2017, I’ll trade it in and look for my ‘geezer’ car, since I’ll be retired by then. No idea at this time what I’ll be buying, the Highlander brand has gone to three-deep seating for 7 (it really is built for 5), and right now I haven’t even begun to window shop.

So…what are your cars, which ones were memorable to you, and what is your next car going to be?

1965 Pontiac Bonneville, 389 with 10.5:1 compression, 4 bbl Carter carb, the fancy aluminum 8 lug nut wheel rims, real wood veneer dash, electric windows & tilt power seats and light sensor to dim your headlights (all this was pretty damn fancy in 1965). 3.08 ratio rear end, turbo hydro 400. In full-out acceleration it would reach 100 MPH in 2nd gear then shift to 3rd. Miss that car.

1973 Toyota Corolla very rusted out when I bought it used. Regular gas burner. 1200 cc engine, hemispherical combustion chambers with the spark plugs coming in from the top. Ridiculously simple under the hood, like a lawn mower instead of a car. Extremely basic transportation. 4 speed manual. Cost me $200. Nice set of wheels.

1988 Honda Civic and 2003 same. My next car will be another one.

1973 Plymouth Satellite (automatic)
1987 Chevy Nova (stick)
2002 Mazda Protege 5 (my first and only brand new car) (stick)
2013 Mazda 3 (automatic)

The last 3 were all excellent cars, the Plymouth not so much. The Chevy was rusting through all over the place, but still mechanically sound and would routinely get 45-50 mph on the highway.

Just got the last one in January and love it so far – routinely 40 mpg on the highway and over 35 mph on the street.

I’ve owned six, though the first one was a technicality. :smiley:

(Note: only the last one is a picture of my actual car; the rest are found images that are of the same model and color.)

1970(ish) Volkswagen Beetle. Friends of my parents were getting rid of it when I was 14; my father “bought it for me” from them for the cost of a dinner out. His idea was that he and I would use it as the basis for a kit car, but we quickly discovered that the VW was a mess, and not worth the trouble. We sold it to the guy across the street, who rehabbed it, and sold it again.
1981 Plymouth Reliant. My father bought this for me when I was in graduate school. Got me through my last year of grad school, and my first year of work. Very bare-bones car (no A/C, 4-speed stick), but got the best mileage of any car I’ve ever owned (40 mpg on the highway).

1987 Chrysler LeBaron. Bought it used; the only lemon I’ve ever owned. Tons of issues with the electronics, and the trunk leaked. I sold it as soon as I could get more for it in trade than I owed on it.

1991 Mazda Protege. Basic transportation, but she ran like a top. Survived a collision with a deer at 60mph. The only significant repairs I ever had to have done on her were due to collisions (none of which were my fault).

2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser. I fell in love with the design, and decided to overlook Chrysler’s spotty quality record (and my own experience with the LeBaron). Loved this car for 6 years (despite some issues with the electronics), then hated it for 4 years. Became a maintenance nightmare by the end.

2011 Ford Mustang. My current ride, and my “midlife-crisis-mobile”. V6, 6-speed stick. I love driving this car!

My high school car was a 1964 Impala Super Sport
My first new car was a 1972 Pinto Hatchback
Traded for a 1975 Chevy Half Ton Short Box pick up.
Traded that for a 1977 Full Size Chevy 4x4 Blazer, which my wife drove
I bought a used 1974 Pinto for $800.00.
Next: a 1974 Opal Manta $700.00
In 1990, I started driving a company owned vehicle So my personal vehicle standards fell a bit
Next: 1979 Datsun 210 station wagon $800.00
Next: 1977 Chevy LUV pickup $150.00
Next: 1980 Chevy Short Box 4x4 pickup $1,000.00
Next: 1983 Ford F-150 4x4 pickup $1,000.00
I sold the Ford in 2003.

In 2011, I bought a new Jeep Wrangler. I still drive a company vehicle during the day, so It has pretty low mileage.

1991 Volvo 240 - it used to be Mom’s commuter. It was black. I drove the shit out of it. I was waiting for it to die so I could buy something else, but it refused to go down. Ended up just signing it back over to my dad, who sold it to CarMax. Wish I had just kept it.

2003 Ford Crown Victoria LX - my big baby blue 'Vic. Ran like a champ, never had a problem with it, it was my big fat ride. Then some dickhead talking on his cell phone rear ended me at a red light and it got totaled. I had 1 payment left on it.

2004 Ford Crown Victoria LX - the replacement for the above. Silver/gray. Essentially the same car with some minor changes, but I just don’t like it as much as the '03. Had a lot of little problems with this one that I never had in the '03. Still driving this.

My next car will not be another Crown Vic, and not just because they stopped making them. I still like the full-size sedan, but options are thin and getting thinner every year. Also looking to pick up a beater truck at some point.

Cars that I, personally owned:

  • 1990 Topaz Toyota Corolla. This was “Baby”, the only car I ever named. I adored it to death. It was freedom from my oppressive parents.
  • 1990 Blue Toyota Corolla POS. This car got in an accident and I was too poor to fix it so I patched it just enough to pass inspection and drove it for a while. Hated it sooooooooooooo much.
  • 2003 Gold Toyota Corolla. Eh. It was a car.
  • 2012 Blue Raspberry Honda Fit. This is the first car I bought myself (the others were either hand me downs from my parents or from my SO’s). I love my car, it is the cutest thing ever. I went looking for five things:

[li] Low gas mileage[/li][li] Not a Toyota[/li][li] Cute[/li][li] Cheap[/li][li] Hatchback[/li][/ul]

I got everything I wanted. The Fit is the largest car in its class and it looks absolutely tiny when you look at it, but when you get in it feels roomy. First time my 6 foot SO can sit in a car and not brush his head against the ceiling. And it’s still small enough to park anywhere!

I already know what my next car is going to be, rounds about 2022: a British racing green Mini with the racing stripes. Watch out!

Just listing the ones I promarily drove and not my wife 's daily drivers:

*1972 Cutlass SS - Paid $200 for it on the gamble that my dad (a mechanic) could fix the engine tick. Turned out to be a good gamble, it was a fairly easy fix. Then a couple months later a guy rear ended me and totaled it.
*1974 AMC Hornet - Ugly, but a beast. Ugly because whoever painted it before I bought it did a lousy job and it soon started peeling. My friends and I called it the leprosymobile. It was pretty much indestructible, though, and Lord knows we tried.
*1984? Mitsubishi Starion - 4 cyl, but turbo charged. Had a completely digital dash, racing seats and handled like a true sports car - including hydroplaning if someone merely spit in the road. Fun car, but expensive to repair. It had several “imaginative” and/or hand made parts when I was done.
*1988? Mercury Capri - My first new car. I went to buy a Mustang, but liked the color on the Capri better (same car, Mercury badge). Decent vehicle, nothing extra special. Cured me of ever having light colored leather seats again.
*1993? Subaru Legacy sedan - kids entered the picture and the car style changed to adapt. This was probably the best vehicle I ever owned from a reliability prespective. Never had a single issue, never replaced anything that wasn’t a normal wear part. Comfy and smooth riding. This was the last car I bought on credit.
*A succession of cheap cars bought at auction or from Craigslist for cash, driven until they died and either donated or sold to a scrap yard - lather rinse repeat.
*1985 Nissan 300ZX - My current driver. Kids are grown, wife has a “sensible” vehicle and is happy with it, time for me to ditch the sedans and minivans and return to my sportscar roots. Found one with low miles, in excellent condition and a very good buy. Have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far.

Daily drivers:
1978 MGB - A fun convertible that was great if it would start. Not terribly reliable.
1974 Fiat 124 Spyder - Another fun convertible, more reliable than the MGB but harder to work on.
1991 Mustang GT - Lots of fun, got me in some trouble, very reliable car, drove to over 150,000 miles with no problems outside normal maintenance.
1996 Ford Explorer - Rode nice, went great in the snow with V8 and AWD, but too inefficient and big for a daily driver.
1998 Ford Contour - This was a 4-door with a rare V6 and 5-speed combination. Kept for 9 or 10years, nice reliable car, only weakness was the water pump or it might still be going today.
2008 Mazdaspeed3 - Nice fast 4-door hatchback, I love the performance, handling, and flexibility.

I’ll only list the ones I don’t still own.

First car: 80 Dodge Colt. It got wrecked by an idiot (not me). Replaces with an “RS” model. Great car. Twin stick split range transmission. Sold it. Wish I kept it or could find another.

69 Jeep Wagoneer. It was pretty rough. Sold it.

Wife’s Toyota Tercel. Engine blew up. Hauled to the junkyard.

Some horrible Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. “Inherited” it. Pulled the 350 and hauled it to the junkyard.

2 69 Mercury Marquises. They were both given to me. I pulled the 429 out of one of them for a project. Hauled the hulks to the junkyard.

Currently have 15 cars. The newest is a 97. Next car? I got my eye on a late 60’s Ford Bronco that’s more or less “abandoned”. I’m gonna try to track down the owner. Either that or a sixth BMW.

1975 Camaro Type LT. 5.7L V8, 3-speed auto (later 5-speed manual). Bought it a couple weeks after I got my license in 1989. Had it for 6 years and sold it to my dad when I moved to the US. Dad still has it. Great car. Repainted it, rebuilt the engine and modified it. Beat several Mustangs at the races back in the day.

1973 Volvo 144. 1.8L straight 4, 4-speed manual. Winter car while I had the Camaro. Ok car but quite rusty. Traded it in on:

1987 Peugeot 205. 1.4L straight 4, 4-speed manual. Good car that got 36 mpg every single tank. Dangerously slow with only 55hp. Sold it when I moved to the US in 1995.

1996 Camaro Z28. 5.7L V8, 6-speed manual. First car after the move and first car I bought new. Had it 8 years. Great car. Took it drag racing, road racing and auto crossing.

1971 Corvette. 7.4L V8, 4-speed (later 5-speed) manual. Bought this in 1997, and still have it. I fully restored this car and have done quite a few modifications.

1983 Cadillac Deville. 4.1L V8, 4-speed auto. Got it for free, drove it 5 years and sold it for $1500. Only car I ever made money on. Best long distance car ever, ultra comfy. 26 mpg highway.

2006 Chevy HHR. 2.4L straight 4. 5-speed manual. Bought a house and figured I needed something with a big trunk. Soon realized that I hated front-wheel-drive and could live with a smaller trunk. Traded it in after a year on:

2005 BMW M3. 3.2L straight 6. 6-speed manual. Fell for the hype of “German engineering”. Soon realized BMW quality is much overrated and also that they aren’t much fun to drive for someone who likes a lot of torque. Traded it in after 4 years (and many issues) on:

2012 Mustang Boss 302. 5.0L V8, 6-speed manual. A car I thought I’d like a lot more than I did. The cheap interior, high seating position, clunky gear box and a lousy dealer made me trade it in after 2 years on:

2013 Tesla Model S P85+. 3-phase electric, 1 gear. Love this car!

1974 Mustang II
1978 Mustang II
1976 Jeep CJ5
1976 Jeep CJ5
1978 Fiat X1/9
1985 Toyota Celica GTS
1981 Honda Prelude
1981 Triumph TR8
1988 Toyota MR2
1985 Honda Civic
1990 Geo Storm
1986 Suzuki Samurai
1985 Mazda Rx-7 GSL
1990 Ford Bronco II
1992 Nissan Maxima
1979 Fiat Spider 2000
1981 Fiat X1/9
2006 Honda Element
2001 Mazda Miata
1990 Volvo 740 TurboWagon
1983 Pininfarina Azzura
2006 Mini Cooper S Convertible
1983 Bertone X1/9
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1996 Mazda Miata
1970 Dodge D110 Stepside (ratrod)
1999 VW Passat Wagon
1985 VW Vanagon Westfalia
2008 Subaru Outback
1991 Mitsu Mighty Max
1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9

2008 Honda Ridgeline
1999 Porsche Boxster
1983 BMW 320i (project car)
Yes, I may have a problem. The above list is chronological to the best of my memory. Starting at age 16, and continuing up to now, at 51 years old

And I didn’t even list the motorcycles.

A 1970 Maverick my dad had was my first car. It had a bad engine, so I worked the cornfields the summer before my senior year and bought a junkyard engine for it. My friends and I swapped the engine.

The second car was a '67 Chevelle. By the time I got rid of it, it had the front seat from an Olds, engine from an El Camino, transmission (its third) from an Impala, and carpet out of a Cadillac.

The first car I bought on my own (without my dad’s name on insurance and plates) was a 1967 Dodge Dart (in '85).

The only good used car I ever bought from a dealer was a 1967 Caprice four door hardtop, in '86.

The car that was cheapest to own was a 1983 Datsun Nissan Sentra Diesel (it had all those nameplates strung across the trunk lid). Cost me $750 to get it and fix it. Drove it for seven years and seven months. It always got at least 42 mpg in town and better on the highway. A guy in a C-10 pickup smashed it from behind, and I got $1100 from his insurance. Bought that car in '91, totaled in '98.

1988 Ford Festiva- Bought November 2000 for $1000. Totaled in '08, other guy’s insurance paid me $1500.

Other cars I have owned include:
1983 Coupe Deville diesel
1963 Studebaker Lark V8
1966 VW bug
1971 VW Super Beetle
1973 Vega wagon (fill up the oil and check the gas)
1978 Chevette (worst driving position ever)
1989 S-10 from my brother- it came with peeling paint and soluble sheet metal from the factory
1993 Ford Escort
1977 MB 300D
1997 Grand Marquis
1983 Toyota Celica GT

Me neither! :wink:

1969 Chevy Nova
1975 Subaru
1980 Renault Le Car
1982 Chevy Chevette Scooter
??? Station wagon
1980 Chrysler Le Baron
1992 Saturn SL1
1992 Saturn SL2
2013 Hyundai Elantra

1987 Plymouth Duster. bought for $150 non-running, found it had dropped a valve. $150 for a used cylinder head and I was on the road.

1984 F-250. Older and kind of ratty, but it was a diesel. had ~150k when I got it, sold it with ~300k. Drank a quart of oil every two weeks by the end, but was still running.

2000 Dodge Ram 2500. 4x4, Cummins turbodiesel, stick shift. Unstoppable and could get 25 mpg.

2003 Dodge Dakota. Didn’t really care for this truck. Don’t know why.

2004 Dodge SRT-4. just a ridiculous pocket rocket. Yes, I know it was a Neon, my right foot didn’t care.

2010 Ford Mustang GT. A disappointment; 315 hp from a 4.6 liter V8 in 2010 was underwhelming and the gearing seemed suboptimal. Traded it in for a

2012 Mustang GT. what a difference another 100 horsepower makes.

2011 Ford Ranger 4x4. have this along with the Mustang. got it used with extremely low miles. put real snow tires on it and it can claw through anything.

1967 Chevelle I bought in '75 when I had my first apartment. I paid $200 for it and sold it 11 months later for $195. It was blue - that’s all I remember about it.

1976 Datsun B210 - bought brand new and financed thru Daddy National Bank. It was a 2-door and I always regretted not getting the 4-door model, but it was $200 more, which was a lot of money to me back then. I sold it to a friend in '78 - dumb move on my part.

1979 Chevy Chevette - bought from my folks in '80 when they bought a new Chevette. I drove it for about 4 years until it had 157K miles on it and it barely made it to the dealer to be traded in.

An ancient Toyota pickup - don’t remember its year, but it was red and we had it maybe a year before selling it.

1986 Jetta Diesel - bought new and driven till it literally fell apart in a parking lot in the early 90s.

Mitsubishi pickup - don’t remember what year.

Porsche 914 - don’t remember what year, but I hated it.

MG Midget - don’t remember what year - husband wanted it.

1986 Corvette - husband’s toy, tho I drove it. Traded it in on:

Chevy full-size pickup - 90’s vintage

1988 Ford Aerostar - I really loved that van, traded in on:

GMC 12-passenger van - don’t recall the year, but we bought it to tow a boat

1992 Mazda MX3 - cute, but not practical, traded in on:

1995 Ford Escort Wagon - mostly mine, and a good little car. Traded in on:

1997 Ford Aerostar - also mostly mine - it had 235K miles on it when we finally sold it in 2010.

1992 Corvette - the dealer who sold this to us didn’t bother paying the guy who sold it to them, so our title was tied up for several years. As soon as we could, we sold it, and got:

1998 Mazda 626, which was traded in for a

PT Cruiser (forget what year) which was traded in for a

2005 Jetta TDI, which was traded in for a

Chrysler Crossfire - don’t recall the year, but it was the only 2-seater I liked, and was later traded in on a

2009 Chevy pickup, which we still have.

While we still had the second Aerostar, I bought my

2006 Scion xA which I loved more than any vehicle I ever owned. But I sold it to my sister in 2013 to finance a cruise.

With the truck and the Scion, we also had a 2005 Mazda Miata, which I also hated, and that was traded in on

2012 Hyundai Sonata, which we still have.

Most of the purchases were because of my husband either needing a work vehicle or wanting a toy. Now he’s got a Harley and I think our sports car days are done, thank goodness.

Oh, and technically I own my daughter’s Ford Fiesta - I cosigned her loan and the title ended up in my name only. I’ll sign it over to her at the end of the year when she pays it off.

Thinking only of those I’ve owned, not ones that were available to me for driving, but that I didn’t pay for:

1994 Suzuki Swift GT. A damn kicky little car. Black, dark interior, no A/C. I sold it before I moved to Arizona.

2006 Ford Focus sedan. Liked this car to a point - it took me cross country twice - but just after it came out of warranty it had ridiculous electrical problems and kept burning through alternators and batteries. I ended up trading it in and buying

2013 Toyota Yaris. Red. Beautiful. Fun to drive. Sadly, back on June 18, Lil’Red didn’t survive when an oak tree collapsed on top of her. Now that I’ve closed on my condo, I’m kicking the search for a replacement into actice gear.

In high school I drove an old Chevy Chevelle circa 60/70s. I loved it. It had racing stripes. Leaked oil. The seat was broke.

But I have never owned a used car, personally

1986: baby blue Ford Escort, manuel. Drove it til it wa smashed by driver going wrong way on a one-way.
1989: red Ford Probe, manuel. Put almost 100,000 on it. My love. It hurt to sell it.
1998: British racing green VW Cabrio, automatic with camel top. Loved til it hit 5 and started falling apart
2006: dark red Honda Odyssey. Love/hate this van. Still driving it.