Tell me about your first BRAND NEW CAR!

This won’t apply to everyone, but statistics dictate that the majority of you guys have bought at least one brand new vehicle in your life. I want to hear about your first new ride- do you remember what it was? How did you feel when driving it off the lot? How long did you keep it and why did you get rid of it, if you don’t still have it? How old were you at the time? Anything pertinent that you would like to share will be welcome!

I’ll start the ball rolling- I bought my first brand new car six weeks after graduating high school in July 1993. It was a 1993 Honda Civic LX 4-door, 5-speed manual and the color was called Harvard Blue (close to Navy) with light gray interior. It wasn’t just my first new car; it was my first car with power windows, power locks, power mirrors or even power steering! It was the first one to have cruise control and the first to have a CD player. I loved that little car from the moment I saw it and I still can’t help smiling a little when I think back on it…

I remember haggling for hours because I wasn’t leaving without that car and I wasn’t going to pay a cent more than $15,000 out-the-door for it! After almost eighth hours, we were stuck at $15,300 and I actually heard the Sales Manager tell my salesman, “Fuck it, I’ll pay the $300 myself if it will make him leave!” But I got it for $15,000 exactly and I remember my payment were 314.33 for 60-months.

Looking back, it honestly amazes me just how damn tough and well-built that little car was! It was literally INDESTRUCTIBLE! I drove the living hell out of it each and every day. I went to school, delivered pizza at night and on weekends and had various courier and delivery part-time jobs on the days I didn’t have class. In barely three years and two months, I racked up 186,000 miles!!! Even so, it still purred like a kitten and readily revved to the 6750rpm redline just like it did the day I bought it.

When it was barely a year old, the tires were almost bare and I was driving home in a heavy downpour around 1am on a Saturday night. I hit a huge puddle of standing water in a long straightaway going well over the 55mph speed limit and spun 360 degrees three times then landing in the 8-ft deep drainage ditch along the roadside. The wheels were buried up to the axle on the axles on the right side and it ‘looked’ like the car was resting on its right side against the far side of the ditch. It was too freaked out to walk two miles in the rain to the nearest pay phone to call my mom to come get me. So I just turned on my flashers and reclined the driver’s seat to wait out the rain before I started hiking. Luckily, a Deputy Sheriff came along about 10 minutes later and he was kind enough to drive me another 10 miles to my house! My step-dad and I went to check out the damage to my car as soon as the sun started rising the next morning. He happened to have a tow rope in the toolbox of his truck, so we yanked it out of the ditch to see how bad it was before we called for a tow truck. The wheels were caked with tons of mud but there wasn’t a single scratch on that car! The man who lived in the house across the street from where I crashed came outside and used his water hose to rinse most of the mud of the wheels so I could try to drive the car home. It drove like nothing ever happened.

The next winter, I was working the overnight shift at Kroger and ventured out in an ice storm to go to work. I hit a huge patch of black ice going downhill a few miles from my house and went sideways and lost control. I left the asphalt, jumped over a ditch and plowed right thru a barb-wire fence before coming to rest in a cow pasture (near a cow, actually)! I called a tow truck and he took me on to work and we dropped the car off at my cousin’s house along the way. My cousin picked me up from work the next morning at 7am and I went to see how bad my car was trashed. All it needed was a new front bumper cover and there were a few scratches that mostly buffed out from the barbed wire.

As I said, it was INDESTRUCTIBLE! In September 1996, I decided that I wanted a new Accord like my older sister had just got. I sold my Civic an bought a ’96 Accord LX 4-door that I absolutely hated for the three years I was forced to keep it….who knows how long that Civic would have kept going ….

Now it’s your turn……let’s hear from some of you……

I don’t remember much of the details, but in Spring of 96, I bought a Saturn SL (the small sedan). I was 27 and starting a new job with a brand new company called E*Trade. I was going to be doing a lot driving from Sacramento to Silicon Valley and I wanted something with good mileage. I had to get a 5 yr loan, because no money (which is why I was changing careers) but I paid it off in like half the time. I think I had it for 13 years, close to 200k miles. I was so sorry to see it go.

No new car but my first new motorcycle was a 1983 Yamaha Vision. Not my picture but a near identical set-up, tank bag and saddlebags. Looks like the same saddlebags(Krauser) Bought it in 1987, $2400 down from the original 3200.

Excellent mid-range torque for a 550cc, smooth running and comfortable even after hours in the saddle.

Added some side marker lights and rewired the turn signals to add running lights front and back.

Mostly commuted between The Santa Cruz area and the SF Bay Area, 260K miles in 12 years before blowing a head gasket.

Couldn’t afford the needed work so it was sold to an owner of a 1982 model who wanted some of the '83 parts.

'75 VW Rabbit, 2-door, red w/white interior. Lightweight, front-wheel drive, lively, handled like a skateboard. The absolute antithesis of the clunky, rear-drive American sleds of the period. Absolutely loved the thing for the first year or so I had it. Unfortunately it was incredibly flimsy: within 18 months, the bloom was off the rose as various bits began breaking or falling off. Weird things happened with the clutch; rear exhaust broke off; the heater vents began collecting water from somewhere that would jet out and splash me when going around sharp corners. Got stranded one time when the accelerator cable broke on a rural road.

Traded it in in '78 on a Chevy Malibu, one of the clunky rear-drive American sleds of the period. While not exactly a model of build quality either, it was considerably sturdier than the Rabbit.

1994 Saturn SC2, aqua-marine, with moonroof.
And I still have the car and drive it.
Only has 88,000 miles on it.

The did do a bit of a nasty trick after I bought the car. Because I changed jobs a week after I bought the car, they threatened to take the car back or I had to sign a new loan at a higher interest rate. I signed the new loan papers, but it did piss me off.

Still, that car has long since been paid off and is still fun to drive and requires little upkeep.

Never bought a new car, would only do so if I had oodles of spare cash (unlikely to happen any time soon). And that car didn’t cost you $15K, it cost you closer to $19K.

Last car I bought was three years old, that’s new enough for me and was still awesomely exciting to buy! The car was (and still is) spotless inside and out and the fuel efficiency is great.

I have never had a new car. The last new car my parents bought was a 1986 Isuzu Trooper. At the time, there wasn’t a lot of competition in that segment for something that could actually fit a family of four and had selectable 4WD (I think the main competition for my parents’ dollars would have been either the Ford Bronco or the Chevy Blazer). The thing was massively lower-powered compared to those other two cars, and the lack of fuel injection meant that it often had trouble climbing hills on the interstate at speed at altitude. I’m not convinced the thing was ever really adjusted for the effects of always running at at least one mile of altitude. But maybe it was and it just simply didn’t have the horsepower. And of course it didn’t have a lot of features–manual windows, manual door locks, manual wing mirrors, two doors, manual transmission only, no cruise control (my parents had it installed separately), but at least it had auto-locking hubs. All things considered, it’s pretty impressive it could still be driven in around 2004 when my parents sold it to some guy collecting the things for something like $300.

I’ve only had one brand new car, a 2004 Mazda RX-8. When I bought it I was driving an ancient 1980s Renault 11 that had been handed down from my grandmother, so this was a major step up. I had recently had a big pay rise and was feeling quite flush. I think it cost about £20,000 and the payments were £440 a month or so. Looking back I wish I had done something more sensible with the money, but I did love that car. Bright red, made a noise like an aircraft spinning up its engines and you could rev it up to over 9000 rpm (Wankel engine). Plus it came with a free track day (but unfortunately not another free set of tyres after the track day!)

Driving it home for the first time I remember being really paranoid about scratching it or kerbing the wheels (first alloy wheels I’d ever had). I washed it every weekend. I even cleared out the garage so I could put it in there - and promptly scraped the wheel arch on the door frame the first time I tried, as there was barely six inches of clearance and my skills were not what I thought. I spent a fortune getting the scrape fixed up and resprayed, but it never quite felt like a “new car” after that.

I kept it for three years and got rid of it when I realised I was mostly just using it to drive to and from the station - a journey that was just as quick by bike. And at about 20mpg on short journeys it was really expensive to run. That was back when petrol was about 80p a litre. Now it’s £1.30 or so and I’d need a second mortgage to run it.

Now we have a battered VW estate car, and I drive one of these. :slight_smile:

Summer of 1976 - the Navy was about to send me to college and I decided it was time to get a car. I was 22, and I was financing thru Daddy National Bank (with interest, of course - Daddy didn’t cut his kids any slack when it came to $$$ :smiley: )

I don’t remember much about the shopping process apart from letting Dad negotiate for me. I do remember not wanting to spend the extra few hundred for a 4-door, and I ended up getting a 2-door Datsun B210. I wanted the green one but for some reason, I let Dad talk me into getting the brown one. It was a 4-speed manual and I think it cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $3600.

It was the car on which I changed my first tire, with the help of the owner’s manual - in the winter in an empty lot. I was traveling to a temporary duty site, so my car was loaded, and I’d decided to drive thru a car wash to get the road salt rinsed off. Oddly, when I pulled out, the “nice” man who ran the place noticed that my tire was hissing, but he pointed to the adjacent garage where I could get it fixed right up. Even at my tender age, I was pretty sure it was a scam, so I pulled into the empty parking lot across the street, emptied my trunk to get to the spare (we had real spares back then!!) pulled out the book, and changed my tire. When I got to my duty station, I had the tire repaired - funny how I got a puncture in an almost-new tire and it just happened to occur next to a guy who could fix it for me. :rolleyes:

Like a dummy, I sold the car to a friend after a couple of years. Honestly, I don’t know why I did it, except that it was a pain having only 2 doors - getting stuff in and out of the back seat was awful! A year later, I bought a 4-door Chevette hatchback and literally drove that till it was no longer safe to drive - I almost felt guilty taking $200 for it in trade when we replaced it.

My one and only brand new car was a 1986 Chevy Cavalier. I was just out of university and starting a proper job. Can’t remember how much I paid, but the owner of the dealership was a Masonic buddy of my step brother so I think I got a pretty good deal. I think it had around 60k miles when I traded it. Since then I’ve been buying ex-demonstrators or very low mile used cars.

First brand new car was a 1991 VW Passat GL, calipso green, loaded, manual. It was a fantastic car. I kept it for 7 years and sold it because someone really wanted it and offered me a great price. The car handled like it was on rails and was reliable as hell.

I’ve owned several cars and bikes, but only bought two new. My first new car was a Honda Prelude bought after a promotion. Great car and I liked it - a devil of a time getting home as a friend had taught me to drive a manual the day before on a Ford Ranger. It was stolen a few months after I moved to Chicago. Every once in a while I get nostalgic and look for one on eBay and Autotrader and learn that time has not been kind - either they’ve got space shuttle miles and rust all over or they’ve been hacked up by some kid that likes Vin Diesel movies.

In 1989, I was finishing up college. I was driving an '81 Corolla at that time, and drove a friend to the Ford dealer where he was looking at buying a used car. I remember looking at a white Mustang convertible on the showroom floor, and thinking that it would be really cool to have a convertible.

Fast forward to 1995, still driving the '81 Corolla. I saw a commercial for a bright yellow Mustang convertible, and thought “I need a new car. I should get that convertible I’ve wanted since college.” We looked at the Mustangs, I think, but we ended up going to Chrysler for a Le Baron instead, since it had more room in the back seat. My wife’s dad worked for Chrysler, so we got the family discount.

Now Le Barons can be stodgy, but I got it in Aqua Pearl Coat, with the LX decor package, the aluminum wheels, the black leather seats, and a black roof. I got every upgrade except the “trip package”. In twilight, or at night in dim light, the Aqua Pearl Coat fucking glowed.

I remember the awful wait, close to a month, between when we ordered it and when it came. At the time, green cars were kind of trendy, and in my mind, the Aqua kept getting greener and greener, and I was worried I wouldn’t like the color, and it wouild look out-of-date in a couple years. But when it came, it was more blue than green, and looked great.

It finally gave up in 2009. It dropped its coolant all over the road. Probably a water pump, but it had oil in its coolant, or coolant in its oil or something, so probably blew a head gasket as well. At that point, one of the power windows didn’t work and I had rigged a wire to hold it closed. The heater core leaked, so I had bypassed it and there was no interior heat (in Michigan!). Also, one of the hinges on the driver door had broken, so I had been entering and exiting through the passenger side for over a year.

I now have a Mustang convertible, that I bought in a hurry when the Le Baron died. I get lots of compliments on it, from coworkers, from my kid’s friends, … But if I had a choice between a brand new Mustang convertible, or a brand new Aqua Pearl Coat Le Baron convertible, I’d take the Le Baron again.

My first new car story is pretty boring (I bought it, drove it for 5 years, replaced it with a “family” car) so I’ll share my husbands instead.

He’d just gotten his first real job and was still living at home so being a boy he spent his salary on a new car. It was 14 hrs old and he was taking his mother for a drive to show her the car. They were sitting at a stop light and she was asking all kinds of questions about what each button did and when the light turned green he proceeded without checking and boom - car running a red hit the front quarterpanel hard. No more new car :frowning: (it was repaired in a couple weeks but of course wasn’t “new” after that)

It’s been over 30 years and she still gets a hard time over distracting him. When I pointed out that he was the driver and therefore responsible it was … unpopular.

The only new car I ever bought was a 1979 Chevrolet Chevette, routinely included in worst-car-ever lists, and for good reason, although I do have some fond memories of it.

A 1971 Plymouth Sport Suburban station wagon. “Sport” because it had the fake wood siding decal. I didn’t want to buy it. My ex and I walked onto the lot and I went straight over to a black Plymouth 440 GTX. She said NO, and pointed to the wagon. I was not happy. At least it had a 386 instead of the wimpy 318 in the 1968 Plymouth Sport Satellite we were trading in. That was the car she brought into the marriage with her.

The wagon worked out better, of course, as we started having children not long after. It was a huge tank of a beast and a great snow car. I drove it for 13 years. But I remember driving off with it and looking in the rear view mirror at the GTX sitting on the lot. I swear it flashed its lights at me. . .just once, as a tear rolled down my cheek.

We moved back to Iowa from Seattle in 1990 and bought a Ford F-150, because if you live in a small town in Iowa, you have to have a pickup, right? It was a comfy truck with a nice ride, but we had forgotten about Iowa winters and neglected to get FWD. Why would they even sell a pickup without FWD? Damn thing would get stuck in just a little bit of snow.

Oh, and about a week after we got it, we hit a deer.

Oh, and the CD player instead of the cassette. You buy a new CD at the store, and you can open and listen to it immediately, before you even get home. That’s probably taken for granted now, but this was the first time I could ever do that.

My first new car is still my daily driver, almost exactly 10 years later now.

Boring story - I had the Ford A-Plan so there’s no haggling, no negotiating. Just pick out your car and go. It’s a 2004 Ford Escape, dark gray. My dad let me trade in the Escort he’d bought for college commuting for me, and he also co-signed the loan. I paid it off early.

Perfect car for me and my dog. No, it’s not 4WD. I’ve got just under 80k miles on it because I work from home so no commuting.

The end.

Let’s see…

Used cars first
First car 1962 Olds 98. What a beast. I could put a full sized 10 speed bicycle in the trunk with out taking the wheels off or anything. I actually put a Yamaha DT250B dirt bike in the trunk and drove 2000 miles. Had to take the handlebars and front wheel off and store them in the back seat. Ah youth.

  • 1976 Chevy 4x4 truck. Great truck. Just donated it to a school as a plow truck. She worked for me for 32 years.
  • 1980 VW Scirocco. Very fun. Built the engine up a bit.

First new car - 1989 Nissan 240sx. Great little car. Fun and fast (for what it was). Had to sell it when I moved to the mountains. Rear wheel drive sports car in a climate of snow? I even ended up putting studded snow tires on all 4 wheels. Um, no. I dragged it home with the Chevy truck a couple of times. Yes dragged. Just locked the steering wheel, put it in neutral and hooked it up to the Chevy truck with a chain. You know when someone says that you will look back at this and laugh about it? This is one of those times.

And then - More used cars.

  • 1985 Jeep CJ7 rag top. Fun, sometimes. Not so fun driving 100 miles in -20f weather. Road trips not so good. My dog hated that Jeep.
  • 1994 Nissan Pathfinder. Very good car.

Next new car.

  • 2006 Nissan Pathfinder. Current ride. Like it very much.

And I just bought a lightly used 2004 Dodge Ram short bed regular cab for a new plow truck since I donated the 76 Chevy to the school. It’s a reeeeaaal nice truck. New Western plow, chained up Mud Terrains on all four wheels and a 10,000 lb Warn winch on the back. Winter, bring it on :slight_smile: