No matter what state you live in, how old you were when you got your driver's license, or what type of car you had, everyone remembers their first car. Similar to a first kiss, it's something that sticks with you forever. Whether it's the freedom having a car gives you, or the love of hitting the open road, that first car is a life benchmark that always lingers.
Here at Show Finish, we remember how great it was to get behind the wheel of our own car for the very first time. It's a special time and we'd love to hear all the different stories and fondest memories that our readers have of their first cars. To get us started, I would love to share the story of my first car.
To give a little background, I came from a family of car people. Between my father, brother, uncles, and cousins, it's safe to say they have built/rebuilt about 25 cars in our backyards throughout my childhood. As the youngest, I was never really allowed to help out, but being around cars like that made it seem like the norm. It wasn't until I got older, that I learned having a garage full of old car parts wasn't the norm! Anyway, it taught me an appreciation for how cars work and everything that goes into keeping them in top shape. It was also these connections that allowed me to get a great deal on my first car!
Coming from a lower middle-class family in a suburb of Newark, NJ, I knew to get my first car I was going to need to work hard for it. Having a job since I was 14, I saved every penny I got and with some assistance from my parents, was able to buy my first car the day I turned 17 and passed my drivers exam. It was a 1995 Ford Mustang V6, dark green with a tan interior. The car was in great shape, and I would have never been able to get it if it wasn't for my cousin who worked on it previously for one of his friends. Once he got word it was being sold, he was able to get me in touch with the seller before anyone else had a chance to make him any offers.
Once I got the car, I treated her like she was my baby. I did almost all maintenance myself (including a lot of aftermarket engine work), and washed the car at least once or twice a week. There's something about a clean car that makes it feel brand new, regardless of how old it is or what kind of shape it's in. It wasn't the fastest Mustang on the street, but it certainly was always the cleanest/shiniest!
The car (which I named Tiffany) and I, were essentially inseparable. Counting down the days until I could drive from the age of 10, I was, and still, love driving anywhere we went. Not the best news for my friends who had to sit in the back, but anywhere we went I was always the one to volunteer to drive. That was also the beginning of the end for my first car. When I went away to college, I was able to sneak my car on campus my freshman year (very few freshman had cars on campus). Having access to the car was great to get around the different campuses, but also for trips home without having to bother friends or family to come get me. That ended up being the downfall of the car.
One day I jumped in my car and started my way down the 40 mile stretch of highway to get home for a family event. The only problem was that about 8 miles in, I got into an accident. Next thing I remember was coming to with half the car ripped in half and my laundry all over the highway. Luckily I only suffered bruised ribs and the only other damage was to a guard rail, so considering what other circumstances could have been, I was very lucky. As much of a bummer as it was to lose my first car, it also added an appreciation of how delicate cars can be and also how dangerous they can be when not respected.
In an ideal situation, my first car would have still been in my garage, but unfortunately, that was not the case for me. Luckily, I now have my dream car sitting in my garage, but that story is for our upcoming blog post! In the meantime, we'd love to hear about your first car and any memories/stories that are tied to it and you'll never forget!
Thanks for reading!