First car and freedom

Let's all go back, way back to our first car. Mine was a 67' Ford Fairlane. Monster of a thing by today's standards. It was cream, four-door. In it's first life it was a police car. My brother and I went in halfsies to buy it used in 1971. The original radio had been removed so we added an ill-fitting secondhand radio. The knob soon twisted off.

Thank goodness gasoline prices were so low because gas mileage was atrocious. Insurance was a mere $35.00 per month for two teenagers. We drove it back and forth to the city (we lived 16 miles outside of town on a small ranch) or to school (grades 1-12 in the same building). The roads were gravel so forget the paint job.

Then there was the time my brother used it to jump snow drifts in an open field. The story went that there was an ill placed fence post and hence the dent in the car door and the hole in the gas tank. Thereafter the car was parked leaning to one side so the gasoline would not spill out of the hole. We added some soap shavings to plug the hole.

Thinking about that car reminded me of earlier experiences with cars. I remember riding in the back seat of my parent's car, no seat belts back then. I was about 10. I noticed my car door was still ajar. My mom was turning a corner just as I decided to open the car door and slam it closed. Well good thing kids back then bounced, I rolled right out of the car onto the roadway. Was there any OMG or call to Children and Family Services? Heck No! My mom stopped the car and yelled, "Get in the G.D. car!" Just another day in North Dakota. I don't remember being damaged. There was no cuddling, only "How could you be so stupid."

Then there was driving the Ford truck with us kids in the back of the truck. Oh not for just a few miles...I'm talking moving from Weiser, Idaho to Minot, North Dakota with us kids riding in the the bed of the truck. We were huddled with sleeping bags and blankets taking turns riding in the cab to warm up. Again no call to Children and Family Services, just everyday life back then.

Ahh, and I don't want to forget the 1970 Ford Pinto I shared with my mom when I went off to college (went all the way to Minot - 16 miles away). The Pinto had a bad habit of stalling when we stopped at a red light in winter. I then had to pop the hood, unscrew the lid to the filter and tap the flutter (all my terms) as it was stuck open. Then with the flutter now bobbing back and forth again I would replace the lid and jump back into the driver's seat and off we would go.

Take care all, Aralia

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Published in Senior Chatters


  1. Maize

    My first car was a tiny Fiat……loved !!! It looked like an egg on wheels…..I called it Growler….for obvious reasons!

  2. lani36

    M y first car was an oldmbattered Austin a 40, to learn to drive in , i jumped in the car took it round the block a few times, I had watched my hubby drive, it was lovely to pick the kiddies up put them in the back seat , no car seats or seat belts then and runto the local shop with them ,didnt have to drag on and off busses and trains anymore with four little ones trailing after me or in prams and strollers , it was marvellous, and my shopping was doneina 1/4 of the time …. I loved that battered old Austin ,had it for 4 yrs. and cried when hubby traded it in for a new car….

    1. aralia

      Sounds like you were pretty busy with four kids. I can’t imagine doing shopping without a car. Glad you had the Austin for at least four years. Cool car.

  3. annemarie

    My husband bought a new 1963 Saab and it was a straight stick and I had to learn to drive that after I got my driver’s license. We had a Rambler which was an automatic which I drove before he bought our first brand new 1963 Saab.

  4. cappuccino

    My first car was a 1929 Chevrolet….It rattled,leaked and broke down regularly….I had to buy a second chevvy to keep the first one in spare parts. 🙂

  5. aralia

    I googled the 1929 Chevrolet. That was one beautiful car when it was new. Looks like it was fun to drive 🙂

  6. PollyPie

    Aralia, thanks for your very amusing blog. Such wonderful memories of our old cars and we gave names to, and how ever much they moaned, groaned, squeaked and stalled, we loved them dearly.
    My first was my faithful Triumph Torledo. Bless her little wheels. 😀

  7. roseinbloom

    I got my first car at 50. My brother sold me a Honda, that looked new but had 93,000 miles. It was just a car. It was transportation. I never really liked driving and am not good at it.

    1. aralia

      We have several Honda’s in our family. And 93,000 is just breaking in a Honda. They are good cars with few problems. I’ve had a Honda Prelude, Honda Civic, Honda Fit. Thanks for the post.

  8. Suzan1957

    First car was a 1965 Ford Mustang, got it in 1973. I watched it being put back together in our garage. My step-dad was an insurance adjuster and would at times buy totaled out cars from the insurance company and rebuild them. I loved that car, wish I still had it today. I still drive a Mustang, just a newer model. Its in my blood.

    1. aralia

      Oh a Mustang, nice car. The new Mustangs looks awesome, I love the sound of the motor. It would be fun now to have a 1973 Mustang in cherry condition. It would get lots of looks driving down the road. Thanks for sharing.

  9. woodsie

    my first car at the age of 18 was a 1937 Rover 12 and this was in 1969 It was a great car then as very few people in the UK had cars then and not the manual workers as I was I have had so many cars since then and only a few of them i remember like that one.

  10. aralia

    I found a picture of the 1936 Rover 12 on google. The Rover looks like it had room for plenty of passengers. Thank you for the post.