What Did You Drive?

Posted July 8th, 2019

Do you remember your first car? Were you the talk of the town, or were you just desperate to get to school without breaking down? We thought it’d be funny to take a trip down memory lane. So get ready to laugh as we tell you about some of DECU’s first cars.

“The year was 1991. Mine was a 1976 Buick Skylark, silver with blood red interior. My friend called it the Armadillo. My license plate was SMBDY 1 because I was obsessed with that Depeche Mode song, I’d write down the lyrics over and over. So sad.” – Laura

“I had a 2001 Chevy Silverado that did 5 miles to the gallon. It had a 28-gallon tank and every week I would put about $100 into the tank to go to school, work and home which was about 25 miles total. No working windows, hole in the floor board, and it shook when It reached 35+ mph. My friends used to call my truck the helicopter because it was so noisy you couldn’t talk to each other and it shook like a helicopter.” – Austin

“My first car was a blue 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser that pulled to the right when driving so I always had to crank my steering wheel to the left every time I drove!! I tried to have it fixed several times, but it still always happened.” – Olivia

“I bought my first car for $450. It was a Grand Marquis. I don’t remember the year. One time the brakes caught on fire while I was driving. It was a great first car!” – Ashley

“I believe my first car was a 1985 Ford Escort….and no I was not driving in 1985! It was not brand new. It was my grandpa’s car that he sold to me CHEAP. I wrecked it and still drove it. Grandpa continued to talk to me even though I wrecked his car he had cherished.” – Beth P.

“My first vehicle was an 18-year-old Chevrolet S10. It wasn’t even painted, only primed. It was the kind of prime that if you put your hand on it for only a second, your grease outlined handprint would show. When I started it, a huge black cloud of smoke would greet anyone who was standing behind it. The air conditioner did not work and on the day of her “death”, the whole floorboard filled up with antifreeze while driving down the highway.” – Mallory

“My 1977 Mercury Grand Marquis Sedan (white with a maroon top) was a beast to drive. Coming in at over 19 feet in length and over 6 ½ feet wide, my first car was the definition of a boat. It required a V8 engine just to get that much metal up and moving down the road. It served me well through high school and into my freshman year of college before it finally breathed its last on Route 51 by Clinton. You could comfortably sit four across in the back seat and while the trunk was huge, it seemed small compared to the hood which was over 6 feet long! I never even attempted to parallel park it.” – Barry

“It was a 1976 Plymouth Satellite Sebring – mid-size car. My dad gave it to me when I was 16. The gas gage didn’t work, and I ran out of gas numerous times (without a cell phone to call for help). I had to walk to people’s houses and businesses to call my dad to bring gas. When it rained, my car wanted to stall all the time and if I turned the corner right, the passenger door came open many times. It was a gold color and was in excellent shape. I worked at Kenny Shoe Store every Sunday for five hours so I could put gas in it.” – Kim B.

“I had Stewart, a 1973 green Volkswagen Beetle and the love of my life. I was so eager to have my first car that I didn’t care if I couldn’t drive stick. Poor Stewart was driven around town in second or third gear!” – Joni

“It was the summer of '69 and I had just turned 17. My uncle found a 1954 Oldsmobile with faded red on the outside, worn upholstery that I covered with a blanket, and big as a bus for $100 from a guy who was headed to Vietnam. It lasted through my senior year in high school then broke down and I didn’t have the money to fix it. I sold it for $100 to a guy who had just come home from Vietnam. That car made many trips up and down Eldorado. I wouldn’t park it in Sandy’s, Steak-n-Shake or Elams because it was too big to back into a space.” – Deb W.

“After my dad told me I couldn’t have a Jeep Wrangler because I would flip it, an orange Chevy cobalt was all I wanted. One day I came home from a friend’s house and there was a bunch of people at my house. I started to walk inside, but my mom stopped me and started yelling at me because I didn’t finish doing my laundry before leaving earlier that day, and I KNEW I did! After a minute or two of going back and forth with her, the garage door opened and out came my dad driving an orange Chevy Cobalt! That’s when it clicked that my mom was only “yelling” at me in front of everyone to keep me from going inside! I’m pretty sure everyone went deaf from my scream of excitement and there is a video somewhere of me almost whacking my head on the garage door! I LOVED that car and was sad when it got totaled.” – Kendahl

“My husband and I can be seen around town in a 1967 Firebird. Purchased brand new by his mother who then gave to my husband as a 16-year-old as his first car. Who still owns their first car?” – Michelle H.

“I got my driver licenses in February 1999. My first car was a 1997 teal Chevrolet Cavalier, two-door with black tinted windows. I thought I was so cool However, with being so cool, came an uncool car payment. My parents got me a loan to get the car, but our deal was I had to pay it. I was a 16-year-old working 5-6 days a week at Krekels to pay my $234 a month car payment. Moral of the story for me is, being so cool may be one thing, but working all the time was not. Looking back, I would have rather drove the giant maroon van for a lesser payment or no payment and enjoyed my high school years more.” – Holly

“My first car was a 1999 Ford Taurus that was handed down from my mom. It didn’t have heat for four years so I had to start it 30 minutes before I had to be anywhere so it would sort of defrost. The air would go in and out all summer and only two of the windows worked. I drove it for seven years. When it finally broke down on the day I was moving everything I owned across the state, I ended up giving it to my nephew. He paid for it to be fixed and drove it another three years. He was born in 1999, so he was the same age as the car!” – Melanie

“My dad works at a car dealership and my first car was a car that had been left abandoned at the dealer. It was a 1990 Pontiac Grand Prix (11 years old). It didn’t run, had flat tires, and had been sitting there for a year. My Dad was able to get the contact info for the woman who had left it there, so he gave her a call and she sold it to him for $100! So, on my 16th birthday my Dad handed me the keys and I was so excited! I didn’t expect a car at all. He brought me to see it and told me what all it needed to have done in order to get it running and that it would be my responsibility to pay for those repairs. I didn’t care! I had just started my first job and when I got paid, I signed my whole check over to my Dad and told him to do whatever it took to get the car running. My Dad fixed it up and off I went!” – Tiffani

“My first car was a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, only 6 years old when I got her. Yes, it was a “her” and her name was “The Grey Ghost.” She was a great first car! She did have a thing with the side mirrors. I probably went through 5 or 6 side mirrors! Granted, most of that maybe was my fault (backing out of my garage, maybe knocking one off with a tree, a deer ran into one…). I drove around with one hanging on by the cable for a few weeks until my dad literally bolted both of them into my car. I had that old girl for 10 years.” – Kirsten