Ask people to talk about their first cars and answers mayvaryfrom,“Gee,I’ mnot sure. I think maybe it was a Chevy, a ‘60-something,” to “A red and white Ford Fairlane 500 with stick shift, 375 horsepower, cam framis with chrome wheels, a lighted glove box housing a Pez dis- penser and a Zippo.”
Some people know every detail. Others aren’t sure of the brand of the car they have now. Our modest survey:
Monica Pearson: “My first car was a 1965 white Ford Custom 500, a four-door boat that surprisingly was easy to maneuver and parallel park. My mother never learned to drive but she made sure I learned, and I was her chauffeur, especially to church.
“The car was a surprise senior year graduation gift, a practical gift, not a luxury. That car got me to my jobs at the S&H Green Stamps redemption center and the Chestnut Street YMCA. But I was not allowed to drive to school, parties or anywhere else that was not Mama or work related. Mother didn’t believe in wasting gas that cost about 25 cents a gallon back then.
“That car started my love affair with Ford. I’ ve owned a Maverick, a Thunderbird, a station wagon, a Focus, a Sport trac, an F-150 and I just donated my 2005 Ford 500 to charity and replaced it with a 2013 Lincoln Hybrid.”
Glenn Burns: “A 1965 tan flat top Corvair! My dad gave it to me when I turned 16. My friends thought it would be fun to put the male and female sign decals on the back bumper. “My mom used to use the car as well and could not figure out why she kept getting honks from male drivers next to her, that is, until she came out of the grocery store and saw what was on the back!”
Pat Cervasio: “My first car was really a ‘share’ with my mother, who didn’t like to drive. It was a 1954 Chevy Bel Air convertible, turquoise and white. Definitely a beauty, until the day I took three girlfriends for a ride out to Emory University for a frat party.
“As we approached the campus, a telephone pole decided to cross the road! My father paid for the repairs and for the pole as well.”
Frank Cervasio: “A 1958 red and white Chevy Impala with a 327 horsepower engine. The special thing was that it was ‘mine,’ with a down payment from my hard-earned savings.”
Chris Curle: “A ’65, used, bottle-green and white, two- tone Ford Fairlane 500. My Dad wanted me to have a solid, safe car to drive the 165 miles back and forth from our Houston home to the U. of Texas, Austin.
“A sorority sister once said it was ‘just the kind of car I’d drive.’ I thought of myself as more of a bright red VW bug or a yellow Camaro.”
Dick Williams: “A 1948 Plymouth coupe with column shift. I paid $75 for it from my work as a grocery clerk.
“The floor was rusted out in the rear, which meant cold feet for double dates in the Kansas and Missouri winters. I sold it for scrap when I went to college.”
Don Farmer: “My first car was almost identical to Dick’s, a dinged-up grey Plymouth coupe. Friends called it ‘The Grey Ghost’ because it was scary to drive or ride in.”
Please send me your first car stories for a future column.