My First Car

On the heels of yesterday's post, I decided to answer the SITS Girls writing prompt about my first car … except that I don't remember much about my first car.

Chrysler sebring coupe

To be honest, I don't know much about cars in general. I can tell you that I think a car is pretty, but when it comes to recognizing cars by their top or even who owns said car, I'm no good at it. My dad, being a mechanic, restored a 1960-something camaro when I was a child, and he spent so much time working on it and going to car shows that somewhere along the way I decided that all cars looked alike and they weren't worth placing much importance on. I'd take a book to the car show or watch a movie in the huge van my parents owned at the time. As I got older, the only real way I could be convinced to go was if we were planning on eating dinner out or some shopping could be combined with the trip. Car shows were associated with b-o-r-i-n-g.

So when I was 10 and my dad offered to give me the camaro as my first car, I freaked and said "NO!" thinking I would have to drive this fancy non-air conditioned vehicle and not wreck it when I turned 16. Can you even fathom trying to drive a car that old that someone had taken such good care of over the years? (We're talking tearing the car apart and rebuilding it from the bottom up. We won't even talk about the trouble 5-year-old me would have gotten into had I scratched the paint!)

Unfortunately, ten year old me didn't know at the time that my dad was merely trying to decide which of his two children would eventually own the family heirloom. He never had any intention of 16-yr-old me driving it. (As an "antique", it has special car insurance wherein only adults over 21 can drive it.) Instead, my dad was going to put me in a small white sedan that used to be my mother's. A zillion years later, I really have no regrets though since I know my brother will take better care of the camaro than I would ever know how to.

I'd love to say that I drove my mom's white sedan for years and years and years, but that simply was not the case. My family lived on a road that was difficult to make a left turn at. Only a year and a half into driving, I attempted to make that left turn and instead got hit, totalling the car. :( It was still driveable, but the repairs would have cost more to fix the car than replace it. My dad kept the car and sold it to my uncle while I got the fun of going car shopping!

During this crazy weekend of car shopping, my parents ended up buying me my current used Chrysler Sebring LXI. It was between that and a new Toyota Corolla, which I did not like at all. Even though my chrysler wasn't technically my first car, I still consider it to be my first. I can still remember that first time of driving it home from the dealership. Obviously I was proud of my beautiful new car, but I was also scared to death of wrecking it! I begged my parents to drive it, which they refused. "If [I was] too afraid to drive it, then why did we buy it?" they questioned.

Since that day, my car has been in countless accidents (most not my fault, surprisingly!) and I have spent TONS of money on car repairs. I have put 160,000 miles on it since I got it, and despite all of it's faults (and the fact that kids make it hard to keep the interior clean!), I still love it to pieces. I think that's kind of the way you have to feel when your purchase a car; otherwise, if the car is already busted up and falling apart, you never really feel the initiative to keep the car clean and avoid wrecks (even if they are just running into poles or trees and not actual people!). I know that when the time comes to replace my car, it will be very difficult, not only because of all of my memories, but also because of the many aspects of my car that have spoiled me throughout the years (power windows, power locks, moon roof, leather seats, etc…). I am truly not looking forward to that day even though I am certain I will fall in love with my next car just as much as I am with my "first".

Do you have fond memories of your first car? Was it passed down from a parent or relative? Did you wait until you were 30 to even own a car? If you are still driving your first car, how long have you owned it?

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