Hooniverse Asks – What Car Would You Like to Recapture Your Automotive Youth?

Maybe it was the cool woodgrain along the long sides of your mom’s Country Squire. Or it was the way the leather in your dad’s 5-series smelled, and the way it made you feel when he’d row it through the gears. Whatever it was, there was probably a car from your formative years that represents a memory as fond as your first morning wood.
When we’re little kids, everything seems huge – people, cars, that german shepherd down the street – and everything that’s part of your family seems like it stands head and shoulders above the stuff everybody else has. Your dad tells the funniest jokes, your slip-n-slide is the slipperiest, and your mom makes the BEST apple pie. And somewhere as part of those comforting memories, lies a car.
We go through phases as we mature – at first distancing ourselves from the trappings of youth so as to establish our own dialog as adults, but then falling back into an equilibrium of our own established persona, and familial familiarity. If you’re at that point in your life where you no longer think your parents are some sort of rubes recently dislodged from between the slats of a Tom Joad turnip truck, is there a car or truck that you gravitate to in order to recapture the boundless bliss that is youth? Would you like to one day own such a totem of days past, and perhaps try and recreate the joys of your bygone days?
Image source: [kitfoster.com]

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  1. Mechanically Inept Avatar
    Mechanically Inept

    I was 2 when my family moved back to the US from Belgium, and we got a green 1994 Escort wagon, which we had until 2003. I was hoping to get the escort as my first car, but I was only 11 when it was finally donated away. The other car of my youth, the 1997 Dodge Caravan, is my daily driver. I tease my little brother that we've had the car longer than we've had him, but it's the truth. The minivan represents nothing to me beyond transportation, but I wouldn't mind having an Escort.

    1. Maymar Avatar
      Maymar

      I used to have a '92, and it was a fantastic little car (or at least through the sheen of nostalgia it was).

  2. Deltaroyale Avatar
    Deltaroyale

    My parents had a rotating door of boring as I was growing up, having in order, an early nineties Corsica Z whatever they were, a similar vintage Ranger, a second gen Taurus, a Contour, 2 different Aleros, a first or second gen Stratus, an Intrigue, two Dodge mini Ram late ninties Dakotas, and into my teenage years, a Jeep Liberty and a Jeep Patriot. The bright spots were when I was about 16 my mom bought an 06 Mustang, it was a six cylinder but I still had plenty of fun in it, she replaced it with a 05 Civic Si. The best one in my opinion is when I was about 13 my Dad inherited my great grandfathers 77 Chevy C10 Cheyenne with all of 73,000 miles on it. It seems they had their automotive fun long before I came along in which my Mother had a 72 Duster and my Father had a similarly aged AMC Gremlin. Looking back over my 7 years driving, I can see I've had similar tastes, my first car was a 75 Duster, and some point I bought a 400 dollar P.O.S. 78 C10, and now I have a 10 Forte Koup which feels alot like that Civic Si and a 73 El Camino which feels a whole lot like my Dad's 77 C10.

    1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      I really dig your screen name and car choices too!
      <img src="http://a4.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/180120_624750338180_2912893_34818393_7365238_n.jpg&quot; width="500">

      1. Deltaroyale Avatar
        Deltaroyale

        yeah, the one car I didn't mention my owning was a 1989 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale Brougham that was bought new by my grandfather who was a navy man, so predictably, dark blue paint, dark blue pillow top velour interior, and dark blue vinyl top.

  3. muthalovin Avatar

    My folks had some pretty awesome cars while I was growing up. The Dodge Daytona Shelby was probably my favorite, but to recapture my youth, it would have to be my moms Falcon Wagon. That thing got no appreciation, and always had something wrong, but in retrospect, it is the car that I would love to have most.
    <img src="http://bringatrailer.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/1964_Ford_Falcon_2_Door_Wagon_For_Sale_Front_1.jpg"&gt;
    Note: that is not the actual car, but pretty damned close.
    Img via bringatrailer.com

  4. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    If it is my childhood we are talking about then either Mom's 1977 Oldsmobile 98 with 403 or the non running 1959 Impala that I played in that sat in the back yard until Dad finally sold it to someone for the 283 in it.
    If it is my early driving years, then I need to get off my butt and get my 1977 Corvette fixed up and running again. Seems I just can't find the time and or money to do it. I bought the car in 1990, my junior year in high school and drove it all through college until 1996. It needs at least an engine and transmission rebuild. I would love to convert it from the 3-speed automatic to a 5-speed manual, but I doubt the budget will allow.

  5. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    My first car was a scruffy '65 Mustang convertible – Six with three-on-floor. Though it would be nice to have another Mustang, I'd like it to be differently-equipped. A rousing 120 hp and a long-throw tranny with non-syncro first is not a recipe for fun, and neither are the Falcon suspension bits. I wouldn't mind having the first new car I bought, however – a blue/silver 1984 CRX 1.5.

  6. dolo54 Avatar
    dolo54

    The car I learned to drive in, my mom's Datsun B210 wagon
    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v452/blownb310/DSCN8621.jpg&quot; />
    I used to deliver pizza in it. Would love sliding the backend out in corners when it rained. Sorry if your pizza ended up all on one side of the box.
    On another note, I find it bizarre that as a teenage pizza delivery boy, almost half my tips were in the form of beer. I used to have like 2 six packs worth of beer in the back seat by the end of the night. I didn't even drink it usually (fortunately). What kind of grown ass man gives a teenage driver a beer? I guess that's Baltimore for you. Home of the most hardcore white trash you ever met.

  7. Jackie Avatar
    Jackie

    IIRC, my folks had one of these babies (red with a white roof) when I was growing up. I wouldn't mind getting a hold of one for nostalgia's sake — though honestly, I'd prefer if I could score a half-decent 510 instead.
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Datsun_Sunny_B110_002.JPG&quot; width="500">
    For those not in the know, it's a Datsun 1200 (B110 series).
    As for my first car? I still have it. ('97 Protege LX)

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    1967 Healey. A neighbor down the street had one and he would take me for quick blasts around town. The first real sports car and the first convertible I ever rode in. Absolute magic.
    <img src="http://mecum.com/auctions/CA0809/CA0809-81421/images/CA0809-81421_5.jpg&quot; width="500">

  9. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/75/193649972_30e944663f.jpg&quot; width=400>
    We had one of these for absolutely donkeys years. It was the second family car I remember, I was 7 when we first got it and 18 when it was sold. '83 Sierra 2.0 Ghia.
    I always remember when we first had it, it was like the car from the future. The windows rose and lowered electrically, there was a glass panel in the roof through which sunlight could enter, and across which a louvred blind could be drawn. The radio antenna was automatically deployed when the MW/LW Cassette was switched on, and there was a "graphic information module" that showed which doors were open.
    It was absolutely brilliant, took us everywhere AND gave me my first parking-lot powerslide experience. Loved it.
    Was replaced with a Mondeo V6 to which I had very little emotional attachment.

  10. safetystephen Avatar
    safetystephen

    Anything with a nice bench seat would do it. A nice broken-in two-door luxo-bomb from the 70s, or even an worn-out pick-up like Gramps, but gotta be a nice bench. Hook up the XM Radio for some 50s oldies, pop open a cold Moxie, and I'd be in hoon-heaven.

    1. jjd241 Avatar

      My dad was a forester in the 70's and 80's. He always had a company provided ford PU. We used to use those for family vacations (with a canopy and some bedding in the back, folks up front and me, my brother and our dog in the back). Here is a shot of the old man in about 1980 near Neah Bay WA.
      <img src="http://i.imgur.com/YgdZ8.jpg&quot; alt="Hosted by imgur.com" />

  11. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    My parents had some neat cars when I was growing up, and my Dad was a Chevy salesman when I was born. Through the 70's, they had a succession of Volvo 140s, so a mustard yellow 142 coupe would be a fine choice. My earliest car memory was standing in the front yard looking back at our narrow driveway. Parked in a row were the split-window 'Vette that my dad had driven home that day, followed by my mom's '68 RS/SS Camaro with my Grandmother's Chevelle SS convertible bringing up the rear. They were all in that deep GM blue and it was a beautiful sight that haunts me to this day Any one of those would make me feel like a kid again.
    But the one that I would buy again today, were I inclined to go back in time, is the car that my father sold just before I got my driver's license. I don't think his decision was a coincidence…
    <img src="http://www.britishcarlinks.com/1975%20Porsche%202.jpg&quot; width=500>

  12. discontinuuity Avatar
    discontinuuity

    I grew up road tripping in a minivan
    <img src="http://static.cargurus.com/images/site/2006/10/25/1994_dodge_grand_caravan-pic-25071.jpeg"&gt;
    But I think I'd rather have the turbo model
    <img src="http://daddytypes.com/archive/bad-ass-minivan.jpg"&gt;

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Ahh minivans, they just make sense.

  13. engineerd Avatar

    I have two and both are related to my grandparents. My maternal grandfather loved station wagons. He would tow their camper trailer with them, and when not pressed into duty on crosscountry trips to visit family they could still haul he, my grandma, my mom, my dad, me, my sister and my brother…and whatever else needed carrying. I eventually bought one of his station wagons, a 1987 Crown Vic, when I was in college. However, one of my favorites was a green Gran Torino wagon. I was only 3 or 4 when he got rid of it, but I still remember riding around in the back of that green hulk. And loving every minute of it.
    My paternal grandfather had a 1969 Chevy C/10 pickup that he bought new when he was working construction. After an injury and going on disability he kept that truck. When I was in grade school my mom would drop us off at my grandparents' house on her way to work and they would take us to school. I loved it when grandpa drove the truck. It had an AM radio (didn't work), brights were controlled by a switch on the floor, and a seat that had seen much better days. I almost got that truck when my grandpa passed on, but my dad nixed the deal. I had just graduated from high school and was headed to college, and he didn't want the truck (which at that time needed an engine rebuild, new seat, trans rebuild, new gas tank, and some rust abatement) sitting in his driveway for the next 4+ years. The interior had a oil, musty, smoky smell permenantly embedded in it that I can still smell to this day. It brings back memories of my childhood and reminds me that, while my grandparents are gone from this earth they are not gone from my heart.

    1. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      Nice. I feel the same way about my grandad's Ford Camper Special with the long floor shifter and the permanent cigar aroma. I inherited his next truck when he passed, a GMC three-quarter ton, but it didn't have the same significance as the one he used to take me fishing in when I was a little shiner.

    2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      Nice story. My dad had a Torino wagon too when I was a kid. He bought it from a buddy. The best story ever with taht car goes like this:
      It's Christmas Eve, my parents want to buy a tree, after all that's what you do back in Poland. All the tree places in parking lots are now gone. Oops. So he calls his buddy, "I have problem, no holy tree," who drives over in that wagon. He comes to the door with an axe, "Zenon, I have the answer, God bless the USA." My dad and him leave for a forest preserve, they come back with a huge tree. There's snow on it. When decorating, we found birds' nest. Later he sold that Torino to my parents and we later gave it to my uncle. I posted a pic of it in the comments here.

      1. Alff Avatar
        Alff

        What a heart-warming tale of your father's felonious act! ; )

  14. pj134 Avatar
    pj134

    huh…. definitely not the Acclaim, probably not the 89 Grand Caravan, definitely not the 80's Camry or the fleet of Honda's when I was entering my teens until just about when I exited them. Not my mom's sable either… Probably the Red 97 Taurus wagon or the 91 continental that always broke down… Probably why I want a brougham instead though.

  15. EnsignSlow Avatar
    EnsignSlow

    My mom's 1985 Buick Regal. It was a Limited model, special-ordered in Medium Grey Metallic with white pinstripes, but without the vinyl roof. Grey cloth interior, reclining split bench with armrest in front, Had the 3.8 Litre V6, fuel injected model, I believe. Someone stole the hood ornament, it had a hundred and seventy six thousand miles on it, and it was rusted through like you'd expect of a high-mileage Chicagoland car, but there are lots of memories there so I keep looking. I even still have a set of keys.

  16. Froggmann_ Avatar
    Froggmann_

    Most of the first memories I have of riding in a vehicle were of asking my mom to take her 1959 MGA instead of the 72 Lincoln or whatever else we had at the time. The only other memory I have from being that young was being int he back of my mom's Country Squire when she knocked over a light pole onto Ball Rd. by backing into it. But, back to the MG. I absolutely loved riding in the thing, top down, the weezy tractor engine buzzing away and the smell. The smell of the leather in the seats mixed with the horsehair stuffing. It's one of the few things that is permanently embedded into my memory. The car died sometime back in 1977 from what I gather from the last registration sticker put on the licence plate, making me about 2 years old at the time but the memories have lasted a lifetime.
    Speaking of lifetimes, maybe one of these lifetimes I'll actually get the bugger back on the road:
    <img src="http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q53/Froggmann/Misc/Previous%20Cars/MG/pimg7294.jpg&quot; width="600" img="">

    1. 2stroke4life Avatar
      2stroke4life

      Very cool. Is that the same MGA?

      1. Froggmann_ Avatar
        Froggmann_

        Yes one and the same. It was rousted out of it's long slumber in the garage back in 86 and disassembled by my brother. Then he got a 62 Porsche 356 and left the MG to rot. Even after he crashed the Porsche the MG still didn't get any love until I at least bolted it back together so it could be moved.

  17. longrooffan Avatar

    <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_zCnDCJkPVTc/S9uEMVflw6I/AAAAAAAALho/ZOYx4jZpI2o/s1600/1+016.jpg&quot; end="">
    Appropriately enough for Wagon Wednesday, it is Mom and Dad's 67 Ford Country Squire this olelongrooffan desires the most. Pacific blue with a blue vinyl interior; seating for 10 and a 390 to boot! Yeah, that's the one.

  18. OA5599 Avatar
    OA5599

    1) A guy who worked for my dad had a '65 Galaxie convertible. He needed some money and offered it to my dad for a reasonable sum. My dad told me it would be my car when I was old enough to drive (I was 8 at the time). The family cruised around in it for a couple of days until my dad found out that the guy who sold him the car didn't actually own it. We had to give "my" car back.
    2) We had a 69 A-100 without the side windows, followed up by a 66 with flip-out windows.Neither one had permanently-affixed seats other than the front row (we sat on beanbags, folding chairs, the rear fenderwells, or the engine compartment) I used to be slightly embarassed by those vans, but I sure want one now.
    3) Around the time I was 16, my dad got a 56 T-bird with a hotrodded FE 390 in place of the factory Y-block. He was the only one who ever drove it. Once, we went to pick up some auto parts in it, and on the way out from the store, he tossed me the keys and asked if I wanted to drive home. The problem was that it had an empty tank and ran out of gas about 500 feet later. That was my only time in the driver's seat.

  19. dead_elvis Avatar
    dead_elvis

    My dad's underpowered '83 Jeep Pioneer. Not enough power to get in serious trouble, but even as a dumbass 17 year old (redundant?), I never managed to get it stuck. (Ours was red, pic courtesy of teh 'tubez.)
    No real amenities beyond power steering & brakes, but it did have vent wing windows, which is a feature I'd like to see return to cars more than any other.
    <img src="http://www.ifsja.org/readers/cherokees/pictures/libby2.jpg"&gt;
    Good riddance to the '77 Buick Century wagon, the Renault 16, the '76 Cherokee and a handful of other rolling turds.

    1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
      mr. mzs zsm msz esq

      A few days ago my wife told me, "There's a nice old Jeep for sale on the way to the grocery store." After lunch yesterday she drove me by. Turns-out there are two like pictured! I'm tempted.

    2. dead_elvis Avatar
      dead_elvis

      hmmmm… I got an email notification that mr. mzs zsm msz esq (Alex?) replied, and it shows up in his Intense Debate profile comments log, but not here.
      Maybe now that I've replied to myself?
      <edit> hey presto, it worked! That's not really a very good system, is it?
      and also, give in to temptation! Hopefully they'll have one of the V8 options, not the straight 6.

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Well thanks, I had no idea that comment had gone into hiding. I really might look at these seriously in a few months and I always read way too much about cars online before I look at real ones anyway. That'll give me time. My wife tells me the Jeep has been there forever. Now we are saving for summer vacation.
        Oh and I'm Mike, not Alex, that's my son's middle name. Your handle reminds me of a FatMike, what ever happened to him? I'm not him, but am fat. I need a better screen name I think. Why not /6, heard good things about them.

        1. dead_elvis Avatar
          dead_elvis

          Sorry, I was thinking you might be Alex Kierstein. I have a hard time keeping screen names matched up with real names here. Not familiar with FatMike; I'm Neil. (Not anywhere near a fat-Elvis physique, either. Yet.)
          The 4-door Cherokee (Wagoneer, Pioneer, whatever version) was kind of heavy for the 6 – mine was about 4400 lbs according to the truck scale I weighed it on. Good for about 24 mpg on the highway at reasonable speeds, but it suffered when climbing hills or towing.

        2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
          mr. mzs zsm msz esq

          Well it appears that H.N.Lucas just snacked on your reply, maybe this will make him cough it up.

          1. dead_elvis Avatar
            dead_elvis

            (hairball)

    3. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      The only car I've ever driven that had vent windows was a bitch of a '96 Ciera wagon that hated me (brakes failed the only time I drove it) owned by a bitch of a 17-year-old who also hated me (and blamed me for the disintegrated brake line). Those were only in the far back, anyway.
      Fortunately, the other vehicles I've experienced – tow trucks and such, and my boss's old Ford pickup – have more than made up for the Assmobile.

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        My Volvo has vent window-lets, I lovem, except when they don't want to screw back shut and the doodad almost falls off.

        1. dead_elvis Avatar
          dead_elvis

          Do you have an Amazon or something even older? 240s & onward don't have vent wings, can't remember if my 145 did or not.

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            My '69 144 had them but I think they were later discontinued even within the 140 series.

          2. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            Your other reply was consumed. Meet Astrid, my old green olvo.
            <img src="http://a2.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/169003_623589215080_2912893_34798821_353171_n.jpg&quot; width="500">

          3. dead_elvis Avatar
            dead_elvis

            Beautiful! Glad to see she gets driven in weather (maybe it makes her remember the homeland).

      2. dead_elvis Avatar
        dead_elvis

        Those rear window vent wings are about as useful as male nipples, and part of the reason for my loathing of my parents' old Century wagon – who thought it was a good idea to have fixed windows in the rear doors?
        Rear window vent wings also create an unpleasant tornado-effect inside the car which is highlighted when an extremely intoxicated rear seat passenger succumbs to the booze flu & attempts to vomit out through that tiny vent wing opening…

  20. citroen67 Avatar

    I would love to have most of the automobiles that my parents had when I was growing up. The one I remember first was the mint green 2WD LWB 1975 GMC(I always wished that it could have been a "Gentleman Jim" edition) pickup. Then came the 1978 Monte Carlo, and a half dozen years later, along came a 1984 Chevy Scottsdale 4×4. I was too young for the best of the best, though. My dad's first car in 1967 was a '62 Chevy "bubble top," and my mother's first car that she got when she turned 18 was a '68 Firebird. After they married in '69, their first car together was a '70 Roadrunner. I would gladly recapture my youth in any of those fine rides!

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      My mother's first car was an early-'70s Pinto hatchback. It's a wonder I'm around to type this.
      It'd be hard to turn down the '65 Rambler Classic, the '85-ish Dodge Charger Shelby, or even the '79 Subaru, though. Hell, even the Pinto – what could go wrong?

  21. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    I actually bought a car much like one of my dad's earliest cars and nostalgia was part of the reason. The fact that is cost me less than $300 was the main reason. In '98 split the purcahse of a '79 Caprice with my uncle and got to use it pretty much exclusively that summer. It was a great car, all in all. I had some nice memories in it, it's my third favorite car I ever owned, but buying a car for childhood family nostalgia is not going to put a car over the top on your list of cars YOU'VE owned. That was a sort of sad realization for me. Sure it brought back some memories of wonderful things, but as far as cars go in memorability, that one that you rode in as a kid will ALWAYS trump the one you bought later so much like it precisely because it can only bring back those memories but not actually bring you back in time like a mythical DeLorean could.
    It comes back to that Caprice I had being the third best car I ever had simply due to it being a pretty good car considering itself and the memories I made in that very car being pretty sweet themselves. The cars I liked more, simply I had even better memories/stories in them and they were also better cars to boot. That said, I's still buy any of these first 4 cars my parents had if I could hoping for future good times to come.
    <img src="http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/29280_593235000170_2912893_33998143_8382397_n.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/182758_624745452970_2912893_34818267_470887_n.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash1/29280_593234980210_2912893_33998141_7888554_n.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Just this weekend I looked at a '95 DeVille thinking it might have something of the 225 to it, but no it didn't really and also it wasn't all that great an example of a mid 90s caddy itself either.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Wow, thanks for sharing your personal pics, I don't even know where I could find some pics like these of my own formative years. Better ask the 'rents.

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        Thanks, your comment disappeared for a while so I could not reply until just now, sorry. Ask your parents, they might have something. In my case my mom had kept all these shoe boxes of photos that I did not know about. When I got married she gave as a gift to me a photo album of old family pictures from those boxes. It was awesome, brought back lots of memories! Since then I've scanned a few hundred of the old pictures she kept. I don't have my favorite old family picture with car online or at work though. Have a good one.

    2. Lotte Avatar
      Lotte

      That small white (Italian??) coupe has piqued my interest; what is it?

      1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
        mr. mzs zsm msz esq

        It's a Skoda, which in Polish meant something like "too bad" but in Czcech meant something like neat rally car. Looking through old photos I ran across this. What is is? I'm thinking 4CV, but was there maybe some behind iron curtain copy cat instead?
        <img src="http://img691.imageshack.us/img691/2471/4cvf.jpg"&gt;

        1. Lotte Avatar
          Lotte

          Awesome! It definitely has some rally-ness to its shape, and I was thinking Alfa Romeo 1600 Giulia Sprint when I saw it. Some scrounging (purely to sate my curiosity) identifies it as a Skoda 100 coupe, and it seems like coupe are rarer than hen's teeth. Nevertheless, the only one I managed to find:
          <img src="http://mototechna.wbs.cz/skoda_100_nm25.JPG&quot; width="400">
          That is one cool little car!

          1. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
            mr. mzs zsm msz esq

            I think that's the car!I wrote a little story about that skoda before: http://ca.jalopnik.com/comment/32849270/ That place doesn't work too well for me anymore, so I'll excerpt the bit here.
            "… this was his old friend and he rallied Audis in Canada in the early '80s, so it's likely his friend! Sometimes in the snowy forests. But there's more. We were in Austria at the same time. My father bought two Skodas from him. I never knew how cool those cars were, I knew that one was a parts car and the other had rally stripes and sounded loud and seemed fast to me back then. But I thought that it was more my being a young kid and any car being awesome. Turns out that that striped Skoda was one that this guy had rallied in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Austrian Alps! …"

  22. BGW Avatar
    BGW

    At 15ish, I turned down the chance to help my father fix up (again) and drive my older brother's trashed Frankenbeetle. Truly, it was an obnoxious car. The exhaust system was audible 2 counties away and a previous owner had replaced the back seat, such as it is, with a carpet-covered wooden platform. High School me was horribly concerned about what others (read: the ladies) would think about a guy driving such a car. Mid-30s me realizes that, while the Gutless Calais was a much more reliable ride, it was a much less, well, gutless choice. I'd like to have that rattletrap Beetle back- today I'd gladly roll into the parking lot at work making far more noise than necessary.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Cars like that Beetle have a reputation. While some say the best reputation is no reputation at all, I'm still glad I drove my hearse to school almost every day senior year.

  23. Feds_II Avatar
    Feds_II

    We had some neat early '70's stuff: Torino's, Chevelle's, Phoenix's. There were a few Fiats and things in the mix too, but the one I rember most fondly is our full sized Dodge van, in wonderful 2-tone brown. I don't know the year, but knowing my pops it was no newer than '75.
    It was a camper conversion, but not a very good one, so seating for my family of 6 was: a bench seat running down the driver's side, not actually attached to anything, and a bed in the back. Now, by bed I mean 4" of foam placed over a 2×4 and plywood frame, which was in turn not actually attached to anything.
    Riding in the back of the Dodge meant either: Sitting on the bench, and falling on your face every time the thing turned left, or sitting on the bed and moving forward 2' every time someone pressed the brakes, as the diagonal-less bed frame trapezoid-ed, then slamming back into the rear doors as the van took off.
    We bought a new E-150 at the end of '86 to replace the Dodge, and kept it until '98, so I spent more years in the Ford, but it's definitely flying around in the back of the dodge that I remember most fondly.

  24. Dutch Avatar
    Dutch

    1965 Ford Galaxie 500 LTD 4 door. Gold with a gold interior. 390 police interceptor. Kelsey-Hayes wire hubcaps. An absolutely gorgeous car that Mom & Dad hated. "Gotta use Ethyl in the damn thing" "45 cents a gallon is gonna break us" "It'll pass anything but a gas station" It was traded off in 71 for a 70 Plymouth Fury III with a 318 (my first car).

  25. Tomsk Avatar

    Perhaps a trip to L.A. is in longrooffan's future?

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      I dunno. In order to do that, this olelongrooffan would have get on either an airplane or an interstate, both of which I avoid as much as I do those black and tan cars down here in the Sunshine State!
      <img src="http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRLycLHTX1dWnd0itgZsDCwqRLY8VZsGBoeXIPyTNI7xyPEzcb7"end&gt;

      1. CptSevere Avatar

        Take the train. You need that wagon, no two ways about it.

  26. lilwillie Avatar

    From my very young years I'd love to be riding in the back seat of Dad's Javelin. I can still remember the night a 12 gauge slug managed to wiggle through the rusted floor boards, fall on the muffler and then get hot enough to ignite the powder. Holy hell did that smoke us out of the car. Thankfully no one was hurt and Dad managed to get the fire out quickly.
    I also miss the Gremlin X he had. Man that car was fun as hell to ride in the far back. You could see the world behind you sitting back there.
    My teen years. I wish I had the Dragon Wagon back. '79 Fairmont wagon that just ate motors like nobody's business. First two went up in a hail of drag racing smoke but the '68 302 Dad managed to scrounge up for me made me the quickest kid in high school. Everyone else would flip their air cleaner over and act like they were fiddling with something. I'd add two quarts of oil and toss the spare, jack, cooler, girls, clothes, blankets and junk out of the rear and whoop their ass in the 1/4.
    I killed that poor wagon going to court for a speeding ticket. Lost it on a icy road, slid one way, then another, keep my foot in the gas and rode up a guardrail just like a skate boarder would slide up a hand rail. Hit the Concrete and Steel barrier and did a 360 spin landing right in the middle of traffic. Busted up my head something good. Hospital, then back to school to brag, then home to the shop and their Dad was, tuning up the Gutless Cutlass he bought for $200. We painted that car that night. Started out a deep, deep blue. Almost as dark as the State Patrol Blue. So we keep adding white, and drinking, and spraying. "It ain't light enough" would be the call. More drinking and spraying and when we were done it was the color of a Smurf. So we painted the roof white and I put Hefty smurf on the trunk and away I went.
    I have to call Mom and see if she has any photos for me..

  27. Tomsk Avatar

    I own the car I spent most of my youth in: a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300 SD. However, there is one other ride I wish we still had.
    <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5134/5431272849_c25c6ca884.jpg"&gt;
    We had this '84 Chevy C20 Suburban for over a decade. It had a tan cloth 9-seat interior, tailgate rear, and a 454. The aluminum running boards fitted by the first or second owners (which Dad wasn't crazy about, but he left 'em on for Mom, my brother and I), but he replaced the steelies and hubcaps with those polished Alcoas a few years after we got it. We took it on trips to San Diego, Morro Bay, Monterey, and San Fransisco, and kept it in great shape up until the last few years we had it before selling it to our contractor for a grand in about 2004 (which is about when I snapped this pic). It was actually the first vehicle I ever drove (before I had my license, in fact), when my dad asked me to move it from next to his machine shop to the parking lot in front because he was all dirty and didn't want to soil the interior (Don't worry, I never went on a public street.).
    If I ever have a family of my own, I'd locate a clean '80s C20 or K20 Sub, though probably with a diesel (fitted with a Banks turbo, natch). Hell, I'd love to have one even if I remain a bachelor (though that's hardly my first choice).

    1. Feds_II Avatar
      Feds_II

      OH GOD!!! I tried to thumb you up because i like that suburban so much, but I miss-touched the iPad, and now you're at 0. I'm so sorry!
      Please people, help me correct my horrible mistake. Put your thumbs up Tomsk.

    2. Black Steelies Avatar

      I have fond memories in several 'burbans of this vintage. Both my cousins' and my best friend's families had one. I wouldn't mind one either but a 454 is a heavy drinker. Someday perhaps I will make one my own.

  28. Black Steelies Avatar

    Mom and dad's APV looked remarkably similar to this but had a gunmetal two tone on the bottom half. Called it the silver bullet. Took many a road trip to grandma's house in that thing. We had it for a long time and it served us well despite a spotty reputation, but I'd never own one haha.
    <img src="http://hotrod205.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/lumina-apv-front.jpg&quot; width="600">
    I wouldn't mind a mint green Celebrity for beater duty. My dad had one for awhile and is the first car I remember.
    <img src="http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/3/3265/2901/33161450003_large.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Dad's Corsica, the Ciera, the 2nd APV [yup we had 2], and the Citation aren't worth noting. I always chastised my dad for having boring cars.

  29. ɹǝʌoɹ ǝБuɐɹʇs Avatar
    ɹǝʌoɹ ǝБuɐɹʇs

    <img src="http://www.mxdwn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/arcade-fire-suburbs.jpg&quot; width=500>
    Good comments on this thread. This is actually a timely subject for me, because a couple days ago, I saw this album cover for the first time. I like Arcade Fire okay, and have both of their other albums, but just looking at the front of this one triggered, actually, a deep emotional reaction for me. All of the sudden, I was remembering things long since forgotten. I remembered my dad's orange W108 sitting in our garage (I know, it's a W116 in the picture), and the palm tree in front brought me back to Orange County, where I spent my early childhood. Even the filter applied to the image brought back the same memories as looking through early-80's photographs of baby strange rover and his family.
    My dad worked a lot, so I didn't spend much time in his car, instead getting around in mom's Accord. When I did ride in that W108, though, it meant something. It was just an old Mercedes, and I don't even think it ran that great, but to the toddler version of me, it meant we were rich. Out of all the cars my family had during my lifetime, it is the one that I remember the least, but would make the biggest impression on me if it ever came back. It's one of those things you just can't explain.

  30. dtargonski Avatar
    dtargonski

    my dad had a 67 dodge charger, the rear seat would fold down into a huge flat surface. he followed it up with a 70 firebird formula 400, then a buccaneer red 73 455 trans am. after that suburbans and blazers. he walks in on me working on my 1st car, a 64 spitfire, and says 'when did you get interested in cars anyway..,.

  31. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Got it, as immortalized by Mike Bumbeck on clunkbucket. http://clunkbucket.com/return-of-bluebird/
    Damn I love this car.
    <img src="http://clunkbucket.com/wp-content/gallery/1967-datsun-bluebird-sss/dscf3746.jpg&quot; />

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Wow. Nice! I saw that article back in 2009 and never made the connection that the owner with your name was, you know, you. Must have been before you posted that fifth comment under your other, other name.

      1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

        Heh-heh, I have many secrets lives…
        The photos in that article were taken in the grass right after the Concours de Lemons where you won "Worst of Show". I actually brought two cars, the other of course being the Killer Bee that won the "Rue Britannia Order of MOT failure – Worst British" trophy. Only thing I've ever won.
        And then of course we met you, the upshot of which being my wife now regards me as slightly less insane.
        Great weekend.

  32. salguod Avatar
    salguod

    Dad bought a '65 Barracuda new with the 2bbl 273 V6 and a 4-speed with the factory Hurst shifter. It was their daily driver until 1982. I grew up – literally, not figuratively – in the back seat of the Barracuda. We went to drive in movies and they'd flip the back seat down and my sister & I would lay down in back and fall asleep after the Disney movie ended and while Mom and Dad watched the James Bond flick and they'd drive home without waking us up.
    IN 1982, the Ohio winters had taken their toll and the Barracuda was starting to look like Swiss cheese with rust holes every where. Then it got rear ended and dad got a few hundred bucks for his trouble. They kept driving it, but a few months later it was T-boned by a step van and that was all she wrote. Between the two accidents I thing Dad got over a grand for it, which is likely double what it was actually worth by then. Still, it was a sad day.

  33. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    A 78-81 VW Scirocco, a 78 was the first car I bought and the 81 with the 16V engine swap replaced it. They were light, quick and sharp handling, with enough power to be entertaining but not enough to be really dangerous, plus the Giugiaro styling was really elegant, although I prefer the wraparound turn signals of the later cars.

  34. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Ford_LTD_Crown_Victoria.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    Around the time I was born, my grandparents bought a brand new '86 Crown Victoria (basically identical to this except for the Brothel Red velour interior). By the time I was 3 or so, I loved it so much I insisted on going to stay with them, because it meant I got to ride in the Big Ford Car. My grandmother had it through about 2006, and later told me she would've just given it to me if she knew I wanted it.
    I also miss my mom's '89 Grand Caravan (because I haven't seen the first-gen minivans in years), and my dad's '90 Sonata (because I don't remember it much except that it was his last 5-speed).

  35. ptschett Avatar
    ptschett

    My folks actually still have every single one of the cars from my youth that I liked… except one.
    <img src="http://i54.tinypic.com/9knerc.jpg"&gt;
    Our '57 Star Chief convertible had a black/white interior as well as exterior, but this car's close enough. Once the farm economy recovered in the mid-late '80's my dad was able to afford cool cars again, and the Pontiac was the first one; it helped that his very first car was a '57 Pontiac. Even my Mom liked the car, it was an automatic so she could drive it, and she called it the Batmobile for obvious reasons. I drew a lot of '57 Pontiacs on my schoolwork in 2nd-3rd grade. We only had it for a year or two, then Dad sold it to a guy who paid in $100 bills (135 of them IIRC) around 1990.

  36. Beater_DeLuxe Avatar
    Beater_DeLuxe

    The first car I ever steered was dad's '79 Firebird, and I'll never forget the smell of battery acid from under the rear seat of his '82 Audi 5000s, but I spent most of my formative years in mom's Volvo wagon. An '84 245 DL in "mercedes yellow" with brown pleather upholstery and the rear facing third row seats. Carbed with a manual choke ("like a lawnmower", as my highschool friends liked to point out). Bought new, it served as the family truckster for over a decade. With 2(!) rooftop cargo bins strapped on, the Volvo performed flawlessly on every road trip of my childhood. While it wasn't the most fashionable thing in the school parking lot in the mid 90s, it was a fantastic first car. Safe, reliable, too slow to get in any real trouble, and room for 7. It met it's demise on my way home from university for Christmas 1999. I hit a deer at better than 120 km/h, and to this day I believe the boxy front end saved my life by preventing bambi from coming over the hood and through the windshield. Of all the cars I've owned, I miss the Volv the most.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Know how I know you're Canadian?
      (No, it's not your use of metric units.)
      Seriously, a wonderful description. The 245 went out doing exactly what it was designed to do.

      1. Beater_DeLuxe Avatar
        Beater_DeLuxe

        If it's not the units, or the typically Canadian way I piled it up, it has to be the carb that gave me away! The carbureted redblock was only available in Canada, and I believe '84 was the last year they were offered. I've owned fuel injected 240s, but I always kind of missed having to finesse the choke to keep it running on a cold morning. The Volv was assembled in Canada as well, but I've always suspected it was a tax dodge and all they did was slap on the hubcaps and screw in the license plate bracket. If not, I take back everything I've said about drunken maritimers, they assembled a damn fine automobile!

        1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
          FuzzyPlushroom

          Yep, it was the carb – our redblocks were all fuel-injected, as you said, and '84 was the last year you guys could get a carb.
          Halifax Assembly was a complete assembly plant – not like the Japanese pickup trucks that were imported nearly complete and had their beds attached in the States. My 244 (and I believe its parts car as well) is from Gothenburg (Torslanda), while my 745 was put together in Ghent – somehow I haven't ended up with a Volvo built on my side of the pond, although…
          I'm from New Hampshire, y'see, and therefore can't help but imagine my neighbours assembling a car whenever Halifax is mentioned. Bit of a scary thought, especially given that General Motors Framingham Assembly, in neighbouring Massachusetts, is responsible for a good portion of the utterly execrable GM A-bodies of the 1980s.

  37. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    As I was growing up, my mother had a '90 Bronco II (red/white/red two-tone) that I barely remember, a '95 Contour in 'Tobago Green' (a slightly tealish metallic light green that turned silvery-blue at night – it started flaking when new so she had the dealer repaint it, and it lasted until she traded it in) that had no options save for alloy wheels and a tape deck, and the '03 New Beetle, loaded save for a CD changer, with the 1.8T and five-speed. 'Entie' is a joy to drive, and if those cars weren't so difficult to work on, I'd hope to inherit him in a couple of years. The Contour, well, I certainly wouldn't mind picking a '95-'97 up, but it'd have to have an MTX-75 like Mum's car did (my grandfather thought the Zetec was a six at first, given the power); I did a good amount of my early driving in an automatic '97 Mystique and the CD4E ruined the car.
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5144443542_c8a8f3bf0b_b.jpg&quot; width="600/">
    (This photo shows off the colour better, though.)
    My father was out of the picture until recently, so I don't really have any memories there.
    My grandfather had a series of white Detroit beasts – a Corsica with blue vulgalour, an Achieva with similar vulgalour (this time whorehouse red) that had oh-so-'90s six-spoke alloys, an '01 Sable wagon with a completely dreary and grey interior that seated either six or eight, I forget which – before his current cherry red '03 Sable wagon, which is much like his old one, but Duratec-powered and optioned up. Only the '03 holds any appeal whatsoever.
    My grandmother, however, in between the two Bush-I-era Grand Ams and the surprisingly-nice 2000 Sebring convertible, managed to pick up an '89 Volvo 244.
    (It's now my IntenseDebate avatar, in fact.)
    It was bound to be my first car, but it rotted away while it sat, so we found another, similar save for a different exterior shade of blue and lack of rust. Her old car became my parts car.
    And the rest…
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4153/5433205196_b7b2425bd9_b.jpg&quot; width="600/">
    …well, the rest is history. I plan on keeping Violet for a while, whatever other cars – Volvo or otherwise – I end up with.

    1. Beater_DeLuxe Avatar
      Beater_DeLuxe

      Very nice, I dig the Lolvo! I like the back end of the late 244s, nicer taillights and the hint of a curve on the trunk lid. My sister has an '01 V70 that she christened Violet as well… despite the fact that it's silver.

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        There, now it's appeared! I've had a few people not believe that it was a 'Lolvo' until I showed 'em – I'm hardly the first to do it, mind. I'm keeping an eye out for another Volvo badge so I can do my 745 the same way.
        Early and late 240s have their own distinct charms. I like the later cars for their 'cleaner' appearance, lack of chrome and so on – I'd do very dirty things for a '92 or '93 245, Tropic Green over black, preferably with an M47 five-speed – but an earlier 240, particularly with a flathood and single/dual rounds, would also be glorious.
        The six-panel taillights are less sought-after in the Volvo world than the earlier five-panels (with the larger reverse light in some markets, or fog light, I believe, elsewhere) or earlier 140-esque tails, but I personally quite like 'em. I've considered going at the wires with a multimeter, replacing the taillight PCB with a home-soldered harness and connector block, and giving the car 'sequential' red taillights like an old Cougar's (or new Mustang's).
        My Violet's not quite violet either. I tell people that I named her Violet 'because she isn't' – of course, roses are red and all that. A friend has floated an alternate theory that I simply forgot an "N", given my driving style.

    2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      Heya, BdL. *poof* Hopefully your reply will appear now.
      EDIT: Bollocks, naught. I'll give it until 'morning'.

  38. topdeadcentre Avatar
    topdeadcentre

    My parents have owned a long series of boring or unfortunate cars… Ramblers and AMC Ambassadors, a Chevy Citation coupe, and a long series of Corollas that continues to this day.
    However, in the 1971-76 timeframe, my grandfather had Chevy Caprice wagons as company cars from the lumberyard he was working for. We would regularly drive to western MA or up to NH, with grandparents and possibly an aunt in front, my parents and an aunt or my older sister in the rear passenger seat, and me and my younger sister in the "way-back", camped out in our own little world on a foam mattress that he cut to fit. (None of his "work" wagons came with a third seat, though in other wagons around my life, the third seat was the one we fought for!)
    I would love one of the clamshell behemoths — huge cargo capacity, huge traditional comfort, easy to find engine and suspension parts. Shame about the gas consumption, and tailgate and rear glass repairs are finicky, but sacrifices must be made.

  39. Minimustangs Avatar
    Minimustangs

    I own the tiny T-Bird in the article, it has a new paint job and looks good, working on the frame and drive system now. If anyone knows where any other little cars like this are please contact me. jr987x321 (AT) hotmail.com

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