|This site is managed and maintained by Don Robertson. You can reach him at email@example.com|
Here are some stories from classic car folks about getting their first car! If you have an interesting story about getting your first car, or first classic car, sent it along with a picture and I will add it here.
|My first car by Don Robertson, Mississauga, Ontario|
My first car was a 55 Chev I bought from my next-door neighbour for $30 bucks. I was 15 or 16 at the time, we were living in a mining town in Labrador that was so newly carved out of the bush (with no road to it, vehicles came in by train) that it was still all private property and you did not need a driver's license or plates to drive.
I had been driving regularly since I was 13, and was at the point where I REALLY needed my own car (in my mind anyway).
I had noticed that my neighbour's car, a black four door 55 Chev, had disappeared sometime in the middle of the winter. I didn't think anything of it until one day in early spring while looking out of a second-floor window of our house, I saw something strange. It was a black circle in the snow. A second squint saw a piece of wire sticking up about three or 4 inches as well.... A radio antenna!
They get a lot of snow in Labrador, and the car had been completely buried for most of the winter. The next time I saw the neighbour I asked him why he wasn't using his car, and he said that "One day it had a heart attack and died!" He said everything quit at once except the radio. The engine, lights and even the horn quit, so he just had it towed home and forgot about it. Even though I was just a young kid, I knew that if everything quit at once, there was not much wrong with it. He obviously wasn't very mechanically minded, he was convinced the car was done.
I asked him if he would sell it to me and he didn't want to because he said it was no good. When I persisted, telling him my dad was a mechanic and could help me fix it, he finally said, OK, the radio is good and should be worth 10 bucks, and there were two new tires on the back that were worth 10 bucks each, so I could have it for 30 bucks as long as I understood the car was junk.
Well I ran inside and told all this to my dad as fast as I could... I never saw 30 bucks come out of his pocket so fast in my life! He handed me the money and said "Go give it to him!"
I was suddenly the very proud owner of a black circle in the snow. We had a boarder who had access to a Cat D8, and he drove it home the next day and we dragged the car out of the snowbank and parked it beside the house. Cars that come out of snowbanks are as clean as the day they were built... it shone like a new penny, except for a big dent in the top of the left front fender that didn't bother me a bit. It was a 265 V8 with a three on the tree.
My dad came out and had a quick look under the hood and said, "see the ground wire from the battery?" I looked and it was loose where it attached to the side of the block (or head, I don't remember). He said clean that up with sandpaper and tighten it up, and gave me a list of several other things to do. And then he said, "Don't start it up today or you will have him (nodding toward the neighbour's house) flying out the door with a big case of seller's remorse".
You can probably imagine what happened next. I got everything done in no time and was sitting in the driver's seat with ants in my pants. I will just give it a turn to see if it fires OK and then I will shut it off, I thought to myself... no-one will be the wiser. Well the damn thing turned one rev and fired right up... with no exhaust after the crossover pipe!! I was parked between two brick buildings, so it sounded like a bomb went off!
As predicted the neighbour came flying out of the house, about four feet off the ground with eyes as big as pies!
I drove that car for two years... never should have sold it.
Don Robertson, firstname.lastname@example.org