28 February 2006

Note to self:

If you're going to leave a post up for a few days, don't have it be about bugs. People feel an inexorable need to tell their horrible bug stories.

Why don't we tell stories about our first cars instead? My first car was a 1995 Chevy Corsica, named Red Leader after the character from Star Wars. (Yes, that Red Leader...the one who plummeted to a fiery death on the surface of the Death Star. In retrospect, I probably should have chosen a less prophetic name. I actually wanted to call him Rogue, as a Star Wars reference, but everyone thought it was an X-Men reference, so I had to abandon that idea.) My precious Red Leader served me well from 2000 until last July, when he suffered wounds the repair of which would have cost about four times what he was worth (extrinsically...his intrinsic value to me was beyond quantification), so I bought a new car, which I named James after the fourth president of the United States (and also so I could say "Home, James").

James and I get along pretty well, but he's just no Red Leader. Other than being considerably younger and having better fuel economy, he has no advantages over my well-beloved Corsica.

Well, he does have cruise control. And a CD player. And working drink holders. And power windows. And power side mirrors.

But he just doesn't have the heart.

(I really shouldn't anthropomorphize inanimate objects to the extent I do...I even felt a little guilty when I ogled Corvettes while behind Red Leader's wheel.)

Feel free to share first-car reminiscences in the comments.

Update, Just Because of Dave:
When I said to feel free to share your reminiscences, I meant stories that don't involve making out or bugs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear God the first time I made out in my 1970 Chevelle Malibu 350 w/ a 4 barrel carb and Hurst speed shifter with my gf Kelly this HUGE f'n cockroach with those 5 inch antennae or whiskers or whatever they are ran across her leg and she like totally freaked. Girl damn near bit my lower lip off.

You talk about a mood breaker. Dang.

d in t

9:24 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Ok, you suck.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah. you may be surprised to know that isn't the first time I've heard that.


9:29 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

Aw, but I'm sure no one meant it any more than I did.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Peel said...

And remember, you can always be nice and say, "Hey, thanks for the attention, but get out of my face."

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what, what? I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Enas Yorl said...

My first car was a used Chevy Citation II. Everyone kept telling me that it looked like a "cop car". This baffled me since the standard police car at the time was the Lincoln Crown Vic. It turned out that shortly before I moved into the area the Citations had been the standard police car for a number of years.

Lotsa good (that means illegal) times in that car.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Bought my first car for $100 -- a Comet. It looked like shit. Me and the future Mrs. Michael decided to spruce it up with a new coat of paint, so we went to the auto supply store and bought a bunch of cans of Emerald Green spray paint, along with masking tape and so forth.

By the time we had all the windows, tires and whatnot masked off with tape and newspaper, it was evening. The future Mrs. Michael thought maybe we should paint the next day. What the heck, I thought, the car was parked under a street light, so we started painting. And kept on painting into the night until we had used up our last can of Emerald Green paint. Under that street light, the Comet looked pretty good.

Until we got up the next morning and saw that Comet in the light of day. It sort of looked like a camo paint job, only with Emerald Green instead of Desert Brown. It was hideous. I had to drive that piece of shit to classes for about a year until I could get something else.

Given how stupid I was at that age, it's amazing to me that I ever got laid.

The future Mrs. Michael, who helped me paint that car, has now been my wife for 33 years.

11:34 PM  
Anonymous geoff said...

1969 Plymouth Fury II - what a beast!! Enormous engine compartment, enormous trunk, and more than ample room in the cab. Big and green (and afflicted with occasional problems of the muffler variety), it was kind of conspicuous at my office, so much so that they finally named a classified program after it: HAVE FURY. Unfortunately they never briefed me into the program, so I never found out how it turned out.

I think everybody was relieved when I finally abandoned the Fury and bought a Prelude.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

geoff my dad had a 69 Fury II. Light blue, funny lookin car. had the small block though, 283 I think. no cockroaches AFAIK

d in t

10:36 AM  
Blogger Russ said...

1976 Triumph TR7. Freakin' British piece of crap that mistakenly looked cool to a 16 year old kid. It was a pretty lookin' car, and I did get some action from owning it, but it was a cramped two-seater, so it was simply transportation to the action, never the site of any of said action itself.

The biggest problem was the constant mechanical & electrical problems. Lucas is the company that did most of the wiring in Triumphs (note: Mr. Lucas, the namesake of the company, is called "The Prince of Darkness" by anglophile motorheads for darn good reason). Thank God I was taking auto shop classes in high school so I could keep it going. I redid all the brakes, including rebuilding the master cylinder, readjusted the carbs (two Weber carbs were constantly going out of adjustment), replaced the rear passenger stub axle and all four wheel bearings, and patched the exhaust system together with spit, baling twine & duct tape.

A buddy finally did me a favor & wrecked it. I took the settlement from the insurance company, gave them back $400 for the car, drove it on and off for another 6 months, then sold it to a guy who wanted to restore a sports car.

I drove a motorcycle as my sole means of transportation for a year and a half in college (bummed a LOT of rides from December-March during Iowa winters), and finally bought a '73 Plymouth Satellite (225 ci slant six motor - freakin' bulletproof) from my grandparents when they finally decided to get a new car in '88.

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 1st car was a 1980 Volkswagon Vanagon. It's one of those hippie vans with no nose. It was white, and looked vaguely like a Tylenol, so everyone called it the Pill. And I mean everyone because it was passed down from the parents through 3 generations of brothers in my family.

So let me tell you a little about the Pill:
-- Power steering, A/C, a working battery ... all luxuries that we didn't need. The ability to push start/pop the clutch on a car with a dead battery? Essential. Gallons of oil (about a quart a month)? Recommended, but not necessary (she ran on dry). Fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror? Count it.
-- The sliding side door didn't work. If you tried to open it, it fell off. This made for a great practical joke whenever someone rode in my car for the first time. Think Tommyboy: "What'd you do?"
-- The doors locked, but the windows would open when you pushed them with your hands. So I usually just locked my keys in the car.
-- In the very back of the van (the "bed" of the van), there was a piece of foam about 2 inches thick that worked as a mattress. It was covered with a zebra-print blanket. Because I'm smooth. (Don't be fooled, the "bed" of the van wasn't big enough for one person to sit comfortably, let alone for two to work up a sweat.)
-- We owned that car for nearly two decades, and we never once waxed it. By the time I had the car, the paint would rub off on your hands if you touched it. Based on this, I logically deduced that I didn't need to wash the car because the dirt would just come off when the paint sluffed off. Self-washing car!
-- Since I drove a van, I'm sure I don't need to mention who was elected to drive whenever there was a group outing. Needless to say, there were a lot of group outings, and a lot of good times.

5:03 PM  
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