After my semester off, I spent the summer working at a camp in Vermont and then went to Eastern Mennonite College for the year (half of which was spent in Central America on a semester abroad). The summer of 1987 I was back in Pennsylvania working and planning to go to Goshen College to study art in the fall. As usual I was looking through the car ads and saw something that peaked my interest (even though I'm a Ford guy). The ad went something like this - 1966 Chevrolet Co
After New Years 1986, the Fiat and I headed south for the winter. I had a job lined up as a carpenter's helper with a big construction company, but no place to live. Luckily, I had connected with a friend of mine who I had met at summer camp. My roommate Richard arrived from Vermont in a 1968 Saab 95. We landed a trailer park in a vintage trailer with thin, poorly insulated walls and single pane windows. Richard was delivering pizzas which is pretty hard on a car.
I had finished a year and a half of college and had changed my major from undecided to computer science to marine biology and finally to art. Not really sure of which path to pursue, I decided to take a semester off to figure it out. My sister was going to school in Harrisonburg Virginia, so I decided to move down there for a change of scenery. For whatever reason, I decided that I shouldn't take the Mustang, but instead look for a cheap beater car to take with me. Somehow
A first car is a learning curve that should lead to something better when it's time to pick out that next vehicle. I viewed my first car as a stepping stone that would lead me to my second car. The work that I had done on that first car raised it's value, so I could sell it and use the money to buy the next one. I'm one of those people who is always watching the side of the road to see what's for sale even if I'm not in the market for a new ride. Certain cars are instantly wr
The best part about buying a $400 first car, is that you don't have much to lose. The Mustang I bought was quite simple to work on and parts were readily available. With the help of a friend who had some mechanical experience, I was able to tackle most of the things that it needed to pass inspection. Now that the car was roadworthy, it was time to tackle the body issues. Unfortunately, the only thing I knew about bodywork was called Bondo. Fortunately, by now I was working at
Everyone who has ever owned a car has had the one that came first. Sometimes it was handed down from an older sibling or relative. This was usually not really the car that you would have picked out for yourself. I was the oldest in my family and had no older brother or sister to get a car from, so it was up to me to earn the money and pick out my first car which was just fine with me. First order of business, was to earn some money. As a 14 year old with permission from my pa