Updated: Jan 8, 2019
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 parents, I got my first real job. Every day after school I would ride my bike to a local veterinarian's office and clean cages for $2.00/hr. Not glamorous, but I was able to save the money that would eventually buy me my dream car (at the time).
I have always been interested in cars and devoured magazines like Motor Trend and Hot Rod as a kid and teenager and of course spent many hours building scale models. If it had wheels and an engine, I was interested in it. As my savings grew, I began pouring over the want ads in the newspaper and watching the roadsides searching for that perfect car. What were the parameters? 2 doors, a V8 engine, mag wheels, sporty, cheap (remember $2/hr.). Of course, reality means that sometimes you have to settle for a bit less than the ideal. I found a 1964-1/2 Mustang with an asking price of $400. My Dad and I went to look at it and it was indeed a $400 car. Some rust, dents, bad repairs, a straight 6 engine (that ran) with a 3 speed on the floor. It was a white coupe with red interior and the inspection had expired. It met 3 of my criteria - 2 doors, sort of sporty and cheap! I bought it! We drove it home that night in the dark on back roads with a license plate borrowed off one of our other cars. That was 1981 and I've gone through quite a few cars since then, but that one will always have a special place in my memory.