The Story of my First..
Posted by Bill Prosperi on March 11, 2011
It was a warm sunny summer day. We pulled into the field next to my parents’ house. There was a row of barns to shield us. I leaned in and mentioned how this was not my first time but was still nervous. I had attempted this once before in van on a back country road. It was tricky and I eventually got the hang of it but as always, things like this can come to a quick end. We started off slowly as I got familiar with our actions, slowly picking up the pace as we moved along. Soon things started moving quickly, maybe a little too fast. My dad showed up to tell me this was not the Indy 500 and I was driving in circles in the middle of a field. Buzz kill.
This was the first time I got to drive my first car, my 1981 blue Chevette. I was rolling in a ‘Vette, envy me. Please. Someone? Anyone? Ok, I thought I was pretty damn cool. We had some fun times together. It was rough for me having a summer birthday and being the youngest of my friends. All my friends had their license and access to a car. Then there was me, living out in the middle is nowhere. I always felt bad asking for a ride since I was 30 minutes away from everyone. This was my chance to finally fit in and get away. The day we first met is still burned into my memory. It was the summer of 1993 and I was coming home from somewhere and there sat this strange car in the driveway. My parents tried to play it of the best way possible but I was able to put two and two together. This car was mine all mine.
As with any car given to a teen just learning the ropes, it was lacking in a few areas. The stereo would not bounce a dead bug of the speakers, the passenger seat belt did not work, and the fuel tank had a hole in it. As long as I owned it, there was never a full tank, always three quarters. There were a few other things but nothing major. It was the perfect daily driver for a kid with no money. This was back in the day where gas was always under a dollar. When needed, a fill up would run around five bucks and go on to last around two weeks. The seat belt? Not an issue. The car had belts for up to five, which several times was a few short as I found that up to nine high school kids could fit in this little coupe. Clown car? Maybe?
The many memories that were built around my first car. Most of them would have ensured that I never drove under my parents insurance unless it was a medical emergency. It was senior year in high school, what was one to expect? There was the time though, that the windows were fogged up one morning and we kinda skidded against a electric pole, running a long scratch down the driver side. Dad was pissed and I would be grounded for the next two weeks. Grounded? I was a senior in high school and it really was not my fault. Dad caught his own hell for that one. Thanks Mom. I did take good care of my ‘vette though. The car was washed regularly but rarely waxed. I was convinced by my father to just put a little oil in the water every now and then when I washed it. I think this was he way of saying: ‘Don’t use my Mother’s Gold on your car, ever’. Shhhh, I may have done that a time or two when he was at work.
We would go on to spend a good year and a half together. The final days came when I moved to Columbus to go to college. I arrived early to work with my uncle and get a little extra cash in my pocket. While attempting to follow his directions to a job site, this was pre-GPS days, I drove through a red light and was hit in the driver side door. Luckily this was low impact and everyone was just fine, except for the car. The door was pretty caved in. I would go on to inherit my late great grandfather’s Citation, which had very low miles considering the age. The age would prove to be the downfall but that is a story for a later time. Just put these two words to mind, float and carburetor.
The freedom that came with your first car is something that will always be there in the back of your mind. The ability to go anywhere instead of having someone else take you is liberating. Those were the days. We were young and not a care in the world.
(This was not exactly my car but similar. I am not even sure if I have any pictures of my first car since there were no such thing as digital cameras back then.)