Sign in to follow this  
ocnblu

Best First Car

28 posts in this topic

ocnblu    733

We all know how kids are. They anxiously await that first taste of freedom that comes with a driver's license, but a lot of them just aren't ready for driving life. Which car do you nominate as C&G's Best First Car, 2006?

I nominate the 1973 Chevy Impala four door hardtop with a transplanted 2.5L Iron Duke engine, 3 on the tree transmission, and no power steering or brakes. That should keep 'em out of trouble while learning to drive in a most basic way.

I truly believe everyone should know how to drive a manual transmission, and we should all know how to handle a vehicle with no power steering or brakes. Everything else would be cake, and ya never know when you'll need to escape your captors and your only means is... a 1973 Impala with an Iron Duke, three speed on the column, and no power assists.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Camino LS6    866

I have to nominate my first car. A 1966 Dodge Coronet 440 Station wagon. " Cream of Wheat" power steering, touchy drum brakes, anemic 273 V8, Big as a house, Bias ply "maypops" and non-functional HVAC/defrost. Talk about a learning curve! I became an expert on replacing drum brakes in a hurry and learned a ton about general auto mechanics courtesy of this car.

PWIGS (Pics when I get scanner)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trinacriabob    21

I thought my first car was cool, albeit a hand me down. It was an immaculate 1976 Olds Cutlass Supreme coupe - light metallic blue, white landau, blue cloth interior, color keyed rally wheels and, powering it all, the unmistakable velvety purr of Oldsmobile's version of the ubiqutous 350 V8. As far as I know, it lived at least through the summer of 1992, when I finished a grad program at Univ. of Ill. and I sold it to a guy who farmed outside of Champaign, IL. Who would have ever thought that a car that knew every inch of pavement on "the 405," LA's famous San Diego Freeway, would end up in bucolic retirement near "Cham-bana."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Flybrian    0

A 2006 Mercedes S500 out of warranty coverage. If you can fix that thing by yourself on a shoestring budget, you should win a scholarship to MIT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've still never driven a manual. :(

You're missing 50% of the driving experience from the standpoint of an enthusiast. I've only met a few people in my life who prefered atuo after having driven both.

Esp. in little econoboxes it's everything. A manual trans. makes a crappy car liveable & inversely a automatic can run a great car like a VW GTi or BMW 328i.

Anyway my nomine:

1983 Caprice 4.3 with highway gears and out of balance tires. 1983 is still pre-emissions in Mass though so you can avoiud the worry of a old car failing the sniff test.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
z28luvr01    170

Realistically:

A Chevy Cobalt.

That's one of the first things I thought of when I first got my car. Thanks to the copious amounts of glass, the smallish C-pillar, the big mirrors, and the high driving position, it is really easy to see out of with no noticeable blind spots. The 2.2L provides sufficient power, but not enough to get anyone in trouble.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
capriceman    0

My choice is a Chevy Kodiak.

Or a

1955 Caddy with a 3 cylinder engine. No powered drum brakes. Manual rack and pinion steering. with AC.

A stick is fun and its a must in econboxes. But city driving sucks with a stick. So thats why i have autos. but if i go put to the country i rent a stick car for the weekend.

Edited by capriceman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
turbo200    6

I've still never driven a manual. :(

you are missing out. manual's are just fun to drive, exert the most power out of any engine, and you get such control over the car. I don't know that I would be totally satisfied without one.

That said, I nominate my first car, the Nissan 240sx hatchback, stickshift LE with leather sport seats. Best handling car I've driven so far, and good little engine with a nice sweet spot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cory Wolfe    263

Hmm... first car, eh?

To me, a first car should be... Reliable, inexspensive, safe, simplistic, and efficient. That excludes... anything that isn't Japanese. Nowhere near what I'd want, but... it's what CR and others tell me is right. :D

Haha... nah, although the constant issues were annoying, my GA wasn't a bad first car. It was cheap, somewhat fun, looked good, and I like it. What more could I possibly ask? Other than it being a 240SX? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dsuupr    12

1980s Volvo 240. Slow, super safe, and VERY durable.

The only car I've every experienced to be as durable as a 240 is a Caprice, a car I would NEVER put in a teenager's hand because of the power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
CARBIZ    1

My first car was a '67 Dodge Polara. 3 spd automatic with after market a/c. I think it was Sears a/c, actually. The car was 12 years old when I got it. It had a little bit of rust (amazing for this neck of the woods) and the a/c still worked. It had 97,000 miles on it. I bought it for $50 and gave my buddy a set of speakers.

My next two vehicles were both Dodge's and were 4 cylinders with manugal transmissions (it was the anemic '80s after all).

Manual trannies were fun until I moved to the city. Nothing fun about shifting on the freeway in stop and go traffic. Give me a smooth shifting automatic GM tranny any day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PurdueGuy    72

IMO:

Must be semi-old. Teenagers in general do not deserve new or semi-new cars. Parents argue wanting their kids to be safe to justify buying newer cars. Buy them an old boat - they'll be plenty safe.

Must be something they'll have to work on. This will either teach them to work on their own car, or appreciate the importance of doing well in school so they can get a good job and afford to pay someone $80 an hour to fix it for them.

Can be somewhat cool, but unless they save up & buy their own car, the first car should not be more about being cool than being safe & getting from A to B. Teenagers generally act like idiots with their first car, doubly so if it's a cool car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trinacriabob    21

Teenagers generally act like idiots with their first car, doubly so if it's a cool car.

Not me. I didn't want it to malfunction nor have it taken away. I was pretty conservative when I first started driving. I still am, but am a lot more relaxed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NOS2006    11

My first car:

1998 Chevrolet Camaro 3.8L Automatic Four Speed. It's got tasteful exterior modifications along with enough performance to take out an '85 Monte Carlo SS, '96 Impala SS, and a '94 Mustang GT (in 0-60 and 1/4 mile).

EDIT: oops! Took this thread the wrong way. haha

Edited by NOS2006

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ocnblu    733
You don't realize the percentage of "first cars" that end up wrecked, clearly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ocnblu    733
I was lucky, I didn't have my first accident until I was in college, I ran into the back end of a big Dodge pickup in stop-n-go traffic with a massive receiver hitch on it that veed my S-10 bumper like a pretzel... the really stupid thing is, I did it while looking at a girl standing in a parking lot talking to her friends. It broke one of my headlights out, $h! fell all out on the road... but to save face, I kept on going until I was out of her sight. What a dumbass! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
trinacriabob    21

You don't realize the percentage of "first cars" that end up wrecked, clearly.

I guess I should consider myself lucky. The only body mishap in the first Cutlass was the rust that formed between the vinyl landau top and the beltline...that was everywhere in those cars. It rained into the trunk as I was near the end of grad school, so on Saturday mornings I would get up and scoop it out.

I always wondered what the dude who farmed near Champaign, Illinois did with my car and how much longer he kept it. I wanted to drive it back across the plains and over the Rockies to Portland to complete the car's "circle trip" but my parents said "United...one way ticket" instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Croc    268

You don't realize the percentage of "first cars" that end up wrecked, clearly.

You don't realize that as a result of your trying to start stuff by responding negatively to my posts on a frequent basis after I have repeatedly and kindly asked you to cease and desist I have put you on "Ignore" and only see your posts when others quote them, clearly.

---

To everyone else, I think my list speaks for itself: practical, fuel-efficient (first-time drivers tend to be low on cash), safe, high-quality, enjoyable to drive and stylish. I really don't know what ocn's issue is regarding my list. Most of the people at my HS received new or late-model cars. Most of the people kept their cars in good shape and took care of them. The few who didn't tended to be the few who received (or bought on their own) beater cars. Those people in the old beater cars by and large were also the ones with the most extensive injuries when they were involved in accidents because the beaters they drove had already been in previous accidents or lacked modern safety equipment like air bags, seat belt tensioners, effective safety cages, etc.

Now, granted this is entirely anecdotal, but what would you care more about, your new or late-model car you bought or received...or some POS beater that is "just wheels" and is missing all but one of its hubcaps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nick    31

I agree with your list Croc, but also think about the fact that those who drive the "beaters" may not be able to afford anything more. I could look at the high school I went to, but that would be a bad example because I live in an affluent neighborhood where it is pretty common to see 16 year olds driving brand new 50k+ cars. Hell, there is a kid down the street that just turned 16 and got a new Range Rover. This type of situation isn't all that common, it's just one extreme. The other extreme of coruse would be barely even being able to afford a late model car let alone an older beater.

I'd have to whip out statistics, but I'm not going to so I'm not positive, but I'd think, for the average family, it probably wouldn't be practical to spend money on a new or late model car where chances are they would have to make payments, when they could just spend a few grand for an older car to act as a set of wheels to get the kid from point A to point B.

Edited by Nick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this