First car - what was yours?

11 replies [Last post]
Chris Martin
Joined: 2011-08-20

As Martin P posted on his blog a debate which was sure to stir up some fun; what was your first car?

I thought as we can't add photos to the blog answers there may be some readers who would like to share. 

I will start with a 1959 Ford 103E Popular, which was my first 'legal' car- ie, taxed, MOT'd insured and for which I actually had a licence.  Clean, totally solid and rust free it ran reliably and economically and served me well for some time. That single windscreen wiper was lethal though, vacuum operated, so of course it stopped completely going up hill in the rain but only 'wiped a couple of square inches when it was working - and I didn't know about Rain-X then.

Nice paint job eh?  I sold it (at a profit) in '75 to someone who was going to do the inevitable hot-rod job on it, although last I heard it had a Lotus Twin-Cam rather than a V8 donk.  Wonder if 590 TMC still survives?

Chris M.


James Elliott
James Elliott's picture
Joined: 2011-03-11

I need to find some pictures, but it was a white 1973 Mini 1000 LPP 503L, that was a hand me down from my brother and came to me in 1986. We had bought it off an elderly friend of the family a few years earlier for £400 and it was immaculate and super low mileage.

We lived in the Berkshire countryside so it was a brilliant car for that: 50mph all the time regardless of the roads, the conditions or anything else. It was just a huge fun car.

It wasn't without its problems (always very minor, battery terminals, dashpot oil etc) until I proved the classic Mini's superior braking in the wet at a pedestrian crossing in Leamington Spa and the modern car behind ploughed into the back of me.

Mark and I hammered it out and held it together with glassfibre but come the next MoT our monocoque repairs were deeply frowned upon and my mate Steve Ragg cracked out the oxy and welded in a new boot floor (the panel costing me a mammoth £17 from the brilliant Mini Centre in Windsor).

It was legal after that, but never quite the same again and got so grotty that it ended up handpainted in olive drab, with later bright orange roundels added when I realised that an olive drab Mini zipping around in the greenery of Berkshire couldn't be seen by anyone.

The paintwork vandalism then got worse until I was off to Australia for a year and I sold it to a chap called Kevin from Maidenhead for £100. His Mini nutter dad wanted it really as a project to indoctrinate his son in the joys of Issigonis, but I guess it came to nowt because the car seems to have disappeared a very long time ago.

It was during the time that I had the Mini that I also had my Triumph Herald 1200 (bought for £60, probably overpaid), but that's another story.

Uncle Benz
Uncle Benz's picture
Joined: 2012-10-16

I had a white Vauxhall Viva E Coupe 1300. I was following a family tradition as, a few years earlier, my older brother’s first car was the same but in sparkling gold. I suspect my brother and I had been steered towards the Coupe/Firenza body shape because our father had one of the low volume Droop Snoot HP Firenzas. He still has his Droop Snoot but both Vivas have long gone - the gold car went to a neighbour, and I sold my white car to a chap who needed a solid coupe shell as the base for a Firenza rally car project.

Buying my Viva was odd in itself. I spotted it in the local paper, not in the classifieds but sat on the drive in an estate agent’s photograph of a house being advertised. We located the house (I imagine Dad called the estate agent posing as a house buyer) and it transpired that the Viva was surplus to requirements and the owner was happy to sell.

It was a low mileage car (44k I think) and in very nice order. The engine/gearbox had been replaced with a detuned 2.0 lump from a Canadian spec Viva estate. We aquired a 1300 engine/gearbox and swapped them over. Amazingly the 2.0 Canadian lump was reunited with with the original estate from whence it came - it turned out that the Canadian car minus drivetrain was in a lock-up in a nearby town and owned by someone my father knew via the local Firenza/Magnum/Viva owners’ club.

Mario Laguna
Joined: 2011-08-29

My first car was a modest Citroën 2CV. Although I purchased it with the money I earned working during summer vacation, it wasn't legal. In 1972 I was under age. Majority then was 21, so I couldn't register the Citroën on my name and my father, God bless him, refused to stamp his signature in my papers. So, for a number of months I drove the 2CV like a pirate skipper. Eventually, I got all the papers, legal registration and insurance before the poor thing surrendered its breathless soul after two full engine rebuilds.
Many years after, I was glad to know Gordon Murray named it an engineer's car. Fun it was for sure, especially downhill, where no one could defeat me. Not bad for a brakeless car. On the contrary, uphill performance was equal to zero. 6 volt battery and yellow headlights produced hazardous night driving experiences, but still fun. A tin of good oil was essential equipment as engine oil was drunk in the same amount as petrol.
Sadly I am still looking for a photo of the two-window, suicidal door vehicle.
Then my first legal car was also a brand new one. A bright yellow Renault-5 arrived at the same time my daughter was born. They grew-up together and my daughter, really under age, learnt to drive it before we regretfully part with that wonderful car. We really were very happy with the R-5, in every respect.
And, for the first time on the road, I needn't keep glued to the lorries to reach a normal cruising speed.
The R-5 was followed by a fast BMW 320i, but we have not such fond motoring memories of that period, even if it was an excellent 6-cylinder, more powerful transportation.


Joined: 2014-02-26

i had a renault 5 - love it even though looking back it was a terrible car! loved the hand tune radio!

Joined: 2014-02-26

any one have a classic fiesta mk1 or mk2?

Joined: 2014-02-26

any one have a classic fiesta mk1 or mk2?

Joined: 2012-08-09

My first car was a 1970 Saab 96. What a great car. Four speed on the column, V4 engine, front wheel drive, fold down rear seats made it into a mini estate.

This car looked like nothing else on the road in the USA in 1978. Had this car while at university. One winter there was a terrible snow storm that put 12 inches of snow on the ground in one day. I had the only car out of 50 cars in the dormitory lot that could get out. Made a huge liquor run for all my friends!


Joined: 2014-04-04

Mine was a 997 cooper, wish I still had it now!

Trigbush's picture
Joined: 2013-03-14

BoroCarBoz wrote:

any one have a classic fiesta mk1 or mk2?

I had a 1984 Ford Fiesta in green gold and with headrests! B604VWY. Long gone unfortunately. I went off the States for a year and when I returned found that my parents had paid someone to take it away...sob.

Joined: 2014-05-01

1975 VW1303 super beetle with a stretched nose. In orange ,mind you. Love the dated pictures here, wish I could find one of mine.

For The Love of Sports Cars