To you, my dearest first car…

I’m not sure if I’m alone in this, but over the years I’ve owned many cars. They have been many different colours and sizes, but not one comes close to the love I felt for my first car.

Ah yes, my dearest first car,

Yesterday as my eldest daughter got her first flat tyre and we set about getting her back on the road again my mind wandered to you. As I admonished her for not knowing how to change a tyre and began to spout many various rules relating to safety and responsibility, inwardly I smiled as so many past incidences came to mind of you and I.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember how…

We drove away from home in a rage with my mother? It was a dark, miserable, rainy night and we were only three weeks together. As I approached a busy photo credit: <a href="">still here.</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>junction I saw the lights go green, so made no attempt to slow down or approach with caution. A car on the other side, decided to break the light and crossed our path sending you spinning wildly, over the barrier, across the other side of the dual carriageway where we stopped inches from a wall. No other car struck you as we crossed the road. You were banjaxed, your engine pushed in around me. When  they managed to free me I saw the state of you and discovered my one injury… my little finger was cut. Furious I had to be held back as I tried to go for the man who had crashed into us. I calmed down eventually and despite being told I should scrap you, I couldn’t, you and I were friends. So shaking their heads the mechanics set to work and in a few weeks you returned as good as new, almost.

That day I learned many lessons. A car is a dangerous weapon. The name of my insurance company. How not to tell my mum, or anyone else, the full story of what speed I was travelling.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember…

How we went to collect my now husband from the train, as he was coming to Dublin to visit me. He was forever going on about checking oil and water, so I did so before collecting him. He and I had a passionate re union, as any young couple would, having been a whole two weeks apart. Driving home we chatted happily until the smell of burning and the smoke pouring out of the engine became too much. Pulling over I opened the bonnet to discover that, yes I had checked the oil, but I’d forgotten to put the dip stick back in. Without it there was no seal on the oil, which had spilled all over your new engine and was burning and smoking. I’m not sure the smell ever left you.

Another lesson learned together, don’t bother checking the oil,, always put back the dip stick.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember…

How I didn’t take the time to put our tax disc in the proper holder and as it sat on your dashboard a gust of wind blew it out the window? Days later the guards stopped me and I tried to explain to them what had happened. They were as sympathetic as a teacher hearing ‘The dog ate my homework’.

Lesson learned that day… put tax disc in holder , tell a good lie.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember ...

The light telling us your petrol tank was empty, was permanently on?  I had to guess if it were time to get petrol. Do you remember how many times I miscalculated?

Lesson learned… buy petrol a couple of times each week., be nice to family, you may need them.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember…

The many adventures we went on together. That first trip to Cork to meet my now husband. Remember the dreadful storm that night and how there were no mobile phones back then? We were six hours late, but he was still waiting outside the shop we said we’d meet at, having convinced a friend I would come. photo credit: <a href="">Lough Tay</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)</a>They had found a pub nearby and he went in and out of it regularly never doubting (ahem!) that I’d show.
Or the many trips we went on together to the Dublin mountains, my solace and sanity during a very difficult time in my life. You were my companion as I sang my heart out as we traveled further away from life and living.

Ah yes, my dearest first car, remember…

When Dad died and you and I drove all over the place? How I cried, shouted and screamed at how cruel life was as you brought me to places I loved and people I cared about?

Ah yes, my dearest first car, I remember…

How eventually you and I had to part. I was going away to Australia and you were moving on to your own next adventure. I’m not sure if you ever again were loved as much as I loved you, but I do know that I’ve had many cars since, but not one has ever come close to you.

photo credit: still here. via photopin (license)
photo credit: Modern roman biga via photopin (license)

23 thoughts on “To you, my dearest first car…

  1. We really do get attached to our cars, don’t we? And I think the first one is always going to have a warm place in our hearts.

    I once read that the “first car” topic is one of the favorite writing prompts of everyone given it. It evokes such memories and emotions! You did it splendidly!

  2. As a car nut anyway, I will always love my first (disastrous) purchase, which ended on the A127 in Essex with the gear stick in my hand as I flew along the fast lane…

    Then it was RIP for my beautiful midnight blue Ford Capri!

      1. Believe it or not, it was a golden Citroen Pallas with a sun roof. It’s a long story but Dad got it for me after J died and I had it for 13 years. No car has ever been the same since in terms of emotional bonds.

  3. My first car was a 1986 Chrysler Daytona. Cherry red, turbo engine. I could spin the tires in third gear on dry pavement. That car had a light fly wheel and a big set of balls……the need for speed!
    I was so sad when it was time to let her go. Still dream about road trips in my little sportscar…..especially now with my giant 8 seater mom-moblie!

    1. Haha. I passed a ‘mom-mobile’ the other day and that is what inspired me to write this. I hated having one of those and thankfully am back to driving a real car again.
      Love how your description of your first car matches pretty well the you I’ve got to know on your blog. No wonder you were buddies.

  4. My first car was a used 1985 Chevy Chevette. I got it in 1986 when I was 19 at my first Air Force duty station. I only got to drive her a little over a year and then left her with my mom to take care of when I went overseas. By the time I got her back, 3 years later, she was on her last legs. I was so disappointed in the care she didn’t get while I was gone. Her engine was so messed up, you had to pump the gas to make it go, and the passenger door no longer opened. I wish I had fonder memories of this car, but by the time I traded her in I called her a Chevy Shove-it and couldn’t wait to see her go.

  5. I’m impressed by your husband waiting six hours for you that day. It must either show the strength of his belief in you or the quality of the nearby pub. Possibly both.

    1. Ah yes imagine waiting 6 hours? The big eejit. But I’m glad he did I must admit, but don’t tell anyone.
      There is a big festival in Cork each year on October Bank holiday weekend so the pubs were packed and I really thought he’d have left. Of course if I was waiting for me I’d certainly wait six hours.

  6. Some lovely – and bittersweet – memories. I remember my first car so fondly too. It’s special your first car.
    Mine ended up going on fire. While I was in it! Right outside the door of my (ex-pat) childhood friend who was home and getting married that day. Only I didn’t know that’s where she was staying. Pure fluke! Mad, eh?!

    1. I read this yesterday but didn’t get a chance to reply until now.
      What a story. Brilliant. You couldn’t write it.
      What sort of car was it?

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