Saturday, October 15, 2011

First car...

This got started, and a bunch of folks have chimed in; here's mine:
The first car that was actually mine was a '76 Ford Courier pickup. If you're not familiar with them, they were one of the first mini-trucks and looked like this
Mine was red. Four-speed manual, no a/c, good mileage, 1800cc engine(more on that in a bit). No amenities whatever unless you paid for options, and being nineteen... the only option I paid for was a heavy steel safety bumper in back, and it saved the rear end three times over the years.

I drove that thing from new off the lot to 1990. I carried everything from people to topsoil and gravel to trees to whatever else you can think of in it. Over those years I discovered that
The rustproofing on the body panels sucked; that became evident when my foot went through the floorboard about 1987.
They put two different engines in it that year, 1800 and 2000cc; guess which one they made fewer of?
The good thing was you could get to just about anything on it without needing ramps or a jack. Which was really good the time I had to replace the clutch slave cylinder while lying on the patch of driveway I'd cleared of snow.
The last repair I did on it was the little electronic box for the windshield wipers. Ford had NO parts for it, and I finally found one wrecked Courier in a salvage yard that still had that little piece in it. People drove the things until they either fell apart or were wrecked to badly that repair was hopeless, which made parts even worse to find; the big reason I moved on in 1990(with compounding personal factors). It badly needed a carb rebuild by that time, too. Part of the trouble was simply
No money left after bills
Maintenance I couldn't do myself didn't get done unless it wouldn't run; and it just kept running(with problems, sure, but it kept running). Yeah, it deserved better.

Let's see, total, in my life I've owned five four-wheel vehicles total and five motorcycles; until I thought about it didn't realize there'd been that many bikes.


Gerry N. said...

My first drivable car was a 56 Chevy 210 4-door. I drove it for two years before I traded it on a '61 Valiant Station Wagon with a 170 cu in straight six with three on the tree and a fifth under the seat. That was my huntin', fishin' and campin' rig as well as my home for several months at a time during good weather. I had no idea I was homeless. I drove that little POS to death until I was married for about six months when the missus and I sold it to a wrecking yard for $20. Then we got a pretty good '65 VW Microbus, put a plywood shelf in the back, covered it with a foam pad and some sleeping bags, and commenced camping, fishing and trying to make babies all over the Western USA. We finally succeeded in the baby department and upgraded to a pickup camper on a nice '72 F250. More room for babies and the continued attempts at producing progeny. Got stuck at two. Those are the most memorable of my vehicles. Anyway my kids pretty much grew up in a pickup and camper. Both of 'em could make a damn fine pot of coffee and a bacon and egg breakfast over an open fire before they were eight. That's a handy skill to teach your kids when you've got next to no interest in getting up when it's cold outside.

Fire said...

Well, isn't that a cute little truck? ;)

Give my love to the pups.

Irish said...

WOW... I've never even seen or heard of those...

Firehand said...

They were pretty popular back when. Half-ton capacity(whether Ford admitted it or not), and the engine and tranny actually ran, and ran, and... Big problem was the lousy body, at least on mine. Someday I need to write about patching that big effing hole in the floorboards.