"Big Four" Highlights


Tell Us About Your First Car

What memories – good and bad – do you have?

By Brian Caulfield

We’re American men, so we love cars. We want big, roomy SUVs for the family, or sleek, fast, sporty numbers with standard shifts and overdrive for ourselves. Even with gas prices through the roof, we don’t plan to cut down on our driving or trade in our gas guzzler for a smaller, “smarter” car that looks like Fred Flintstone’s legs should be running beneath it.

The old 1970s advertisement summed it up nicely for all generations: “Baseball … hot dogs … apple pie … and Chevrolet.” Of course.

Yet of all the cars we have ever driven and loved, there is something special about our first car. It may have been a heavily used pair of bumpers that we got for a few hundred dollars to go off to college. Or it may have been the old family car that dad handed down, with 200,000 miles and a warning not to go over 60 mph. Whatever – we surely saved up some money for it and cherished it. Now the memories are probably worth more than the car ever did.

In this Fathers for Good feature, we ask guys to recall the first car they ever drove, or ever owned, and write down the memories, good and bad. How did you feel in your first driver’s ed class, when you finally got behind the wheel? What were your thoughts when you drove your first car off the lot and you looked in the rearview, wondering if the cops would follow such a nervous novice driver?

Whatever your situation, join the conversation in the comment box below.

(PS: No, my first car was not the sporty number shown here. I grew up in New York City – Manhattan – and spent most of my early years avoiding cars and taking buses and subways. I actually bought my first car when I was 40 years old! It was a brand-new, silver Toyota Corolla which I still drive to work – 123,000 miles later.)