What Was YOUR First Car?

Sherry and I were talking about buying another car, and whether we can make it with one car these days. Maybe we’ll replace our older car in a few years, maybe not. Then we realized: that purchase could possibly be the last car we buy for our working careers. Time hurries on.

We remembered the first car that we bought, in college, 1984: a Renault Alliance. Turns out it was a classic lemon! At the time it seemed like a wise purchase…it was 1983’s Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and number one on Car and Driver's list of the Ten Best Cars. It had front wheel drive, good mileage and was reasonably priced. And the USA/AMC and French/Renault concept fit my family makeup. My maternal grandmother was from France, and my mother and most of my siblings spoke French. Seemed right. We named the car Opus, after the floundering penguin in the Bloom Country comic strip.

Opus was an apt name. It was slow and waddling and never took flight. The motor sounded like a sewing machine (until mysterious clinking noises started in its second year). It quickly became clear that our Alliance was actually one with Hell. But it gave us freedom, took us where we needed to go. It took us on our honeymoon to Wisconsin and Chicago, it held our first baby seat in 1986. And it helped move us a couple of times. It was maybe five years before we decided that “Unsafe at Any Speed” barely scratched the surface with this car. I believe AMC only built them for a couple of years.

We lived through it. What do you remember about your first car?    


Image by Mic, via Flickr Creative Commons