1980 Pontiac Sunbird Hatchback – This was my first car. It cost $2,200 and I paid a little more than half of that; my folks and I had a deal that they would meet me half-way on the price of a car, but when my savings shot past $1000 they rethought their offer and said they’d match my thousand. This thing had a great stereo system, and that’s probably why I bought it. I liked this car, and have owned several other sunbirds and monzas, but it was a terrible car for me. I had to have the breaks completely redone, the motor had to be rebuilt, and it all came out of my paltry Little Caesars part-time salary. I learned about the price of insurance, gas, and maintenance. I realized the joy of going where I wanted, when I wanted. And did I mention it was a hatchback. Ah, the memories… priceless.
1973 Pontiac LeMans – This was the car my mother bought after my father passed. She drove it for a while and then sold it to my great grandmother, who drove it for a while, and then in 1985, she shold it to me for $400. This was awesome, because at 17-years old, I owned two cars. At the same time. It wasn’t a road burner, cornered like a boat, but it did have a 350 in it and was far bigger and roomier than the sunbird. You can see from that Confederate flag license plate on the front that I thought I was in the Dukes of Hazard. I tore it up pretty quickly and when the breaks went on it I sold it and the sunbird, combined the two sales with my graduation money and bought my first brand new car.
1986 Chevrolet Sprint – I bought this new from Stadium Chevrolet in the summer of 1986. I struggled a bit with the decision between this and the chevette, but the sprint was brand new and the chevette was a model on its way out. The price was the same, so I went with the newer model. This little buggy had a 3-cylinder motor, 12-inch wheels, and a 5-speed manual transmission. At this point I didn’t know how to drive stick and my mother had to drive it home for me. But I learned fast and was out cruising around in no time. Eight days later I was going way too fast through a subdivision, came across a s-curve in the road, and didn’t make the second turn. I ended up driving into the drainage ditch, rolling the car a few times, and completely wrecking it. I walked away without a scratch, despite having the windows down and the sunroof open, but the car and the lawn were wrecked. The insurance company totaled the car and somehow I even got a check out of the deal.
1980 AMC Spirit – I took my insurance money and bought this blue beauty. The body was in good shape, it had a manual 4-speed transmission, and the motor was recently rebuilt. It wasn’t my ideal car, but I liked it well enough, it was reliable, and the price was right. I drove it for five or six months and then sold it to my brother when I moved to Florida. The only real story to this one is that, this is also the car I taught my brother to drive stick in. Because that’s what big-brothers do when they want to convince their younger siblings to buy their stuff.
1976 Chevy Nova – After selling my Spirit to my brother and moving to Florida, I needed a set of wheels. My grandma Betty found this thing and the price was right. It was a mess to look at, but it made the drive to work every morning and got me around for a few months before I could upgrade. It had the straight six in it, if I remember correctly, that fancy vinyl top, hubcaps, and silver paint that was so faded and dull that it looked more like primer. Not exactly a ride made for cruising the beaches and Fort Lauderdale strip.
1978 MGB – bought in Florida
1982 Pontiac T1000
1973 Dodge Charger – This was not the General Lee.
1984 Bertone X1/9
1977 Volkswagen Scirocco – How do I not have any pictures of this car? I bought it to be a winter ride, as I put the X1/9 away from the snow and salt here in Michigan, and it was a beauty. It was spray can white, with black vinyl interior, tinted windows with little skull stickers. If you looked underneath, you could see the over-spray on the inside of the tires. But despite all that, I enjoyed this car immensely. It was peppy and fun to drive, looked reasonably sporty, and it was my first and only VW. But the fuel system started rusting and plugging up, and as I hadn’t paid much for it, I didn’t want to put much into it, so I let it go.
1980 Pontiac Sunbird Coupe
1988 Ford Taurus SHO – basically given to me by my sisters then boyfriend
1992 Buick Century Wagon – basically given to me by my friend, Joel
2003 Hyundai Elantra – new
2004 Hyundai Elantra – new
2010 Chevrolet Camaro – Just having this car is my garage brought a smile to my face.
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LT – Debated for a bit on getting this or a Hyundai Elantra. In the end, it was decided that the back seat in this was flatter, and that the dog would be more likely to lay down in a Cruze than in the Elantra. Not a bad car.
2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ – My intention had been to trade in the Camaro and the Cruze together to get something else, but the trade-in value of the Cruze was insulting. I probably shouldn’t have gotten this, but I really liked this car. Nice styling. Nice performance. Fun to drive. Unfortunately, as the kids get bigger, you really notice how tight the quarters are in the back seat.
2008 Kia Optima LX – This one, I only technically owned. I married into this vehicle and I don’t know if I ever actually drove it. We ‘sold’ it to our middle son when we realized that we didn’t need two vehicles… It was hit while parked on the street, before he ever made a payment, and insurance company ruled it totaled.
1996 Dodge Spirit – I bought this from my neighbor, as I needed a second car. It had been his mother’s car and she had purchased it new, making me the second owner. In September 2017, at 21-years old, it had a mere 67,925 miles on it.
2017 Chevrolet Impala LT – Traded in the Malibu for something a little bigger and with more back seat leg room. This is a big car. The back seat is very roomy, with lots of leg room. The trunk is cavernous. And, despite the wife’s protests, the 305-hp V6 has a nice rumble when you get on the accelerator.
I also had these, but I’m not sure exactly where they fit into the timeline.
1986 Chevrolet Cavalier – bought from Uncle Dave
I’ll add more pictures to this as I find them 😉