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#1125831 - Wed Feb 10 2016 06:58 AM Betsy!
Santana2002 Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Mon Apr 14 2003
Posts: 8687
Loc: France
This is just pure, idle curiosity, sparked off by a spinoff discussion on another thread.

What car do you drive, have you driven in the past, would you like to drive in the future?

I started off many years ago in a blue VW Golf. It was ten years old when I got it and I absolutely loved it. My first taste of freedom, I guess. Unlike most first cars, I did not name her "Betsy" (that was already taken for my uncle's FIAT 128), so I named her "Jimmy Blue" after a catchy jig tune that was popular in the pipe band circle at the time.

Unfortunately Jimmy Blue was also the first car in which I was involved in a crash, so her lifespan with me was short-lived, maybe 6 months.

I moved on to a green Ford Fiesta (aptly named "Gruesome Greeny"), which I thoroughly hated, right from the outset. I quickly returned to VW for another Golf. This one was great except in wet weather when the distributor used to get splashed and cause the engine to stop. Not very practical when you live in the green, emerald-isle so renown for it's frequent rainfall. We left it behind when we moved to Belgium, where we picked up an Opel Vectra.


After that there has been a succession of various different jalopies : Ford Mondeo, VW Passat, Opel Zafira, Renault Espace, Renault Mégane, the new generation Espace, an Opel Corsa and my trusty little runabout, a Fiat Panda.

As for the future, I'm all for being practical. A Clio or something of that size will do me nicely whenever I need to change my Panda. If it gets me from A to B in reasonable comfort, I'm OK with that. Whatever it is, I'll be keeping it until the engine gives up in it, I couldn't be bothered changing cars every year or so.

So how about you guys, do you stick to a particular brand, or change your car every year? What has been your favourite?


Edited by Santana2002 (Wed Feb 10 2016 06:59 AM)
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#1125834 - Wed Feb 10 2016 08:42 AM Re: Betsy!
rossian Online   content
Moderator

Registered: Sat Jun 10 2006
Posts: 3008
Loc: Merseyside UK 
The first car I ever owned was a Wolseley Hornet - rather like a Mini, but with a bit sticking out at the back to give a bigger boot. When I say 'bigger', you'd hardly notice the difference. Since then I've owned and driven various cars, including Cortinas, Beetles, Peugeots, Rovers and many others.

My favourite was a Saab 96, with a column change and a freewheel. That was fun and I was very sad to have to scrap it when it started falling apart. The least favourite was a Vauxhall Vectra - couldn't wait to get rid of that.

I now have a VW Polo, which is all I need these days. I used to crave an MGB GT, but don't think I could get in or out one now. I have never named my cars - my daughter has had one named Bob and another named Murray. For some reason, her cars were always male.
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#1125839 - Wed Feb 10 2016 09:06 AM Re: Betsy!
fringe Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Wed May 29 2002
Posts: 2059
Loc: Malaga, Spain    
My first car was a VW Beetle. He was blue; I say 'he' but I don't think I ever actually got round to naming him. I loved that car and still remember his registration number, nearly 50 years later!

Many, many cars have come and gone in the intervening years, including a couple of MGBs, Fords, Hondas, Mercedes, Mini, Land Rovers and, what I think was my favourite of all, a dark purple VW Golf. Unfortunately it got destroyed in a fire.

I don't think I'm so much a fan of a particular make, rather than colour .. it has to be blue! smile

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#1125854 - Wed Feb 10 2016 10:17 AM Re: Betsy!
dg_dave Offline
Champion Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 23266
Loc: near Stafford, Virginia USA  
My first car was a 1996 Toyota Corolla. It had about 28,000 miles on it when I got it, and I kept it until it started costing me more than a monthly payment. A former girlfriend moved down from Tennessee to Texas for awhile (she has since moved back to Tennessee - but a different part), and I was able to take over the monthly payments on that car as I was able to get a 7% interest rate (she was paying about 20% interest), and kept it until it cost way more than a monthly payment. It was a 2001 Plymouth Neon (last year the Plymouth name was in existence). In October 2007, I sold it to a Toyota dealer and got the 2008 Toyota Corolla I still drive today (my first ever new car). It had eight miles when I drove it off the lot, and it currently sits at 196,250 miles or so.

Out of all the vehicles my parents, brother, and myself have had, my current car is the second highest odometer reading to date (my parent's current Toyota Camry is first with 285,000 miles on it). I have a distance to catch hers, but from new, mine is the highest, as second place for a new car was the 1978 Plymouth Volaré my parents had until it was totalled in Abilene, Texas, with 163,917 miles on it. Third place overall was a 1987 Dodge Diplomat that all four of us drove at one point or another, and it was totalled at about 176,800 miles.

My girlfriend here in Virginia has a 2002 Jeep Wrangler with about 154,000 miles on it...she loves it, and won't go with anything else.
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The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#1125858 - Wed Feb 10 2016 10:51 AM Re: Betsy!
Bruyere Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Sat Feb 10 2001
Posts: 18785
Loc: California USA
I grew up in a family that rarely if ever sold a car but passed it on to a relative who could keep it running until it gave up the ghost. My grandfather's legendary VW bus is still running up in Canada on a farm where a cousin lives and it's from fifty-nine!

I learned to drive on a big Dodge van with a v8 engine and a camper top my father put on it. It was green and as it had a large forehead and we traveled with my grandparents on a long trip one year, we called it Monstro for the whale in Pinocchio of course and their van was called Moby. It had a stick shift on the column and I drove the entire family around to Grand Canyon at the age of fifteen with my first permit. Now you are not allowed to drive others with you but then you could. It was a fairly massive vehicle for a person to learn on.
We always gave our cars names though...and our Ford Falcon, red, was called Gertrude. Growing up that was the name we had for it, and then it was hit by a drunk driver who ran from the scene and who sent her husband. My parents didn't get much for that poor car and had to drive it for ages.

The first car on which I had my name was the Isuzu Trooper and I didn't really give it a name, just the Trooper. It was the first four wheel drive that was really affordable and very boxy looking. We lived in MOntana that first year so it was very practical. We ended up selling it about ten years later and I cried to see it go as my two children had been taken home in it from their births and loaded into it countless times. I liked the feel of it and it was a demo model and had a good radio.

In Europe we drove a Renault Five that was haunted and it hated the damp. Living in Scotland with a French car that wasn't adapted to UK driving was tough and it hated it when it rained and would stall. It stalled down in France too out in the countryside. We kept it going for years though. It was a hand me down car.

In the South of France I sent the family out to buy a car for my work as I had to begin working right away and they had the time. I specified, NO red cars, four doors as it's such a pain to put children into a car without four doors, and a decent radio. That's it. and I got the Ford Ka, red, and two door and the crappiest radio on the face of the earth. I suspect he did it on purpose. It also had loads of little things going wrong but the worst was the door mechanism would play a chachacha and open and shut on you! I worked in a motorcycle racing team showroom for a year and the guys had my key and would repark it all day for me. They'd love to watch me try to get it out and see how many turns it would take me. It was a cute car but full of defects.

I bought a VW Beetle coming home from France as I loved the feel of it. It had a Turbo engine but in a cute silver package. Unfortunately, it was used for a reason. It had loads of little defects! I traded it in for an old Camry called Rosy for its reddish color but it was burgundy. I drove it for a while then my son bumped into someone and the radiator was messed up and while fixing it up, my neighbor bought it and he's fixed it up and I saw her the other day. It now has almost 300,000 miles on it!

I have a HOnda Civic that my son drives, and it has 250000 miles on it but had a rebuilt engine last year. When I drove her it was called Silver Belle. That's a good little car.

I drive my parents' van that I call Vanessa or the Dodge. It's comfy. It does not have much personality but it runs well.

Someone I lived with bought several cars though and I think VWs in the states are so expensive to keep up and seem to have minor defects that add up that I wouldn't buy another one. We had a Jetta, a Golf and the Bug so, they all had little annoying things going wrong. Example, headlight replacement costs a fortune and is a very tough job. NOt even Youtube videos helped! The Civic, my uncle and my father who are octagenarians did the timing belt in about a day. It was a good job. I showed them the youtube videos and the manual and they did it.

That same person bought a red Porsche, but don't get me started. It was ok to drive, sure, but, not at all practical and did you know that any male about that age in the vicinity will drive up and look at who's driving it to race you? When I drove it I look like the average middle aged woman so they don't bother with me. It never had a name, just the Porsche. Every time you breathe near the mechanic it's at least 500 dollars.
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#1125861 - Wed Feb 10 2016 11:16 AM Re: Betsy!
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37227
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
I am not a car changer so haven't had many.

My first car was in fact a company car but they sold them to us after three years so it was mine from new, it was a Morris Mini Minor in Sandy Beige - we couldn't choose the colours.

My second car was bought for me when I was getting married from money given to my ex as a gift at that time, it was a white Renault 5.

When I was expecting my second child I bought a white Renault 14 for the extra doors and size. That rusted very quickly and 21 months later the local dealer gave me a good deal on it provided I bought another Renault 14, I bought a red one this time and that rusted like heck too so when it was just over a year old I bought an ex-demonstrator metallic blue Saab 99 which I loved even though it was like driving a tank.

After I left my husband I got him to cough up towards an new car since my Saab was getting rather old. I bought a Red Volvo 340 then when I took it for its first service they lent me a Volvo 440 and I wasn't happy with the 340 after that. When it went in for its 1 year service they again lent me a 440 so when I returned it I asked if they would not charge for the service if I bought a new 440 - that was fine with them so I bought a blue Volvo 440 which was great. I only changed it because I had open heart surgery and needed a car with power steering and air conditioning (due to the drugs I was on which meant not having the car window open and the sun on my skin). I bought Peugeot 206, that was in 2005 and I am still driving it now.

I actually passed my driving test 49 years ago so not a lot of cars for that amount of time.


Edited by sue943 (Wed Feb 10 2016 11:17 AM)
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#1125864 - Wed Feb 10 2016 12:09 PM Re: Betsy!
sisterseagull Online   happy
Mainstay

Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 551
Loc: Torquay, Devon UK
My first car was a dark blue VW Beetle 1303S which was a 1974 model. Then I had a couple of Mk1 Golf's (GL and GLi Convertible) followed by a classic Porsche 911E, a Lancia Delta HF, a SAAB 900 Turbo, a couple of very forgettable Peugeot's, an Audi Quattro, a Subaru Impreza WRX and three different versions of the Renault Scenic... I love Scenics!

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#1125882 - Wed Feb 10 2016 04:02 PM Re: Betsy!
C30 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Sat Nov 13 2010
Posts: 202
Loc: Lancashire England UK         
As this thread is probably all my fault because of a different thread where I digressed.............being a fellow Fiat Panda owner.......I confess said car is my wife's, not mine. It is a fetching shade of primrose yellow, so we call it "Prim".

I have driven just 2 makes of car, one with L Plates, and the others we can use the term "car" loosely as they only has 3 wheels!
So............my father's 1957, split windscreen "Moggie Minor" (a 1957 car, with a 1966 Morris 1000 engine). When the examiner said "Failed" after my attempts to gain a car license, I decided to stick with what I already had - a full motor-cycle license.

In 1970, I bought my first Reliant.....Reliant Regal saloon, 1964 model, but kept my (then) BSA 250cc "Starfire" too.
Part exchanged both idc for a 500cc "BSA Royal Star........and in fullness of time that was superseded by BSA "Lightning" 650.

Came the time, which waits for no man, when I became aware of wanting creature comforts in the shape of a roof over my head as I was getting (IMO) too old for this biking caper. In 1981, I bought my next Reliant...........1977 Robin.
Followed by:-

1986 Reliant Rialto, 1990 Reliant Robin and finally 1999 Reliant Robin. A few years ago I was advised to give up driving through ill health, so part-exchanged the Reliant for current 2008 Fiat Panda which wife drives.

My biking/motoring history in a nutshell.

Favorites? Bikes.........the 500 Royal Star (known as "Joe"....anagram of its Reg OJE941J), Reliants the 1990 'H' Reg.

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#1125883 - Wed Feb 10 2016 04:04 PM Re: Betsy!
jabb5076 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 316
Loc: Georgia USA
My first car was also a VW beetle that was given to me by my Uncle. It was ancient when I got it (a 1957) but it went over 200,000 miles with no problems. Since then I've mostly had Japanese cars. The worst car I ever had was my first brand new one: a Ford Aerostar. That hunk of junk had three transmissions in the first two years I owned it. I've only had my current car one week--a new Lexus RX. I love it, but I'm so paranoid that I'm driving like a little old lady and I park at the far back of any parking lot.

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#1125892 - Wed Feb 10 2016 07:06 PM Re: Betsy!
dg_dave Offline
Champion Poster

Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 23266
Loc: near Stafford, Virginia USA  
Originally Posted By: jabb5076
I've only had my current car one week--a new Lexus RX. I love it, but I'm so paranoid that I'm driving like a little old lady and I park at the far back of any parking lot.


Don't worry about that, jabb...you've got yourself a Toyota. They'll last forever if you take care of them!
_________________________
The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#1125893 - Wed Feb 10 2016 07:11 PM Re: Betsy!
dolly_llama Offline
Participant

Registered: Mon Dec 01 2014
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin USA
My first car was a bright yellow dual exhaust Camaro - I won't say what year, but it was a graduation present! It served me well for a few years, and later my husband and I bought a few "family cars" and "real estate cars" that were good for clients. Now I drive an SUV. My most memorable car experiences were with rentals - one a red Trans Am convertible that we rented in San Francisco to drive up and down the coast, and another a brand new Touareg that we rented to drive around Europe (including on the Autobahn). We parked it in a small French village to have lunch, and when we returned...about 40 people were gathered around, inspecting it carefully!

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#1126076 - Fri Feb 12 2016 03:42 AM Re: Betsy!
HairyBear Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Sep 01 2006
Posts: 600
Loc: Florida USA
I haven't gotten to choose many of my cars, but let's see what I can remember. My first car was a brown 1975 Oldsmobile 98 Regency that my mother had been driving. Next after that was a blue 1976 Oldsmobile 98, not the Regency. For a very short time, I drove my grandmother's white 1976 Chevrolet, before the transmission gave out. Then I ended up with a blue 1971 Chevrolet BelAir, with a two-speed transmission. It had a LOT of miles on it. It was unreliable, but on the bright side, it was easy and cheap to fix. People used to get out of my way when I was driving that. I'm not sure if they thought it was too old to back up or if it was being driven by someone with no insurance and nothing to lose. For a short time, I drove a bright green 1974 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. I loved that, but it was murder on gas. The engine and I think each door weighed as much as a SmartCar does. Then I had a dark red (not quite maroon) 1985 Olds 98 Regency, which I named Lady Jane after Lady Jane Grey because it was three feet shorter than the 1975 (a short Regency, get it?). I had a number of clunkers that never panned out between that one and the next, so I ended up driving my father's red Ford F-250 diesel truck a lot. Then I used the white and red 1990 Dodge full-sized van for law school, and after that a square silver 1985 Toyota Cressida with a wonky transmission. Finally, my last two cars have been Lincoln Town Cars, first a 1988 silver one, which was unreliable and underpowered and had too small of a gas tank and too large of an appetite, but which was my favorite of all of them as far as style goes; and now a 1996 teal one, which is much more reliable, much more powerful, and gets 20 mpg, but gets zero compliments from people, unlike the '88, which typically garnered a compliment a week.

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#1126137 - Fri Feb 12 2016 02:59 PM Re: Betsy!
dolly_llama Offline
Participant

Registered: Mon Dec 01 2014
Posts: 13
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Hairy, one of our "family/client cars" was a beige Olds '98 - not flashy, but it had a huge trunk for kid stuff, groceries and signs. I remember when I called my very conservative father to tell him about it and he said, "That's a big car!"

Regarding pickup trucks, our neighbor runs his diesel pickup for 20 minutes every morning at 6 AM right outside our bedroom windows. I wonder if that is really necessary...

I had never named my vehicles, which a lot of people seem to do, until my daughter told me I should name my SUV. I called it "Joey Sakic" after the Colorado Avalanche hockey player. smile

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#1126774 - Fri Feb 19 2016 04:52 AM Re: Betsy!
HairyBear Offline
Mainstay

Registered: Fri Sep 01 2006
Posts: 600
Loc: Florida USA
I've never found a satisfactory solution to obnoxious neighbors except a sizable distance. If you're located within city limits, you may have either noise or pollution ordinances that would prohibit running the diesel truck for 20 minutes without moving. If you're in a cold location, I can understand running the truck for that long... diesel engines take a much longer time to warm up and get the heat going than gasoline engines do, but I'm sure it's pretty aggravating to have to put up with that noise, at 6 a.m. especially. I know when we started up that Ford diesel truck in a campground first thing in the morning, it sounded loud enough to wake the dead.

To get back to the original post and question, for FUTURE vehicles, I'd like to try out a Subaru Baja. I'm 6'2", though, so I might not fit. I've had that happen even in a few mid-sized cars. I also have elaborate fantasies of what kinds of cars I will accumulate if I ever become fabulously wealthy. One of them is called a Zimmer. http://www.zimmermotorcars.com/index.php?page=4-door-sedan

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#1126785 - Fri Feb 19 2016 07:48 AM Re: Betsy!
jabb5076 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: Tue Apr 24 2012
Posts: 316
Loc: Georgia USA
My husband would certainly love that Zimmer! Now me, I would love to have the top-of-the-line Tesla. Too bad I never play the lottery. ;-(

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