Those close to me know that I have a *thing* for vintage cars. It probably all began back when I was 15 and got my first car, a 1952 Plymouth Belvedere. Of course, since I went to boarding school all year, I only got to drive it during the summer. Anyway, someone had previously painted it a flat gold/yellow color then added the most ridiculous black racing stripe from front to rear. Everyone called it *The Bubble Car* and I adored it. The original felt interior was still beautifully intact and I could swear it was large enough to house a family of five.
It had a standard transmission which meant you had to shift to one of the three gears and use the clutch pedal. It was like driving a barge and was a true *Gas Guzzler Extraordinaire*. Luckily, in the late 1960's the gas stations were prone to having weekly gas wars when gasoline would go down to like 15 cents per gallon, which is when I'd fill her up. Although the car was 16 years old, everything inside it still worked perfectly and it had all kinds of little special features. You could seat 4 people in the front seat as well as the back, comfortably.
Anyway, back in those days drive-in theaters were a huge part of our lives, especially during the summer months. Every summer the one nearest my grandparents would offer weekend deals for a car load of people for $5.00, so we'd pile as many people as we could into the car and the trunk of the car and go see a triple feature. It was a huge bargain and kept us entertained and out of trouble (supposedly). I'm pretty sure I knew a few girls that became pregnant during their nights at the drive-in, but it didn't happen in my car. We never had room for such antics.
It would have been the greatest Road Trip car too, but I was occasionally forced to stop and hydrate the radiator with someone's garden hose when it got over heated. Obviously, I never ventured too far from home with it, just neighboring college towns.
But, I have to say that back in those days the big car makers really knew how to make cars for comfort and elegance. The inside of that car just seemed so swanky to me then, that it might as well have been a Lincoln Continental or a Cadillac Coupe De Ville. I'm still fascinated by really elegant restored automobiles, but mostly the 1930's through 1953. Those were the days when cars seemed like something you could sail upon the sea.
The Bubble Car practically drove itself as it nobly cruised down the narrow, bumpy streets of Oklahoma City with my friends and I. Those were the last summers I would go to see my grandparents and those summer friends. Perhaps that's why I miss cars like that....
What was your very first car? Tell me. It won't show your age (much), I promise!