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The First Car Blues

Posted in car modifications, FAIL / Funny, Honda, Writer's Rides by J D Stadler | February 25th, 2011 | 24 Responses |

Not my exact car, but close. Needs more rice.

[Kurt’s note: This article marks the official debut of Jen Stadler on RideLust. You’ve already read her stuff in the “Learning To Fly” article, and I think you’ll agree that she’s got a RideLust sense of humor. She’s another misfit with 5w30 in her veins, so please welcome her to the RideLust family.]

My retinas are still smoking, but my appetite finally came back from reading Mr Angry’s list of 30 Custom Cars from around the world. Unfortunately for me, I saw more than a few similarities between those chariots of fire and my own first set of wheels. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say many of those in my age group made dubious “modifications” to our cars in the name of coolness, so at least I wasn’t alone. The difference between, say, my parents’ generation and mine is that their Mustangs, GTOs, and Roadrunners still look awesome and fetch big money at Mecum; our Civics and Focuses? Not so much. Read on, to see what I mean.

For a current car connoisseur, it’s amazing how long it took me to learn to drive in general (you guys already know my stick-shift shenanigans). I’ll spare you the boring details but I didn’t get my own ride until I was 19. It was a Fourth of July sale at the Fairgrounds and we picked up the only cash car there – an 11-year-old, 1991 Honda Accord coupe (trust me when I say its two doors were its only redeeming feature). It was the most fetching shade of champagne gold, accented by full bordello-burgundy interior. Oh, I was straight pimping alright. My best friend had a ’96 Civic coupe with Altezzas, and another had a brand new ’02 Acura RSX complete with JDM body kit, white rims, and red “Honda Integra” badges. The Fast and the Furious? More like The Fads and the Supercilious.

They don't make interiors like they used to. At least it's not gray.

So of course, I wanted to fit in with everyone else and the quickest way to do so was to buy as many Mugen parts as possible, budget allowing. Mine did not, but I did instead end up with a very nice pair of G-Racing gunmetal rims, some Eibach lowering springs, a Pioneer stereo system, some clear corner signals, and the requisite lower-windshield vinyl decal of our car club. The universe got its revenge on me, though, for creating something so heinous. A month after installing the springs and rims (which never did sit quite right and rubbed the wheel wells every time I turned), I hit a slick patch on my way to school and ended up assassinating an innocent palm tree on the side of the road. I recall opening my eyes, seeing a smashed front end, and thinking “I’m sure that can be fixed”. My first words to the paramedics, upon being asked if I was okay, was “My dad’s gonna kill me.” The Accord was a total loss but I limped away with only a broken ankle.

As much as that car makes me cringe in retrospect, I loved it and I beat the ever-living hell out of the F22 engine every chance I got. I still would love to do a project car one day, but that will be far in the future when I have more spare time and money (hah!) I’m sure I can’t be the only person who had a pathetic first mode of transportation; I would love to know, what was yours?

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24 Responses

  1. Toshiyuki Okumoto* says:

    “…a current car connoisseur…” – what do you drive now Jenny from the block?

    • J D Stadler says:

      Oh, my current car is a drop-dead sexy silver ’03 Mazda 6 covered in pollen. Yeah, nothing terribly exciting but it gets me to work and back reliably. Hoping to upgrade this year, and maybe you all can help me pick my next one, since I suck at making decisions.

  2. Sherry V says:

    I had a ’62 Skylark, back before we ever thought of customizing our rides. It wasn’t a GTO but it was mine!

    • J D Stadler says:

      At least it wasn’t a Duster, right? =)

      • Rick says:

        Hey…What’s wrong with Mopars?? Besides, it wasn’t my first car…first car was a ’66 Plymouth Fury II, slant six, 1 bbl carb and 3 on the tree. Best thing about it was the aftermarket A/C…it was so cold that frost would form on the chrome vents!!!

  3. Taylor says:

    My first car (obtained when I was about 15 1/2) was a 78 or 79 Toyota Corona station wagon. Rolled it before I was 16.

    My first official, get out of my way!!, legal to drive car was an 82 Chrysler New Yorker 5th Avenue. White with white vinyl landau top, silver pinstripes, chrome accents and chrome fake spoke covers. Stylin!!!

    I could fit six comfortably and 8 like sardines in a pinch. Perfect for high school.

  4. Rod Munch says:

    “My best friend had an ’06 Civic coupe with Altezzas, and another had a brand new ’02 Acura RSX complete with JDM body kit, white rims, and red “Honda Integra” badges”

    Uhhhhh, how does one of your friends have a “brand new ’02 Acura” and your best friend have an “’06 Civic”???

    Some sort of time warp? lol

  5. eddie_454 says:

    16th birthday my first car was a 57 chevy with rochester fuel injection, slow but you could hear me coming.
    i took the oath from that day;
    my car is human,even as I,because it is my life.thus i will learn it as a brother.i will learn its weaknesses,its strength,its parts, its accessories.i will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as i will guard my legs,my arms,my eyes and my heart against damage.i will keep my car clean and ready.we will become part of each other.

  6. SNAK3 says:

    95 cutlass supreme!
    It had 3 different beautiful shades of red- red, red with peeling clear coat, and red without clear coat.
    I put a glasspack with a chrome tip on it (it sounded like a small v8)
    and a pretty nice stereo system.

  7. Pozz says:

    my first car is my current car, its a Fiat Marea Turbo…
    im from brazil, so thats why you probably never heard of it…
    its a 5 cylinder, 2 liter, 20 valves and turbocharged 4 door FF sedan with stock 182hp, but i got a chip and its running 220hp…
    i plan on getting 320hp and full modified suspension

  8. BigRuss says:

    i had a 1990 ranger with the 2.3l and made a junkyard dog out of it with a turbo off a mustang… ran great for 2 months… then boom hit a cow… within a week of gettin my ranger i got my great grandfathers GMC so it was kind of a 2 for 1 deal… beat the hell out of my brothers 95 Ford Escort LX

    • J D Stadler says:

      Big Russ, you win the award for “best first car story” (thus far, anyway). I think I’d have rather hit the palm tree than the cow though, bet that was messy

  9. Rapin' Johnny says:

    A 1973 Dodge Charger, got it about 3 years ago. A horrible off white color with the half vinyl top. The engine has 206 thousand miles on it, and it feels like it. The first emission controls robbed the engine. A 318 small block v8, It came fresh from the factory with a neutered 150hp and 250ft/lbs of torque. I would be amazed if it’s even close to that anymore. It has about enough power to get out of it’s way, and not 1hp more.

    It was raining. A perfect time to drift. I’d been drifting all day. Then, around one corner, I come around nice, held it nicely. Then the front wheels hydroplaned and I ended up on a median. Broken rim, destroyed tire, and some fat dents. Luckily, no suspension damage and no cracks in the frame.

  10. T-Palm says:

    I had a ’96 Subaru SVX. The SVX is a sports car that Subaru made from ’92-’97 but never sold well because it cost twice as much as any other car they sold at the time. It’s a front engine, awd car (they made a fwd version for 2 years for less cost to boost sales but it was unsuccessful). The engine is a 6-cylinder boxer engine making 230HP and 230ft/lbs of torque that could spin the tires starting in second gear on dry pavement (they only made it an automatic but included a button so you could shift manually). the biggest drawback was the 3600lb curb weight. I had lots of plans, mostly involving lightening the car and increasing power as both mine and my sisters butt-dynoes agreed it could handle better than her stock ’94 Integra, for it but never had money to do anything with it.

    I was driving home one day in the pouring rain and lost control around a corner and went head on into a boulder and it slid up the boulder and bounced off the side of another boulder. I ended up backwards on the other side of the road then turned it around and drove another two miles home. I’m lucky to have made it there because the radiator was pushed back all the way against the engine and leaking and there was a hole in the power steering pump. Needless to say it was totaled. It’s still sitting in my driveway and I loved that car so much that I plan on getting the money to buy another one and use the first one for parts and finish those plans I had for the first one.

  11. Taylor says:

    Meant to ask in the previous post.

    Is there any way to set up a readers rides section on the site?

    I know it’s done in the car mags but I thought it would be pretty cool to get a glimpse of the various poster’s alter egos.

  12. J D Stadler says:

    Taylor: Good call. Look for a post next week regarding readers’ rides. Thanks!

  13. Rach says:

    Out of all the things I did to the civic, and the altezzas are the most mentionable ricey mod D:

    • J D Stadler says:

      I had a very soft spot for that car for a very long time, I was being nice. Didn’t you have the carbon fiber interior trim too? OH and the hood, I forgot about that

  14. Humanparody says:

    My first legally owned car was a 1990 Mercury Grand Marquis I bought off my best friend for $300. Straight-piped, no a/c, only window that worked was the driver’s and the kick-down cable was pooched. Turns out I could’ve fixed it with a zip-tie, but noooo, I had to go and change the tranny fluid and do it horribly wrong. Three months after I scrapped it I found out the only thing wrong with it was the filter was clogged like all hell.

    I got $400+ from scrapping it though. Loads more than I actually paid for it. :D