Think back to when you passed your test for your drivers license, for most of us it was when you were still allowed to smile in your pictures and for me I was cheesin’ all the way into the cockpit of my moms minivan. I’ll never forget the “eggplant” or “vantastic” as I formerly knew her… emotions ran high as I was handed the keys to a seven passengers ‘98, maroon Windstar-model minivan at the tender age of 16. I like to think this vehicle made me a little bit of who I am today; it built character, it made me realize if you make the best of what you have then life will work out great. I remember the first night I took the legendary vehicle out, my mother informed me to not drive anyone because of that three month rule, “sure mom.. sike.” I immediately packed the wagon with three times the maximum capacity and drove around 465 a few times… Your first car is essentially your first responsibility that holds all the secrets to your life. “Peyton Vanning” as I also knew her got me from A to B during my most developmental years and it came with more laughs than I could have ever asked for. If it were reasonable I would have gotten that car cremated on Dec 17, 2010 when I said goodbye to my first love. Props to you Windstar
I was born in 1990 and 16 years later, I was handed the keys to a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera (pictured right). This gem was my Great Grandmother’s legacy to me. It was a gleaming white detailed with rust around the rims, white-wall tires, and hubcaps that almost matched one another, and I loved it. The car had character, it had spunk, it had a different key to unlock the door than to start the engine, and most importantly, it had bench seats. Nothing makes you appreciate a bench seat like sitting in these new-fangled bucket seats for 8+ hours on a road trip (not that Ciera would have made it 8+ hours on the road). Filled with new and used Mercedes and Jags and the more modest Jeeps and Hondas, I drove this car with pride into my high school parking lot every day. I was one of the first of my friends to be able to drive, and because I drove so often, I let my underage friends drive the car all the time just to get a reprieve. Probably not my smartest move, but not many people accuse a 16 year old of being super bright. I even got followed by the Carmel Police to my friends’ houses on a regular basis because my car was so unique they just had to see where this beauty could be going (racial profilers). That car was full of memories, and what I appreciated most about it was that it was free! Props to you, my Cutlass, may you rest in peace, and props to your first car that always makes you appreciate that newer, shinier upgrade you make after you’ve run it into the ground.