Driving Seat

Ask the Public: My First Car Memories

Ah! Buying your first car, the best feeling in the world. Farewell public transport and hello freedom!

A moment we all experience at some point in our lives, your first car is a significant step towards adulthood and becoming the driver you are today!

Many of us have a story to tell, so we wanted to share your first car memories, including your nostalgic tales and top tips you have learnt along the way. We asked some of our team and the public and these are some of the great stories we got in return – as well as a selection of original photos.

My First Car

We asked Niall Julian from Take to The Road, about his first car. Here is what the car enthusiast and content creator had to say:

What was your first car?

My first car was a 1993 Mk3 Golf CL. It was my parents old car and it was an ideal first car. It was slow as it was a non turbo 1.9 diesel, but it was very good on fuel, so it was frugal, which is perfect when you’ve gotten your first job. Even though it wasn’t a quick car I had a lot of fun with it and went on lots of trips with friends and family, so I do look back on it with fond memories.

Why did you choose this car?

My parents actually gave me the car as a gift when I graduated from university and got my first job. So I didn’t actually choose my first car, but it was a very generous gesture from them and it helped get me started in the new exciting world, post university. 

Tell us your fondest memory of your first car

I think the fondest memory is when I first got the car. I come from Ireland so I had to go and collect the car from my parents back home. Which meant a long drive and a ferry crossing to bring it into the UK. I still remember the trip. Snow and ice struck the night before the ferry crossing so it was a very nervous drive to catch the boat. Thankfully my Dad followed me in convoy to make sure I made it ok. I’ll never forget that. And after a five hour plus trip oversea (which wasn’t very smooth!), I had another four hour drive on the motorway to get back to my home in the UK. So It was a lot of travel in one day and pretty exhausting. But it was an experience I will never forget.

What top tips would you pass on to others looking after their first set of wheels?

Treat your first car well and it will do the same in return. Make sure you keep it serviced regularly. But most importantly, enjoy it. Sometimes we see our first cars as a stepping stone to the next set of wheels etc. So enjoy the moment. 

In the image below stands a fresh-faced Neil Williamson, our CEO, with his first car – his beloved VW Beetle. He told us his favourite things about his first set of wheels:

What was your First car?

A Volkswagen Beetle.

Why did you choose it?

If I'm honest, I really wanted a (more expensive) VW Polo, but my Dad (who was paying for most of it) insisted on the Beetle. I'm so glad he did, as I've felt connected to that car ever since. 

What is your fondest memory of your first car?

Freedom! Two specifics; firstly driving it to school, I felt like a king. Secondly, trips with mates to watch F1 at Silverstone and Brands Hatch - such great fun. 

What top tips would you pass on to others looking after their first set of wheels?

Buy something with character and never sell it. 

Simon Lane at Aston Martin Cambridge, really did take pride in his first car. Here he is aged aged 18, in his first car, complete with a set of Lennons and Sheepskin jacket:

What was your first car? 

1972 Triumph Spitfire 1500, in various shades of Red.

Why did you choose it? 

My future brother-in-law owned the car and needed money to buy my sister an engagement ring.  I needed a cheap first car, so bought it from him for £750 and they subsequently became engaged. 22 years later and they are still married, with 3 children, so it was a good deal!

What is your fondest memory of your first car? 

Driving around country lanes in the summer with the roof down, Oasis playing on my ghetto blaster on the back shelf (car had no radio) and not a care in the world.

What top tips would you pass on to others looking after their first set of wheels? 

Don’t go too fast and keep it shiny side up.

Michele Watson-Blake is an Audi Parts advisor. Her first car caused her more problems than any first time driver would like, but the experiences had in the car surely make up for it: 

What was your first car?

My first car is still my current car - my 1970 Beetle known as Dixie.

Why did you choose this car?

I wanted one ever since watching the Herbie films when I was little. I bought the 'Bug' in April 2015 as my first car and have spent the last 3 years replacing/fixing parts on the car, so it's become a bit of a project.

Tell us your fondest memory of your first car

From its many trips down to Brighton, Devon & Beaulieu to all the VW shows it’s been able to attend around the UK.

What top tips would you pass on to others looking after their first set of wheels?

Anyone who is looking for an easy first car to run and maintain, be prepared to do some work on it...

We asked David Divall, the Parts Manager at Jaguar Land Rover for his favourite memories, and it seems he got more than he bargained for when he purchased the car: 

What was your first car?

This is the only photo that I can find of my first car. I say first, I did have a Hillman Imp briefly then the Porsche 911 came into my life and has left a lasting memory.

Why did you choose this car?

When we bought the car, we didn't know it’s history, but found out it had a fantastic story. Built in 1970 and registered 1972, for two years it was raced by Porsche in the UK. The logbook read 2.4-litre E (Executive spec) but the car was a 2.7-litre, highly tuned track spec car.

The car was later resprayed from the original Guards Blue to Black Metal Flake with the Porsche emblem as a silhouette on the bonnet. Eventually, common sense took over and sadly the car was sold. What a mistake.

 

With your new set of wheels comes a new set of adventures and responsibilities, so if you're a new driver or you're still having lessons, remember that your first car is a biggie. So take your time in making sure it's the right one for you.

Which one of stories was your favourite first car memory? Do you have a first car story you'd like to share or a couple of photos that sum up just why you loved it? If so, take to our Facebook or Twitter!


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