Clean Up Your Racecar is a little series…
What was your first vehicle that got you interested in cars? Like really interested? And I don’t mean the one in the bedroom posters as kid..the dream cars, etc. I mean the first car that was yours to enjoy? Cheap, expensive, it doesn’t matter. All of us had that one car that changed us.
My first “project” car was a 1982 Datsun 280zx, it was beat to shit, covered in primer, had 225,000 miles, and was 500 bucks. I learned all the proper driving skills that new driver should know. Like J turns, threshold braking and how to hold a slide at 60mph on grass. 25 or so vehicles and many years later I still remember taking the first one home and grinning like a dumbass while watching the temp gauge spike sitting in rush hour traffic. That car took me many many miles through winding country roads where I raced (and lost) to many others, but it was an absolute blast.
The most ridiculous thing I ever did in it was tow an suv nearly 60 miles on the highway with just a tow strap. Got a couple miles when the lights started dimming, the voltage gauge started dropping hard, and I started sweating a little, because who doesn’t want two things to tow home? I pleaded with it to just fix itself… and ten seconds later, it charged ahead, all the lights got brighter and the volt gauge maxed itself out. Apparently Datsun Jesus was watching out for me! Ever since then it was always the “magically mending Datsun” and it was eventually sold to my best friend’s little sister for her first car.
For me, being able to pass my first automotive love on to another person who loved it as much as I was such a good feeling. Look at the smile on her face!