My First Vehicle: '76 Chevy Pickup

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Imagine more rust and some faded colors and that's it. My dad's old truck was my first car. Like most kids my age, I didn't care what I drove; I just wanted to be able to drive. I thought nothing of the gas gauge and speedometer not working or the hole in the floor or the missing rearview mirror or the seals on the doors being off. The independence is what I wanted and I got it with that old truck.
Before my truck adventures, of course I was enrolled in driver's ed. The classes were held at the high school, about 20 minutes from my house. Living in the country, everything was a bit of a drive and we lived close to the furthest edge of the school district. The last day of driver's ed classes, my dad picked me up in his manual transmission Acura and said, "Drive home."

I had never driven a manual transmission before. 

Not only did home seem a million miles away, but it was all highway. Those poor people who got stuck behind me at any point in the drive. I got so frustrated with the clutch, but my dad stood his ground and simply reinstructed me until we finally made it home. 

Once I had my license, he gave me the keys to the truck. I was so excited. It would stall in the winters and had a whole in the floor, but it didn't matter. The roads were mine. 

The other story I associate with that truck is that I was with friends at the local Pizza Hut before a choir performance. I went to start the truck and it wouldn't go. 

My friend, Kevin, in his manliest tone said, "Pop the hood." 

I laughed and said, "Kevin, you don't 'pop' the hood on these old trucks. 

He opened the hood, stared down, and said, "I got nothin'." I got a ride to school from friends and Dad got it started later that day. 

I loved driving that truck. I feel like it was a right of passage before getting a nicer vehicle. 

What was your first car? Do you have any fun stories? 




5 comments

  1. What a great memory. I still don't know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.

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    Replies
    1. Unfortunately, I didn't drive one enough. I may be able to figure it out, but it would take some time.

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  2. What a great memory! Mine was a 76 jeep!!

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