My first car was a gold 85 Mazda GLC. It was great. It took a while to find it. Determined to have a manual transmission car, I searched a while, as everyone wanted to sell this girl an automatic. I found this picture on the internet. Yes, my car looked like this one (although a bit dirtier.)
That little car got me everywhere I needed to go. I think back on it and ooh, I had fantabulacious mileage with that car!! I could get to Orlando and back on less than 1/2 a tank. That was 300 miles!! and my tank was a standard 13/14 gallon tank! I figured it once and highway I'd get about 45-50MPG. Try getting that today! In town, driving to school and work, I'd get about 33MPG. Of course, we all have car stories and this one was no exception.
Funny story #1: Leaving school with 2 of my friends, we heard a loud bang and I could feel the car react. I pulled to the side of the highway, and looky there! My back tire blew out. We were standing on the side of I95, all of us 16, in our school uniform, looking at my flat tire and thinking, "hmm...now what?" So, of course, the next logical step is to change the tire, something I had never done. I figured, how hard can it be? I popped the trunk and got out the jack-we couldn't figure for the life of us how to use it (it was a weird twirly jack instead of one that you can pump!) As we stood there, the three of us trying to figure out this contraption, a minivan pulls up and stops behind us. This man with his family in tow stopped and changed my tire for me. Whoever he is, wherever he may be, I am still thankful!!
Funny story #2: My friend M. and I drove up to Orlando to visit my sis. Then, with sis in tow, we headed to St. Augustine for the day. Driving west back to Orlando, I noticed the lights were dim. I justified it, figuring that driving into the sun, the lights would appear to be more dim (sun being brighter and all...). We slept over and the next morning, the car wouldn't start. Nothing. Dead. We got a jump from someone, and headed back south to West Palm, about a 150 mile drive. As we drove, the AC started getting weaker. I turned it off. Then the radio started fading. I turned that off (keep in mind these were the days before everyone had a cell phone!) I knew something was wrong but youth and optimism kept me going. Somehow, we made it back to my house, pulling into the driveway with whatever bits of power that poor car had left! I tried to turn it back on. Nothing. Dead. My dad charged the battery overnight. The next day, it died again. It turns out the alternator had gone bad, but still that little car got me home!!
I kept that car for 4 years. When I graduated high school, I travelled back to Europe for the summer and fell in love with the Golf GTI. I decided it would be my next car, whenever that would be. After two years of college, which I did locally, I was ready to go away to university and my little car had over 100k miles. My mom wanted me to get a newer car--she felt it would be safer for me. So, I started scanning the papers and all for my GTI. My mom couldn't understand my obsession, and I did look at other cars, but none would do. Everyone tried to convince me to get a different car, but I wanted my GTI. Eventually, I found an 88 GTI 16v. It looked like this, only with tinted windows.
I loved that car. And of course, it being college, I have some good stories with it, which I won't get into on this post, but I still miss that car. It handled so well and also got decent gas mileage. Not as good as the Mazda, mind you, but it averaged 31 MPG. In fact, it seems to me that most cars I've had since then have not been quite the same. Now, after over 15yrs of driving, I have my first automatic transmission. I doesn't seem right, somehow.