My first love

My first car looked like this, only dented and rusty.

I learned to drive on a minivan. A maroon Nissan Quest to be exact. My mom pumped the invisible pedal in the driver’s seat as I quickly and um…haphazardly? navigated the streets of St. Louis. I was admittedly not a natural behind the wheel. I lacked spacial awareness. I can remember ducking more than once when I was absolutely positive the car on the other side of the road was headed straight for me. Turns out I was the one riding the center line a bit…

The weekend after I got my license I hit a parked car.


One particular afternoon, as I drove that sexy beast of a minivan alone (she had a sun roof, you know. *insert sexy growl here*) I zipped down the back stretch of Strecker Rd., the radio blasting the wicked awesome tunes of Green Day and The Dave Matthews Band, and I noticed a sign on the right side of the road coming up dangerously close. I leaned forward over the wheel, staring intently at the sign, wondering why on Earth it was set so close to the road when…


I nailed the sign, the sexy beast rocked, and I panicked. I screeched into the parking lot of a nearby school and jumped out of the car to survey the damage. Nothing. I’d hit the sign with my rear view mirror. I popped the mirror back into place and headed home, determined to stay a little further away from the shoulder.

When I pulled into the garage, I was still shaking. I came in too fast and hit the garbage cans, crushing them.

Maybe I wasn’t quite ready for a license? I definitely wasn’t ready to navigate the sexy beast around town, that’s for sure.

Incidentally, I’m pretty sure my exact words after I hit the garbage can were, “I hate this stupid van. I’m never going to drive one of these again. I’m gonna be the mom with the sporty car when I have kids.”

Mmmmm….What would my sixteen year old self think if she saw me now? Driving a Nissan Quest. Midnight black, of course, because black is HAWT.

But I digress.

Shortly after the run-in with the inanimate objects, my dad came home with a car just for me. It was a rusty, dumpy Honda CRX. A mercifully smaller car which ultimately became my first love. I named her Stella.

Every morning I jumped into Stella and revved her up, listening to her whine and moan against the frigid St. Louis winter air. The heater never really worked properly and the car trembled something terrible if you hit 55 miles per hour, but boy did she have character.

I loved Stella for a lot of different reasons. First and foremost, she wasn’t a minivan. Ahem. Stella was just kind of quirky and fun. I felt like I made a statement when I drove to school. The statement was here I am. I have a car. It’s a piece of S*%$ but it’s mine and look at all the flecks of rust on her smooth white exterior.

I dunno. I just loved that car.

Until someone ran a red light my junior year as I turned left and totaled sweet Stella leaving me with whip lash and supreme sadness over the loss of My Precious. From there I had other cars, all of which had their own endearing qualities, but none quite as charming as Stella, my rusty, dumpy CRX.

My current (smokin’ hot) minivan is running a close second, though, what with all her scratches, stains and quirks. She’s paid for, is still chugging along and only has a few Tats at his point (i.e. rust marks) but will likely develop more “character” as time goes on. Gone are the days when I jam out to Green Day, Dave Matthews or, really, anyone grown up. My car rocks to the beat of KidzBop, which makes her even more endearing in an odd and sad little way.

And I’ve yet to hit a road sign OR a parked car in her.

Go. Me.

What about you? What was your first car like? Did you name it? And more importantly, are you today driving the car you thought you’d be driving when you were sixteen?

Image Credit


  1. ’78 Trans Am named “Dr. TA.”

    • Dr. TA? Nice.

      Lee drove a Trans Am when I fell in love with him. Candy Apple Red. 🙂 There’s something about those cars…

  2. I have only started naming my cars recently. And I happen to love my current ride which is not a minivan. That was the prenuptial agreement: no minivans. ever. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the lady in my life, Cranberry Mary

  3. I may have a few grey hairs as a result of teaching you do drive! Those early morning trips to Lafayette were often scary!!
    My first car was a 1979 white Morris Minor. We bought it in Nassau and had it shipped to the U.S. when I came in for college. My friends called it the “Army Helmet” car because of it’s shape. I don’t think it went over 60, and that was downhill. On those cold mornings in Tennessee when it would not start, we just pulled out the crank, stuck it in the front, and turned it hard until she started! I was classy in my Army Helmet!

    • Yes. I should probably apologize for the way I aged you in learning to drive. Um…sorry?

      I have no doubt you were a picture of class back then. 🙂

      • And Mom teleported 10 years. It was.ahem, a ’69 Morris Minor. Sorry Honey. Mine? A white ’62 Olds Dynamic 88 rag top. Seriously hot red interior and the lead car in our homecoming parade with the homecoming Queen riding high in back waving. Ahhh. Anyway, her name….the beast (the car, not the homecoming Queen). Key music and sing with me: “those were the days my friend, we thought thed’d never end……”. Dad

        • I’m so glad you didn’t call your Homecoming Queen “The Beast.” Although…well, you ARE from Kentucky. 😉

          Love you, Dad.

  4. My first was a cherry red Plymouth Turismo. Suh – MOKIN’! It had no name. But my next car was a brand spankin’ new plum Saturn SC2 which I affectionately named Zippy. I miss that car something fierce. We call the van Big Blue. And my bike is named Taj (after the Taj Mahal.) Oh, and this iMacDaddy computer? We call him Rock One.

  5. Fun post! You crack me up! and I’m actually really even more impressed now with your affection for your minivan. I, too, learned to drive behind the wheel of my mom’s minivan (Dodge Caravan) and swore then and there that I’d never own one myself. My first car was a Chevy Beretta and I thought it was so cool because the door handles were in a different place than most cars’. I was a step away from a DeLorean, I tell ya. We named it the “Brick” because of it’s shade of red, although the name makes it sound like it was trouble. My next car, a bright red Mitsubishi Eclipse was my true “car love” and her name was Mia. Now I drive a big old Mountaineer. A half-step away from the minivan, I know. But the 16 year old in me apparently still has issues that keep us from crossing the line.