My First Car

My first car was a 1983 blue Toyota Corolla. Well, it was blue and rust. My friends called it the Toyota Corroded. It was my first car so no matter how bad, it was great.
I didn't buy it. My brother gave it to me when he got his first full time job and bought his first new car. He had purchased it second hand. I think I was the fourth driver.

He gave me the Corroded with one condition.

The condition was, when I sell it, I give him the money. No problem, I said. And a fair deal if I ever heard one.

I drove the car for close to two two years. It got me to school, work and to play. In the first month I was nervous driving five-speed so I wouldn't take it on the highway. After a while, becoming more confident, highway or road way, I didn't care where it stalled.

It had an AM-FM radio but no cassette deck. It burned oil. Once a week I would fill up with gasoline. Once a month, I would have to fill up with oil.
Coolant also seemed to go fast, it too was either burning up or leaking out.

One day I was on my way to the downtown campus of Concordia University when my hood flew open. I invested in a some cord so it wouldn't happen again.
Had to scour the internet for a picture 1983 Toyota Corolla

The car had intermittent windshield wipers. What I mean is, that they worked, but only sometimes. When the windows became dirty I would have to drive through a puddle and hope the splash would clean off the grime. I was forever tailgating people praying the spray from the tires would do the same.

When it got too cold out the heater did not work. Worked like a charm during the summer.

One door wouldn't close so I had to invest in a second cord to tie it shut. I knew it was time to get rid of it when I was ticketed twice within a week for that door not closing.

When I finally saved up enough money for a down payment on a new car, the dealer would not take the Corroded as a trade-in. "Take it off the road", I was told, "it's was too dangerous". Was it because the handbrake was not connected?

So, I made a deal with a scrapyard. They agreed to tow it away and pay me $50.

When the scrap guy showed up he refused to take it. It wasn't worth the $50. A scrapyard did not want my car. It was not worthy of their level of scrap. I had to convince him to take it for free. It was my first car. It was awesome.


  1. This is wonderful, Shawn. My first car was a 1967 powder blue Triumph Spitfire. Bought it new, had it for five years and it was probably in the shop more than on the road (a real piece of crapola) but God... I still dream about that car. When I wrote a post about it, I scoured the Internet for a photo, too. Loved hearing about Corroded.

    1. Thanks Jayne. The Spitfire is gorgeous car.

  2. We had a second hand Toyota Corolla in the early 80's. We loved it. When we were able to buy new, we got a newer model Toyota Corolla in bright red. We loved that one too, at the time.

    1. My first two cars were from Toyota. Back I haven't gone back to them.

  3. "Toyota Corroded" That made me laugh out loud.. in real life, not internet life! That is so funny - that no one would take your car! Poor thing!!!! It did right for you! My first was a used ORANGE Datsun B-210 hatchback. It was PERFECT for college... running between NC and VA. I had to learn stick with it and remember rolling backwards in to bumpers on hills for about two weeks. But then I got the hang of it and ROCKED it. I miss having a stick. Thanks for bringing back those great memories!

    1. That happened to me too! I would roll backwards into cars all the time. Probably for the first month.

  4. My first car was a 1976 AMC Concord. It was silver, I think.
    As far as I can remember, I liked it.
    My second car was a Phoenix (I don't remember the company that made it or what year the make was).
    I totalled it after having it for only three days.
    Rolled it in the middle of a crowded highway (three times) and probably would've gone through the windshield with a nasty splat if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt.
    I was 17 years old.
    Even now, at the age of 44, I still remember how it feels to be in a car that's rolling over and over.

  5. I am probably wrong but I think it is the Phoenix Arizona.
    Actually it was the Pontiac Phoenix. Two door sporty sedan.
    Sounds horrifying. You can write your very own public service announcement on seat-belt safety.

  6. Yes... now that you mention it, Pontiac Phoenix sounds right. I had it for such a brief time, I don't even remember the number of doors it had.
    (Reasonably confident that it was an even number.)
    I remember it was sort of an off-white color, and it was my first car that had a tape deck. I was so excited about that tape deck. I even remember the song that was playing when the car rolled. (Howard Jones... "Little Bit Of Snow".) It's a song trying to talk people out of committing suicide, and somehow I almost ended up accidentally killing myself while it was playing. I haven't heard that song again since it happened. (1987)

  7. First cars are always awesome. My first car was a 1986 Dodge Spirit and was a complete POS. We had it for a few years until the brakes stopped working and the radiator blew. But we got $100 from the scrapyard when the guy came to get it. LOL

    1. You did better than I did Mary. I should have sold mine for parts.

  8. My first was a Gremlin. Just awful.
    After that I got a Mustang at auction. A lot of mileage but the body was in good shape. Had it for three years.

    1. We just have to decide now, which was worse the Ford Pinto or the AMC Gremlin?...