My First Car

Posted on: 09 July 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

A Fiat, Morris, Mini, Beetle, Triumph, Ford Anglia or Cortina - what was yours?

Our first car, in 1958 was an A35, racing green PJB 113.

My husband had wanted a Morris, but the waiting time was 10 months - he was impatient and couldn't wait that long.

I have so many happy memories, holidays in Devon, Bournemouth and Norfolk, it was very reliable and never once let us down.

We kept it for eight years and sold it when our twin daughters arrived, although they came home from hospital in their carrycots on the back seat.

Life was somewhat more demanding after that!

Joyce Francis, Essex

Everybody loves their first car. For many, reminiscing about their first set of wheels evokes memories of freedom and fun.

Scraping around all over the house to get those final few pounds together to buy that first car is a time we’ll never forget.

Now we want to hear your stories - and see photos where possible - of all your broken-down jalopies, second-hand family cars or shiny, brand-spanking new vehicles bought straight off the showroom floors.

Every car is different and whether they are humorous heart-warming stories or unforgettably embarrassing mechanical malfunctions we want to know all about it.

Send your stories and photos along with your name and location to and allow us to compile the greatest catalogue of motoring memories.

Alternatively, leave your comments in the box below or discuss your motoring stories in the 50connect forums.

Your Stories


Martin Claridge, Suffolk

My first car was a four-door Standard Eight.  

The only access to the luggage space at the back was by folding down the rear seats.  

I was in the Royal Air Force at the time and one weekend I loaded the car up with three big passengers and their large suitcases and we set off for London.  

After a while I found negotiating corners a problem because all the weight was over the rear axle and so the front end was very light, thus the car preferred to go in a straight line!  

No photographs but bags of fun.   I was sorry when the time came to part with the little car.

My first car was a Morris Minor 803cc and it drove for miles and miles.  It gave me a sense of freedom and also enabled me to get to work in less time than by bus.

From its registration I named it 'Extra Puff'. The fun I had when I drove it stays in my memory.

I had this car when I met my husband and we used it to go on honeymoon.  Our best man had filled the air vents with confetti but as it was summer we did not use the heater. The resultant mess was only discovered much later when I was going grocery shopping. I won't tell you what I said about it because it would make you blush!

I had married a non-driver so it was my task to take us to all the parties and other events.  Once he had been 'persuaded' to learn to drive I made him ‘make up’ for all the miles I had driven.

I distinctly remember one occasion when I drove around the north circular after a snowstorm, when I could go only slowly using the ruts left by other drivers.  There are many more memories, some horrible, some hilarious and others just fun.

I have no photos of “Extra Puff” but great memories.

Patricia Goodwin, Surrey

Tom Kinvig, Kilsyth

My very first car was a Hillman Imp. 

What a pack of trouble it was - but I loved it.  We had many a day trip to the Clyde coast from our home in Kilsyth and on one occasion there was eight of our family squeezed into it!  Yes - eight of us.

How we got to those Clyde coastal resorts and back I'll never know - but I loved it!  Although I don't know if any of the passengers enjoyed the same feelings as I did!

When I pay visits to Motor Museums and view a Hillman Imp a lump comes into my throat because of the memories I have of the time spent to make it capable of carrying the required loads and the thrill of driving it - my very first car, and I loved it!

Neil Anderson, Dundee

We got married in July 1966 and moved into our new home in Glasgow.  My wife worked as a teacher at a school about 10 miles away and public transport was not great. 

After much soul searching we decided to blow the remainder of our meagre savings on a second hand, bright yellow mini. 

We were very proud of our new car and cleaned it inside and out.  We found three half crowns behind the back seat (about 37.5p in today's money). Not much now but it seemed like a small fortune then and perhaps a good omen re our first car.

Not long after we bought the car my wife was driving into the school playground and felt something scraping along the bottom of the car.  It was the cover for the school gates stopper but she did not think anything of it until she tried to start the car at the end of the school day. 

The car was started by pressing a button attached to the starting solenoid.  Unfortunately this bit stuck out under the car and it had been wrenched off going through the gates. 

With help from the janitor the car was push started and she was warned not to stall the car on the way home.  We lived on a hill so by parking the right way we could start the car each morning but the janitor had to help start it each evening. 

The eventual repair cost a lot more than the 37.5p so the omens had not been good after all.

Our morale was boosted however when we discovered that two young lads who lived nearby, thought the car was a souped up sporty model due to the bright yellow colour. 

The morale did not last long as in fact the car was an old banger with a serious engine problem.  It was sold a few months after we bought it.

Despite its problems and financial drain we still have a great affection for that mini. 

We have owned many cars over the ensuing 42 years but none brought us the same thrill as the owners of that first car.

Brian Dalby, Sussex

My first car was a black Hillman Minx (registration SUC162).

It had a front bench seat with a column gear change. I purchased it from the parents of my best friend.

I can’t remember the date but I was very happy with this car and think I traded this in for a new Hillman minx (registration ALM391B).

Paul Cowell, Kent

My very first car was an Austin A40, or as my wife described it to a car-mad friend, a Morris A35. That baffled him!!

When I went to have a look at the car the wife had "just popped to the shop" so I had to wait awhile until she returned.

Receipts were shown with new MOT, new exhaust, new fan belt. I bought the car for the very princely sum of £75, and unlike Brian Dalby from Sussex a couple of letters above, I don't remember the registration, much to my frustration.

I have now bought Corgi/Dinky models of every car I have ever owned (23 to date). Yeah I know - pass the anorak!

But back to the car; it was a great car and I drove 20,000 miles in it, before I sold it for £70 with a blown engine!

Well I say a blown engine; it didn't pour out smoke but suffice to say I put more oil in it than petrol... honestly! I worked part-time as a petrol station so it didn't matter to me one bit! Memories...

Alan Quantrell, Brittany

Having passed the motorcycle test in 1966, I "graduated" from 2 wheels to 3 in 1968 using my motorbike licence to drive a Reliant Regal van - just like the "Trotters" but blue.

Reliant RegalIt was very car-like to drive, albeit less stable on bends and in crosswinds (it was very light to be driven on a motorbike licence). 

However it was warm and dry, though very noisy, as the engine was behind the front wheel and therefore more or less in the cab - between driver and passenger. Indeed access to the engine was via panels inside the cab, with only the radiator and battery accessible from the tiny bonnet. 

It served me well, however, with many holidays as well as daily commutes to work.  In the end, of course, my licence was too restrictive and I had to take a car test in order to move on from 3 wheels to 4 some three years later.

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