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1 month ago

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johna added 4 years ago

My first car

johna posted about 1980 Holden Commodore 1 month ago

Although I had been very interested in cars in my early teens, I wasn't a car enthusiast when it came time to buy my first car, and I didn't know much about cars.

I got my license on a weekday and went car shopping that weekend. I had only driven cars with an automatic transmission so that's what I planned to buy.

I can't remember all the cars that I looked at that weekend with my father and sister, but I remember a yellow 1970's "Mustang-style" Toyota Celica which ended up having a bit of rust. Then at some point I looked at a VC Holden Commodore.

As I said, I didn't know much about cars and just wanted to buy one straight away so that I didn't have to rely on borrowing a car. I probably didn't fully understand the difference between a four-cylinder and a six-cylinder Commodore.

The VC seemed okay to us non-car people, so I bought it. I remember it being somewhere around $5,000. Surprisingly they took a cheque and I was able to drive it away that weekend. Times were different then.

So the beige-coloured Commodore was a 1.9-litre four-cylinder with automatic transmission. These are known for being painfully slow. Not that 58 kW stopped me from driving fast. I remember driving plenty fast at every opportunity. Does 140 km/h counts as being fast? It probably does if it's in a 60 km/h zone.

Together, the Commodore and I explored the world, transported friends, and introduced me to fast night drives on twisty desolate roads through bushland. I remember more than once understeering off the road, not that I knew what it was called at the time.

Aside from constant alternator problems, the car was reliable. At some point the car needed an automatic transmission service and I remember the mechanic warning me how much faster and more dangerous it was going to be after the service as he had found some issues preventing it from delivering full power to the back wheel. I doubt this has ever been said of a four-cylinder Commodore before, and although I was excited at the thought or more performance, I don't think I noticed any difference at all.

Now that I had a car, I was becoming more interested in cars, and after about a year of ownership I traded the Commodore in on a first-generation Honda Prelude -- a car with similar performance, but one which had many "quirks and features".

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