This took a hell of a lot longer than I thought it would to compile, but I’m glad I did. It was a fun trip down memory lane for me.
1990 Ford Escort Pony
4 speed manual, no tachometer (it did have an amber “Shift” light with an up arrow), no air conditioning, no power anything, no defrost, no tape player (shit, the FM may not have even been stereo). It was my first car, it got me around and into trouble. It met it’s untimely demise broadsiding a 95 Camry sedan, my only at fault accident.
1987 Pontiac Sunbird GT Turbo
So right after I buried the nose of my first car into the passenger side of a Camry, I somehow convinced my parents to let me buy a much more powerful car. This was not one of their better decisions. I launched this thing from every stoplight I could, raced all my friends and anyone else who wanted to (305 Camaro owners hated me), and was generally a hoodlum in this thing. I loved it. Miraculously, I never got into trouble with this car (with the law, at least). It was rear ended while sitting still, signal on, waiting to make a left turn on a two lane rural road. A Geo Storm at 60 mph managed to collapse both rear rails, and essentially fold the entire ass-end into the ground from the wheels back. I miss that car to this day, and the memories of my youth that transpired in, and because of it.
1984 Honda Prelude
Bought in a bit of a pinch after the Sunbird was totalled (I needed to get to work), this thing had a habit of eating transmissions and clutches, and was sold 3 months or so after purchase.
1990 Honda Civic LX
Another one of my favorites, dozens of road trips and great memories in this thing. The motor blew in 2001, but I had another vehicle at that point, so I decided to upgrade the Civic. Bought a B16 swap and started picking up cooling/axles/mounts etc. Ended up changing cities/jobs, and selling the swap. The car languished in front of my parents house for a couple years before getting dragged off to scrap.
1993 Honda Civic del Sol Si
My first autotragic, but it served admirably as a daily beater for a few years. Was killed in the line of duty (on the way to work) by a stolen 1987 Buick Century in West Baltimore.
1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T
Back to manual transmissions, back to boost. Bought dirt cheap with light body damage and low miles in the spring (original owner was a claimant, wanted it totalled and won). Had the body damage fixed at a friends shop for a song, put tires, a timing belt and a water pump on it, and had a great summer. Road trips, drag racing, bottlecap BOV tom-foolery (atmosphere boost dumps and turbo chatter made morning commutes so much better), and I nearly doubled my money when I sold it and went back to dailying the del Sol in the fall.
1993 Nissan 240SX SE
Bought on short notice after the del Sol’s trip to the boneyard. Had SR20DET plans for this thing that never materialized, but still a fun car for a short time. Drove it to work in 8" of snow on all seasons (0/10 would not recommend). Sold to a coworker who also had SR20DET plans for it (I hope his materialized).
1998 Dodge Neon R/T
Bought cheap and fixed after a light deer accident, served as DD for a few years. Nothing really noteworthy about it, but honestly not a bad car. Did it’s job as a DD well. Sold to a work buddy.
2002 Volkswagen Passat GLS V6
My second slushbox. Bought cheap with low miles, flawless DD with fairly simple and cheap maintenance requirements. Drove for three years and sold cash to Craigslist buyer (I knew what I had).
2008 Honda Civic Si
A sedan Si, a modern version of what I wanted to turn my ‘91 into. Decent balance between efficient/economical and fun, has been a good daily for the eight years I’ve owned it (an oxygen sensor and an inner tie rod are all it’s needed). Regular wash/waxing blew up in my face, as the clear didn’t fail until the extended warranty was done (and once it failed, it went quick). Even working at a body shop, it’s hardly worth it for me to strip and repaint the entire car at this point. On the bright side, I could really give a shit less about stone chips and door dings anymore, you don’t really notice them when the car is peeling like a bad sunburn.