The first car I ever owned (as opposed to driving the family car or the "kids' car"), which I bought used in 1988, was a Datsun 200SX. I don't remember the model year, but it was probably a 1982... or 84? I don't have any digital photos of it, but I loved that car. It was spiffy. It was a 5-speed and had every possible gadget on it. And boy, could it move. And move fast. Lotta engine for the weight of the car. This is the car that took me from New Brunswick, NJ to my parents' home in MD (exit to exit) in 2 hours and 39 minutes (about 200 miles).
I paid $3000 for it, and it only had 33,000 miles on it when I got it. And it was BRONZE. Now who buys a bronze car by choice? Particularly when it's a specialty color that costs extra? I dunno because I got it used. People made fun of me for the color, but I could always find it in a parking lot. But then again, police could also always find me miles down the road when they caught me on radar speeding. Bronze sticks out, then and now.
When I went googling for the car, I found someone who had the same car as his first car
. He lists this as a 1980, and it looks pretty much like mine did (but without the dorky yellow lamps mounted on the front bumper and maybe more refined lines). So maybe my car was a 1980? I don't remember, but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure it was a 1982 or 84. I sold it when I moved to Japan in 1990, with all of 66,000 miles on it. Sweet.
Isn't it cute?
Now I drive a 1988 Toyota GTS. It's a cute little thing. Another 5-speed. Not as zippy as the Datsun, but another bargain buy. I love the moonroof. I got it in 1994 for $5600 with <27,000 miles on it. I bought it from a little old lady who drove it back and forth to work, two miles each way. Thus the low mileage. It now has only 80,000 miles on it. I guess I've become that little old lady. Living in the city, it doesn't get much use these days. It used to get lots of highway miles for roadtrips, but that was before law school. It looks like this, spoiler and all, but different hubcaps and gray, not red.
I am told that this model is a favorite among the car customizers because it's easy to add boosters and other stuff to jack up the engine to run as a racing car. One mechanic even told me that, as a "virgin", my car could sell for decent money. But I'm not selling. It's been good to me, and I plan on keeping it until it craps out, gets wrecked or my situation requires a larger car (it only carries two and a half people because the back seat is that
I've been lucky with my car purchases. Next car I buy will likely be a new one, probably a hybrid. But here's hoping that my little Toyota makes it to "historical car" status, which it may very well do. It is, after all, 18 this year and has been driving longer than a lot of people I know.