Showdown: First Cars

1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe

1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe

Here’s our latest Car Blog Showdown. This week, tgriffith and jgoods were invited to tell us about their first cars – what did they love about it, and why wasn’t the other’s a great choice? What was your first car? Did you love it? Why?

jgoods’ 5 reasons why he loved his black 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe:

  • I lowered it, so it bottomed out frequently, but the car looked great.
  • It was very customizable, so I added dual exhausts, leaded rear deck, bigger bumpers, a couple of engine mods.
  • The car had its own notable odors—burning oil on fast acceleration and the smell from the rear opera seats where a friend had gotten drunk and thrown up (no opening windows back there, and no getting that smell out).
  • The electrical system would cut out periodically, always producing the thrill of a new driving adventure.
  • Absolutely nothing was cooler in my high school parking lot.

tgriffith‘s 3 reasons why jgoods should not love his 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe

  • If you love your car because it smells like puke, something must be wrong.
  • Can the Deluxe Coupe really be appreciated by a kid getting it as his first car?
  • This is a car to have later in life, to restore, and to treasure forever. Imagine how it must have been treated by a high school kid!
1966 Plymouth Valiant

1966 Plymouth Valiant

tgriffith‘s 5 reasons why he loved his white 1966 Plymouth Valiant:

  • It sat in my parents’ driveway before I even got my license. I’d sit in it, start the engine, and fantasize about how it would feel to drive on my own.
  • Yes, it’s ugly. Perhaps even the ugliest in my high school parking lot. But it was still the car all my friends piled into.
  • Sometimes it would start, sometimes it wouldn’t. Every day was an adventure!
  • When the driver’s side wiper arm broke in a rainstorm, I had to drive with my head hanging out the window. We still laugh about that day.
  • Plain and simple, it was my first car. It could’ve been anything, and I would have loved it!

jgoods’ 3 reasons why tgriffith should not love his 1966 Plymouth Valiant:

  • The Valiant had a pretty good drivetrain if you had the V8, but this car is about as sexy as a stone.
  • Jay Leno has a V200 with 88,000 miles and the original engine (see it here), and he took his driver’s license test in it when 16, he says. A perfect car for the test, as passenger protection was excellent with all that iron around you.
  • Finally, there can be no quibbles about one’s first car. You had to love those wheels.

Okay, readers – your turn: What was your first car? Did you love it? Why?


  1. My first car was a 1940 Standard Tudor Ford in black. I also did some small changes, Teardrop skirts, shaved trunk, dual carbs, lowered rear, Naugahyde inside.. War stories: Generator repairs every 6 months; burned a little oil. I almost wore out the paint from polishing it with silicone polish in 1952. Wish I still had it.

  2. 1957 Chevy black BelAir convertible with a 265 that musta had 150,000 miles on it the way it smoked and a slip & slide power glide that went out the first time I raced against a 1955 Ford. The toop quit working so I had to really stretch from the back seat with my hands on the top and my feet on the dash to help it go up. Went down fine. Second car = 1960 Chevy black Impala coupe with a 348, tir-power, four speed on the floor and a mild cam. 45 in 1srt, 90 in 2nd, 110 in 3rd and 140 in 4th. Owned it 8 months, got 8 tickets and it got 8 miles to the gallon if you didn’t put your foot in it. But took everything but one GTO with a cam. All other GTOs and Mustangs were in the rear view mirror. And put it in second on the freeway to change lanes – lol.

  3. A 1966 Pontiac Catalina. You had to love this thing, about 1 1/2 football fields long, about as wide, 2-door, 389 V8 and gleaming white. This baby was a looker. Well, maybe not a looker, but I used gallons of Turtle wax to make it shine none the less. Not a bad car for a 17 year old kid in the 70’s. My second car – a 1967 Cougar GT 390 Maurader. Cool.

  4. @Randy
    Ha! That made me laugh, Randy. Yes, the Valiant was quite the introduction to American cars. I really don’t hate American cars at all. There’s some I really, really like (Cadillac CTS, Ford Mustang, heck even the Dodge Caravan is a good car!).

  5. My first was a 1955 Chevy Belaire Convertible, red and white with a white top and matching two-tone interior. It was a straight six with 3 on the column, so I wasn’t doing any drag racing with it on Woodward Avenue. I sure wish I had kept it since it would likely be worth an obscene amount of money, but I must admit I liked my second car much better. It was a 1962 Thunderbird convertible. The 1955 chevy was a bit too dowdy for my 1960’s high school crowd but the T-Bird was new enough to attract a higher quality of female companion(s) than the greaser and motorhead chicks riding around in my friends Camaros and GTOs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.