My first, and only, brand new car, my 1983 Toyota Celica GT-S notchback coupe. The bra was extra.
Yes, it says GT below the taillight. I had to order the proper GT-S badge after I picked up the car.
R E M EM B R A N C E — Oh, to be a young twenty-something, with my entire future in front of me and very supportive parents behind me, instead of my best years behind me and nothing but uncertainty in front of me!
After showing absolutely zero interest in working for a living after I graduated from college other than working part-time in a clothing store in West Hollywood, California, and various three-day jobs for a temp agency in Manhattan, my dad pulled some strings and got me a full-time job at the local newspaper company in town. No, I wasn't thrilled. The job began at 7 am, about the time I was getting home from the night before most days. To go with my newfound 'independence' my parents decided I needed a 'decent' car since I was driving a '64 Tbird and a '68 Cadillac at the time. They gave me a budget, and I hit the car dealers.
I checked out new domestic cars, which in '83 were none too exciting at my price point—I was never the Camaro or Firebird type. I test drove a new Honda Prelude—nice but a bit too pretty for me and the dealer was sort of rude to me. The VW dealer had nothing but Rabbits at the time, no GTIs or Sciroccos. The Toyota dealers in the area seemed willing to deal with me, and after a couple of weeks I put in an order for a Celica GT. I REALLY wanted the brand new GT-S model, which came with the fender flares, the suspension, 4 wheel disc brakes and the interior of the much-more expensive Supra, but it was about $1500 too much for me, a big amount of money back then. I picked my options, and my three color choices, black, red or white, paid my $500 deposit and sat back waiting for them to locate one exactly the way I wanted it. And sat. And sat. And sat. The dealer kept calling me with models 'close' to what I wanted, maybe a silver one, or one without a sunroof or one without the extra-cost wheels, or one with an automatic transmission. After nearly THREE MONTHS of saying "No, I want one exactly the way I told you I wanted one" they got really mean and told me I'd have to forfeit my deposit since I was unwilling to work with them. Long story short, my dad's lawyer got my money back, but I was without a new car after all that time.
One Sunday afternoon, I went to the beach to get my mind off of everything—it was all too much for me, lol! I went to a state park, rather than the town beaches I could have used, because there were usually better looking strangers there! What did I find as soon as I got out of my car? There before me, with dealer plates, was a bright white, brand new Celica GT-S notchback coupe with a sunroof. It was REALLY the car I had wanted all the time, but didn't think I could afford. Even though II thought it would be too expensive, I left my name and number under the windshield wiper and asked them to call me with a price. That night the salesman called me—from a different Toyota dealer than I had the bad experience with. Because it had 1,000 miles on it, a demonstrator, and because it was already July and they were expecting new cars in August, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. YES! I was going to be driving a white GT-S with a 5 speed manual transmission, a power sunroof, pump-up lumbar seats, an AM-FM-Cassette stereo system and the 4 wheel disk brakes and HOT fender flares with 225-60 tires, the widest on any car of the time in that segment. Man, was I stoked!
Yes, the one and only brand new car I've ever owned was bought by my parents, sigh. I drove it home to the brand new apartment my parents had paid my first year's rent for, and I STILL thought I was just about the hottest thing since sliced bread. The important thing though, was that I WAS working full-time, and prescient as my Dad was, he had found me a job in a field I would love, a field I would be great at, and a job that would eventually take me back to New York. Within three months of being hired as an entry-level paste-up person for the newspaper company, I was made Art Director, and within another three months, I was responsible for designing 28 local newspapers every week and 7 classified sections. I had become the golden boy with the new publisher, who had a new Supra, and who insisted I park next to him with my new Celica GT-S. I would eventually be promoted to Fairchild Publications' Women's Wear Daily in Manhattan, a sister company for the publisher I worked for, and the rest as they say, is history. Well, a sordid history... : )
The rest of my life had about 32 hours of drama for every 24 hour period, but y'all will learn about that in due time. James Frey may have broken into a million little pieces, but I blew up into at least a billion pieces eventually. Due time, due time, I promise.
Be good, folks!