Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You Never Forget Your First

This faded and scratched Polaroid is just about the only photo I have of my first car. Originally black-and-white, I subtly colorized the image in Photoshop tonight and suddenly it looked just like it did the first time I set eyes on it in 1973.

1969 Mercury Comet Sport Coupe—Looking through a carton of old photos tonight, I was so happy to find this almost 39-year old Polaroid of my very first car. You'd think that I would have lots of photos of every part of my life, lol, but I just don't. This is only the second photograph of my first car I've ever found, and the first one is so faded and was so blurry to begin with, it was like not having any photos of it at all. 

My father came home with this Comet for me June 28, 1973, the day after I got my driver's licence. It was bought in town at the local Peugeot dealer, a friend of my father's. It was four years old with 44,000 miles. Even though the Comet was the bottom-of-the-Montego-lineup that year, this navy blue metallic example was equipped quite well. It had a 302 V8, automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, factory air conditioning and an electric trunk release. What it didn't have was carpeting, the first car I had ever seen with just a textured rubber floor covering. It simulated the look of carpeting, with a blue and black texture, but I always thought it was an odd omission for a "Mercury" level car! The poverty-spec dogdish hubcaps were soon replaced with four matching wire wheelcovers from a mid-Sixties Ford product, but that was it with the non-factory extras. 

I really liked my Comet—its pillarless coupe styling and simple lines, the deep dark blue paint and  medium blue cloth interior, and the air conditioning! Being an inexperienced first time driver, I dented the passenger door one day at the high school, cutting a corner too tightly as I backed out of a parking space, but my father was understanding, and it was soon repaired. I probably would have kept my first car longer if my Dad had not surprised me with the beautiful Caddy in the post below a few years after the Comet arrived—and if Hoohoo hadn't also surprised me with her Tbird at the same time, lol. I wanted to keep it, I really did, but my parents drew the line at me having three cars of my own, so my trusty high-school Comet was sold. 

But you never forget your first!


  1. Awesome story, awesome car! Love that color to:) I'll bet you'd sell half of your antiques if you found an identical car today. First cars will do that. At least that's what I've heard, lol!

  2. You never do forget your first -- mine was a 1956 Chrysler Windsor Nassau (the bottom of the line for '56) that I bought for $100 from a Cadillac/Studebaker dealer (yes, you read that right) in Hillsdale, NJ. It was way at the back of the lot. I drove it to high school for six months and sold it for $50 when my brother was sent overseas by the army and I inherited his 64 Falcon convertible -- not a Sprint but equipped with the 260 V8 and 4-speed. Even that wasn't sufficient to make me cool though!

    Paul, NYC

  3. Oh I'm sure you were cool, Paul!

    and you're right, PX. It would really be fun to have a '69 Comet again. I might have to add a Montego level carpet set to it though. And the cloth used on the seats was very thin and cheap. If a full vinyl interior was optional I'd probably go with that too. Dreams!


  5. I'm sure to fix a repair was 1/4 of the price as it is today. My first accident occurred when an older women swerved into my lane. My dad didn't pissed either b/c she was the same person that hit him, lol.

  6. oh that's a good one, Woody! Dad, I have bad news and good news. Bad news, the car is dented. Good news, she already hit your car, lol.

  7. Nice car Casey! You were lucky in the car dept! I had to buy all my own cars. My first was in 1970 and it was a 1966 VW Bug, jade green with a hand-crank sunroof. Went up to someone's house and told them I wanted to buy it (it wasn't for sale!) Paid $900 and drove it for a long time. Then a mechanic I was dating told me it had something horrid wrong with it and he'd take it off my hands. Cheap. I actually saw him still driving it about 10 years ago. Creep! I was so young and gullible. Loved that car and don't think I have any pics of it.


  8. Dear Casey,
    I would like to purchase your image of the 62 Plymouth. Would you please email me at: