Photo Diary: Cars I Drove from Age 16 – Current

1988 Dodge Aries K Station Wagon: My pride and joy. First car I ever wrecked. Although damaged after sustaining a 45 mph plunge into a construction ditch, the Dodge Aries K lived on for a few more years. Yes, years. In fact, it even survived jumping a handful of hay stacks that got dropped directly in front of me on the highway going 70-75 m.p.h.

1988-dodge-aries-k-station-wagon

1966 (?) Plymouth Valiant: Great car. Delivered a lot of pizzas. Push button transmission. Absolutely horrible on winter and/or back roads. I left the lights on one night for a few hours and the battery died. So, I did what any sensible 18 year old would do – I jumped it. Unfortunately, I hooked the cables up to the wrong posts (it was dark!) and somehow fcked the entire car. No joke. Charging the battery wrong ruined like everything on the car in the matter of like a month.

1966-plymouth-valiant1

1970 Volkswagen Beetle: One of my favorites. Couldn’t be any colder in the winter. Of course, you could see the moving road through the floor panels. But, once we fixed that slight problem, it was a dream to be behind the wheel. It could somehow get through any difficult traffic situation and/or sand dune. Volkswagen Beetles never get pulled over either – I’m not sure why the cops take it easy on VW Beetles. Sometimes the gas mixture – or something of the other – doesn’t go right and the car stops running. That’s always fun.

1970-volkswagon-beetle

1992 (?) Chevy Astrovan: I don’t know if I ever “owned” this car – thanks Mom – but it brings up some good memories. A) Pushing it through the hood in Detroit because something got jacked in the radiator. We saw a gun sale go down. B) Hitting 2 deers at once and the insurance company fixing the damage rather than totaling the car. C) A buddy (Jason) puking all over the side of it on the way home from Canada. It was Canada, right? We weren’t 21. D) My Dad driving it 90 m.p.h. regardless of the road conditions, speed limit, and/or traffic congestion.

chevy-astrovan

1999 F-150: I don’t know if I ever “owned” this truck – thanks Dad – but, the F-150 was nice. While Volkswagen Beetles (above) don’t get pulled over, you can’t take more than a 2 hour drive before getting pulled over in an F-150. The inflatable lumbar support and going way too fast for a truck in all weather conditions was cool.

1999-f-150

1999 (?) Honda Civic Hatchback: I sort of blur this car out of my memory. Not as fun to drive as the Volkswagen Beetle and could fit under any semi truck on the highway. Awkwardly cold inside during the winter but I think something heater related was broken. Roamed the streets of Lansing way too often in this vehicle engaging in such activities as tracking down Magic Johnson’s brother. He worked for my Dad. Long story.

1999-honda-civic-hatchback

1994 Ford Explorer – Eddie Bauer Edition: Going back to an American car for my last year of college and first few years post college. Props to my Dad for the kick a$$ system, Eddie Bauer amenity package, and repaint. The Explorer loved Chicago. Not. Hated Chicago. Broke down every other week. Dropped a ton of money into it every other paycheck and somehow ended up fixing an alternator on the streets of Chicago with a cheap toolkit and repair guide. After dropping $600 or so dollars on the last repair, I returned the car back to its birthplace in Michigan. It still exists and has run fine ever since. Crazy.

1994-ford-explorer

2002 Dodge Stratus: Chicks loved this car. Ha! The silver bullet – 2 door. The first car I truly owned. Meaning, I had to make car payments. I’m glad it’s retired though I never had any minor or major mechanical issues. This, in my book, makes the Stratus a definite favorite car on the list.

2002-dodge-stratus

Current: www.zipcar.com

zip car logo

14 thoughts on “Photo Diary: Cars I Drove from Age 16 – Current

  1. I’m torn. The van brings up a memory of barreling down the shoulder in a construction zone with 10 other people wearing Tigers’ hats and eating fried chicken. The bug brings back the memory of Jacob throwing Junior Mints in protest of being broken down for the 4th time in one trip….

  2. What about the short period of time driving Michelle’s Toyota pickup on the farm. Talk about a ride with Body Cancer.

  3. Loved the ’65 Plymouth Valiant. I fondly remember the catalytic converter or muffler blowing out on the way to Chicago during Freshmen year, and then getting pulled over on the way back (Just you and your shaved head, me and my giant beard, and Ben Hogue with his ridiculous rastafarian hat) in the car and the cop searching it for drugs and finding only cigars. Which then he questioned whether or not they were “Cubans.”

    Also loved the VW Beetle, in which we drove a few times from the Wood to MSU basketball games, and probably would have been warmer if we had just walked and drank the entire way.

    Also, I think the Civic CX was a few years older. ’96 perhaps? I remember the sound system being approximately worth $600 and the car itself only being worth $300.

    Also, you should add the moped to the list. I loved riding that thing to QD in order to buy more beer, somehow rationalizing that it wasn’t a DUI if I was on a moped. And then Layne crashed it, ruining our fun with all the time trials up and down the street. Also, filling it up for .75 cents was great.

  4. nothing can beat the Aries design perfectly for pickling and made to take an extream collision in any ditch
    I was expecting your last “car to be” on of those new wave stand up jobies

  5. what about the booger green 76 Dodge Dart that I sold to you, you drove for a couple of months, and then sold without telling me???!!!

  6. You hitting my car with your Stratus definitely sealed the deal for me!

    Although you failed to mention all of the times it was hit, while parked, by our place. Are you sure it was a favorite?

  7. 1988 Dodge Aries K Station Wagon: Memories of riding around in July with the heat on. You letting Kirsten, Kasey, and me take the car while you were working at the Mattress Store.

    1966 (?) Plymouth Valiant: Favorite memory of you lighting a book of matches dropping them outside of the car and saying let’s see if M. has a gas leak tonight…LOL

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