The first time I drove a car, it was a Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

Who doesn’t remember the first time they drove a car? Or truck? Or motorcycle?

Actually, I don’t remember the first time I drove a truck, probably because it was an automatic, but I do remember the first time I drove a car and a motorcycle, because of the stick shift in the case of the car and With the car, it was a Ford Fiesta; with the motorcycle, it was some — as my relatives would call them, but didn’t prevent them from riding one — “riceburner”: Kawasaki, Yamaha, what-else-have-you-got-in-Japanese-built-two-wheelers?

To be honest, the main thing I remember about driving/steering my first motorcycle by myself was that it was as scary as hell but also quite the adrenaline rush. When you switched up the gears on the gear pedal (I think that’s what it’s called, all I know about motorcycles these days is that the Harleys on Sons of Anarchy look pretty bitching) and you were knocked back on your seat, there was nothing like it.

Now the first time I drove a car, I recall that a little more clearly than driving my first motorcycle. It was a box Ford Fiesta, like the one pictured above, not one of those fancy ones that they have now (I’d show you but Plinky only allows me to use one image, so you’ll just have to Google it yourself). It was a stick shift. I don’t remember how many gears: four, maybe?

According to my mother, I was with my father. The Fiesta, bright red, as I recall, was parked in front of our garage. When I say “our garage,” let me set the picture. It wasn’t a garage besides a house. It was about 100 feet from the house and also doubled as my dad’s workshop. We didn’t park in the garage most of the time, because usually it was full of lawnmowers or my dad’s tractor, an ancient Ford from the 1930s, I think. We parked in front of the garage, but horizontal to the main doors. Behind where we parked were two trees, maples, maybe — and a field a neighbor used to grow hay for his cows (yep, I lived in Farmville).

Those two trees and that hay field came into play the first time I drove because I decided to shift into reverse instead of first gear and miraculously, the way the car was parked, I drove right between the two trees and into the field when I pushed down on the accelerator after letting up on the clutch. Luckily, the field wasn’t fully grown, as I think it might have been in the spring or fall that I first learned to drive, and I finally did figure out how to drive forward. I still hated starting out on a hill, though, and am glad that I now have an automatic.

While talking to my mother this morning on the phone, as I was trying to recall if it was she or my father who was with me at the time, she told me about her first time driving.

“The first time I drove, Daddy was going to show me. We lived in Kinston at the time. I was supposed to stop in front of the house, and there was a fence in front of our neighbor’s house. I went through it. I must have mistaken the accelerator for the brake.”

At least, I didn’t hit anything.

So do you remember first driving a car, truck or motorcycle? Or if you’re one of those city folks that never drove a car (for shame, for shame), then do you remember the first time you rode a bicycle? Or a subway?

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9 responses to “The first time I drove a car, it was a Ford Fiesta

  1. I don’t remember the first time I drove a car, but I remember my first car. A Ford Tempo. Ah… hardly moved….what a slow car. Thanks for the memory!

    • unfinishedrambler

      You’re welcome, Jules. I want to apologize for not being as involved with StudioThirtyPlus as I could be. I’ll try to do better here in the future and not just stop in when I’m trying to promote a post like today.

      As for cars that don’t move, we had one like that for a while: a Saturn. I hated that car, even though it was my wife’s favorite.

  2. My first driving experience (that didn’t involve a gold glitter-fleck miniature VW attached to the rotating arm of a carnival ride) was a brand spanking new 1986 Chevette with brakes on both sides. Dual Control Driving School….it had 300 miles on it and was glossy and crisp like a new deck of cards.

    • unfinishedrambler

      We had a Chevette too for awhile…and it was grey like the Fiesta in the photo above. It was a little more beat-up, as I remember. Oh, I hated that car.

  3. My first car was a Ford Fiesta too. Had it a year, sold it for more than I paid, and used what I got for it to put towards the delightful Audi A4 I’ve had the pleasure of driving for the last two years.

  4. Funny, I would have thought your first car would have been a…um, wait for it…Rambler.

  5. 1963 Chevrolet Fleetside pickup, here. Dad borrowed it from a friend at work to do a couple of chores for which our 1980 Datsun was unsuited, by virtue of its low ground clearance and lack of cargo capacity. The truck was sky-blue, had a straight-six engine, and a “three-on-the-tree” transmission. It also had seen better days, and suffered from an unfortunate taillight and turn signal deficiency. Mom followed us out to the the friend’s house when we returned it, and had stern words with Dad about the safety of the truck, which Dad (no fool) did NOT borrow again. But whilst it was in our driveway, for three glorious days, Dad taught me to drive it, back and forth in the driveway. That column shifter with its worn linkages was an adventure in gear selection, and the brakes were sketchy at best. But oh, was it ever fun for an 11-year-old future gearhead. đŸ™‚

  6. First car I drove was a 1962 Corvette. That car belonged to my boyfriend. Yeah, he let me drive it. No license? No worries.