Lou: ‘I Bought My First Car From a Guy in Putnam Lake — What Was Your First Car?’
My boys and I were talking about cars for some reason, and they asked me what my first car was. I told them with a smile on my face that I was the proud owner of a 1989 Plymouth Sundance RS. I bought it off Gene Schmeiler in Putnam Lake, NY.
They asked me to show them a picture and I hit up THE WEB, showed them and they laughed at me. They don't know. They will never understand that crappy cars were what we drove. Our first set of wheels meant freedom and a chance to get in the car and go talk to our friends.
When I decided to share this story with you, I had to find a picture of the vehicle I could legally use, and these ebay photos of the sales brochure were the best I could do. The others were not representative of the actual make and model I had. Some were a year off, others were not the RS edition (Rally Sport) that I had and the rest were jacked up.
This baby had it all, a 2.2 liter turbocharged engine, power windows and an AM/FM stereo. I think if I remember correctly I bought it for a cool 2,800 bucks and it was worth every penny.
Eventually the engine blew on the Saw Mill River Parkway while en route to Westchester Community College in rush hour traffic. I had to push the car through a busy intersection and to its final resting place.
I don't like to think about the end when I think of this car but the beginning. Day 1 was one of the best days of my life. I asked my dad where I could go and he said wherever you can afford to. He meant gasoline, however much I could put in the tank was going to dictate my limits. I washed it, waxed it, filled the tank and just cruised around town. It was amazing.
Now when I see 17, 18, 19 year old kids driving Mercedes and Land Rover's I still get sad for them. There is no work there, they won't feel the freedom many of us did because they already have it. They are not going to use the car to go see their friends, they can do that in their house at the push of a button.
I fell in love with driving in this car, I still love to drive today. It had no blue tooth, no GPS, no computer in it. The amenities meant nothing. I had 4 wheels and a parking pass in the high school parking lot. For that time in my life, I had it all.
What was your first car?
Even though it doesn't appear to be the RS edition, I turned up the original commercial for the 1989 Plymouth Sundance featuring none other than Tina Turner:
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