My first car was a 1971 Datsun 240Z.
Black vinyl interior in Texas without A/C. I get all sweaty just thinking about it. Not to mention the second degree burns on the back of my thighs from the hot vinyl.
When I got it, i didn’t have a drivers license. (I had a learners permit for about 6 years) So, I (re)learned driving on the road coupled with 4 on the floor. For the first six months after getting my license, I had a very circuitous route to work and back home again that involved as many traffic lights NOT at the top of a hill as possible. Coordinating three pedals takes some time to master…
I learned a lot about cars owning that thing.
Pretty much, it would automatically turn in whenever we passed my mechanics shop. Dual carbs are such a joy. Not. In any case, I named her Roseanne Roseannadanna, because “there was always something.”
Because it was rated as a “muscle car” by insurance companies, insuring it was $$$$. Big I-6 motor with the aforementioned dual carbs. But puny little two-seater car. Driving in rain was scary as shit, because all the weight was over the front axle in a rear wheel drive car. Fishtailing was the norm. (Shudder)
One fun experience was having a windshield wiper break off during a rainstorm, driving on LBJ. Twisted metal scraping along the glass with every swipe. Yay! I pulled over, and puzzled over what to do. I found a bandana in the car (probably for hot-day road trips) and decided to remove the offending broken part and wrap up the remaining wiper-stump in the bandana. Later, managed to find a car parts store somewhere on Harry Hines. Counter guy was impressed with my temporary solution, and put the replacement wiper on gratis as my reward.
But my overall experiences allowed me to correctly diagnose a failed master cylinder for the clutch on my dad’s Corolla. And a failing water pump on someone else’s car. And bad suspension struts on a subsequent vehicle… While I sometimes miss the fun of stick shift (except when stuck in a traffic jam), I do appreciate a/c in Texas, light-colored interiors, and