Tell me about your first car

Maybe you got it when you were 16 or maybe 30. Doesn’t matter, you always remember your first.

My parents, tired of driving me around, got me a Ford Festiva when I was 16. It was the cheapest car on the market (I think a new one was $6k) and it was everything to me. Manual transmission, automatic seatbelts, preset radios buttons… the height of luxury.

One night we’re watching 20/20 and the story is about how dangerous the car is. The host (was it John Staussel??) said it should “come equipped with a funeral wreath.”

I look at my dad in horror and he goes “Lynne,” which in the south has two or three syllables, depending on bourbon intake, “all the more reason to obey those speed limits.”

I drove the car for four years and covered it in stickers and good memories. And beat the odds— I made it out alive.