What Was Your First Car?

Ford Mustang image

My youngest sisters are turning 16 in a few short months and my parents have been hunting for the perfect first car(s). My sisters are twins, so that means my mom and dad will not only purchase one, but two vehicles, and all the extra space in my family’s driveway will soon be occupied by safe, reliable cars. I’m sure someone at Lebanon Ford can help with this search, despite the fact that my family lives about 400 miles away in St. Louis, Mo.

Since my parents have been looking at vehicles for my sisters, I couldn’t help but reminisce on my first car: a brand new 2005 Ford Mustang. It was bright red and a basically every 16-year-old girl’s dream car.  When I was a little girl, I always told my parents I wanted a pink Barbie convertible, so I feel like my red Mustang was the real life equivalent. I loved my first car — a lot. I am extremely fortunate that my parents could not only afford to purchase a vehicle, but were willing to buy one for me. Like most parents, my mom and dad created a list of “road rules” that I had to follow in order to drive that cute Mustang around all the time. I had to have a job, take care of my vehicle, pay for my gas, wear my seatbelt at all times, be home by curfew, obey all traffic laws, etc. If I didn’t follow these guidelines, my car would be taken away at any moment (rightfully), so I made sure to follow suit.

After doing all this thinking about my first set of wheels, I figured out the real reasons why this Mustang was so important to me, especially since I’m a few years older and can see the bigger picture.

For me, and most other teenagers, your first car means freedom. Having my own ride gave me the opportunity to go anywhere. All I had to do was just get behind the wheel and drive to wherever I pleased. Well, almost. I’m sure if you lived at home like myself, this is a bit restricted, but you get the point.

Having your own vehicle represents a huge accomplishment in your life. I remember spending A TON of hours driving around empty parking lots with my dad, learning everything I need to know for when I’m actually behind the wheel. Being able to get my license and operate a vehicle without any supervision proved that all those hours I spent practicing driving and studying transportation manuals had finally paid off.

My little red Mustang taught me a thing or two about responsibility. I had to maintain my vehicle (with a little help from dad of course), and even created a driving budget for myself. My car was my prized possession, so I tried to take care of it to the best of my abilities. These types of responsibilities as a teen made me a stronger person and instilled proper habits into my brain. I continue to care for my car today as I did when I was 16. I may even care for it a bit better now that I’m a few years older and wiser, and I know the true meaning of what goes into owning a vehicle.

Aside from everything I just mentioned, the biggest reason why your first car is so significant is because of all the memories you make in it. I mean how can I forget sneaking down to Columbia, Mo. and going to all the cool college parties at Mizzou or skipping school to eat lunch with my friends. If my parents only knew half of what went on in there, I know they would be less than pleased.

Now that my sisters will be on the road sooner than later, I hope that they’re able to enjoy their first car as much as I did. I want them to be able to look back and enjoy their experience, but I also hope that they take something else away from it: appreciation, as driving and having a vehicle is often sought as a privilege.

OH, and by the way! Be thankful you live in a place far from St. Louis. I’ve taken my sisters on a few driving sessions for practice and all I have to say is “EEEEK!”

About Brittney French

Brittney is a journalist and media relations specialist who lives in St. Louis, Mo. When she's not blogging for Lebanon Ford, she is the author of a women's column and also writes about music, events, and St. Louis sports. Having little knowledge in the automotive industry, Brittney provides valuable insight on cars for those who may be in the same boat. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter @brittfrancois.