My Old Red Gem

This post is part of the 31 Days of Writing for October. Click here for my previous posts or click here if you would like to join in.

Day 2: Do you remember your first car? Did you give it a name? Tell us about your first car or what it was like when you learned how to drive.

I decided to give this post prompt set another try. I wasn’t too keen on the September prompts but think some of the October ones could be fun so here goes..

Do I remember my first car? Of course I remember my first car! Is there anyone that doesn’t? I feel like many people think fondly of their first car, regardless of whether it was a rusting heap of junk or something fancy and new. My first car was a red Holden Gemini, 1981 model.. it was older than me but I still loved it. It was (and still is) the only car I ever liked to drive.

My car looked a lot like this – except mine was cooler!

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of my actual old car, but it looked a lot like the above image but it was lowered, had a little spoiler, tinted windows, a black interior and a sun roof. Probably not the best car for a P plater to be driving around in, I got pulled over by the cops a few times until they realised I was a 17 year old girl and not a 17 year old boy. I know I know, massive stereotype but given the boys I went to school with.. it’s pretty accurate.

We had a lot of adventures together, good and bad.. like the time where I had a car load of friends in the car and drove out to a party in the middle of no where.. I don’t think my car was made for that type of weight. It struggled and I wondered whether it was going to get stuck on a bump or in a pothole. We made it home alive though, although I do remember having to do a roll/clutch start around a round-a-bout on the way home that night as it randomly decided to stall on me. It did that a lot, I got really good at those.

I did name my car, it’s true… her name was Ruby. Very creative I know, Ruby being a red gem. I remember friends yelling “Come on Ruby, you can do it!” whenever it sounded like she was about to stall, in hopes that she wouldn’t. She probably did.

Fortunately, when I was a learner, the stalling problem hadn’t started happening yet otherwise it would have been no fun at all trying to learn hill starts. There were many a fight between my Dad and I on those lessons. It reminded me a lot of this scene in Looking For Alibrandi:

I probably didn’t swear at my Dad though… probably. I think I’d have remembered the consequences of that.

I haven’t driven much since my beloved Ruby died and was towed away to the wreckers back in 2003, I didn’t have my licence for 10 years up until earlier this year. Since then I’ve only driven once too, so now it’s like I’m learning all over again. I don’t think it’ll be quite the experience it was last time though.

13 comments

  1. Wilma Jones says:

    Cute post. I fondly remember my first car. An old VW Fastback with about 4 shades of red paint (or was it really primer?) that I called “Ethel the Bug.” I loved that car. It cost $200 and I drove it for 3 years then sold it for…yes, $200 – to a guy who drove it for at least another year. LOL! Your post brought back fun memories!

    Stopping by from SITS Sharefest.

    http://www.LivingHappierAfter.com

  2. Kya says:

    Some cars are just special. My first car was very similar but I can’t remember the type. It’s still outside sitting in the last place it died about……. 10 years ago. My grandfather taught me how to drive. It was kind of special. It also.. developed some kind of really odd behaviors. Like, it didn’t start if a certain friend was inside. Or sometimes you had to start it from outside the car. Sometimes my friend even had to jump in as it had started… haha. I don’t know. Then it eventually wouldn’t go up hills at all. Although, it was a car in a paddock, so a bit different to a standard on the road type. hahaah.

    There are some struggles with older cars, but I think it adds a lot of character to the experience as well. Maybe just at certain times. If you had a car like that when you needed to get to work at a certain time it might not be as entertaining. xD

  3. Leslie says:

    Aww! I remember my first car too. My grandaddy bought it brand new for me as a graduation gift. I named her the white dove. It was white of course, haha. We had some good and bad times too. I’m stopping by from SITS & I hope your having a great day!

  4. michelle says:

    I had a 1979 Mustang and loved it! I remember riding around with the sunroof open without a care in the world.

  5. Tiff | http://tiffanybee.com says:

    Aww cute story! I loved reading about Ruby. Too bad it’s gone off to be with other car parts, but you’ll always have memories. It’s also to bad you don’t have any pictures of it! I like that you named it & your friends addressed it as you named it. I don’t think I’ve ever really named any of my possessions. Never really thought to I guess, but this story was a gem to read. ๐Ÿ™‚ Such a cute oldies car too!

  6. Kayla says:

    That is actually a neat idea remembering your first car, one of those ‘firsts’ you’ll never forget. Such an interesting, original post! I love how old it was and that you got a lot of use out of it! I like how you named her close to the colour, I don’t think it is that unoriginal!

  7. Nicole says:

    I think, in general, older cars were built to last and can take a lot.. It certainly sounds like you got some use out of it. Your stories of Ruby were interesting.

    Out of curiosity, why did you end up not driving much after your car was towed? I hope everything was okay.

    I have actually never had a license, but my boyfriend and I own a car together. It’s a 94 Toyota Camry and it’s a great little car. If I ever drove, I wouldn’t mind getting a mini cooper or a jeep.. I like little yet tough cars.

    • Kalliste says:

      After my car was towed away I bought another car that I ended up hating driving. My licence was set to expire that year and because of my dislike I never renewed it.

  8. C says:

    Oh wow…my first car was a 2003 Toyota Highlander in which I thought I would hate especially cause of its height, but I fell in LOVE. Now, I have passed that car onto my sister I had to purchase a new car which is a 2014 Honda Accord which I don’t really like…..I’ve gotten so used to a tall car that with Sedans….I feel so short!

  9. Deanna says:

    Cute car. I’ve been thinking about getting myself a car sometime in the near future. While I’m scared to drive, I think it is something I would like to relearn how to do. I am going to wait until after the winter to buy a car because I don’t really think I want to learn to drive in the winter. But you never know what will happen.

  10. misspond says:

    Cute first car! I have to admit I still haven’t learnt to drive! It’s very expensive in the UK and I live in a city with brilliant transport links! My dream car is a Range Rover Evoque ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lovely blog by the way- I’ve just popped over from Blog Matter ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Uglyfish says:

    Awwww, ruby sounds like a lovely car! Older cars are built to last, my mum had her mini for years, but now she seems to need a new car every four years or so! Sorry about her getting wrecked – but I’d like to think she’d been recycled into something exciting!
    I can only drive automatics, so I’ve never really stalled. Stalling is the main reason I won’t drive a manual. If I stalled and got in someone’s way and they beeped at me I’d be terrified for the rest of the drive!

  12. Holly says:

    I love the fact you named you car. It sounds like you had some good times together.

    I’m still yet to own my first car. I haven’t even passed my test yet!

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