When I turned 18, I wanted my own car. I was tired of bumming rides off friends to get places, and my mom wasn’t interested in driving me anywhere. We lived in the Oakland hills, and bus service was minimal – everything was far away. I was very independent, and I made up my mind to solve my own problem.
We lived in the Oakland hills, and bus service was minimal - everything was far away.
Did I try to find a used car – no. I had no real savings to speak of, so it wasn’t even really an option. Instead, I went to the Ford dealership and negotiated the purchase of a brand new Pinto Station Wagon – dark green with woodie paneling. (The featured image is not my car, but looks just like it) I remember panicking while I was waiting for the car to be delivered to the dealership, that I had ordered the yucky yellow-green, rather than the beautiful forest green. I was so relieved when I took delivery and found exactly what I had been dreaming of.
While my mother wouldn’t buy me the car, I did convince her to co-sign for it. Strange to think that in 1974 I could walk into a dealership and make this transaction without my mom ever setting foot inside the place. I planned to make the payments with the Social Security checks I was receiving since my dad had passed away. Since I had just turned 18, I petitioned the court to have monthly trust and Social Security payments sent to me rather than my mother. This also ended up being how I paid my way through college.
I loved that car, and kept it through the end of college. By then it had seen quite a few miles, and was in need of replacing. Thankfully, the station wagon was not one of the models that had the exploding gas tank!
Brings back fond memories of “woodies” past. (My family had a Ford “Country Squire” in the ’60s.) I admire your independence as well as your wise use of your own income source.