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!