My First Car

An Internet search on the term “my first car” yields over a million results. I would like to share the story of my first car and hopefully start a discussion on the topic.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe

During my school break in the summer of 1965, I worked at an engineering company and one of my fellow employees announced that he had a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe hardtop for sale. This was an opportune event for a genuine car nut in the making. Ever since their introduction eight years earlier, I was drawn to the styling of these cars. So, I quickly arranged a meeting to inspect this automotive icon.


Upon arriving at the meeting, I saw “My First Car” in the flesh. It was a two-tone hardtop with an India Ivory top, Canyon Coral body, and black interior with silver accents. This was one of the most popular combinations for the sport coupe. It was powered by a 283 V-8 and a Turboglide transmission. The car passed the test drive, and I purchased my jewel for only $300.


I was proud of my purchase and couldn’t wait to get home and show this gem to my buddies. That night, we cruised to the Teepee and Pole drive-in restaurants to show my cool car. We also used my car to go to drive-in movies and the weekend drag races at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Those weeks with “my first car” were ideal.


In the fall, I noticed the engine had high oil consumption. After some checking around, I found out the engine needed some major work that I couldn’t afford on my college student earnings. Sadly, I decided to sell the ’57 Chevy and look for another car.


If only I knew then what I know now. I wish I would have kept this automotive icon. Today, 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe hardtops in number 1 condition go for $77,500. If “my first car” was still in this condition, I’d be in one happy auto enthusiast.


There are thousands of stories like mine. So, now it’s your turn. Tell us about your first car.

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