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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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My First Car: 1972

My First Car: 1972

Summer 1972, Lake Tahoe. You'd think, after hearing me rhapsodize about my lifelong obsession with cars, that a) I'd have learned to drive before I was 26, and b) my first car would have been something a bit more spectacular than a 1972 Datsun 1200. That's Nissan to you. Well, I had nice pants, anyway. Not bad for a Polaroid, though scuffed as usual. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


Definitely kinda cute. Car's not bad, either.


I had one of these. In the late 80's. I seem to recall it being sideways in the wet any time it rained. It was a sensational car when sideways. The A10 engine used to be modified by some freaks and would reach something crazy like 10000 RPM!!! I believe that the A15 engine in forklifts went well in these. One of the sweetest cars I heard at a sprint meet at Philip Island was one of these with a 2L OHC engine with twin Webers. It was also the fastest lap time around the track that day. The only weak thing in my car was the gearbox. The rocker post bolts used to strip out of the head very occasionally on the A10, otherwise excellent powerplant.

My first car too!

The 1972 Datsun 1200 was also my first car, only mine was green, and had the dealer installed Shelby 12-inch mag wheels and a "Datsun" racing stripe running down the side. I bought it new and paid $2,588 out the door for it. I had a ball in it -- autocrossed and drag raced with my friends on the weekends. It was surprisingly quick for a 1175 cc, 68-horsepower motor. It would hit 90 mph at the end of the quarter mile, and I didn't get beat very often. Now I own real cars though, good old fashoned American Muscle Cars.

Identical dented Datsun

My first car was identical to yours, although I bought it in about 1986. It was hail damaged, and it cost $850 Australian. But it's still my favourite of all the cars I've owned. First love never dies!

My first car was furrin

In early 1968 as a young airman at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, I paid $500 for a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 219 sedan. Considering I was clearing $88 a month that was quite a buy. Looking back, it was a piece of junk waiting to fall apart, but the next month I had orders to Vietnam and unloaded it on another unsuspecting airman.

In Okinawa in 1970 or 71 I saw a Datsun Bluebird, a sweet little convertible sportscar which unfortunately was not street legal in the USA.

In 73 I was in college and my girlfriend had a Datsun identical to tterrace's. That relationship fell apart. Since then it's been a steady stream of Hondas.

My First Car Was Free

Dave Kersten gave me my first car because I was the only teammate to pass him the ball (he was the 6'8" center on our basketball team).

It was a 1965 Impala convertible. The last straw against keeping it in his family was when his mother drove the car home in a driving rainstorm because she did not know how to put the top up.

Thanks, Dave.

Talking Strine

[I understand that tterrace himself is wildly popular in Australia, as well as France. - Dave]

Mais oui, mate.

My First Car

My first car was a 1962 Rambler I shared with my sister. Its most memorable feature was the pushbutton automatic transmission on the dashboard. It was built like a tank, which was why my dad trusted us to drive it. Top speed: 40 mph going downhill. I don't miss it, but good memories.

Datto 1200

My first car was a 1200 cc Toyota Corolla. Your Datsun was hotrod in comparison! Datsun 1200s are collectible now, especially in Australia.

[I understand that tterrace himself is wildly popular in Australia, as well as France. - Dave]


This reminds me of my first car, a 1972 Toyota Corona. Good times.

Beats my first

I had a 66 AMC Ambassador that my dad got for free and paid for the "repairs." The two 20-something "mechanics" (one of whom later became a boyfriend, largely to keep the car moving) stuffed the fenders with old T shirts and covered them with Bondo and primer, and put in a rebuilt carb. The problem was they put it in with the butterfly valve upside down. I had to keep a flathead screwdriver in the car at all times because whenever it was the least bit damp (and I live in Michigan) I had to pop the hood, remove the air filter and jam the screwdriver in the valve to hold it open, get back in the car and start it. Then I had to repeat the process in reverse, praying I wouldn't stall. Other than this, the car did what I wanted. Got me the 2 miles to work, and took me road-beering on the weekends.

Tahoe coincidence

This was taken on or about June 21, 1972.

This must be coincidence Sunday...

What a coincidence, T. If that photo was from the last week of June of 1972 we may have crossed paths in Lake Tahoe. I was in my '70 VW headed north to Canada on the first leg of a two-month, 10,000 mile, figure 8 trip from Escondido to NYC and back.

I was the one who recognized Sequoia Natl Park. Might as well use my name from here on out, since I seem to be commenting more and more lately. It's gotten bad when even my friends have taken to calling me A. Tipster.
-- Allan

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