The first was a 1985 Mercury Lynx, aka Ford Escort, with four on the floor and featuring one option -- FM. The car had a double-size heater, but no air conditioning -- perfect for Minnesota, from whence it had come, but exactly the opposite of what was needed in the Southwest. The perfect car for a fourteen-year-old (farm kids get special license privileges); practical, plenty of space for fertilizer bags, and as much speed as 65 horsepower can summon.
Next upsize: 1985 Ford Tempo GLS, this time with five speeds AND a cassette player -- which did nothing to make up for its similar lack of A/C. This car holds the record for most unbreakable; one of my cousins is STILL driving it.
1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra. I swapped the Tempo for this to stop my grandfather in ice-prone Missouri from giving it to my grandmother to drive. Long story. Dumb luck winner; of the 5,000 of these that Ford made, only 500 had factory T-tops, and mine was one of them.
Which did nothing to lessen the sting of the $5,000 in restoration work I put into it (at a rice-paddy minimum wage charge for my labor).
1991 Ford Explorer Sport (only in silver and black trim). My first new car, purchased because the King Cobra on ice was roughly akin to a hockey puck. It lasted twelve months before I got sick of it and its twitchy winter driving and went to a.....
1992 Mercury Topaz XR5. This was an incredible car; phenomenal on snow and ice and with everyday bodywork hiding an engine, transmission, and suspension lifted straight from the Ford Probe. It could even dust the gaspy Camaros and Mustangs that haunted our little college town -- while carrying four people and their luggage.
1996 Ford F-150 Eddie Bauer. Hands down winner for the Pretty, but Useless Award; my father, bless his good intentions, traded off my Topaz for this (without telling me), but the combination of a Ford inline 6 coupled to a 2.73 rear end meant that the only horse trailer it could pull was a mini. Hence, it quickly was replaced by a......
1992 Ford F-250 SuperCab 4x4 diesel, which, 250,000 rodeoing miles later, was replaced by a......
1996 Ford F-350 Powerstroke dually. Are you sensing a trend?
The 2001 Ford
2001 Ford Mustang GT convertible. Oh yeah.
2003 Ford F-150 XLT -- the end result of my then-boyfriend persuading me that a butch cowboy type like myself looked better in an F-150.
Three weeks later, of course, we broke up.
This is where y'all came in.
My poor little 2005 Saab 9-2x Aero. It lasted a little over a month.
And you know the rest of the story.
Although, as it turns out, given my new BART-only commute, the Mazda3 is going to my parents, and the Geo will be the new standard-bearer for the once every two weeks I actually drive something somewhere.
I look forward to the simplicity.