My first mishap with a car was with my first car, a 1991 Volvo 940 SE, black over tan, with sunroof. I was eighteen, had only been driving a few months due to health issues, but LOVED driving. So much so, on occasion I would get up really early, like before sunrise, to take the car for a ride before school. I remember several instances where I’d sneak the car out about 5:30 (so as not to wake anyone up and ask me why I was doing a damfool thing like going for a drive at 5 AM), go for a ride around town listening to the oldies station, and then head back, get my school crap and head off to Alleman High School.
I need to set the stage. My parents’ home then was built in 1936, with a circle drive, two-car attached garage and a free-standing two-car garage my parents built in about 1996. My car was in the unattached garage, with my father’s old Porsche. A manual door was provided, so that I would open the door, get the car out, put it in park, then close the garage door and drive off. Well one morning in late ’97, I was leaving for school. Unlock garage, open garage door, start car, back car out, then get out and close the garage door. But there was one crucial step missed. I forgot to put the car in park. I closed the door, turned around, then my eyes bugged out like a Tex Avery cartoon character, as the car was reversing away from me, right toward the hedges that ringed the center of the circle drive. Fortunately, the driver’s door was still open. I was able to jump in and hit the brake pedal with my hand just as the rear bumper connected with the hedges and a very loud (to my mortified ears, at any rate) SKKKKKKKKTTTTTTCCCCH! sound.
If I had been a little slower on the draw, it would have gone through one side of the hedge, taken out a birdbath, gone through the OTHER side of the hedge, crossed the outer ring of the driveway, and finally fetched up against our neighbor, Sven’s, fence. And likely woken up the entire block. That would have been swell.
Fortunately, there was no real damage to either car or hedge other than a few minor scratches on the 940’s bumper-this was the vintage of Volvo where the bumpers were molded in black, and not painted to match. Though my ego was slightly bruised. And as it was pretty early in the morning, there were no witnesses to point and laugh. That was a good car. Nay, a great car. Dad ordered it new and it was his company car. I remember going with him to Lundahl Volvo to pick it up in November of 1990-it was also the first car we had with a cellular telephone installed-a novelty at the time. I drove it all through high school and college, and finally sold it in August 2004. I saw it at a charity auction in early 2010, then in March or so of 2011, it was sitting at a small used car lot in Moline. Hopefully it’s still running around somewhere, but time is not on it’s side; it would be 26 years old now.
Of couse, I’ve had worse things happen to me involving cars since then, but that was the first one. What was yours?