First Car Chronicles

As I walked along Maryland Avenue last night, I saw a part of my not to recent past fly by me. Looked familiar, sounded familiar, but in better shape than what I remember.

It was a first generation Mitsubishi Diamante with temp tags on it, meaning someone must have just purchased that car. I could only sigh as it motored by me, reminding my of the two years I had a Diamante, my first car ever in life. Even though I was only in college and rarely did my campus jobs ever take me off campus, but I put close to 12,000 miles on that car in a span of 21 months before it broke down and some snitch neighbors had it towed before I could get it figured out. However, there are several memories in that car, both good and bad, that I’ll always remember.

I was the last of all my friends to get a car. It was my 23rd birthday and my mom said the next week I was getting a car, but she wouldn’t tell me what. The only catch was I had to cover insurance. Which turned out to be a snap because I would only need liability and that was a whopping $67 bucks per month back in 2004. So I rode the DART 301 shuttle from Dover to Wilmington to meet my mom…and a 1994 Mitsubishi Diamante at the DMV. I walked around it like 5 times before we took it through inspection. And after I got my insurance card, I IMMEDIATELY drove back to Delaware State University showing off like I had a Benz or something. I was too happy.


The Champ and I in the old MLK Student Center Parking Lot, 2005. This is the “I don’t care about my appearance” portion of my life.

I even gave the car the nickname “The Champ” because the bass in the trunk rattled like the bass on Jadakiss’ “The Champ Is Here (Time’s Up Remix)” and whenever I pulled up to the Hornet newspaper office, I’d get out and say like Will Smith in Ali, “The champ is here!”

That car took me so many places. Richmond Va., Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philly, the outer regions of Pennsylvania and the Eastern Shore of Maryland…so many great times. It was probably one of the greatest times in my life to finally have my own transportation and be carefree. The late Burger King runs, the McDonald’s trips, going to other schools. All the things that make a good college experience came with that car for me and I had so much fun in it.

That car was not without its problems. About a month in, the transmission died in Annapolis and I was without it for two months, then a hose broke during my summer internship and finally a few days after laying my grandmother to rest, the damn thing wouldn’t go above 30 MPH. Apparently even then my concept of car maintenance was flawed and I left the car to go back to school, but when my mom moved, she tried to take the car to the new neighborhood, but some neighbors reported it as abandoned and had it towed. And that was that.

I’m only on my third car, but I honestly feel like if a first generation Diamante in good condition came along, It’d be hard to pass up. For now, I just have the memories of my first car.

What was your first car? What are some of the memories you associate with it?


2 thoughts on “First Car Chronicles

  1. I had a 1992 (I think) Geo Metro convertible. White and raggedy. I was a senior in high school and my stepfather had bought it off of a judge that he worked for and he paid maybe $300 for it. After putting about $200 worth of parts in it, I was ready to roll. It lasted a year 😦 I loved that little bucket, and it was a two seater, so I was picky about who I let ride with me. *sigh* gas was so cheap in 2003.

  2. My first car was a 1977 Ford LTD that I paid for with my own money-a whole $250. My stepfather found it for me the summer before my junior year of college. It was two parking spots long and rode like a champ, but it had its hiccups too. And I hated driving up to Chestertown to school in it because it seemed like it was so wide it could hit cars coming the other way on the Chester River Bridge heading into town. But for a first car, it basically got me from point A to point B, and had me vowing that when I got a job after college, I was getting something way better.

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