Vox Hunt: My First Set Of Wheels

Show us your first car. 
Submitted by The Greenhows

Ah, the nostalgia!.  My first car was a teal blue Ford Escort – I  got it when I was 16.  It was only two years younger than me and had a dodgy starter motor and non-existent brakes, but I loved it.  I owned it for years and it got me all over the South Island.

I couldn't rely on it to start always so I got very good at push starting it myself.  That involved running along beside the car with one hand on the steering wheel and the other pushing against the door.  Ideally I'd park on a slope so that gravity did most of the work.  When the car built up escape velocity I'd leap in, select second gear and jerk the clutch up.  The engine would splutter into life and I'd be off.  I had months of this until I persuaded Dad to fix it.  His initial solution had been to show me the starter motor and give me a hammer.  If the car wouldn't start, I was supposed to bash the starter motor.  Apparently doing this would have brought it back to life!  I didn't like the idea of beating random pieces of engine though – I had visions of knocking a hole in some vital component – so I pushed, or my unfortunate friends and flatmates pushed, and the hammer stayed under the front seat.

I don't have any photos of my car here, but here are a couple of pictures I found online.  Mine was this colour but didn't have the stripe, the fancy headlights, or the boy racer wheels.

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4 Responses to Vox Hunt: My First Set Of Wheels

  1. digitalCG says:

    A sharp rap with a hammer would have been to 'shock' a sticky solenoid loose – a fairly common complaint (and solution!) At least it's straightforward for an Escort, on my bug it was a case of getting on my back and sliding underneath, with precious little room to swing a hammer.

  2. Janette says:

    Ah, I see – thanks!! Yes, the Escorts were easy to work on, simple engine and lots of room in the engine bay. My then-boyfriend was able to take the head off to replace the gasket with just the help of a Haynes Car Manual (they're great – after reading bits of it I felt like I could make like a mechanic and maintain my car) and an assist from me.

  3. digitalCG says:

    They don't make cars like they used to, that's for sure. Home mechanics are largely a thing of the past, with cars having to go back to the dealer if anything more than a bulb needs replacing. *wipes nostalgic tear on empty wallet*
    By the way, I'm also quietly impressed that you know how to bump start a car.

  4. Janette says:

    Yes, I read somewhere recently that Haynes have had to branch out into such horrors as manuals about raising teenagers because the market for car manuals is so much reduced. You just can't repair your own electronics.Why thank you! It was a needs must kind of thing. Either I sorted myself out, or I ran around looking for a phone box so that I could call Dad, roust him out of bed or wherever, then wait 30 minutes for him to arrive. So I sorted myself. Although, having to rescue me a few times in the middle of the night would probably have focused Dad's mind on the repairs, so my strategy might have been off.

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