I have to laugh, I found an ad on the internet for a 1975 Buick Century, my first car–described as a “classic.” Mine was definitely not, and somehow earned the nickname “the soy-sauce mobile” among my friends.
I don’t have any photos of that car, it was red with a white vinyl top and white interior. This would have been 1983 or so, when I was 16 or 17. We paid $1200 for it, of which I pitched in the $750 I had saved and my parents loaned me the remaining $450. The car was maybe ten years old and now that I think back on it, it was in lousy shape for such a brief period. Perhaps the build quality was terrible, or it had a hard life, or both.
In addition to weird primer patches all over, which were perfectly square and looked like duct tape, there was a great deal of rust under the vinyl roof, which I imagine was unprimed from new. On the hot-stereo front, I can remember putting in a stand-alone cassette deck (retail value, $6.99), patched into the single front and single rear speaker. Whoo, baby!
It had a 350 V8, which drank gas at a rate I couldn’t really afford. It got about 12 or so around town but that sank rapidly if I piled a bunch of friends inside. My driving style was heavy on the right foot, too, which didn’t help.
I first turned wrenches on this machine (my dad was not mechanically inclined), and learned a lot, namely, not to trust the guys at the local parts house for decent repair advice.
“Do you need to disconnect a battery when changing an alternator?”
Zap! (Socket wrench welds itself to rocker cover.)
I learned all about fusible links that day, too.
I eventually sold it after about six months at my parent’s behest, I think for $1500–a profit, if you actually ignored the amount spent to keep it on the road. For it being my first car, I don’t have much fondness for it–though it would be fun to see one that has been restored (mainly to ask “why?”).