First Car: 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 XL Convertible. 390 Auto. Triple Black. Bucket seats, console shift, power windows. It was loaded for its day. I purchased it in 1975. The body, interior, and top were in good shape. As I found out as I drove it, the drivetrain was shot. I didn't keep it long.
Mine was a 73 Dodge Charger SE with 400 and 3 speed 727 Torqueflight. It was one of the last cars to have lap belts separate from the shoulder belts, you had to fold them up over the passenger and drivers side doors. It was a complete rust bucket and the Tranny went in two weeks. Had to change to a 69 Charger with 440 and 4 speed. Zowie.
My first car was a '56 Chevy BelAir, 2-door hardtop. Had looked for a '55, '56, or '57 for almost a year ( in 1967) when my brother turned me on to a 300 hp 327 that a mechanic was selling for $150; engine was sitting in the corner of his garage as a short-block and all the required components. Mechanic threw in all the other required parts--generator, starter, clutch, flywheel, bell-housing--everything except transmission. Pointed me to a wrecking yard where I could pick up a recently rebuilt 3-speed for a Pontiac for $25--which I did. A month later, same mechanic was needing to part with a car--cash flow for him--and I acquired the '56 BelAir--minus engine and transmission. Now I had everything I needed but time and $$$ to put it together--I was leaving for Air Force basic in three weeks (Feb '68 and knew I couldn't finish before leaving.
Aug '68 I got my first leave between tech school in Denver and assignment in Sacramento (I lived in Utah when I joined AF). I had saved all the $$$ I could and had about $300 and 2 weeks to get it running. Had to be in Sacramento by Wednesday, and finally started car for first time on Sunday afternoon. Left Monday morning and arrived Sacramento Tuesday evening. Only problem I had was a water pump, which I replaced in Lovelock, NV. Routine maintenance from that point forward: did a brake job about 6 months later for my own comfort and confidence; replaced a leaking radiator about a year later; replaced the generator at some point. Great car, and wish I still had it. Wish I had pictures of it!