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For those of you CBC fans who live in Vancouver, the voice of Stephen Quinn is a familiar part of your afternoon. For those of you outside the West Coast, Stephen Quinn is a news guy with a big love of music.

As host of the drive-home show On The Coast on CBC Radio 1, Stephen mostly talks to politicans and other news makers, but he always makes an effort to get in as much music as he can during the daily, three-hour show. (CBC listeners might also recall hearing him guest host this summer on Q and As It Happens). But today I've stolen him away from the news department and brought him downstairs to Studio 22 for some Shotgunning with Lisa.

Our drive takes us across the prairies in Stephen's first ever car and we play a few of his fave artists. And when I say fave I mean zealously excited about.

But I must add, as much as Stephen exuded affection for music, he also was quite warm and fuzzy on describing his first car. So while you listen to us drive and chat, think back:

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?

I actually don't have that many fond memories of my Chevy Sprint. It moved. 

 

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Shotgunning with CBC Radio 1 Host Stephen Quinn

For those of you CBC fans who live in Vancouver, the voice of Stephen Quinn is a familiar part of you…

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mcfflyer
#1 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

My 1971 Datsun 1200, on my first road trip, a September 1971 nine day trip from California to the midwest, with my new friend - who is now my best friend of 40 years, Tom Gibson.

Jason Neve
#2 posted by
Jason Neve
on Dec 29, 2011

what is this song about, I wonder?

parents wondered why I haven't started dating..... way down low but I got somebody to love...?

 

garfielduk
#3 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

I can't drive so have never owned a car.

musicjoy3
#4 posted by
musicjoy3
on Dec 29, 2011

That's a nice, lil car and nice photo, too. Yeah for fun, good road trips and adventures and endearing frienships, too.

My first car was a little like Lisa's but maybe more upscale, at first. However, that car did not endure well. Eventually, it looked much like that, too.

nvp
#5 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

'82 datsun 210.

got me through university.

great in the snow, with cinder blocks in the trunk over the back wheels ..

the ignition switch was so worn out i was starting it with a screwdriver in the end, and taking the ignition switch module with me to "secure" it while i was gone.  as if someone would steal it.

miserable hydraulic clutch.  sprung a leak twice.  i drove for a week with no clutch because i could start it in 2nd and shift between 2nd and 3rd

also drove with a dead battery for several weeks.  push started it in the morning, and parked at the top of the SFU parking lots, so i'd have several chances to start it rolling downhill without having to break a sweat.

 

darbarspecial
#6 posted by
darbarspecial
on Dec 29, 2011

Oh memories. My first car was an 82 Pontiac T1000, which basically was just an Acadian but a step up or something. It was called the Gutless Wonder by a friend and went on a few road trips, including some how through the mountains.  The fuses were messed up in that thing and always blowing. Seemed to be some whacky wiring. I loved asking someone if they needed a light and pushing in the cigarette lighter and the overhead light would come on. Haha...good times good times.

Lumina93
#7 posted by
Lumina93
on Dec 29, 2011

<----- but it was a '65 Chrysler Windsor (a Chrysler Newport to you, mcfflyer).  A 2-door "as big as a whale", to quote the B-52s.

nvp
#8 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

oh my god.

my highschool sweetheart, (we're still together) had burgundy '86  hyundai pony as her first car too, so i know Stephen Quinn's ride very well.

when she and her dad went shopping i said "anything but a hyundai" and that's what she ended up with.

turned out to be a great car.  we did two moves with it.  we could actually get a couch inside it through the hatch.  it was a power wagon with the 1.6 litre.  cheap to fix too.

 

mcfflyer
#9 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

Oh, gosh.  I grew up with huge Dodge boats: 1958 Custom Royal (a car I wish I had with those HUGE fins!), a 1963 Custom Royal 880 (a car that had none of the stying of the 1958, but had AIR CONDITIONING, something we needed in Las Vegas), and a family series of Dodge Monacos - 1967, 1969, and 1973.  That when cars were cars, and men wore bell bottoms.

matukajenn
#10 posted by
matukajenn
on Dec 29, 2011

My parents gave me my first car when they got a new one - 1985 Pontiac Grand Am.  Only a few goofy high school memories of cruising around our tiny town.  Small town, nothing to do.

The first car I bought myself was a 1993 Jeep Cherokee.  It was my fishing truck - I loved it!  It had a funky smell to it from wet waders and there were all sorts of flies stuck in the ceiling.  I drove it into the ground going from river to river - I finally got rid of it in 1998 with over 200,000 miles on it.  None of my other cars have been able to replace it.

doug the canuck
#11 posted by
doug the canuck
on Dec 29, 2011

I was in love with my first car - a 1970 Nova 2 door coupe. Gas prices tanked in the mid 90's and I sold it. never drove it in the winters - always got a winter beater - 1969 Impala...1981 Chevy 1/2 tonne...

got married and got a 1989 Honda Civic hatchback - our families FIRST IMPORT! What an amazing car!!!

then moved up to a 1994 Jeep Cherokee - another great vehicle to have for Winnipeg's winters.

also had grandmas old car for awhile - a grand old Buick.

Moved to Texas and bought my first NEW car ever - an 06 Toyota Corollla...thats it. and that corolla is in at the shop for service as i type this.

 

happy New Years!

EricTheCarGuy
#12 posted by
EricTheCarGuy
on Dec 29, 2011

1972 Galixie 500 (powered by a Canadian V8), the coolest name for a car ever as far as I'm concerned.  I'll admit that the car was a total rusted out heap but it did give me the freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted, the back seat was big enough for 2 (or more) but the vinyl was a bit harsh to the skin on hot or cold days, the trunk could hold 3 cases of beer AND my full sized spare comfortably, what more could a growing boy ask for?  I LOVED that car.

nvp
#13 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

it would appear that the blog needs a jumpstart as well.

jakedog
#14 posted by
jakedog
on Dec 29, 2011

1985 Renault Encore.  Got it from my dad as a hand-me-down in 1993. Most memorable experience was a December drive from Windsor to Kingston in a Ontario-wide snowstorm. No heat in the car.

Lisa Christiansen
#15 posted by
Lisa Christiansen
on Dec 29, 2011

Okay. I'll get the jumper cables!!

nvp
#16 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

i think EricTheCarGuy took care of it with his Galaxy 500.  great car, great canadian indie reference!

i still travel with jumper cables, but they don't get used much anymore.  the last time i helped someone out, it took me 5 minutes to find the battery and eventually discovered there was a special "jump start" connection because the battery was pretty much inaccessible.

these days people seem to leave there dead vehicles on the roadway while they call BCAA on their cell phone, right?  i didn't realize how old school i was until someone refused my offer to help them to push their car off to the shoulder so traffic could get through ..

 

TheRadioHead
#17 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

I also loved my first car, an Austin Mini.  Not those shitty knock off ones they make now, but a real original one. 

1000cc, 4 cyliner, engine in the trunk, little 12" (I think) wheels, totally not functional for Winnipeg winters, but totally fun first car.  Man I loved that thing.  It only weighed 800 pounds, and one night I came out of a social to find it had been CARRIED out of my plum parking spot to the furthest edge of the parking lot.

 

You needed to be a gifted driver in Winnipeg winters, let me tell you.  The engine was not nearly big enough to generate enough heat to clear the windshield, so you had to scrape the inside of the window, steer and shift with only 2 hands.  It was easier if you had a passenger to do the scraping.

 

I also owned a super hot red 1969 1/2 Mustang Mach One, 451 (I believe), 4 barrel, 4 on the floor.  That thing was sure a money pit, I had to sell it.

randball
#18 posted by
randball
on Dec 29, 2011

Bought my first car in 1995 and it was an '86 volvo. Loved that car, but of course my girlfriend would not want to be caught dead in it. So it sat too much for an older car, and one day just wouldn't start.

I bought it off a guy who is still friends to this day and it had the coolest steering wheel, and even though it was a heavy, incredibly safe ride, could feel like a race car with the 'momo' and a big hill.

grub
#19 posted by
grub
on Dec 29, 2011

The first car was a green 64 Rambler Classic.Got me through university and the best part was I could fix anything under the hood.Today under the hood is a foreign land.

TheRadioHead
#20 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011
grub-my highschool boyfriend's car was a Rambler. The seats folded down perfectly flat. Just saying...
unt
#21 posted by
unt
on Dec 29, 2011

1985 Honda CRX. Fantastic car...cheap, fun to drive and incredibly reliable. I had it for almost 20 years. I ended up donating it to a High School shop class.

 

nvp
#22 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

i still have a '66 classic 550!  it's getting rusty though .. but i can't part with it yet.

seats do fold flat.  but they haven't done that in a long time.  just sayin.

grub
#23 posted by
grub
on Dec 29, 2011

Those seats did fold down,just saying.....

Shonica
#24 posted by
Shonica
on Dec 29, 2011

My husband was just saying the 1967 Rambler that his family had the seats would not fold all the way down and would rest on the back seat. Apparently it created some sort of issue? ; )

grub
#25 posted by
grub
on Dec 29, 2011

Shonica:  my new van has the same kind of seats.Did Rambler start those seats

 

grub
#26 posted by
grub
on Dec 29, 2011

 Thought I let you know about a great new band I just seen.Gloryhound from Halifax .I don't know if you play them way out there on the far coast,but the song Electric Dust is what they are playing hear, just saying.

TheRadioHead
#27 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

Shonica---This Rambler the seats folded flat, it was a bench seat. I don't know what year it was.  Was pretty great for at the Drive In, although it was hard to see the movie screen from the reclining position.  Not that that mattered...just saying.

 

Lisa-yes it is 69 and one-half.  Mustang collectors know that the 1969 and 1969 1/2 are different runs of the same car.  I believe, but am not sure, that one run was made in Windsor, and one in Detroit?  Car nerd detail.

garfielduk
#28 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

I thought the Austin Mini had the engine up front under the bonnet hood

garfielduk
#29 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

I have always lived in places where the public transport can get me where I need/want to be, but it has reduced my employment opportunities.

TheRadioHead
#30 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

You are right, Garfield, my mistake!  

I also owned a Skoda, and that engine was in the trunk.  Also a car not made for our climate.  The hoses with fluids and coolants ran under the frame to the front of the car where the radiator was, and they constantly froze up.

I like cars. But I am getting to know bicycles better these days.

Benoit from Ottawa
#31 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011
DarkMage
#32 posted by
DarkMage
on Dec 29, 2011

There are plenty of times I wished I had a car, but even in Ottawa with the most unreliable and expensive public transit, it's still cheaper than filling up at the pump!

Yukon Katrina
#33 posted by
Yukon Katrina
on Dec 29, 2011

I am currently driving my first vehicle, Darth, a black 2000 toyota tacoma.  I bought him (pre-named) in the summer of 2010, a few months before beginning my last year of university. The timing wasn't ideal with my finances but I was able do it and have zero regrets now with the freedom and resulting adventure vehicle ownership brings.



garfielduk
#34 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

A friend of mine drives an Austin Mini but having just seen the safety ratings for them I may never get in it again.

 

 

nvp
#35 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

yup, nothing like car stories.

Radiohead's [30] reminded me of a family classic Christmas story:

My mom had a volkswagon beetle, and it, in addition to having a rear engine of course, also had the flaw of the throttle cable running under the car and being prone to rust and corrosion.

One christmas eve, hoping to get out of church on christmas morning, the eldest 4 of my 5 siblings took the beetle to midnight mass.

they seemed to be late returning, and worried, the rest of the family was looking out the windows, since we had a view down pacific highway to cloverdale, where they would be coming from.  we saw a pair of dim headlights slowly crawling up the shoulder, then pause at the bottom of the hill, and then finally roar up, and everyone arrived home.

the throttle cable had jammed and broken.  they got a fair amount of the way with the engine in gear and idling, but this wouldn't get them up the hill.  So my brother got out, and stood on the rear bumper with the hood open and worked the throttle by hand, while my sister drove the car, the two of them yelling at each other to coordinate gear shifting!

they arrived alive, with a hilarious story to tell, my brother's hair blown back and face nearly frozen!



darbarspecial
#36 posted by
darbarspecial
on Dec 29, 2011

Yes I have fallen in love with the Cowboy Junkies song as well. Love it.

darbarspecial
#37 posted by
darbarspecial
on Dec 29, 2011

That is a great story!

Benoit from Ottawa
#38 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

A second-hand beige 1971 Volvo 142 (which means 2 door); the first year of the Volvo Box. Like the one in here, second row, third from left. Also rightmost in the same row. Also two rows below that.

Benoit from Ottawa
#39 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011
Benoit from Ottawa
#40 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011
garfielduk
#41 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

Yeah there have been times when being a driver would have been useful. I could have seen Brasstronaut play in Leeds (about 135 kilometers from where I live) earlier this year without the cost of train fares a hotel room over night.

But you don't usually miss something that you never had.

 

TheRadioHead
#42 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

NVP-that's a great story, and harkens back to Grub's comment about nothing under the hood making sense these days.  You could not pull that off with all the engineering in cars now.

 

But as Garfield says, safety is also so much better.  I knew my Mini was a death trap.  My blog profile pic is aTercel that got crushed by a semi while I was sitting in it parked on the side of the road.  I was spun and dragged into a half ton truck parked ahead of me, the windows blew out from the pressure, but I walked away from it.

I was in 2 totalled Toyotas that year, but uninjured in both.  Needless to say it is all I buy now.

 

Benoit from Ottawa
#43 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

Not to be a bummer (said he before proceeding to be just that), but I've seen pictures of recent accidents in robust vehicles (SUVs) equipped with all sorts of airbags, and where people died.

It doesn't take all that much to mush a human.

 

 

 

Oh no Dirty Beaches!

Benoit from Ottawa
#44 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

See I thought Dirty Beaches was the title. Seems to be Lone Runner.

TheRadioHead
#45 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

Yup, I hear ya. 

I had people tell me I could have died twice that year, and I just say it was not my turn.  Who knows why some people die in the simplist of ways, while others live through hell.

CDNz1
#46 posted by
CDNz1
on Dec 29, 2011

Holy Cow!

The R3 Rambler Club's all here!

As the former owner of two Rambler Classics, I fondly remember the reclining front seats.

Benoit from Ottawa
#47 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

You lascivious lad! Hah!

Benoit from Ottawa
#48 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

c;eiruabdfv

Hah! once more.

mcfflyer
#49 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

Oh, is that ever so true, Pat.  In my photo I have on here right now on Tom and my trip from California to Chicago to Mobile and back to Calfiornia in nine days in 1971. a suicidal mission in itself, but something you might do when you're 19, we are on top of Monarch Pass on US50 in Colorado. 

However, we were lucky to be there, for the day before, as we were passing through Oklahoma on Interstate 40, when on the rain slicked freeway, we started hydroplaning, did a 360, at 70mph from the right lane, across the left, and fortunately hit the muddy median just as we came off of the first complete spin.  Well, that mud was enough to give me some traction, and I avoided the guardrails, the opposing lanes of the freeway and the concrete overpass abutment to come to a stop without a scratch.  My first car - near death experience.  

The car had nary a scratch, but wherever I parked it for the next few months after a rain, it would drip down red Oklahoma earth that adhered to the underside of my car. 

Benoit from Ottawa
#50 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

...bogeyman: the social media-Obama axis. No guff (although, to be fair, it was suggested by a caller and she merely agreed with the person.

TheRadioHead
#51 posted by
TheRadioHead
on Dec 29, 2011

Ya Lee, I am a big believer in when it's your time it's your time. 

That doesn't mean to fly without a parachute, but it does mean to not live in fear.

mcfflyer
#52 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

My Datsun 1200 was a dandy little car, but fairly screamed CHEAP JAPANESE CAR when I bought it.  However, Japan was starting to change, as this is the same time that Datsun brought out the 240Z.  Now look at Japanese cars - some of the finest, safest, coolest cars out there!  But that Datsun 1200 cost me $2,383 out the door in US greenbacks, but purchase in Oregon, a state with no sales tax.

The car came with four dealer supplied options: carpeting, a tachometer, an AM-FM mono radio and air conditioning!

Benoit from Ottawa
#53 posted by
Benoit from Ottawa
on Dec 29, 2011

Carpeting as a dealer option!

mcfflyer
#54 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

But that little 1178cc engine got 33 mpg on that trip, including the 360 and all that mud.  Pretty impressive on 12 inch wheels!

But you know what?  I had to wait for that car to show up at the dealer in Corvallis.  The demand for small cars was huge in 1971, even though gas was still amazingly cheap - 29.9 cents per gallon at Chevron!  Cost me $3 to FILL THE CAR when it was on empty!

nvp
#55 posted by
nvp
on Dec 29, 2011

i got the original bill of sale from the lady i bought my rambler off of.

4-way flashers were an option, not purchased.

power steering was an option, not purchaed, but then added by the dealer 3 months (and two aching arms? ) later.  she gave me the receipt for that too.

option purchased: AM radio, with optional vibra-sonic rear speaker!

.. oh gotta run for the bus,

cheers.

mcfflyer
#56 posted by
mcfflyer
on Dec 29, 2011

Oh gee, there was a time heaters and window washers were extra cost options on US cars!

Incidentally, my little Datsun 1200 - I got rid of it less than two years later with 52,000 miles on it.  Let's say I drove it a lot.  The great freedom machine.  Amazing I graduated from university.

garfielduk
#57 posted by
garfielduk
on Dec 29, 2011

I am guessing you didn't mean this one by Billy Connolly

CDNz1
#58 posted by
CDNz1
on Dec 29, 2011

An option until 1965.

#shitcarguysknow

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