15 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History: Week 3-My First Car

Week 3:  Cars:  What was your first car?  Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle.  You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

1978 Pontiac Sunbird and me
 Bay City, Michigan

It was my senior year in college and I was getting ready to do my student teaching and I didn't have a car.  I chose to student teach at Bangor Township Schools in Bay City, Michigan.  This was miles from my hometown and even further from where I went to college in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

I remember getting a phone call from my dad and he said he thought I needed a car for my student teaching.  He had looked at the local GM dealership and thought a red 1978 Pontiac Sunbird would be a good choice.  I was thrilled.  He offered to pay for it (even more excited) and I could pay him back.  He also said he would cover a part of it as my college graduation gift (still excited!).  I believe the cost of the car was $4500-$5000.

I remember getting off the phone and telling my college roommates about it and they said, "let's go check Pontiac Sunbirds out".  So, off we went to the local Pontiac dealership in Kalamazoo and I got my first look at a Sunbird.

I don't remember the specifics of how I got the car, but I am guessing I picked it up the next time I came home, possibly for Christmas Break.  I know I had it when I moved to Bay City to do my student teaching. 

It was a good little car.  I do remember the mileage was recorded in kilometers, the car had been made in Canada.  I never changed that, even though the dealership ordered the part to change it.  The problem with changing it would have been the kilometers would now be recorded as miles making my mileage higher than it actually was.

I kept the car until I got married.  My husband and I lived in a small town at the time and decided we didn't need two cars.  We sold it and I had to write a statement explaining the mileage was in kilometers.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History by Amy Coffin, of the We Tree blog, is a series of weekly blogging prompts (one for each week of 2011) that invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants. You do not have to be a blogger to participate. If you do not have a genealogy blog, write down your memories on your computer, or simply record them on paper and keep them with your files.


  1. Great post. My sister had a Sunbird as well and had some great memories about the car. We always called it THE BIRD.

  2. What a cool car, and it sounds like it served you well for years :-) Jo

  3. Amy, I have a few great memories too. I should have had a cool name for it.

    Imagespast, Yes it did serve me well!

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog, Amy and imagespast.