By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
A few months after graduating from Illinois State University, I made one of the biggest decisions of my life: The purchase of my first car.
Short on cash — well, more accurately, being a few dollars away from penniless and living with my parents — I fully realized my budget would only allow for the acquisition of a modest vehicle. Very modest, as a matter of fact, since my weekly salary at the City News Bureau of Chicago (my first real post graduate job) was just $100 per week.
After a few months of commuting solely by public transit, I made the plunge in mid 1977 and purchased a yellow 1967 Ford Mustang from a guy in the old neighborhood. The price: $200.
It had some rust, the radio didn’t work, the tires were mismatched and it burned oil — lots of oil. But it was mine, and after a rebuilt starter, some new used tires and an oil change, it ran fairly well, getting me to and from news assignments, visits to ISU and back home for more than a year. I have no recall as to the number of miles the vehicle had.
Built to be an affordable sports coupe, the Mustang was a phenomenal success, selling more than 400,00 units in its first year. It had a long, sloping hood, bucket seats, a floor shifter and a pretty spirited V-6 engine; it was affordable and sexy, even for a poor young reporter. My old ’67 gave me mobility, and in retrospect let me partake in history in some small way. I drove it — rust, bad tires and no radio — for around a year, before I sold it to another guy in the old neighborhood for $100.
On December 5, Ford debuted the latest version of the so-called “pony” car, which now in its 50th year, can truly be called an American icon.
The new red model in the picture here certainly has the same lines as my ’67 and still features the galloping mustang logo, still one of the coolest and most recognizable ever for car.
Don’t think my Mustang would be able to keep pace with this modern beauty, which might have the optional 5.0-liter V8, 420 horsepower engine. Still, if you offered me the keys to one or the other, I probably would pick my old ’67.
There’s something about your first that sticks with you a long time. What was your first car?