My First Car - Opportunity Detroit Blog

Celebrate NAIAS 2015 and Tell Us the Story of Your First Car

First cars are something we never forget, and at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, there will be plenty of people setting their sights on a new car, or maybe even, that first car.

We want to hear from you about your first automobile by using #myfirstcar on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and tagging @opportunitydet and @naiasdetroit.

To get the conversation started, we asked a few notable Michiganders what their first car was, and there were some interesting stories! Check them out!


John Varvatos - Opportunity Detroit BlogName: John Varvatos

Occupation: Internationally renowned menswear designer

First Car: A dark olive, used 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner bought used in 1975. At the time it was my dream to have a muscle car. I bought it from a friend of my dad and worked two jobs that summer to pay for it. One of the jobs was in the Chrysler Trenton Plant.

I just wanted to drive and drive and drive. Loved the sound of that engine!


Debbie Dingell - Opportunity Detroit BlogName: Debbie Dingell

Occupation: Member of Congress

First Car: A green 1968 Camaro convertible. I went to boarding school at Sacred Heart and our favorite thing was to hit Woodward and go to Ted’s after school.


Mitch Albom - Opportunity Detroit Blog

Name: Mitch Albom

Occupation: Best-selling author, journalist, radio and TV broadcaster

First Car: A red, 1968 Mercury Cougar.

I bought the car used in 1975 for $1000, it probably had about 90,000 miles on it when I bought it. I put a racing stripe on the side. Embarrassingly, we nicknamed our cars back then and my car was called “Ruby Romancer.” Not because I knew anything about romance, but because it was the only thing I could think of that went with “ruby.” The name was printed on the side of the car.

Ruby Romancer was a stick shift and it had a V-8 engine and bucket seats. It didn’t come with a radio, but I saved up and bought a radio and a cassette player for it. The car ate gas, but we didn’t care about that in those days. I thought it was the coolest car ever. I took it to college and I drove it until it broke down.


Dave Bing - Opportunity Detroit Blog

Name: Dave Bing

Occupation: Businessman, retired NBA Hall of Fame basketball player, former Detroit Piston, former Detroit Mayor

First Car: A brand new, tan, 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass that had power windows and air conditioning. Bing purchased the car after he signed his first NBA contract (he was a second overall first-round pick of the Detroit Pistons). 1966 was a good year for Dave Bing as he cruised in his Olds. He scored 1,601 points in his rookie year and was named NBA Rookie of the Year. Bing went on to be named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players. He served as Detroit mayor from 2009-2014.


Bruce Schwartz - Opportunity Detroit Blog

Name: Bruce Schwartz

Occupation: Detroit Ambassador, Bedrock Real Estate Services

First Car: A 1970 Maverick…many fond memories with this car…it was several different colors. It was already nine years old when I got it in 1979.

The car was well known at school and with my friends. We would drive in it though it had NO heat. The hood of the car became a piece of art. I wish I still had it. My friends at school all carved their names in the hood with their key.

After driving it for about a year (paid $250) I got rid of it…because as I was driving up Northwestern Hwy, the hood flew open as I was going 50 mph…that was the second time that had happened and then my parents decided it was time for a new car.

I wish I still had photos…it was legendary…


Name: Jay Farner

Occupation: President and Chief Marketing Officer, Quicken Loans

First Car: My first car was a 1982 Volkswagen Scirocco – it overheated all the time. I would be able to drive about 90% of the way to work and it would overheat so I’d park it in a subdivision, I’d walk the rest of the way to work, walk back to my car at night, and I’d drive home.


Name: Robin Schwartz

Occupation: Director of Public Relations, Bedrock Real Estate Services

First Car:  The first car I ever drove was a Buick Century station wagon, it was like a 1980-something (let’s not give the exact date). It had the wood paneling, so you know, that made it extra cool…I don’t think they have station wagons like that anymore.


We want to know what your first car was and any crazy stories attached to it! Tell us your story and share photos by using #myfirstcar on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and tagging @opportunitydet and @naiasdetroit.


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