Here are the photos of my first car that I purchased in about 1984 when I was 15 years old. I told a friend of mine (Craig Williams) that I really wanted to buy a Camaro or a Firebird. He had a friend who was selling his 1970 Firebird and took me over to see it in Woodinville, WA. I’ll never forget that we were listening to Van Halen Jump the moment I first saw it. I thought it was perfect and in my price range so we struck a deal for $175 minus the engine and transmission.
The car had been lightly hit in the rear, but the paint was really good, the interior was excellent and it was a muscle car. I ended up buying a Pontiac 400 out of an old Grand Prix from an ad I found in the Little Nickel classified ads. I’ll never know how I managed to install it or get it running since I literally had an adjustable end wrench, hammer and screwdriver to work with. I was so lucky to have supportive parents who let me keep it in the garage and never complained about it being in a million pieces. Somehow it all came together and managed to run and drive.
Here are the only photos I have of my first car. The first group is from about when I first purchased it. The second group and the engine pictures are after I had it running around the time I sold it (about 1987). If anyone out there knows where this exact car is, I’d pay a premium finders fee :).
1986 or 1987 High School Drags
In about 1986 or 1987 I took the Firebird to the High School drags at Seattle International Raceway (SIR) in Kent WA (now called Pacific Raceways). I went with my dad, brother and friends Mike Rose (nice red 73 Camaro) and Chris Lauch (cool Chevy truck with an Olds 455). Here is a photo of us on the way during a stop at Reiman Auto Parts in Lynnwood WA.
It was freezing cold and literally snowed/sleeted while we were in the staging lanes. I ended up having to race an old van (see photo). My brother Rich was riding shotgun in his first race down a track ever. We looked over at the driver in the van and he casually laid his wrist over the steering wheel. We thought we were going to smoke this guy!
I’ll never forget when the light turned green I floored it and spun the tires for about half the track. That old van didn’t have enough power to spin anything, but it weighed a ton, had plenty of traction and ended up smoking me in that race!