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Old 04-17-2012, 05:37 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,653 posts, read 15,293,073 times
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What were the cars that were most popular with your age peers as first cars when they started getting their licenses? Would you say most were bought by parents or the students themselves?

I turned 16, the legal age for driving in Minnesota, in 2002. I didn't get my actual license until mid-2004 (in the summer between my junior and senior years of high school) - one of the last in my class to get it in a district where public transportation simply didn't exist.

I attended high school in a mostly middle-class rural/suburban community. There were, however, about four trailer parks within the school district's boundaries, so we had a bit of socio-economic diversity.

Cars driven among the local high school crowd were Chevy Cavaliers, Pontiac Grand Prixes, Eagle Talon, and the king of all kid cars, the Pontiac Grand Am. Also popular were Japanese cars; the beginning of my high school years coincided with the release of The Fast and the Furious, so "rice burners" or "rice rockets" were all the rage.

The dream car of the year, according to student vote in my freshmen or sophomore yearbook was the Mitsubishi Eclipse; my principal drove one, perhaps to garner popularity with the students. Most students, however, drove 90s-era Honda Accords and Civics. New cars were very rare in the parking lot; most kids drove cars from the early and middle 90s, perhaps a few from the late 90s. I remember two people with new cars; one had a Toyota Matrix (which she still drives) and the other had a Mustang GT. I sense she was looked upon as a spoiled brat.

Surprisingly absent from the parking lot were newer "value" cars (Kia Sephia, Chevy Aveo, etc.) Some drove them, but most chose 5-10+ year old cars. Also absent from the parking lot were newer luxury cars - BMW, Mercedes Benz, etc. I suppose some people's families could afford them, but Minnesotans value modesty.

Pick-up trucks were also common and a niche group formed around them. I remember seeing kids ostentatiously park them up on a grassy incline above the parking lot.

Many students drove cars handed down from their parents. These ranged from Chevy Suburbans (gas was under $2 for most of my time in high school) to Olds 88s. My first car was a hand-me-down (a '78 Buick Electra - quite a scene in the parking lot), but soon my father bought me a '96 Park Avenue for a little under $3,000. My car was on the family insurance plan, and my parents pitched in gas money a lot of the time, although they stopped doing it once I graduated.

I don't know the statistics, but I reckon parents' involvement in their children's car lives varied a lot, from making them pay for the car, gas, and insurance to paying for it all. I would surmise that most students did not pay for hand-me-downs nor the insurance on them, but many chose to buy their own, more "in" used cars within a year or two. It seemed like almost all of my peers had jobs by the later high school years.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 21,042,808 times
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High school for me was early to mid 90's.

3rd generation Camaros and Firebirds, as well as fox body Mustangs were popular.

1981-1987 GM RWD G body cars (Cutlass, Monte Carlo, Regal, Grand Prix) were popular.

1982-1994 Escorts, Cavaliers were also popular.

Some drove trucks. The 1982-1990 S-10 was popular, the Ford ranger semi popular.

A few drove classic American cars/muscle cars.
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:58 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
7,780 posts, read 18,403,861 times
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60's and 70's muscle cars.. Chevelle SS;'s Mach 1's, cobra jet Torinos, Trans am's GTO's etc.. All the good stuff
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:58 PM
 
202 posts, read 723,608 times
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Compact cars and trucks, mostly paid for by parents. 2001-2005
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Rome, Georgia
2,706 posts, read 3,327,234 times
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I was in high school in the late 90's. I worked at a grocery store from the time I was 15, and bought an 88 Honda CRX. Was a pretty popular car at the time, and most kids drove some sort of small honda, or pick-up truck. Seemed to be one or the other with the odd mustang thrown in.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:40 PM
 
4,762 posts, read 11,005,366 times
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HS in the late 70's

The most popular car was a friend's old 60's Ford Galaxy convertible which had big holes in the canvas roof. We would get soaking wet when it rained. I think he paid $200 for it. We had a lot of fun in that car!

Another fun car was a girl's VW Beetle. One time we had that packed full of kids, then stopped to pick up a hitchhiker. He got in!
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,144,527 times
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Default What cars were popular when you were in high school?

I graduated in '96... Jeeps were all the rage, back during the YJ Wrangler epoch. There were lots of old 70's-early 80's Ford and Chevy pickups, 80's Camaros and Mustangs too.

My best friend in high school had a 70's mustang and an early 80's Ramcharger. I had a '74 DJ-5 surplus mailtruck for a year, then a hand-me-down '87 Mazda 323 and finally a '87 Suzuki Samurai. I had to pay for my own cars as you can probably tell.

Last edited by Chango; 04-17-2012 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:57 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,791,460 times
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Damn kids. When I was in high school back in the late '60's, it was Mustangs, Camaros, GTO's ("Gas, Tires, and Oil"), Roadrunners, and Challengers for spoiled brat kids. Old VW bugs, and assorted other "clunkers" for those kids who didn't have wealthy parents. For me, I was "out"--I drove an ol' Ford pickup truck--pretty much before pickup trucks were "cool."
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,227 posts, read 21,042,808 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Damn kids. When I was in high school back in the late '60's, it was Mustangs, Camaros, GTO's ("Gas, Tires, and Oil"), Roadrunners, and Challengers for spoiled brat kids.
Sounds like you were more spoiled than some of us. At least you had cool cars that were affordable.

All of the cars I mentioned in my post were at the time, used hand me downs or cars you could get for cheap from virtually any car lot. Of course now some of them are commanding some dollars.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:32 AM
 
Location: Summerville, SC
3,383 posts, read 7,108,546 times
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I went to a private school so there were a few rediculous cars. I graduated in '00

4-5 e36 M3s.

Hondas hondas hondas.... The civic SI was the hot ****.

Couple eclipse gsts

But mostly lots of
Late 90s explorers and v6 Mustangs.

Few mid 90s camry/lexus/infiniti hand me down cars.

S10s and rangers.

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk 2
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