Vehicles you rode in the back seat as a kid

What vehicle(s) were you chauffeured in as a kid?

What were you sitting in the back seat of starring at the steering wheel wishing you could drive?

Or looking out your passenger window dreading every minute of?

Growing up, my mom went through a lot of used USED cars. I’ve sat in the back seat of some really INTERESTING vehicles back in the day.

The worst one for me hands down was that DAMN Dodge Omni. I dont know what year it was but it sucked.

I didnt mind the way it looked, it was decent in that department. All maroon inside and out. Cloth interior, weird looking 4 spoke steering wheel. I always and still do think the steering wheel was/is hideous.

Why was it the worst though? Well, back in '85 when we had it, IF my mom decided to take the car(she also had a green Ford Maverick) there was like a 26 percent chance that the car would start, and even slimmer chance that it would stay running. There were MANY times we ended up just taking the green gremlin…the Maverick. I hated that car too, just the looks though, it actually ran like a champ.

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Growing up in lower middle class has it perks. We had shit ton of different cars during my childhood. I don’t even remember we used to have E-Class Mercedes but according to mom, we did.

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We also had a Chrysler Town and Country. Unsure about the year though, either 1996 or 2001.

Dad also used to have a pickup truck. Think it was Ford F-250. It was massive. Didn’t fit in parking garages.

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Dad also had a company (emphasis on had), and as a company car he had Toyota Avensis

For some time he also had a Cadillac. Mom hated it, it was big and uneconomical. I remember the beige leather interior and it sure was comfortable. It was probably Cadillac DTS. Not sure though.

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Then we take a massive jump in time. Dad bought Saab 9-5 wagon.

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Mom also had Saab 9000. It’s a funny story, really. A lady in Skoda Fabia hit the car. Nothing major. Low speed crash. And mom naturally contacted her insurance. The Skoda was quite crumpled, but our Saab just got another scratch. Barely noticable. Anyway! Insurance had a look at it, and they marked the Saab as totaled, gave us the money, but refused to take the car. That’s how much it was worth. Well, mom took us to a nice vacation with the insurance money.

At some point, mom also had a Citroen C2. It had sportier seats and everything. The car had to go, thanks to electrical problems.

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Volvo V40. Had to let that car go because turbo broke.

Mom also had a Skoda Fabia! The car got totaled when some lady reversed into it.

Her most recently car was 2003 Nissan Primera 1.6. The engine that consumed more oil than fuel. I remember sitting in the front seat with can of oil in the footwell. I also took this car for a joyride, twice, and the second time I got caught. Fun times.

Now mom has a Ford Fiesta, I don’t like to drive it. The power steering is too… Steery.

And dad has a Peugeot 508

Now, this is definitely not all the cars we’ve had, and I’ve sat in, and these are not in Chronological order. But I’ll add more if I remember more.

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(None of the cars here is the actual example)


The first car I rode in was my father’s 1965 Volvo Amazon (not the one on the picture since he crashed it not long after that). Mercedes Signal red with roof in Jaguar Old english white. B18 engine bored to 2 litres, dual SU carbs from a Jaguar, B20E exhaust manifold and “K” type camshaft from a 142 GL, and a special cylinder head from Volvo R-sport that was originally for the “Volvo Cup” in racing back then. Went like a stink, could keep pace with the Golf GTi 16V that was new back then.

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After that he had a 1965 Ford Mustang, blue with a white vinyl roof, 289 V8 still not this one and probably you all know what a 1965 Mustang looks like but I still throw it in here.


As winter beaters he always had W115 Mercedes-benzes until my early teens. I remember a blue 1973 220D, a green 1972 220D, an ivory 1972 220, a white 1975 200 and a red 1975 200 which he converted to a 200D (think that I got them in order).


The Mustang got replaced by a black 1966 Ford Fairlane 500XL 2 door hardtop, first with a 390FE but when he grenaded it it was replaced by a 351C.

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Then my mother needed her own car so she bought a 1982 Opel Rekord GL/E in the same colour as on the picture, but with some Kamei bodykit, brown velour interior, can you say “early 80s” maybe?


When the Rekord was starting to fall apart it was replaced by a silver 1985 Mercedes 230E W123.

This is the cars of my childhood, I don’t bother bringing up what my parents have had from my early teens and up since that was not the question anyway.

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Wow these were quite expensive cars!!

I never had that luck!

The first I remember is my mother’s 2cv

Then the Diesel 405 of my father

My grand parents 2cv and Diesel Express

My mother got a Diesel 309 next

To then buy 2 diesel Clios

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The one I have the strongest souvenir of is my mother’s 2cv. Especially the smell. Old Citroëns have a distinct interior smell due to the glues,fabrics and plastics they used back then. Peugeots as well! It’s immediatly recognizable

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For most of my childhood we didn’t have a car, but when I was 0-6yo I got ferried around in a bright red mark 1 Ford Mondeo 4 door

I was however ferried around much more by my significantly less lazy grandparents in their blue mark 2 Ford Mondeo 4 door

After the red mondeo died, my sperm donor had an at the time brand new red Kia C’eed a short bit before he crashed it drunk

And that’s it for my family. However my most memorable car I’d say was when I was maybe 8 I was taken to a friend’s birthday party by an American immigrant friend’s mum in their green Ford Excursion, which is an absolutely massive car even as an adult but as an 8yo kid?

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My childhood was spent in two cars mostly.

First one was a 1983 Kadett diesel 3 door, looked like this:

Second one was a late model Rekord, looked identical to this minus the pin stripe:

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The fiat 126, drived by my mom

The Alfa Romeo 33, drived by my dad

the cars in the photos are the same as the ones my parents had but they are not theirs

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I don’t quite recall what vehicle it was that may parent’s brought me home in, but I do recall that our car at the time was fairly boxy. And knowing my mother’s car buying habits, it was likely a mid 80’s Buick Century, though it’s possible it could have been a LeSabre.
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That got replaced a few years later with a silver '93-94 Buick LeSabre. These things were everywhere in the rural midwest at the time, about a third of my classmates wound up getting these as hand-me-downs for their first car.
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But, when my second sister came about, we needed to up size, so the Buick was traded in for a bright blue '97 Chevy Venture minivan. I don’t recall much about this one, but it was replaced with a very boring 2000 something LeSabre for about a year before another newer Venture minivan was found. That one served our family very well, surviving three teenage drivers and racked up over 260 thousand miles before it was sold.
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My father on the other hand, drove a pickup. A '79 Ford F-150 XLT Ranger. It was an extended cab, long box, two wheel drive with the big 460ci V8. He had also picked up a '77 F-250 quad cab to use for parts. We don’t know just how spoiled we have been these last 25 years or so, that we have forgotten that there was a time when a 10 year old car was considered old enough to require a parts car to keep it running. :sweat_smile:


There was also his '77 Jeep CJ7. Due to it’s lack of a roof or doors, it spent most of it’s time in the garage, only being used for occasional summer use. But with it’s AMC V8 and four speed manual, it was a riot we it hit the road.

But after my parents divorced, he needed something a bit more economical, so he parked those with plans to fix them up some day. In it’s place, he got a '85 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon. I absolutely adored this little thing. It was funky! It had a sunroof! It made amazing noises and could go anywhere! And those altimeter, pitch, and yawl gauges! But, as what happens to all Japanese cars that live in Minnesota, it was eaten by the tin worm and sold off. I was heartbroken.


It’s replacement was a 1990 Ford Escort GT. This could have become my first car, but to me it was just some cheap, rough riding hatchback that I could never love. It wasn’t until years later did I realize it was the factory hot rod model with 110hp, sport suspension, and alloys wheels. Oh well.

That was parked for something a few years newer, a '95 Dodge Neon. Apart from the fridged heater, it was a rather nice car. It was roomy, surprisingly reliable (unlike the other Mopars that started to trickle into our family at the time) handled well, and was rather fun to drive.

My step father kept his automotive lineup really simple. When I first met him, he was driving a fairly new Chevy S-10 pickup. This was traded off for the van, so he picked up an old S-10 Blazer to drive to work.
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That stuck around for a couple of years before he upgraded to another S-10 pickup like he had owned before, though I seem to recall the first one was a single cab rather than extended. These trucks weren’t terribly exciting, and built extremely cheaply, but they never required much for repairs. There were a few others after these of course, but by then I had gotten my own car, and the driver seat is were I spent most of my time. :slight_smile:

(not actual pictures of course, digital cameras weren’t a thing back then)

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Oh boy, this is a fun one…
The first car I remember sitting in the back of was a silver Mazda Mx-6???image
I was too young to remeber what it looked like or weather it was good or not. It had some water temperature issues but apart from that it wasn’t so bad. After that we had a Ford KA
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Again, I was a bit young to remeber but I remember it made an absolute racket when the exhaust fell of one!
The next car was a blue Renault Scenic, like this


It had beige cloth seats, but the thing we all remember it for was when we went to a safari, and the monkeys got on the car. I remember one got his “you know what” out by the wing mirror and another hitched a ride on the back. We tried to get it away by spraying the windscreen washer on it, but it just ended up licking the windscreen washer like it was some ice cream that had just melted on the cone.
The next car I sat in the front with my Mum AND Dad. Yes… It’s the famous Fiat Multipla, a silver one with blue seats
Do you remeber the Top Gear episode with the Rover “James” and it ended up leaking out when Clarkson, Hammond and the old ladies were driving? Well it turns out this was not an exclusive feature of the “James”. I remeber going down to Legoland and getting a free shower hahahaha!
The next one I didn’t have room to sit in the back of, so I sat in the front. The Mitsubishi Colt Basically this was a much more fun version of the Mirage we see today. It did good fuel milage, was nippy, and was my Mum’s favourite of the bunch. However, the thing we all remeber it for was when she totaled it into the back of a Yorkshire Tiger bus on a autumn evening
After that, my Mum bought a black Ford C-Max It was terrible in every way. It had leather seats, cool, but too cool. It was freezing in winter because the heated seats broke. We also ended up getting lost in Leeds because the sat nav broke. If everything worked, it would have been a very nice car, but evrything was broke, so we sent it back after about 1 week or something.
Next was the most generic car you could possibly buy. A base model black Ford Fiesta
There was that one time the windscreen broke, but that’s all that happened. My Dad ended up selling it to his employers when he left the job, so I still see this rolling around town sometimes, which is really weird.
After that (and my Mums current car) is the Peugeot 3008
Despite what everyone says about French cars, this has been going strong for quite a while now. It has climate control, which still works, a sat nav, which still works (although you can’t put in addresses which is a bummer) and it’s a bit sluggish but it does it’s job.

But this isn’t the last car we bought. Here’s my car (when my driving license comes it’s been nearly a month and I can’t get a provisional)


Ok I’m not that cool, heres my real car

A red Kia Cee’d. Yes I chose the red because I am SICK of black cars. I haven’t driven it yet, but from what I can tell it seems to be pretty underpowered, overloaded with unessacary technology (typical 2021 car), and has the dreaded electric handbrake. But who knows, I might love it, or end up driving off a cliff in frustration
Edit: Oooh I forgot the mention the first car I sat behind the wheel of. I may not have a driving license, but when I was 11 my Mum bought me some driving experience around an old airfield. It was a black Audi R8
I only had a few minutes driving it, but I remeber it so well because I had the time of my life pretending I was Michael Schumacher or Fernando Alonso, although I only got up to 50 mph and drove it for 12 miles, it’s a car which has a special place in my heart and is an honourable mention.

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The first family car I remember well was the 1995 Polonez Caro. In fact I remember uselessly lot about that car - engine, variant, colour, hubcaps, plate numbers even. Colour in the pic is similar, hubcaps different, ours had a different grille (from Orciari styling package without the rest of it) and painted bumpers. Once the left rear wheel caught fire during some family trip and I was sitting in the left rear seat. Warm and fun.

Right after that was the E90 Toyota Corolla. Almost like in the picture - ours was graphite grey, 3 door hatch too, 1.3 XLE. Nothing happened with it, boring. Though it was a bit funny that my uncle - dad’s brother - had an identical one in roughly similar time.

Then we had no car for some years, because, life. But I rode numerous times in the back of my granddad’s 1994 (I think) Seat Ibiza. Like the one below, just in a horrible green that I couldn’t find a pic of. It was pure depression on wheels.

And then came the cars in which I was usually sitting in the front.

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I have a similiar story with the Corolla- My father had a 2002 E120 Corolla 1.4 VVT-i 5dr manual T2, in grey, just like this one that my dad bought in 2006:
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instead with 5 spokes
at the time, my uncle had an almost identical corolla in grey with 5 spokes, also a 2002, however it was a 1.6 automatic.
both are now scrapped as far as i know, rest in sweet peace GY52 JHV

when I first hit double digit age, i was ferried around in either a 2014 Mercedes GLK or 2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 or GTS (cant remember) in Moscow, which was a nice change from the Prius we had back home :stuck_out_tongue: did some donuts in that one, sitting in the back seat at night in a shopping mall car park near MEGA

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either that or a Nissan Elgrand my uncle had too at the time, other uncle
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then in the late 2000s I was driven around in my uncles old Astra Estate. not much too say, its four wheels and thats about it

we also had a W204 C63 about 2 years ago, which counts technically as me riding in the back seat of it


which was a nice thing, £12000 for it on 36k miles, but alas, 12mpg and Merc reliability is no good for a family car
unworthy mentions:
nissan juke

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For the beginning years of my journey through life, a Neon like this was the vehicle I was carried around in
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When I was 5, we took a massive leap and got this Terrain, which is actually mine now
*we also got a ram 8 years later but I was old enough to be in the passenger seat at that point

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My first days on earth were spent, being driven around in a little, red Kia Rio. I never really knew that car because I was still an infant and cars meant nothing to me, so it doesn’t count. The car I do remember was a Kia Sportage, Similar to this one. I had my first road trip in it and not much else, I probably did spend quite a lot of time in it but I don’t remember.

My father had a red 2004 Acura TSX, with a 5 speed manual. Similar to this one. I spent less time in this one than the Kia but was still driven around in it none the less.
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After the Sportage, we bought a first gen Honda Pilot which we bought sometime in 2009, before or after my brother came to be (He’s 12 now). We kept the Pilot after moving houses about November 2011. Then, the Pilot was used drive my brother and I to and from school almost every day for 4 years straight. (2012 - 2014). There was one winter, however, a quite unfortunate incident in it where I was sick all over the back seat.

(Unlike the picture, ours was blue.)
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Then in about winter 2013, We bought a brown Hyundai Santa Fe XL because we needed a 3 row. Both the red Acura, and the Pilot we kept for a short while later. The Pilot, we sold probably in winter of 2014, and the Acura TSX was replaced in 2017 for a much rarer Acura ZDX

The Hyundai similar to the one we have, just without the bug catcher and with Thule roof rack (Which had the rack installed sometime, January 2018)

And the Acura, which has this exact colour, except with the grille blacked out and aftermarket wheels.
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My Grandparents were also part of this. The first car my grandmother owned was a blue 06’ Honda Civic, and since my grandmother took care of me for most of my toddler phase, I spent quite a lot of time being driven around in this one. She now owns my grandfather’s old Nissan Maxima which I did get driven to and from school occasionally. It did break down on us once and refused to start for some reason.

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My grandfather did have two Nissans, the Maxima and an Altima which he sold and I rarely spent time in it. However, his latest car is a post facelift 2013 Toyota Highlander which also drove me to and from school for several years.

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Mostly my mom’s old car, a silver 2000 Nissan Altima GXE. She had that car from around when I was in kindergarten (mid-late 2001) to when I was in 10th grade or so.
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There was also the car she had before that, a green Kia Sephia, but she got rid of that for being a piece of garbage. It’s also the only car she ever bought brand new.

The other really big one was my dad’s old SUV, a white 2001 Dodge Durango Sport. We went on several long drives in that thing, and it also holds the distinction of being the first road legal vehicle I ever drove. He was originally going to give it to me as my first car, but it spent a lot of time down in Virginia Beach and had seen flooding. It took quite a while (much like my mom’s Altima, he had the Durango for about 12 years, buying it I’m guessing CPO when it was only 2 or 3 years old).

After that, he got a black 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan that he had until a couple years ago. This was what I took my driving test in.
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As for other cars beyond my parents’, there are a few. The most frequent probably being a gold (or bronze) 2003 Honda Pilot belonging to a close friend’s mom, who also happens to be one of my mom’s closest friends. So we spent a lot of time at their house and vice versa, and she’d usually drive us since she had the only car large enough to fit all of us kids in it (the Durango didn’t have a 3rd row on the sport trim, plus even if it did, my dad usually had a bunch of tools back there).

This same friend’s dad had a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser (don’t remember the year, just that it was an early model) that I also spent lots of time in.
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The only relative(other than my parents)'s car that I spent enough time in to specifically recall is my uncle’s old black 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK320 Convertible. My dad’s side mostly lives within driving distance, and my mom’s side apart from him for the most part all live in very close proximity to one another. And he lives down in Miami, Florida, so we got the novelty of driving around south Florida with the top down whenever we visited, which was at least once every other year. I’ve traveled to Miami more than any other city except Peoria, Illinois, where most of my mom’s side lives. And he had that car for around 10 years. He was even planning on giving it to me around the time my old Chevy Silverado had some transmission problems, only for the transmission on it to outright fail (trans fluid/coolant cross-contamination. Common failure on those cars).

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In order of appearance (not the actual cars pictured):

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Trabant 601 universal - The classic. Actually, quite a bit of fun. Raaaaap rap rap raaaaaap rap rap rap rap.


Wartburg 1.3 - Totally “meh”. Aside from the windshield wipers, quite a reliable and solid family car of the day.


Polski Fiat - Cramped, uncomfortable, under-powered (even compared to the Trabant)… but still managed several 1500 km road trips!


Daihatsu Applause - One of my favourites! Surprisingly strong, fast and efficient for its day, advanced engine tech (one of the first mass-produced engines with 16v)… and that liftback is simply one of the best features of any car I’ve ever had. More sedans should have a full liftback! Also: the car I learned to drive in.


Subaru Mini Jumbo - A fun little car, although don’t sit in the rear. Just… don’t. The front is fine.

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Ford Taurus - The third gen bulbous one. Yeah, it’d make a great addition to the Bad Car Design Challenge. Comfortable, but unreliable.


Mazda 323 - A really fun hatchback, and a tank in terms of handling, stability, and reliability. Would recommend 100%.

My top three?

  1. Daihatsu Applause. Just an all-round solid car with good performance (for its day). Super practical, reliable, and easy on gas too. Its looks have aged, but for its time it was modern and sleek.
  2. Mazda 323. Seriously fun to drive, relatively comfortable up front. Just a well-executed hatchback that I wouldn’t mind owning and modding into a true hot-hatch.
  3. Trabant 601. I mean… who wouldn’t want to own one of these classics of a bygone era?
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I have to agree with your nominations for your top three. OK, so they were hardly the most exciting cars you could buy brand new in their day (and the Trabant was, to put it bluntly, awful), but they all got the job done.

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Ya’ll got me Googling a lot of these vehicles, most of which I’ve never even heard of OR may have seen in movies only.

Currently watching a road review of a Skoda Estelle 120L. Very interesting little car for sure!!

I never knew rear engine cars were a thing back in the day in other countries. You all and Automation are teaching me a lot!!

I digress…back to our normally scheduled program.

These were the family cars in my early childhood, a 1985 Celica GT and mid-80s Land Cruiser BJ60:


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Eventually the Celica was replaced with a shitspec 1998 Corolla just like this (also one of the cars I learned to drive in):

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As my sisters and I got older and the Corolla got too small, a 2004 Sienna was brought into the family fleet:
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I’ve also ridden in the vehicles of many relatives and the like, so here’s a few that I clearly remember:

A couple of my uncles had extended cab GMT400s

A family friend had a first gen Isuzu Rodeo with groovy red interior

That was replaced with a Focus wagon

A neighbour’s Hyundai Sonata
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Another uncle’s Dodge Ram
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Yet another uncle’s (I have a lot of uncles) purple Plymouth Voyager
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My cousin’s Aerostar
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And when the small school bus (rural route) would break down, there was a couple of Grand Caravans used if the spare bus was unavailable
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Almost forgot, the rental Neon we had when the Land Cruiser was totalled in a crash (before another one replaced it)
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I can probably think of more, and there were more recent ones, but this is probably enough point.

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You’ll probably be able to guess very accurately how old I am.

Very young I’m fairly sure my dad had a grey Cupra like this one.

My mum had a Mitsobushi grandis for a long time too. The best thing about that was the screen which flipped down and played CDs, it was great for long journeys.

After the Cupra my dad got a 330D, was pretty nice, and I can remember the orange light up dials distinctly.

This is basically all that classifies as me being a “kid”

My parents also were restoring a Triumph Spitfire (which then was sold), it felt a lot bigger to me then when I sat in it. I think this was it, orange. Although I’m fairly sure it had a hardtop (and 4 seats?).

I couldn’t find the correct model in my head when i searched triumph so idk.

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Actually I saw our last W115 again some days ago. Don’t know if this thread made it happen, lol.

Bit of a shame since it was actually quite well maintained and rust free when we sold it 20 years ago. :frowning:

(In case you’re wondering, the silver W123 has survived better, I actually used it as my daily some years ago after my mother wanted a smaller car and bought a Skoda Felicia instead, but it needs some work now, but I’ve still got it)

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