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The News Wheel Editors: Our First Vehicles

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The News Wheel Automotive News Staff

The News Wheel Automotive News Staff

Here at The News Wheel, our editing staff is a close-knit bunch. We spend our days bringing you the latest car news, attending car shows, and laughing about some of the ridiculous stories we see online. But this time, we’ve decided to bring you a story a bit closer to our hearts.

Everyone’s first vehicle has a significance to them; whether it was a beat-up clunker hand-me-down from your grandpa or you saved up your pennies to purchase it yourself, our first cars mean something to us. For the sake of nostalgia, we’ve put together a list of our team’s first vehicles.


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Rebecca Bernard

Rebecca Bernard

My first car was a white 2002 Ford Focus. I got it for my 18th birthday, but I didn’t have my license yet because driving terrified me. I was involved with an after-school theater program downtown, which meant my parents had to drop me off and pick me up every day. This car was a swift kick in the butt to make me finally take the test (they still had to bribe me with a Grey’s Anatomy license plate frame).

Articles by Rebecca Bernard


Zachary Berry

Zachary Berry

My first car was a 2011 Mazda3. I learned how to drive in my family’s 2005 Ford Focus. However, since my brother used it to commute back and forth to his college classes, I rarely ever got to drive it. During my senior year at college, I finally purchased a vehicle of my own: a 2011 Mazda3. I’ve been driving that model ever since.

Articles by Zachary Berry


Whitney Burch

Whitney Burch

My first car was a 1992 Nissan Sentra. This tiny creature was a bit noisy but functional, for a first car. I was thankful my grandma (who called the car “William”) left it behind so I wouldn’t have to commit to a car payment right out of college. Toward the end of its life, however, it had such slow acceleration I was glad to give it up for the safer Honda Civic that I have now.

Articles by Whitney Burch


Caleb Cook

Caleb Cook

My first car was a red 1989 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer. I saved up the money from my first job and bought it when I turned 17. Although, this was back when gas was only a buck a gallon, so I didn’t mind the 18 mpg fuel economy.

Articles by Caleb Cook


Cat Hiles

Cat Hiles

My first car was a 1995 Peugeot 205 named Peugeot Pete. He leaked coolant so much that I had to keep some in the car at all times and refill it once every week to two weeks. One time, I backed into a VW and dented my bumper, and it literally just popped right back out – that thing was a tank. I eventually sold Pete to a guy who I’m pretty sure was going to turn him into a rally car, so I like to think he had a really fun life after we parted ways.

Articles by Cat Hiles


Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson

My first car was a 1997 Mercury Cougar, very green. My mother bought it for me as a surprise for my 16th birthday, and apart from the creative treasure hunt through our neighborhood that led me to it, I don’t have a lot of outstanding memories with it. I smoked in it a lot and was terrible about cleaning and maintaining it, so it was pretty gross by the time it went kaput. Still, it got me through about two years of college and a whole bunch of road trips, so it did the trick.

Articles by Kyle Johnson


DeAnn Owens

DeAnn Owens

My first new car was a 2002 Jeep Liberty. It was Patriot Blue and the first car my husband and I purchased together; we were hoping to start a family soon, and we wanted a vehicle that would keep our future precious cargo safe, and a minivan was so not us. A year later, we welcomed our first son. The Jeep served my family well for 15 years. Sadly, the Jeep met its demise last year when it was struck by an F-150 in an accident (that was totally not my fault).

Articles by DeAnn Owens


Morgan Pritchett

Morgan Pritchett

My first car was a velocity red 2005 Mazda3 Hatchback named Vince. He got his name after I hit a deer and the car had one of its side mirrors (ears) knocked off, therefore acquiring the name of artist Vincent Van Gogh (I was an art major at the time). I loved that car because it has some serious get-up-and-go. But, unfortunately, the cops didn’t feel the same way; I got two speeding tickets with Vince. Oops. Sadly, I had to say goodbye to Vince in 2015 after he was totaled during an accident. If that hadn’t happened, I’d probably still be driving that good ole Mazda3.

Articles by Morgan Pritchett


Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

My first car was a 2007 Pontiac G6. I nicknamed it “That Damn Car.” After the previous owner smashed it over every pothole in Michigan, the suspension components gave out one by one, including most of the lug bolts breaking in half (the previous owner also had an air-powered impact wrench) and one of the ball joints that normally keep the car from doing the splits kicked off all of its rubber housing. The power steering died as I went to sell it, too.

Articles by Daniel Susco

Meg Thomson

Meg Thomson

My first car was a black 1998 Honda Accord. It was my grandmother’s car; eventually, she moved into assisted living and wasn’t able to drive it anymore. I took the car with me to college my sophomore year, and it powered through several road trips (including driving from North Carolina to Florida and back). In hindsight, I’m surprised it held up; but I suppose it was a Honda, after all.

Articles by Meg Thomson


Kurt Verlin

Kurt Verlin

My first car was a 1997 Dodge Intrepid. With the recession, the Intrepid was the car our large family of seven relied on to get around. While today I normally criticize FCA products, I have to admit that ’97 Intrepid didn’t let us down. It was approaching 300,000 miles by the time we sold it, but it turned a nice profit. I put it up for $1,000, having fully expected to negotiate down, but some poor student showed up and immediately paid in full without bothering to first take it for a test spin.

Articles by Kurt Verlin


Aaron Widmar

Aaron Widmar

My first car was a 1995 Saturn SC-2 and still is the car I drive on a daily basis. I got it the summer I graduated college at a steal of a price considering its low mileage. I spent that whole summer driving around listening to cassette tapes. I still do, so I guess nothing has changed in the last eight years.

Articles by Aaron Widmar



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