I bet you remember your first car. Kind of like your first love?
Mine was an orange AMC Gremlin, a ’73, brand-new, a bit over $2,000. I recall walking around the car lot with people who would become my ex and ex-in-laws and I was feeling frustrated that everyone, except me, was deciding what should be my first car. Choosing my first set of wheels was proving no fun.
One person pointed at the orange Gremlin and said, “I never saw a car as ugly as that one.”
Tired of everyone’s input, I bought it. I didn’t even like bright orange. I was twenty-three and completely stupid, not just about cars, but certainly about cars.
When I saw this car on a top ten list of ugliest cars on Facebook today, I laughed. It might have been ugly, but among the ugliest? That was harsh. I researched the Gremlin online and, indeed, it appeared on SEVERAL lists of the ugliest cars. My poor Gremlin.
That homely compact lasted me a long time and gave me few problems. I learned to drive all over North Jersey and Central Jersey in it (Route One!) and I commuted to Princeton University’s Firestone Library in it. I even had it when I lived in Central Pennsylvania and during the year when there was a gas shortage and I lined up for an hour to get five dollars worth of gasoline. It proved to be my car during the time that I didn’t live in Camden.
I didn’t think it was super ugly, but kind of sporty in its own way. I never imagined that forty-two years later that it would pop up on lists of the most ugly.