What's The Best Hand-Me-Down Car?

For many people, there's no choice in the very first car you own. Much like a too-tight sweater with an older sibling's name on it that you have to wear for picture day, goddamn picture day, that first car is often passed down from older family members. So what's the best one to hope for?

There's certain key considerations for a first hand-me-down. Since it's likely the first car you'll have, it needs to be forgiving of all the idiotic things you'll do in a car when you're 16 or so. It needs to be able to hold a clutch of your friends, have some means to play music, and run into rows of shopping carts with no real damage. Ideally, it should be fun to drive, but not so powerful that you'll get yourself killed because you're still an idiot.


My first car was a '68 Beetle I bought with $600, but my friend Al had an amazing hand-me down. It was his grandmother's old '74 Ford Maverick, in a shade of green rarely found outside stool samples and huge, slick bench seats.

It was slow and ponderous, but RWD and could manage to be entertaining. We'd cram 6-8 of us in there and crank bad music on the cassette player, and those big 5 MPH bumpers could really send shopping carts flying.

I think I may have been in the last generation to get Mavericks as hand-me-downs. So, lemme have it — what's the best hand-me-down car?

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