The car I grew up in was a (1994?) Ford Windstar.
What a piece of crap that van was. Everything broke. If you pulled hard enough on the seats, the stitching would fail. The friction produced by sister's car seat wore out holes which sucked in vast amounts of Cheerios and Lego pieces into the unknown depths of the car.
This thing had the balance of drunk, overweight Seal trying to do ballet. Seriously, whenever my dad took the slightest turn at anything above 45 mph, the interior became the hotel scene in Inception.
At least it felt...like that.
Benefits? The sliding door and the opportunity to turn my skinny little body and watch the construction of the infamous Mixing Bowl (395/495/95) interchange through the giant window during our family's morning commutes in Springfield, VA. The car always had problems, but given credit, that thing was roomy as hell. I remembered I could practically unbuckle my seat-belt and run-through the centre isle to voice my drive-through ordering opinions to my mother (we were/are five children.)
In '99, the car met its end. We were on the way to a family wedding, and there was drama. My father, in his early 30s at the time, slammed the gas pedal, breaking the accelerator cable, and rendering the car immobile. The car had already had several transmission repairs, so the local mechanic bought it from us that week.
We went down to Arlington and leased a 2001 Acura MDX, formally establishing our family as an MDX family. Initially a rebaged Pilot, the Acura soldiered on and served our family until we swapped it for an '06, which was a different car altogether, but had the same spirit. This was the first car I learned to drive in. With a 3.7L VTEC pumping out 300hp at the wheels, I was a pretty happy new driver. The thing was fast, somewhat roomy, and sexy.
When the lease went up, we swapped it yet again for an '11. By then, I was a senior in high school. Unfortunately, my dreams of buying a used '08 TL Type-S or a '05 Mustang were crushed when my parents informed my the simply enough, it was unnecessary. After high school, I went into community college, and my parents couldn't afford the extra car (or cars considering my little brothers were just behind me.) It wasn't financially a good idea. Nevertheless, I enjoyed pushing around the MDX nonetheless.
Last month, the lease went up, and it was an emotional goodbye. I kid you not.
In 2009, my best friend in the whole world bought a 2007 Pony Package Mustang. During my junior and senior years of high school, he would show up at my house, at one, two in the morning. And we'd install a new ______ you name it, but we put it in, and the V6 mustang eventually topped out at 300 HP. We still work on it today. My best moments in life mostly consisted of a hooning and friendship and American Muscle aftermarket parts. Nonetheless, it still wasn't MY car. My jealousy rages on, even moreso facing the fact he may swap it for a Coyote GT.
Check out a burnout video I filmed right before we switched it to SVT GT500 wheels.