I learned to drive at age 15 to 16 with my parents’ 1966 Chevy Impala station wagon. I also had early experience driving a VW Beetle with manual transmission, and I think even some time shifting three gears on the column with Dad’s 1953 Chevy.
I purchased my first car in 1968 for $200–money I earned working for McDonalds. It was a 1961 Pontiac Tempest–a 4-cylinder automatic transmission, with the shifting lever on the dash.
(Those are my two younger brothers by the car.)
I took great pride of ownership in that car, waxing its blue paint to an impressive shine, and carefully wiping off the dust from parking in a dirt lot next to McDonalds. It was a pretty reliable car for its time. I only recall doing minor repair work on it, with help from my dad. I learned how to change oil, replace brake pads, and a few other things, skills which I have put to good use over the years. As I recall, it required premium gas, at a whopping 34 cents per gallon.
I don’t recall if it had seat belts. Perhaps not, as that wasn’t a priority for cars in the early sixties. I never had an accident in the car.
I drove the car to school each day my junior and senior years in high school. It was a real luxury at the time to own and drive a car (as a teen).
Sadly, I left the car behind when I went off to college at BYU in 1970.