Ask The Authors: What was your 1st Car?

Megan Abbott: A Saturn, blue. Certified pre-owned. Beautiful Possibly haunted.

Donna Andrews: The Flying Japanese Zero, a second-hand ten-year-old green Toyota Celica with over 100,000 miles on it.(License plate began with FJZ, so that was the PG-rated version).

Bill Cameron: A yellow AMC Hornet Station Wagon. It is remotely possible there has been a less cool car in automotive history, but I doubt it. True fact: a college girlfriend once said to me, “I’d have sex with you in a dumpster sooner than in that piece of crap.”

Tess Gerritson: My dad’s old Chevy Corvair. Yeah, it was a death trap (remember “unsafe at any speed?”). But I survived it.

Andrew Grant: A 1974 Volkswagen Beetle in ‘moss green.’ Seriously – who thinks of descriptions like that for colours? ‘I know – let’s name this season’s special after the stuff that grows in the shower stall if you don’t clean it properly!’ No wonder my career in marketing didn’t flourish. Anyway, shade-card issues aside, it was a fabulous car. I kept it till 1988, when the floor fell out. I was tempted to hang onto it even after that but my miserable friends were reluctant to channel the Ant Hill Mob, so I sold it to a guy with a home welding kit and a relaxed approach to road safety.

Chris Holm: Unofficially, a rusted-out old ’84 Chevy S10 pickup. Legally, it was my parents’, but they’d about given up on it by the time I started driving it. The passenger door didn’t open. The driver’s side window wouldn’t go down. Second gear was stripped, so you’d have to gun it hard at the top end of first, and then pop it into third. The first car to ever have my name on the paperwork was a base-model Saturn with manual steering and shocks like a wooden rollercoaster. Honestly, I think I preferred my pickup.

Ann Parker: A (very used) beige VW bug, complete with sunroof. The sunroof leaked so badly that when it rained I had to drive with an umbrella opened in the car to keep from getting soaked.

Greg Rucka: Ah! It was a fucking TANK! A 1972 Mercedes Benz 240D, with heating coil starter you had to pull before you could turn the ignition. Accelerated 0-60 in three minutes flat, but it would turn on a dime and give you nine cents change. I’d take it up to thirty on the backroads near my house in the middle of the night, throw it in neutral, stomp the emergency brake, and pretend I was Jim Rockford as I slid a 180. I’d also tail my high school friends around Monterey, California, or – better – have them tail me and then try to lose them.

Steve Ulfelder: A hand-me-down Toyota Corona the color of a Band-Aid. My sister and I took turns totaling that car for about 6 years. I once backed it into a 200-year-old oak tree at 65mph. By the time we were done with that poor heap, you could hold your cigarette lighter to any spot on the body and watch the Bondo bubble.

Elaine Viets: A 1962 Plymouth Fury with a slant 6 engine called the Blue Bomber. Leaked oil so bad I carried a case of it in the trunk. It smoked like crazy and I was too embarrassed to put a “Have You Thanked a Green Plant Today?” sticker on it, since I was sure my car had killed so many.

For answers from Tasha Alexander, Chelsea Cain, Brad Parks and more, check out issue 51 of Crimespree.