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My First Car

Jacquie Moloney recalls her disaster-prone 1965 Ford Mustang

Photo of a 1965 red Ford Mustang

10/29/2018
By David Perry

Chancellor Jacquie Moloney’s first ride was a wreck.

“I got the car because it had been in an accident—it was rearended—and it was totaled, but we got it fixed up,” says Moloney, who was a senior in high school when she acquired the 1965 red Ford Mustang. It had been rebuilt by her brother-in-law, a mechanic in Westford. It was cheap.

“I remember picking up my friends, and they all thought it was a very cool car. A hot car. We would just tool around town together,” says Moloney, who also drove the Mustang to and from her job as a waitress at the Airport Diner in Tewksbury.

“It was my first real possession. I bought it myself and was responsible for taking care of it,” she says. “Your first car is a real rite of passage.”

That car “lasted nearly half way through college,” Moloney says, until another driver ran a stop sign and T-boned the Mustang.

Back to the Westford garage for the family fix-up. Alas, shortly after the repairs were made, another errant driver smashed the Mustang’s front end when it was parked on the street overnight. Its last rites were administered.

“That was an unlucky car,” says Moloney.

It was followed, however, by what the chancellor says became her all-time favorite car: a black VW Bug.

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More First Car Stories

Andre  DiFillipo, UML’s student government president

web-extra-transparent-logoThe senior still drives his first car, which he bought used, a 2010 Mazda 3 Sedan. “My car was basically a mobile HQ for our campaign! My Vice President Vilma and I, along with our team and friends, would constantly be hopping in my car to do a vast array of things. Delivering volunteers all across campus, picking up flyers, grabbing fast food, discussing updates and tactics on the car’s Bluetooth. “When I think back at all the fun, hectic times we had running around over the couple of months leading up to and during the election, I laugh to myself and think that there’s a very real possibility that without that little Mazda, we may not have won the election!”

Distinguished University Professor Joey Mead, Plastics Engineering

Her first car? “A blue 1981 Honda Accord hatchback. I loved that car. It was so good in the snow. I kept it for a while before trading it in for another Accord.”

Cuneyt Oge ’75, former president of SAE International

“A 1960 Mercedes that I bought for $250 from a gas station in Chelmsford when I was a student at Lowell Tech in 1972. The damn thing was so rusted out that if you put five people in the car it would collapse.”

Rich Caron ’79, internal investigations engineer at General Motors

“A ’67 Chevy Camaro Rally Sport convertible. It was white with a red interior and a black top. I wish I had it now — it would be worth a lot of money.”

Berk Talay, associate professor of marketing

“A 1994 Renault Fairway, a French car. In Turkey, we have a dominance of European manufacturers in the market.”

John Manelas ’90, founder and owner of Auto Care Plus

Lowell native was a self-described “motorhead” growing up and liked to build muscle cars: His first? A ’76 Chrysler Cordoba. “It was a hunk of junk, but I bought it with cash. I got into Camaros after that. I probably owned every Corvette and Camaro.”