Dean Glaser, Fortuna city council member: "When I was 17 years old, my dad located a car for both my brother and me to use for junior college. My brother was so embarrassed by the car's age and ugly shape he never wanted to drive it. Not me, I could use it. It was an oxidized dark green 1947 Dodge two-door coupe. It had a flat head six-cylinder engine with three on the column. If you looked at it sideways, it was equal in length on the engine and trunk end. The car had the true silhouette of an alien space ship. I'd tease my friends it was a Mafia car to carry cadavers because the trunk was so super large and roomy. This car also was my surfing car with a rack on top to hold my 9-foot, 4-inch Gordie surfboard. The arms for the rack were so short apart, the board would oscillate up and down fairly rapidly when driving to Bolinas Beach in Marin County. I finally threw an engine valve and had to gingerly drive it otherwise the 'rattle' was overpowering in noise and embarrassment."
Richard Graey, Eureka school administrator: "A 1956 Ford Ranch Wagon (two-door station wagon). There was no front bumper; it was raised in the front with a 292 and three on the column, with slicks on the back. It was primer green with blacked-out side windows. (It) cost me $100; (the) engine blew right away and I dropped in a 272 and couldn't tell much difference. In Ventura, we had a drag (Main Street) and I would race all the low riders — only ones I could keep close to. (I) used to sleep in it, go on surfing trips and even lived in it when we were occasionally kicked out of any rentals. (I) live the carefree, surfer life and girls still thought it was cool to be seen in (it) — it wasn't a GTO or Malibu SS — so I knew the girls liked me for me and not my car. Thanks for the prompt; I haven't thought about that car in a long time. We called it the Green Hornet."
Steve Kimberling, race car driver: "My first car was a 1957 VW Oval Window Bug. I got it when I was 14 and built it from the ground up with my dad. (We) finished it just before I turned 18. And there were some great memories, spending time with dad to build it over the years. The same week we got it painted, my dad was driving it and the rear suspension broke. The whole car slid down Broadway on the freshly painted rear fenders. I remember my first race car, too. My first Real Stock still had the windshield wipers and eight track — back when 'Real Stocks' were really stock. I had one in 2003 that recorded the fastest time four or five weeks in a row and then blew it up."
Kris Kitna, Fortuna police chief: "I had a Honda (motorcycle), too, a CB-350, with a red tank. My first car was a brand new 1976 Dodge Colt, manual transmission. It was medium blue with white interior. I bought it in Roseville, while serving in the USAF at Beale AFB. Before that, I drove nothing but motorcycles. I named the Colt after Sam in the Lord of the Rings. A faithful companion, and it never let me down. The thing I remember most is it was the first car I ever got in an accident with. I fell asleep driving home at midnight and sideswiped a guard rail on the Avenue of the Giants. Not much damage and that guard rail saved my life. Funny story? Got a kiss from Charlie Brown's 'Little Redheaded Girl' while seated in that car."