posted on November 7th, 2016

Your first car says a lot about you. Whether it’s a hand-me-down station wagon or some glittering, right-off-the-lot diddy, our first cars, in some ways, inform — if not mold — our future selves. With the presidential day of reckoning looming before us, we’re taking a look at the candidates’ first cars, as well as some classic first cars of presidents past.

Hillary Clinton:


Reportedly the only car she’s ever owned, the presidential hopeful bought the Cutlass to toot around Little Rock, AK when she was working at a law firm. She even toted it all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when husband Bill made the move in 1993, where it waited out its days in the bowels of the White House grounds. Bringing a car to White House was unusual; groundskeeper Mike Lawn, who bought the car when Clinton left office in 2001, recalls, “I was there from the Carters to the last Bushes, and I never saw another president bring a car.” The car made headlines earlier this year when Lawn put the memento up for sale.

Mike Lawn with the candidate's OG wheels. Photo credit: Clare Becker/The (Hanover, PA.) Evening Sun via AP
Mike Lawn with the candidate’s OG wheels. Photo credit: Clare Becker/The (Hanover, PA.) Evening Sun via AP

Donald Trump:


No stranger to silver spoons, the well-to-do young Trump reportedly had a 50s-era silver Rolls-Royce as his first car in the Jamaica Estates neighborhood of Queens. In a surprisingly nostalgic move, the ever-bombastic Trump even supposedly had the automaker build him a replica of his cherished old car — a touching, albeit unfathomably ostentatious Rosebud for the business-mogul-cum-politico.

Young Trump with his Rolls. Photo credit:

President Barack Obama:


Jalopnik reports that the current commander-in-chief’s first ride was a hand-me-down Ford Granada, courtesy of his granddad. Later in life, he laid down 900 of his hard-earned dollars for some clunker (make/model unknown) with a hole in the floor, “so I knew my wife wasn’t marrying me for my money,” he quipped. And then there’s the Choomwagon, the VW Microbus that chauffeured Barry — who, unlike Bill before him, decidedly did inhale — and his stoney comrades in their hazy exploits around the islands.

The glorious Ford Granada, what Obama called the “worst car Detroit ever built”. Photo credit:

Former President George W. Bush:


The whispers among Triumph enthusiasts is that it was a graduation gift from presidential papa George H.W. Bush (who supposedly rocked a ‘47 Studebaker once upon a time, à la Jimmy Carter), and that young Dubya showboated the Triumph around Houston during his bachelor days.

Photo credit: GR Auto Gallery via Thrillist.

Former President Bill Clinton:


Clinton hit the bricks in a cool, blue Mustang convertible when he governed the great state of Arkansas — and reportedly mourned the loss tremendously when he had to leave it behind when moving into the White House. How Hillary smuggled that Cutlass past Secret Service? The world may never know (until WikiLeaks gets wind of the scandal).

Clinton riding high in his ‘Stang. Photo credit: Clinton Library via Thrillist.

Megan is the copywriter and content tsarina at Turo. She lives to wander near and far, never met a beach (or dog) she didn’t like, and loves to talk postmodern lit and theory to anyone who’ll listen.