It could be said that our first car, in a lot of ways, was like our first girlfriend. There was passion, and dreams, and a sense of completion that we had never felt before. Even if it wasn't perfect, the car that is, it was very important to us at the time. And, like most first girlfriends, those cars usually disappeared, gone but never truly forgotten.

Many vintage Mopar fans have met or at least know of Tony D'Agostino. He is a well-versed new and recycled Chrysler parts vendor from Delaware. His company-Tony's Parts-has served the hobby for three decades. the 383 Road Runner convertible you see here was the first car he ever bought, back when he was 13 years old.

The car was actually not the first car he had a chance to buy. His father Bob ran a body shop in Chester, New York, and in 1977, the pair had gone to look at a '69 Dodge Daytona with an asking price of $500. It was the height of the second big gas crunch, and musclecars were coming out of the woodwork. They left a deposit on the wing car, planning to pick it up later. "That night," Tony tells us, "I showed my mom a picture of the car. Well, she really felt it was not good for me to have something that looked like a race car at my age, so we had to let that deal go."

Tony kept looking, and the next car that caught his attention was this Plymouth drop-top, which was also available for $500. One week before he turned 14, the Road Runner was sitting at his dad's shop. Tony was taking auto shop classes, so the car became a hands-on project.

The next car Tony bought was a '70 Six Pack GTX hardtop. Damaged and missing the engine and transmission, that one took $250 to bring home (plus another $75 for an Edelbrock intake). Tony wanted the GTX's 4.10 Dana rear for his Road Runner, so out that came, and the GTX went into the lot behind the body shop. As people found out about the rest of the hulk, Tony began selling parts and pieces and had soon recouped the whole $250. Before long, he was buying other worn-out Plymouth B-Bodies, parting them out, and on his way to becoming a young businessman.

This Road Runner, however, was a labor of love, and its parts weren't for sale. Once the rust was patched up, it received a repaint. In 1981, Tony ordered N.O.S. sheetmetal through his local dealership (those were the days), replacing the fenders and quarter-panels before painting it again. This was before concours restorations were a big deal, but the car was never modified by anything but factory-style parts.

After spending a number of years in other pursuits (but always maintaining some effort in his parts business), Tony's Parts became a full-time vocation and Mr. D'Agostino, now the professional man, moved to Delaware.