1970s Japanese cars
My first car was a 1977 Honda Civic. Bought in 1991 when I was 16. It had a fresh coat of paint and looked great. But it blew blue smoke and needed oil every third fillup, so I knew it was in for an engine rebuild. Did that over 7 weeks, working on the car in the evenings after school. I was entirely self-taught, learning from a Haynes manual. The 1.2L engine was so light that I lifted it out of the engine bay myself, no hoist needed. Took the block and head to a machine shop for a regrind, but did all of the other work myself. Swapped out the 4-speed gearbox with a 5-speed I found at an auto wrecker's. After the rebuild I drove it from Vancouver to Cape Breton and back. Never needed to add oil between changes again. I kept the car until 1996. Other than owning a 1979 VW van for a few months in 1998, I haven't had a car of my own since. The family car has always been in my wife's name.
Mine looked identical to this: