Students express individuality through choice in cars

With+his+dog+posing+in+front%2C+senior+Elijah+Edwards+captures+a+photo+of+his+1965+Ford+Thunderbird.

Photo Courtesy

With his dog posing in front, senior Elijah Edwards captures a photo of his 1965 Ford Thunderbird.

Eris Rindt, Reporter

Muscle cars, vans and trucks are just a few of the various vehicles you may come across while driving around the NHS parking lot. In Kansas, teens are allowed to start driving alone to school at age 16, with a restricted license. In April 1 2009 Kansas raised their driving age to 16 instead of fifteen according to, The Kansan.

There have been a wide array of suggestions and talk as to who at NHS has the best car in the lot according to results from a school wide survey. After the survey results were tallied, 11 out of 59 students said that senior Elijah Edwards had the coolest car. Edwards’ 1965 Ford Thunderbird is set apart from the other cars suggested as it is one of the few classic cars at NHS. One of the other classic cars at NHS is sophomore Jacob Peterson’s 1966 Chevy Impala.

I think that I have the best car at NHS because it’s different and unique as well as sleek and classy,” Edwards said. “It just stands out significantly from the crowd. I had always wanted to drive a classic as my first car and so I set out in search of an affordable classic that I could maintain.”

High schoolers and their families usually spend under $10,000 on their first car according to Request Your Car. On average a usual person will keep their car for about six years according to Auto City. However, this rate may be smaller for teens due to their high crash rates.

With a sunset as his backdrop, senior Elijah Edwards poses with his 1965 Ford Thunderbird. (Photo Courtesy)

“[Spending price for cars] depends a lot on the highschooler because some have low budgets and others have higher so it’s hard to just give a straightforward answer. I think that everyone looks for function and practicality first in a car though,” junior Jonah Remsberg said. “My first car, which I still own, is a 2009 Pony Pack Mustang and I love it. It’s fun to drive and it looks great.” 

In the age group of those with restricted licenses, many are at greater risk of getting into an accident. According to Do Something, one in six 16-year-olds will have an accident when driving. Newton’s population is bigger than a few surrounding towns like Hesston and therefore some students justify the amount of classic and nice cars to the increased number of students on campus. 

“Since Newton is a bigger town in the area I’m sure we have lots of nice cars compared to other schools,” sophomore Jake Vajnar said. “[It’s bad to see] brand new cars owned by students, cars ruined and destroyed by careless owners.”

Many students choose to express themselves with their cars. Some do so by putting stickers on their cars, getting personalized license plates made, or doing different repairs. NHS offers different auto mechanic classes for students to work on their cars, like Consumer Auto Care and Auto Restoration Techniques.

“I see a lot of people express themselves through their cars. Sometimes people’s cars can keep them out of trouble and will keep them on the right path,” Edwards said. “Regardless of whatever car you may drive, even a Mustang, all that matters is if you like it or not. That is what the car community is about.”

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