An '88 Mazda 323 (purchased when I was 16 1/2 in 1997). I bought it myself for $100 (I can't believe parents buy cars for their kids, seriously! Mine helped me with insurance during the school year so I could concentrate on school work and extracurriculars without having to work more than 20 hours a week...but I was on my own otherwise).
I loved that stupid little car
. I could only fill the gas tank halfway for the first month or two until I replaced it (big hole near the top). I had to replace the alternator a few months in also (parts always paid for by me, but my dad did the labor for free so long as a suffered through a tutorial from him).
The three of us were also not permitted to get our licenses until we could prove to my dad that we could change a tire and drive a manual transmission. It could stall and lurch a million times, so long as we could actually get the car to go around the block, stop and start on a hill, and bring it back to the driveway.
It was a good solid car, got great gas mileage and carried my friends, my junk and me til the end of high school. I painted racing stripes on it for Senior Day
When I left for college I sold it for $1 to another kid who'd just gotten his license.
I'm now on my 4th car (98 Saturn, woo! Finally a car born AFTER I got my license!) and it's the only car I've ever had to take out a loan for. But the loan is paid off and I'm driving this baby to the ground!