My first car was a 2001 PT Cruiser, bought used from a coworker for $3,000... I was 17, and I'd managed to put away some cash from working since I was 14, so it was all paid by check.
At 128k miles now, I'm still driving that car, and I've fallen in love with the hatchback design! I moved across the country with all my belongings in that thing, even (with room for a copilot!).