mark 1 cortinas i used to buy em at 40 with about 6 months MOT/tax & run them into ground If they were still running when MOT ran out then they would end up either banger racing or practicing round stubble fields it was great fun
My first car was a 1948 Morris Minor with a side valve engine and semaphor arm indicators.
It had lime green wings and a grey body - the wings were fabricated out of Chicken Wire and Plaster of Paris. I loved that car paid 25 quid for it and sold it for 425. Only car I ever made a profit from. Oh in those days a gallon of Petrol Cost 5 shillings and six pence,
Great info, great guys, great fun, thats Maggot Drowners
Mk 1 cabvalier, originally a 1100 but after abit of modification (with sledgehammer & felling axe)  it had a 2.3 manta engine fitted into it  (well i was only 15 at the time).
Best car ever was my 2lt sports capri (Britains best ever selling sports coupe), ripped the engine out n fitted a 3lt essex V6, Austin princess braking system (twin pots= better breaking) & a laughing gas (nitrous injection)system, got a mate to weld me up the exhaust system for it.
Got clocked by the law doing just under 180 mph at 3am on the M6, when the copper stopped me (after 5 miles)  he asked me if i knew how fast i was going, i told him i had no idea cos the clock stopped at 120  he didn't find it funny for some unknown reason!!
Dooby a word of advice mate, don't go getting anything to big or sporty for a first motor cos the insurance will hammer you, if you have an accident it will really hammer you with your next car or like some of the idiots around here you'll try to be clever, lose control & either kill yourself or someone else.
If i were you mate i'd go for a nice cheap estate car with a small engine, you'll need something to lug your fishing gear around in & you can sleep in it if you're on an over nighter 
Just cos i ain't postin, it don't mean i ain't watchin
The Mk1 driver was pretty much a GTI with a 1.3litre engine instead.
My mate had an XR3i. I used to scare the living hell out of him in my Golf.
The brakes on the 3i were rubbish and mine had the all round discs off the GTI, It
stopped on the poverbial sixpence  Decent insurance rate too as I recall.
I sold It after a year and bought an Orion (I know, I know. Shoot me now!)
ps. Peter, that cortina is GORGEOUS Bet you wish you still had that beaut.
My first car a 1957 Austin A35 bought for 75 my pride and joy, put a piston through the side of the original engine, 2nd engine the crank/shaft broke in half, i managed to keep the 3rd engine intact till i sold it, and bought a mini.after that a Mk1 Cortina 1500 like Peters. those were the days.....
my first car was a 0.9l metro city, cheap to buy, cheap to insure and if you folded the back seats down you could get all your gear in there at a push! IMHO the best thing to do is to get a car that is cheap to run and insure and above all, build up those no claims bonuses, so that when you come to get a decent car the insurance doesn't sting you
my first car was a mk 2 escort 1.3.l on a v reg...midnite blue.....i was 18 and all i wanted was a mk 2 escort...nothing else would do....wrote that off and bought another on a t.....1.3 pop plus in signal yellow with a black vinyl roof....still like the mk 11 to this day....always wanted a mk 2 rs2000 alas the dream hasnt been realised yet....only a modest little astra on a j now....just enough room for me...me shaky box and me rod bag....aghhh happy days !!!!!
My first car was the same as Dave's - Mk.1 Escort 1300GT
Mine was a little unusual though - it was brush-painted in lime green emulsion, looked great .................. from a distance 
Swopped it for an Avenger Tiger - fast as hell in a straight line, but wouldn't go round corners. It met a five-bar gate and expired whilst on the North York Moors. Three mile walk to the nearest phone box[!]