First true "system", circa 1993, was a two shaft pioneer tape deck (had auto-reverse, it was smoking), a Kenwood 2 channel 40w amp, and two Jensen "blue max" 140w 6x9's, in a 1977 Malibu Classic affectionately referred to as The Beast. That thing would seriously rock out some Slayer.
Next system, circa 1996, was in my 1986 Monte Carlo SS. I had MTX 3-1/2's in the dash, MTX 6x9's (via a 4x10 adapter) in the rear deck, pushed by an old kenwood 40x4 amp. I had two Kicker 12's in a sealed box being pushed by a Coustic 360 - I think that thing was ancient even then. I loved pulling up at stop lights bumping country, even though I was/am a metal head.
Now I have an 05 Silverado Ext Cab, and the system is a little more serious, but with "big box mass produced" components that I am now trying to phase out and move over to serious SQ equipment. The current setup is an Alpine 9887 deck, MB Quart PVF-216's running bi-amped off a RF T400-4, with two Punch Stage 2 10's being fed from an Alpine MRP-1000 in a subthump box.
Im trying to round out the sound a bit - at the levels I like playing at, I can't get the comps and the subs to cross over well. The subs want to stay under 60-70hz, and the comps want to stay above 200hz, so I need to add some midbass to the doors with custom pods (paging AZGrower) and some deadening. After that, I want to build a custom console and just use it as an amp rack, raise the rear seat, build a new underseat box with a little more area than 0.65cu/ft per side.
I still very much a newb on this site - reading a lot, finding out where to buy what from who, what sounds good for this or that, etc. I'm floored by what is out there for car audio, especially SQ, when you get past what you see at the local audio shop. I think I have the basics down, now im just waiting to hear what some of higher end stuff sounds like. I have the basics for a cabinet shop - table saw, 8" jointer, planer, dust collector, 3 routers, router table, nail guns, sheet of MDF, etc - but havent built anything for car audio yet. This might be a good oppurtunity to put something neat together.