It was a pleasant suprise to see a 240 sedan in one of the paintings at this year’s Whitney Biennial. It was in a painting by Robert Bechtle, a photorealist painter from the ’60s who somehow managed to timewarp into the 21st century Whitney Museum. I’m not sure the curators saw his work as relevant to contemporary practice. We probably have enough people painting from photos, something I admit to doing for years, and it seems to have run its course.
I think it was a matter of recognizing a long-ignored artist, similar to how the Motion Picture Academy recognizes film makers long after they’ve ended their careers with no Oscars to show for it. There was a retrospective at the SF MOMA in 2005 and seeing his new work in the context of his career makes more sense, but his earlier work seems much more innovative and ground breaking. Seeing snap shots of families and friends rendered large by hand was breathtaking, even if he didn’t render the detail of a Richard Estes. And how can you argue with a 4 foot wide rendering of a Ford Gran Turino wagon?
Update 02/12/09: Jalopnik’s Murilee Martin found the driveway that was rendered in this painting. The Gran Turino was long gone though.
IPD had a free shipping sale so I finally bought their 25mm anti-sway bars. They sat around the house for a few weeks but I finally put them on today.
My friend Andy keeps his Porsche at a garage about a 1/2 hour away and I drove out there to use the hydraulic lift. We jacked the Brick up in the air and pulled off the old bars. I thought we wouldn’t need to take off the front wheels but I was wrong. We had a minor disaster where we almost dropped the rear differential; I ended up supporting the rear on my shoulders while Andy ran to get a jack. Other than that, installation was straight forward and simple.
When I hit the road I had a tough time noticing a difference. You really have to try to rock the car side-to-side to feel the improvement. There’s no difference when cruising straight down the road, but hitting exit/entrance ramps is a marked change. It wasn’t as dramatic as I expected; the bars really make the car drive like it should, rather than being a big performance boost. Lane changes and turns feel safer and I’m now aware of how poorly it handled without them. I can only imagine how bad the older bricks were that didn’t have anti-sways, or had ones that were thin as paper clips.
A commenter on the Brick Boards gave a comprehensive overview of old Volvos and I like what he says about the 240s:
240–These are starting to be considered classics now, and prices are on the increase, particularly for clean late models.
I’m starting to wonder if the 240s are going to flatline in value, rather than becoming valueless. There have a been a few posts of people seeing early 90′s bricks with over 120k miles going for over $3000. I don’t know about INCREASES in value, but I have the feeling prices will remain flat in that range for well maintained cars.
This is in opposition to what the commenter sees for 740s, which he sees as less desireable. Funny, I used to prefer the 740 over the 240, but the 240′s design aged better somehow.
Ipd premiered a new rim for RWD Volvos today and it looks pretty sweet. It’s a replica of the rims used on the 850/v70 R-series. At 17″, it’s pretty bad ass. They say it’ll fit the 200 series. I just don’t know about the little “R” symbol, considering my brick is a total slug.