The San Francisco Chronicle has a short column by a DIY Volvo owner where he documents 37 years of driving and fixing pre-1970s Volvos:
In those 37 years I have spent countless hours in both frustration and triumph. I like to say I’ve broken down on the road probably a hundred times and have never really had to be towed, always relying on both an intimate knowledge of the car and a complete set of tools and spare parts in the trunk.
A couple years ago the NY Times had an article about
vintage Volvo fans fans of vintage Volvos and interviewed Colin Powell about his collection of 100 series:
“At one time I had six, stashed at various places around the post so the M.P.’s wouldn’t find them all,” he said in a recent interview. “My usual pattern was to fix them mechanically and then do enough body work to get them through a quick Earl Scheib paint job.”
I suppose the key to keeping a running brick is to have a stash of parts cars to pick from whenever something goes wrong with the daily driver. Word on the Brickboard is that junkyards are scrapping 200 series now because they don’t pull in enough $$$ from pick-and-pull. But they’re easy enough to pick up for little or no cash… so long as you can bring a trailer to tow one home.
A great thread on maintenance needed to keep a brick running for another 100-200k miles once it reaches 300k. I wonder if I’ll ever get there. I’m coming up fast on 150k.
The Christmas tradition we follow is to get and install the tree on Christmas eve. This means you get a poor pick of trees, but they’re usually marked down and really cheap. This year it also meant picking and strapping down a tree in the freezing rain. After feeding the tree a little whisky it warmed up nice in our home.
Here’s more snowy bricks.
An ’83 Volvo wagon on Craigslist is on the verge of being dumped for scrap. The description is pretty funny:
…though it always starts right up, if it has been running and you turn it off and restart it, 9 times out of 10 you’ll have to keep your foot on the gas or it’ll conk out… but once you get it going again it wont stall and leave you stranded or anything like that. oh, you must let it warm up for at least 2 to 5 minutes or it has no power and it will leave you stuck putting through an intersection at 2-5 miles per hour with on coming traffic and it can be a little unnerving…
and lastly, it is a little loud. not illegal loud, as i haven’t been pulled yet and i have pulled up along side cops and got stopped and waived on at check point once, but people look for sure when i’m coming down the road and if you embarrass easy, this is not the car for you. i have been told the noise stems from a leak where the exhaust pipe meets the engine, and that the knocking is this hole and not anything more serious. i think the muffler is also shot, but from the inside out (if that is possible?) because it appears to have no holes… though i did slap some goo on some holes i found in the pipe and the very end of it, the tail that exits the exhaust out after the muffler is rusted off and so the noise resonates against the underside of the car.
It’s a shame, because it’s a turbo… but the turbo doesn’t work, and neither does the overdrive.
I got a holiday card from the District of Columbia this week. It was an automated ticket for a moving violation, running 58 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Looks like I was speeding through the 3rd st. tunnel under the US Capitol on our trip back from Thanksgiving at my parents.
There were 2 photos in the card, with info on the back showing how to interpret the image. They show that the pics were taken 0.2 seconds and that I’d traveled approximately 16 feet. I did the math and got this:
17 feet in 0.2 seconds = 85 feet in 1 second = 306,000 feet in 1 hour
306,000 feet / 5280 feet per mile = 57.95 MPH
Route 395 runs through DC and has a complex set of tunnels as it travels under the national mall. It’s a set of curves and hills that begs to be sped through and I remember giving the throttle a little push on that traffic-less Saturday morning. I didn’t see the flash of DC’s speed camera catching me exiting the tunnel at 13 MPH over the limit. I now know that when I see those horizontal marks on the pavement I need to slow the hell down. And I need to tint that back window ’cause I gots some junk in my trunk.
(01/28/09: The 3rd st. tunnel will now be known as the Purple Tunnel of Doom in solidarity for all the 2009 inauguration purple ticket holders who got corralled inside and missed the event. Epic fail.)
I’ve heard of red-light cameras used to catch people running lights but never heard of speed cameras. The red-light cameras usually shoot from the front and can get an identifiable shot of the driver. Since the shot of my car was from behind I’m being billed as the owner of the car, not the violator, so the ticket isn’t going on my record and I’m not getting any points off my license. It’s almost like a parking ticket, although I wonder if my insurance company will get any record.
There has been some dispute about how red-light cameras are implemented. Some jurisdictions have been accused of shortening the yellow light cycle to raise revenue. Ironically, Dallas’ red-light cameras were so effective that people stopped running reds, and now they don’t get enough revenue to keep the cameras maintained.
I’m not going to dispute the ticket. I know I was cooking through that tunnel. But there are plenty of stories of drivers getting pissed of at cameras and taking vengeance on the poor little buggers. A guy in the UK melted one with a welding torch. The French are shooting, painting and hammering theirs. Another dude in the UK blew a camera up, only to have the explosion trigger the shutter and catch him in the act. And Maryland residents are accusing DC of discriminating against them because they get 64% of the tickets issued from automated cameras.
The best story is of these 4 hoons getting their mugs shot on a speed camera in the UK. They had just stolen the car and got their pic taken as they sped off on their joy-ride. They assumed since it wasn’t their car they couldn’t be connected to the license plate number. The car was found torched and the cops found one of the 16 year olds. It mustn’t have taken long for them to find the others after this shot was published in the local paper.
I installed anti-sway bars with my buddy Andy last summer and they ride nice, but aren’t as dramatic a change as I expected.
More details and pics after the jump.
This is what happens when you leave a Volvo 850 in the garage during the summer with the windows closed.
Seriously, why? Via CarDomain.