When I first skimmed this post documenting a grocery trip in a new Lambourghini Gallardo I thought the author was a pretentious douche. The Tarmac Philosopher, a writer for an auto magazine, takes the V10 monster to his local Whole Foods. When he exits the store he’s horrified to discover the car has attracted a mate:
Some ponce had moved the carts and spitefully parked a filthy, greasy, rusted Volvo 240 station wagon in Fungus Green Metallic right next to my shimmering Lamborghini. Thankfully, after close inspection, not a spot of Volvo stink had blemished the Italian beauty’s skin. I then examined the Volvo, and discovered that its finish had a substantial outer layer of bumper stickers advertising for Greenpeace, PETA, Humane Society, the Earth Liberation Front and few other vegetabalist and ecotage organizations. Not surprisingly, I also received a friendly brochure under the Lambo’s windscreen wiper condemning me forever to Hades for symbolically clubbing baby whales to death by driving an earth-warming beast-car that ran on The Man’s oilish excrement, also known as gasoline. I would have kept interestedly reading, but the whiff of cannabis wafting from the shit-Volvo’s open window started to irritate my nose, so I neatly crumbled up the brochure, and left the parking lot in a billow of CO2 emissions.
Joke was on me, though. The author is only a magazine writer in his own mind. Reality is he’s a kid living in Florida with dreams of big cars and low pay. Good luck, Joe.
Marketing a Tank
The strapping young lad above is Sune Larsson from Stockholm, Sweden. According to the 1979 issue of Din Volvobutik:
Sune äger en Volvo 144 av – 72 års modell. Den har gått over 74.000 mil och har gjort Sune till vinnare i vår tävling om vilken Volvo 140 som rullat längst.
Anyone care to translate? I assume he drove over 74,000 miles in 7 years? Was that a feat of derring-do in the late 70s? Ten thousand miles a year is an average commute these days. Regardless, that’s one proud Swede.
About: I found a trove of scanned Volvo brochures and miscellany on a server from Sweden a while back and will be trickling the best images out over time. They’re collected under the category “Marketing a Tank“.
videogum has a greatest-hits post featuring the 5 worst parallel parking disasters. Gabe has thankfully curated his list to only include videos that don’t have misogynistic, women-can’t-drive diatribes.
Volvo For Life
A 1974 244 runs into a wall at 45 MPH and all the impact is absorbed by the front end, with the passenger compartment barely affected. Nice.
Sunday’s NY Times article “The Last of the Power Rangers” predicts the eventual disappearance of the 500+ horsepower luxury sedan. Now that Obama has unveiled new fuel economy standards of 35.5 MPG by 2016, the extinction seems inevitable.
It got me thinking again about the way we consider fuel economy in MPG vs. GPM. The article states that the thirstiest performance sedan is the 2009 Cadilac CTS-V, coming in at 11 MPG. If you look the cars gallons-per-mile, you see it burns 909 gallons of fuel for 10,000 miles of driving. With this perspective, you can see how truly bad low fuel economy vehicles are, and how the MPG standard hides the truth about how much fuel these cars burn.
I thought the idea of giving vouchers to people for turning in their used cars had died. Looks like it’s back for the attack.
Other People's Bricks
iPD has a nice profile on their in-house graphic designer and his Volvo collection. He’s got the following:
- 1970 140 (above, left)
- 1969 140
- 1967 122
- 1990 240
- 1971 140
- 1970 140 (above, right, recently sold)
He’s another brick lover who has swedish autos following him home.
Since your boyfriend’s Hummer isn’t going off-road anyway, why not fit it with wooden wheels?
Via Cars and Motors
Other People's Bricks
Pretty sweet video of some bricks racing in Germany. But can you stand the German techno? Tragedy at 1:50.
The pickings haven’t been too bad at the Pick-n-Pull I frequent on the east coast. I’ve managed to find mint tail lamps, a clean grill and the holy grail of 240 parts; intact door pockets. Most of the junked 240s I see are over 20 years old, so I hope we still have a few more years of parts to pick.
Jalopnik has a theory for the proliferation of junked bricks on the west coast:
Berkeley and its nearby East Bay cities… have long been inhabited by legions of folks who swear the Volvo 200 series was the Best Car Ever Made… that is, until the Prius arrived. Once a bulletproof hybrid Toyota enters the stable, paying Sven the Volvo Mechanic $1,800 every six months to fix a car that gets 18 MPG no longer seems like the bargain it once was… and thus begins the long tow-truck ride to the junkyards of Oakland and Hayward.
Thus begins their tragic photo essay of 240s decaying in the California sun.