Other People’s Bricks | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

Keeping a '92 Volvo 240 Wagon on the Road & Other Automotive & DIY Musings

Buy This Brick

A dramatic advertisement for a used 1993 Volvo 240 wagon. Sweet, it has plastic gills with triple backdraft.

BONUS: The Swedish version


Those Crazy Volvo Drivers

enhanced-26640-1399922577-12Buzzfeed has a list of 50 Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use and at number 32 we have this puppy lumberjack leaning against his trusty brick. Click to see the image an its full, watermarked glory.


Mustang Brick

It’s the 50th anniversary of the debut of the Ford Mustang so it’s the perfect day for a Volvo post, right? How could I possibly relate the sporty American icon to Swedish iron? Well, look at the picture above. Does that roof line look familiar?

Ford didn’t manufacture a Mustang station wagon so MJC Classic Cars made one by fusing a 1966 mustang body with a roof and hatch from a Volvo 240DL. Hitch it all up to a 518 cubic inch mill and getting your Söderhamn sofa home from Ikea will happen in about 11.3 seconds.


Scrapped Bricks

I’ve been making a semi annual trek to a wrecking yard pick-n-pull near Quantico Virginia ever since I got my car, with occasional success. This year, however, there was limited rewards for my travels. Actually, there were no rewards. For the first time there were no 200 series Volvos to be found in the European division of their automotive graveyard. There were a couple S70s and one 940, but everything else was of German origin: Mercedes, BMW, Audi and VW.

So I was amused to see this post on Auto Week describing the large numbers of 240s limping through San Fransisco junk yards. I suppose there were just more of these cars purchased in the Bay area than around the DC Beltway. Or perhaps they just lasted longer out in California. Either way, I wish I could have been picking parts out of all those California bricks during Thanksgiving instead of standing in the mud in Virginia looking at an empty, rusted landscape.

BONUS: Here’s a picture I drew while visiting the scrap yard a few years back.


Slow, Heavy, Practical, Timeless

A reader in Nashville wrote an epic post about the Volvo 240 and the role it’s had in his life. Here’s a choice quote:

What exactly does the Volvo 240 project, though? Does it mean I had middle class, safety conscious parents with liberal arts degrees? That I’m a vegan with a beard and tattoos and live in Brooklyn? Maybe it just means I’m a cheap bastard and like old, slow, heavy tank-like bricks that are built to last?


1975 Volvo 242 barely stays on the road

Here’s some serious hoonage for your Monday. The guy driving this 540 hp turbo 242 has to struggle to keep it on the road every time he hits the gas. Maybe he should just keep it on the track?


Volvo on Fire in Michigan

This sweet white 240 caught fire this week in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A passerby alerted the driver that her car was on fire and she was able to get away safely.

Acting Ann Arbor fire Battalion Chief Derek Wiseley said the fire likely started in the engine compartment underneath the car.

“It appears to be mechanical,” he said.

Photo by Norman Tyler


Letterman’s Volvo 960 with Ford V8

Jerry Seinfeld takes David Letterman’s Paul Newman Volvo 960 for a drive on his show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Seinfeld tears up a supermarket parking lot, spraying soccer balls and popcorn across the asphalt.

In 1997 Newman commissioned Converse Engineering to shove a Ford 5.0 engine into a brand new Volvo 960 wagon. He then called Letterman and asked if he wanted one.

“Dave, I’m thinking of getting me a Volvo station wagon, and I’m gonna stuff a Ford 302 V8 engine into it. Do you want one?”

Letterman said yes, then Newman called back 2 weeks later:

“Dave, the cars are ready. We got two, on for me, one for you. I’ve got to ask you a question. Do you want a puffer?”

I’m thinking, well, is that like a special inflatable seat? And I said, “Well Paul, are you getting a puffer on yours?”

And Paul says, “Yeah, yeah, I’m getting a puffer on mine. It’s a supercharger. This thing will turn about 400 horsepower, so if you pop the clutch you’re gonna tear up the rear end. I tell ya, from 20 to a hundred you can chew anybody’s ass.”

Letterman seems to regard the car as more of a burden than a pleasure. Throughout the video he complains about it breaking down. He’d prefer to drive his Nissan Leaf.


The 216,683 mile odometer gear

Made in Sweden” is a set of photos documenting one owners fleet of Volvos. Lots of pretty pictures of parts.


Volvo 240 Wagon Burns Out

Is that tire smoke… or burning oil?