Brick | My Black Brick

My Black Brick

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

The Diesel Decision: A Short Story

Beardy McBrick was traveling to the annual hacky sack festival with his buds when he came upon the most dreaded of obstacles: a hill. He warned his friends it would be a long, hard slog in his diesel 245 and that they should just relax. “Bummer,” his buddy Phil said. “At least we have a good way to pass the time,” Phil chuckled as he handed around his packed chillum.

An hour later they’d past the half-way mark when something blue flashed in McBrick’s smog-coated side-view mirror. It was a car; a diesel in fact. But this was no ancient Benz or Volvo. It was a BMW, and it was coming up fast. “Maybe you should slow down and let him pass,” his girlfriend, Sunflower, suggested. And he did. They looked in awe as the strange rocket car passed by with nary a puff of smoke. Phil stared with mouth agape as the blue streak sped over the apex and out of sight. “Damn, McBrick!” he exclaimed, “you shoulda’ bought that car instead of taking this donation from your English professor.”

“Yeah…” McBrick thought, as he looked with dread at the climb ahead, “then these damn hills wouldn’t be such a drag.” The wagons’s exhaust belched a dark cloud and woke McBrick from his day-dream. “Hey Phil!” he shouted good-naturedly, “quit bogarting and share the love!” They all laughed. McBrick flipped his cassette of Shakedown Street and settled in for the rest of the hill.

– Inspired by “Changes”, an ad for diesel engined BMWs.


Lego Brick Brick

Is this a kit that’s available?


Beater Review: The 240 Series

This column from Beater Review in 2007 contains my favorite description of the Volvo 240:

Ask any child to draw “a car,” and chances are you’ll get an uncanny representation of the Volvo 240.

The review is pretty good, as it covers the known issues of failing electrical parts (apparently made from eco-friendly bio-degradable materials) and the heater blower. Good comment below the article also.

On doing a Google search for “beater brick” to find the above image, I saw I have the dubious distinction of being in slots #1 and #2 for that term. Here’s hoping I can nail a three-peat with this post.

Image via Andrew on Flickr


Buy Paving Stones

I just added Google Ad Sense to the site and am amused that it’s pulling up a bunch of ads for paving stones because of the word “brick”.


Drunken Brick


This is what happens when you feed your Volvo too much moonshine. @$!*!


10 Things I Hate About You

10things_240_interiorABC Family has a new show based on the 1999 movie “10 Things I Hate About You” and from the promo it looks like a Volvo 240 is once again used as a prop to symbolize  and extend the personality of one of the main characters. The driver is Kat Stratford, played by actress Lindsey Shaw. From the character description on the ABC site:

A feminist with a razor-sharp tongue, Kat possesses a strong sense of self and a keen scorn for the trappings of high school. She does have a softer side under that tough exterior, though — a fact she keeps closely guarded.

The 240 matches perfectly, as it’s the complete opposite of the trendy new vehicles the other kids in the school drive. You’ve got to have a “strong sense of self” to be seen in this tank-on-wheels. She even uses it as a weapon, getting into a battle over a spot in the school parking lot.


The characters play chicken over a parking space until Kat’s rival calls her car a dinosaur. Kat then nonchalantly rams into the front of her opponent’s  Mini-Cooper, tearing off the bumper and sliding into the spot. She strides out and says “My dinosaur wanted to Jurrasic park, here.” Oh snap! Groan…

While the car may look out of place, old and insignificant, Kat uses it as a source of power and violence, establishing herself as someone who is unafraid to use brute force to get her way, regardless of the consequences to her reputation.

From the sound of the audio track, Kat is packing V8 power under the hood of her Swedish iron. The sound emerging from under the hood as she slides into the space doesn’t match any brick I’ve heard.