The Last Real Volvo


My first car was a 1969 Volvo 142. I got it with a bad engine, and about 200k on the clock. I threw in another engine and ran it till it hit 300k. I drove it for 5 years. I unofficially wrecked it twice, drove it at insane speeds on every dirt road between Pioneer Town and Indio CA. It was almost the most reliable car I ever drove. Not because it didn’t break down, any car under that abuse would.   But, when it did, there was still some way to get it home. 5 years in that 142, as well as nearly 17 years growing up in my mom’s 1971 robin egg blue 145, stuck me on Volvos for the next 5 cars I wore out. My last Volvo was a 1985 244.

To this day, I tell people my dream car is a 1994 Volvo 940 turbo wagon. That is the last real Volvo. I still work on Volvo cars, but not with the same respect. I recognize elements from their parent company Ford in every one I work on now, and for those of you who hate fords like I do, that is not a respectable recognition. (gee, that fan motor looks like the same one thats in that Lincoln…. why are they using coarse thread and shallow taper on a ball joint? The previous 60 year old bullet proof design not good enough?) the hardest job on a real Volvo can be done with a small toolbox under a tree. Ive had customers on adventures in their p1800s talk about changing head-gaskets on the side of the freeway. Just about any job on a new Volvo takes most of a day and a full array of special tools. It all started with the 850 transmission-over-the-frame tool. One wrong move, thousands of dollars. Why did they make a 1 bolt timing belt cover, but make it so you have to pull EVERYTHING off the front of the engine to get the crappy plastic frame off to get the water pump out of an S80. Reminds me of the Aerostar van or the 80s Taurus 3.0. yeelch.

This month so far, our shop has seen 3 newer Volvos.  2 of them have throttle module issues, the third needed 2 days and 1600 bucks to change an intermittent compressor clutch and a radiator.   I used to hate Ford. Now the company has bred a whole fleet of cars to hate. I’d almost rather own a Passat.

One Response to “The Last Real Volvo”

  1. Fix Or Repair Daily , Found On Road Dead, Ford is not only a poor excuse for a car, the parts system is equally confusing and confused.


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