After years of worrying about ‘bloody Volvo drivers’ as a motorcyclist in the UK, I have become one. If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s simply that drivers of the Swedish car marque were thought of as the motorcyclists’ nemesis and that they were oblivious to every other road user. That term was so widely accepted into the vernacular that Volvo even ended up using it in its own ads.
My commute to work has grown to 750km a week and the 30-year-old Toyota Century V8 I own, luxurious as it might be, is not economical for this task in terms of fuel use and wear and tear on very hard to find parts. I could have sourced a small hatchback, with half the cylinders of the flagship Tojo and a fuel budget akin to the means of the chauffeur that would have steered the car in its home market of Japan, but I didn’t. I am not that sensible when it comes to automotive purchases, and while pitched at being the epitome of automotive sensibleness, a Volvo with a couple of hundred thousand kays on it might not be a sound economical example.
Anyway, after driving 2005-2007 examples with mileage between 135k and 280k, I ended up with one with 195k under its wheels. I’d actually made my mind up on another version with slightly less kilometres and in great condition, but the seller became a bit aggressive when a $495 haggle was suggested. I walked away. It’s still for sale.
I pondered the now widening holes in his story and convinced myself I had dodged a bullet. That same bullet hit its target when I paid the same amount of money for a model with a few holes in the car, not the story.
Ah, going shopping without a grown-up, and with cash that’d been burning a hole in my pocket for too long. In my defence I did haggle $1100 off the asking price and it had a year’s rego too.
Still, there’s a project in the offing! I have a few ideas for the Volvo XC70. As a mobile office and lightweight towing tourer it should handle the job well. While I have neither the intention nor the budget to go as wild as the IPD USA concept pictured left, I do see lights, racks, some solar and power-supply goodies and a coat of olive drab paint or a Raptor Coating for the body and some anti-scratch matte black for the lower sections.
Maybe a cammo paint job? Should be hard to call me a bloody Volvo driver if you can’t see me!