On the surface, Volvos appear to be unattractive, squarish slow cars driven by suburban yuppies. On the surface they hardly seem like a car worth getting excited about. "But they're so safe..." While I appreciate the safety factor, it is far from the only reason I drive Volvos.
There is a man, Irv Gordon, living on Long Island, who bought a Volvo 1800S coupe new in 1966. He has over 1,800,000 miles on the odometer!!! This car was the first car to make it over 1,000,000 miles on the same engine! He is a school teacher, and he spends all summer driving across the country.
Why are Volvos so dependable? Well, for one thing, they are made out of REAL steel instead of plastic. The bodies and the engine blocks are designed for Scandinavian weather. The winters in Sweden feature 30 degreesF below temperatures. Back in the 1960's, 80% of all roads in Sweden were unpaved! Volvos are heavy. My '83 wagon weighs 3300 pounds empty. My '69 coupe - which to the naked eye looks like a small car, weighs 2500 pounds empty! There's a lot of steel in those cars!
Another factor that leads to durability is quality of design and construction. In 1956, Dr. Gunnar Engellau took over the leadership of Volvo AB in Sweden. His background was in airplane manufacturing with the company, Flygmotor. This man set very high standards of quality for Volvo's car models.Supposedly the bearings for the various shafts in a Volvo engine are precisely machined and balanced for each engine individually. These engines are designed not to wear out.
This was the biggest factor for me in deciding to buy Volvos. They are just so rugged and durable. I was tired of the idea that cars are designed to be disposable. Look at this picture for an idea of the strength of a Volvo.
Since it was "Built for Swedes", my 1800 coupe has an ample amount of leg room. I have a few tall friends who were suprised with the comfort of such a small car. And this car too was built for the long drive. I have read several reviews of the 1800 in car magazines from when it was new, and one comment that crops up over and over is that it feels like the driver could ride forever in this car at top speed. It's a true Touring Car.
The 245 isn't exactly a sports car, but our's has got 4 on the floor with electronic overdrive, and it's not hard to squeeze a little zip out of it.
My newly acquired Flathood Turbo definately destroys the stigma of slowness. It's a real sleeper, looking like a boring box-mobile.
oh yeh (almost forgot..), there's:
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