Tuesday, 13 April 2010

My First Car

Amy was asking people about their first car, and I said that mine was the above - the wonderful Volvo 122s.

It had the most efficient engine of it's time, a 4 cylinder, 1800 cc, long stroke, non-alloy block, and it went like a rocket. I took the engine entirely to pieces over about two weeks of days and nights, reconditioned it, put it back together again and - to my amazement - it started first time and ticked over nicely whilst all the blue smoke from the protective oil coatings wafted up from the bonnet as the engined heated up. Isn't it strange how engines still seem to work properly, even though you are always left with about a dozen nuts and bolts having reassembled them? It is a bit like the way someone goes around sprinkling chopped carrot on top of vomit in the streets on saturday nights.

These days, I have an 850 auto estate and a pet mechanic who has been working on Volvos for about 30 years. The current models have at least 2 computorised management systems which you need a lap-top and about £2000 worth of software to access, so I wouldn't be doing my own repairs now, even if I wanted to.

Volvo have just been bought (from Ford) by China, and the cash-for-scrappage scheme is being taken up by more and more buyers here in the UK, so I wonder how long I will be able to buy a hell of a lot of reliable, Swedish car for about £1500.


  1. So, you're a sucker for a Swedish beauty too!

  2. You're so sly Tom, dammitt. Sigh.

    How fast do posh cars go?

  3. Mine was a clapped-out Swedish beauty, Cro - I'm sure yours wasn't/isn't!

    Sly? Why? (sigh)

  4. I'm glad you like cars, and Volvos are very cool. British cars always look so different to me though. My eyes aren't used to that body type.

  5. Volvo - for years - modeled their cars on American trends, but a bit smaller. I think they sort of stopped doing that after the 700 series, which were based on the 80's, boxy look of big American cars. These days, there are all those tiny Chevrolets, and everything seems to be based on Japanese designs, now that petrol prices have risen so much. In Britain, petrol is now £1.20 GBP a gallon - you think your petrol is expensive!

    When we made the little Mini in the 60's, British Ford were making small cars with 1950's fins on them, like the Anglia and the bigger Zodiac - really bad cars. Everyone here seems to drive huge 4 wheel drives by Audi, Porsche and Nissan.