Orlando’s Obsession: Vuluptuous Volvos

Dear Car Enthusiasts,

Let me just start this post by saying one thing. I am not a car enthusiast. I don’t know that much about cars. Not that I don’t love car design and pretty cars, but I have, like, 450,000 other hobbies and so there’s just no more room in my heart for another one. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about cars at all though. In fact, one time I nearly ended a friendship over a disagreement about cars. This was in high school, obviously. We had nothing better to fret about. Apparently (I don’t actually remember this argument), my friend Caitlin and I didn’t talk to eachother for a month because she and I were having a heated debate re: Subaru v. Volvo. I was pro-Volvo, obvz, and she was pr0-Subaru. I don’t remember what the arguments were but I’m sure mine had something to do with liking squares. I don’t quite know why I’m boring you with this story except to make the point that I have loved Volvos for a long ass time. In fact, the 2008 film I Have Loved You So Long is rumored to be about my relationship with my current Volvo station wagon. I don’t know what I like about Volvos (rectangles). Or why I’m so attracted to their rectangular shape (I have a rectangular head), but if I could have any car on earth, it would be a Volvo.

Here are some Volvo station wagons from through the years. I do like some of the older sedans and that snazzy little sports car they reintroduced, but for brevity’s sake I’m sticking to station wagons here.

This 1950s station wagon is adorable. I’d love to have one but I’m sure they explode if you try to drive them anywhere. Old Volvos really aren’t good for anything except ogling.

I’m into this fall color. Mainly because it’s fall right now. As evidenced by daylight savings and how at 2 PM today a darkness came over the sky, making it appear to be midnight. I HATE YOU DAYLIGHT SAVINGS. SO MUCH! Oh sorry, I diverged. But really. It feels like 2 AM right now and it’s 9 PM. How am I going to make it through this winter?

And who could forget the star of Beetlejuice? This lovely yellow 1977 Volvo:

Oh, you forgot that car? Well here it is in action:

Now, this is probably the most important Volvo on here. It’s my first car. A 1982 240 Wagon. As you may or may not know, I was also born in 1982 so I felt a certain kinship with my 16 year old car when I got it. Unlike my car, however, I didn’t start on fire every time someone asked me to go up a hill and I didn’t demand to be fixed every month for, like, thousands of dollars. All that being said, I loved my car. It was a lovely gold color and had *automatic* locks. Glamour.

Don’t you want to live in this photograph? Just driving around in a field full of Volvos and hot air balloons, thinking about how Swedish everything is.

I like this peacock color. I’d totally drive this car today.

Wood siding? Why not!?!

I’m just including this because it’s a sexy shot. It reminds me of my drive to high school (on a mountain road that looks just like this).

Why is there a man in a George Washington costume standing next to a host from Oktoberfest?!? I have no idea but I want to hang out with them.

This is despicable/genius. And I totally want to drive it around LA as a joke.

In the 1990s Volvos got all Back to the Future. I’m kind of digging how sharp and boxy this one is though.

This is the Volvo I have now. It’s not quite as retro-cool as the old one I had in high school, but it also doesn’t start on fire when I go uphill. You win some, you lose some. I’m actually kind of embarrassed at how much I like my car. I feel excited and lucky every time I get into it. Because I live in LA, most of my friends drive fancy new cars. Thus, my 12 year old station wagon strikes everyone as pretty lame and no one ever wants me to drive anywhere because they don’t want to be seen in my nerd car. But it’s pretty luxurious inside AND it has seat heaters. I’m going to drive it until it’s not safe to drive anymore. And then I’ll probably drive it for three additional years.

This is what the new station wagons look like. They’re pretty cool and glam, but they cost like $500,000. Not really. But for now my 12 year old Cross Country is still my lover. And until I kill my lover, I’m not going to think about finding another, younger lover as a replacement. That was super weird and disturbing. I’m sorry.

I hope you have enjoyed this aimless drive down Volvo lane. I’m pretty sure I did!

Love,
Orlando

8 Comments

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8 Responses to Orlando’s Obsession: Vuluptuous Volvos

  1. It’s like you crawled inside my brain. I LOVE Volvos. The boxier the better. So square, so much room. My 2nd car was an 85 Volvo Sedan. It had SO many awesome features; Heated Leather Seats! Manual sunroof! James Bond knobs and levers! A glove compartment you could put a mailbox in! I wrecked it badly once and it protected my passenger and I that we walked away with no injuries.

    Sadly, it also got to a point where I could no longer afford to keep it up. I still think about it though and wonder if I could track it down.

    Any fellow Volvo lovers must see this video and listen to the song:

  2. donald

    I love my ’94 850 so much I get misty eyed when I think about having to replace it.

  3. Once upon a time your sister-in-law and I changed the battery in her ancient Volvo of death and we scratched ourselves, cracked a beer and had a smoke afterward.

  4. Cait

    I think Scandinavian station wagons are totally underrated! As I learned in high school, station wagons may not look sexy, but they are way better for car make-out sessions than little sports cars.

  5. Andrea

    I have loved Volvo’s forever and, similarly, no one understands. My dream car is a 1970’s volvo sedan in a lovely avocado green. Urgh, I love it so much it hurts. Though I may reconsider the station wagon because that wood paneling is just so friggin’ hawt!

  6. Aunt Diane

    Got my first Volvo Station wagon when Will was 5 – with a third row of seats that face backward! How cool is that! The boys used to fight over who would get to sit back there and wave and make faces at the other cars.. 🙂

  7. Kay

    I have a semi-boxy silver Volvo wagon, and its name is the Successmobile. I think it has panache. Or I have panache while driving it.

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