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Man of A Thousand Autos - Part 0 - Toast To The Volvo

Illustration for article titled Man of A Thousand Autos - Part 0 - emToast To The Volvo/em

I’ve decided to chronicle my personal car history, so that my future grandchildren will have something boring to read to help them fall asleep at night. Will children read in the future, or will they download and ingest? “Grandad’s cars had gasoline engines? WEIRD.”


This post is Part 0? I figured I’d number them in order of cars that were my daily drivers that belonged to me. I didn’t own this car, so Part 0 it is.

This was the car I learned to drive on. It was my parents’ 1977 Volvo 244DL. It was BLAZINGLY fast being a 4 cylinder with automatic transmission, and weighing roughly 3 tonnes, or the same weight as an early American tank. Come to think of it, it was very tank like in appearance, acceleration, and safety in the event of catastrophic accident. Collision between Volvo and tank means tank driver walks away with slight neck pain. My Dad swore by Volvos and their safety, and owned several over the years.


On my birthday in 1985, I got my learners license, and exactly 30 days later I aced my road test and had my full drivers license. Suck it new kids with your graduated licencing!

Volvo and I had some adventures, but not as many as I would have liked, given that it was my mom’s’ primary mode of transportation. I did have my first french kiss in this car, with a wild and pretty girl. Freaked the crap out of me. Hey don’t judge - I was a computer / music department / drama geek at that age. We didn’t date long at all after that. I guess I was old fashioned. Fear of tongues? Or maybe just prematurely old.


Virtually any car you drive with an automatic will do NOTHING when the car is moving at a good speed and you decide to put it into Park. Not this Volvo. It had a penchant for stalling, and without realizing that I could start the car in neutral while coasting, I decided to try and restart the car while coasting at a good clip downhill by putting it in Park. Stop judging me. I was young, and we all make mistakes. However, this transmission was apparently built very well, and simply answered the call by shifting squarely into Park and locking up the back wheels. Oh fun! Once the car screeched to a halt, I realized my error, started the car, and continued on my way.

It was solid, dependable, and kept me safe. Raise your glass to Volvo!

View From The North is written by Shawn T. Greek, located in the Great White North of Salmon Arm, BC. That’s in Canada, eh! “Silly” is my default setting.

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