Smooth as butter
Smooth as butterA young bloke earning his living in the classic car scene, what kinda car would fit to that? Mark Reus is selling his classic car insurance business from behind the wheel of a Volvo 850 T-5R.

Introducing the 850 is Volvo’s attempt to shake of its oldmenincorduroytrousers-image in the early nineties. The indestructible and unmistakable boxy models of the make receive a competitor within its own ranks with the, for a Volvo, subtile lines of the youngster. For the outside world this is still without a doubt the silhouet of a Volvo, for the certified clientele of the Swedish brand it is something of a culture shock. In this class Volvo’s used to be straight forward work horses with an engine lengthwise up front and rear wheel drive. The 850 begs to differ, this is a truly modern car with a nicely burbling transversely mounted five cilinder propelling, for the first time in a big Volvo, the front wheels.

 

Smooth as butter

Smooth as butter

Smooth as butter

Volvo is shaking of the cobwebs and clearly aims for a younger audience. Of course, Volvo wouldn’t be Volvo without introducing a whopping large and very usable stationwagon of the 850 model, but the dice are cast. The new Swede is smoother, rounder than we are used to up till now. The silhouet is still that of the typically boxy Volvo, but designer Jan Wilsgaard manages to bring back the Cw-value of the stationwagon to a staggering low figure of 0.29. The all new five cilinder engines are powerful and creamy smooth and are characterised by a deep grunt. The T-5 is on top of the list with 225 BHP, until Volvo decides to surprise the world by taking on the British Touringcar Championship in 1994. Their weapon of choice, the 850… stationwagon. It’s easy to joke about flying bricks, the thing is that Volvo’s racing adventure just asks for a follow up in the catalogues. For the next model year the T5-R is leading the ranks. 240 BHP, 330 Nm of torque and some subtile aerodynamic add-ons turn the fast Volvo into a true ‘sleeper’. At least it would have, if Volvo hadn’t decided to sell their sporty yearling exclusively in Cream Yellow… Anyone who encounters on one of these pudding yellow Volvo’s at any give traffic light in the nineties just knows he’s gonna get his moneys worth in a drag race.

 

Smooth as butter

Smooth as butter

Smooth as butter

Smooth as butter

It might very well be this distinct colour that persuaded Mark Reus into choosing this particular Volvo. In his livelihood of selling classic car insurance he gets in touch with the most impressive range of different classics on a daily basis, still these strikingly yellow Volvo’s are what truly tickle his fancy. The thing is, Mark simply does not want a stationwagon, his heart belongs to the saloon version of the T-5R, which is kinda rare in his home country. Lucky for Mark, the Swedes themselves prefer saloon versions over a station wagon any day, that’s why the adventure for Mark and his Volvo starts back in Sweden. Literally, with a single flight to Stockholm and an adventurous ride home to the Netherlands. In the past two years Mark’s 850 has steadily become better and prettier, which doesn’t mean the car is being treated like a trailer queen, after all this is a Volvo that needs to work for a living. A reliable daily, a young timer that seamlessly fits to the childhood memories of its owner. And isn’t that where classic car enthousiasm started for most of us, in our youth?
Marc GF Zaan

Smooth as butter