Classic vs modern traffic
This Saturday morning it is quite busy on the A12, when I make my way to Rosmalen for the annual Volvo Classic Parts Exchange of the Dutch Volvo Classic Club. The weather is dry and sunny and I ease the Volvo along the high road at 100 to 110 km/h. It always surprises me how often I have to brake, hold back or shift lanes when driving at this speed.
Modern traffic circulating at the third lane of the four lanes wide A12 at speeds of just 90 km/h. Sunday cruising on a Saturday. At Bodegraven a Dacia enters the motorway at just 70 km/h. Prejudiced I expect an elderly lady or gentlemen behind the wheel. It happens to be a young dad with wife and children. Once again I conclude that most classics are fine in modern traffic.
When I arrive in Rosmalen and park my Volvo in the right spot between its peers, I’m surprised to see al kinds of gentlemen and a single lady carrying scavenging loot to their cars. A parts exchange like this is the ideal chance to search for that one missing part for your classic Volvo.
A knob for the window winder, a set of doors to replace the crunchy ones on your car. It all starts with scavenging through the sheer endless piles of parts and always ends with that happy smile when you realise the problem solved with the outcome of your search.
It’s stubborn prejudice to think old bangers are being driven by old men. Especially the more expensive brands seem to have that problem. With Volvo’s you see more and more young people driving the older models. Sometimes because dad drives one and took them to events at a young age, sometimes because a friend has one with great enhousiasm.
I talked to this couple, she drives a 480 ES, he settled for a 440. They are here with members of the youngsters division of the Volvo club, yes, that does exist. They have their own events, crawl under cars together for some light repairs. Help themselves. Together.
This young man from Belgium, restoring a Volvo 360 GLS. Proud of the new bootlid on his car. Originally from another GLS. Handpainted, we are talking about a tight budget. Young people have their very own ways of funding going on holiday with their classic Volvo. They simply crowd fund at their parked car. Just ask for a gift of buy one of their cables.
Product development after the production fase.
Volvo used to make air filter housings where replacing the filter cartridge really wasn’t a piece of cake. The seem had to be bent back to remove the lid. This bending back went ok for 2 or 3 times, after which the whole thing just snapped. Smart asses introduced filter housings with clamps. Now you can simply buy them wat the Volvo Classics Club.
Volvo drivers are left wing.
Sometimes you notice one of these prejudice conforming stickers on the back of a Volvo. In the USA it’s mostly the ‘liberals’, as the republicans use to call them, who drive ‘these’ European cars. Especially Volvo and Saab. It’s horrible. For now the car choice of the ‘lefties’ is all ship shape
Rust devoures everything, even Volvo’s.
Now I would like to convince anyone Volvo’s are indestructible, but I do have to admit that isn’t strictly true. They do rust, maybe not as bad as some French or Italian product of the same era, but still. So rust protection is for sale for Volvo people as well. Some cars clearly show it’s badly needed too.
Yellow stickers in the parking lot.
Is it some kind of inferiority complex? Is it true Volvo-drivers want to compare their sturdy B18 or B20 engined cubic Swedish quality product with Italian pedigree? More and more Volvo’s are equipped with the subtile emblem of the staggering Elk. We can all see the link to Ferrari’s prancing horse.
Text en photos: Robbert Moree