Pirelli Sottozero Series II Winter Tire Qualms - Better options!?
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    1. #1
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      Pirelli Sottozero Series II Winter Tire Qualms - Better options!?

      Living in the Northwestern part of Pennsylvania, I like to think I'm a seasoned winter driver and having nearly 200 inches of snowfall last year, I'm relying on a great set of snow tires for my 100 mile daily commute.
      So, I picked up a set of fairly new ( was told used one season if I remember correct ) 235/40R19 Pirelli Sottozero Series II Winter Tire from a fellow forum member over the summer to run this year mounted on 19" XC40 wheels.

      Last night, we had our first bigger snow fall, a mere 9-10" in my area and I have to say, these Pirelli's completely suck. With roads semi-cleared and driving through only a little bit of the white stuff, I was tracking back and forth, sliding from a stop under barely any gas and felt like I was gliding over the snow the entire time. I haven't felt this unsure about driving a vehicle in a long time.. heck, last year, I ran the stock Pirelli All Seasons and they did better than these snows feel. Now I do need to measure the tread depth to see exactly how used they are but they feel, with my finger tips, like there's quite a bit of life left in them.. I mean they look great too.

      So, what I'm wondering is, what is everyone else using. 235/40R19 doesn't leave a lot of options for tires it seems but I'd like to hear some feedback and suggestions. I've previously ran multiple sets of Firestone Winterforces, the older Hankook Winter I-Pikes and Blizzaks on older vehicles and have always liked them.

      Help!
      2015.5 V60 R Design Platinum w/ Polestar Tune
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      Summer:
      245/40R19 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
      19" Ixion IIs
      Winter:
      235/40R19 Pirelli Sottozero Series II
      19" XC40 31445813 5 Spokes

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    3. #2
      Member Veefifty T5AWD's Avatar
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      I run 245/40/19 Michelin X-Ice on my S60 and the same on the S40. We love them - quiet, smooth and good in the snow. Amazing, no, but I'm sold on them for life and we live in snowy NH!
      Logan

      2015 S60 T6 AWD R-Design Polestar
      2008 S40 2.4i - hers

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      2013 C30 Polestar Limited Edition #87/250 | 2005 V50 T5 AWD | 1995 Yellow 850 T5-R

    4. #3
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      Here's my most recent experience with snow tires (don't know if it would apply to you since I have 17" rims, and I don't know if either model is available in your size):

      I originally bought a set of Falken EuroWinter HS449 for my V60 in 2015, attracted by its good ratings on dry pavement, decent ratings in snow, and low price. Big mistake -- hated them! First time in snow, when they were still new, while driving in a straight line I found myself sliding toward the curb because the crown of the road was sufficient for them to break traction. ABS and traction control kicked in early and often in the snow. Last year, when they were approaching but not yet into the snow tire wear bars (about 6/32") they could barely get me up the short hill into my neighborhood in three inches of snow. Plus, they were really loud. Couldn't get rid of them fast enough.

      Replaced them with a set of Hankook Winter i*cept iZ2 tires. As a functional snow tire, couldn't be happier. Took it out in the snow after getting rid of the Falkens. On the same hill in similar conditions that a few weeks earlier had almost defeated the Falkens, I was able to come to a complete stop and get going again without any wheelspin. Absolute night and day difference in the snow. Plus they are quiet -- not quite as quiet as my summer tires, but they only emit a slight hum. All of this said, they are aggressive snow tires and you'll pay a price in dry weather handling, but that's the price for good snow traction.

      Hope this helps!

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    6. #4
      Junior Member Major Error's Avatar
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      I have a set of Continental Extreme Winter Contact on the car now, and I had 2 different generations of Nokian Hakkapelliitta winter tires on the previous car.
      Compared to the Nokians, the Contis are giant, adequate marshmallows. The only real knock against Nokian is the difficulty in getting a set.

      https://www.nokiantires.com/where-to...ealer-locator/
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    7. #5
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      Having read comments from this forum about winter tires and rim size I followed the advice of many others and bought 18” rims and had Michelin Xice snow tires installed on my S60 R Design.
      This provided more tire choices than my stock 19” rims. We have not seen any snow yet so I can’t comment on their snow performance yet.


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    8. #6
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      Michelin X-Ice on 235/40/18 on my S60. Overall solid tire in the snow and ice. Hydroplanes easy in the rain, above 45 its a marshmallow.
      1998 Volvo C70 - Mystic Silver/Charcoal, Stage III
      2007 Volvo S60r - Electric Silver/Nordkap - SOLD, and Missed.
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    9. #7
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JasonV60RD View Post
      Last night, we had our first bigger snow fall, a mere 9-10" in my area and I have to say, these Pirelli's completely suck. With roads semi-cleared and driving through only a little bit of the white stuff, I was tracking back and forth, sliding from a stop under barely any gas and felt like I was gliding over the snow the entire time. I haven't felt this unsure about driving a vehicle in a long time.. heck, last year, I ran the stock Pirelli All Seasons and they did better than these snows feel. Now I do need to measure the tread depth to see exactly how used they are but they feel, with my finger tips, like there's quite a bit of life left in them.. I mean they look great too.
      You probably need a tire with a more aggressive tread pattern for the stuff you are dealing with - there are significant differences in winter tire tread patterns or maybe your tires are too far gone at this point. Some winter tires are more highway type of tires like these Series ll and some have larger tread blocks (?) for getting a better grip on snow. I have these exact tires (type, size) on my car and they work fine for me but we don't get as much snow as you do. The Sottozero 3 look like a more aggressive tread pattern. I just put a set of Viking Contact 7's on the XC60 and they work very well and I've always had great luck with General Altimax Arctic for an affordably priced option - I just don't know if they come in the right size for your application.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
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    10. #8
      Member msmith's Avatar
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      I've been running Michelin X-Ice for years on all our cars. Love them. I would suggest a higher profile narrower winter setup. A friend who runs a local tire shop suggested that a narrower tire has better front/back traction compared to a wider lower profile for summer tires. You don't want to the left/right grip of a summer tire, rather a better bite on braking and starting.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by msmith View Post
      I've been running Michelin X-Ice for years on all our cars. Love them. I would suggest a higher profile narrower winter setup. A friend who runs a local tire shop suggested that a narrower tire has better front/back traction compared to a wider lower profile for summer tires. You don't want to the left/right grip of a summer tire, rather a better bite on braking and starting.
      I definitely agree with you on this - I've thought about maybe selling this set and trying to find something I can run a 205, 215 or 225 profile more so than the 235s. I think the winter wheel/tire package Volvo offers for the Polestars are even 235/40R19 which kind of surprises me. You want to run a narrower tire in the snow to cut through it.
      2015.5 V60 R Design Platinum w/ Polestar Tune
      Elevate Rear Sway Bar
      Powerflex Race Torque Rod Inserts
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      Summer:
      245/40R19 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
      19" Ixion IIs
      Winter:
      235/40R19 Pirelli Sottozero Series II
      19" XC40 31445813 5 Spokes

    12. #10
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      Yeah, wide tyres don't make sense in snow.

      17" size is 215/50, I use Michelin Alpin 6 which are perfect so far but fairly expensive.

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    13. #11
      Member msmith's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by wertzius View Post
      Yeah, wide tyres don't make sense in snow.

      17" size is 215/50, I use Michelin Alpin 6 which are perfect so far but fairly expensive.

      Gesendet von meinem BBF100-1 mit Tapatalk

      That's the size I run on my winters as well. I use 235/45 for the summers.
      Last edited by msmith; 12-11-2019 at 12:08 PM.
      In the driveway: 2012 S60 T6 AWD | Black/Beechwood | Premium/Climate/Convenience Packages | BLIS | Sunroof | Active Bending Bi-Xenon | iPd Skid Plate | TFT DIM upgrade (mine), ... Former - 2006 S40 2.4i M56
      2009 Acura RDX & 1995 Celica GT Convertible (wife), 2017 GMC Sierra SLE | Elevation Edition | Crew Cab (son)

    14. #12
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      We have 225/60x16 winters which we ran on our V60CC and are now on our XC70. And yes, they *just* fit over the T5's brakes. We like the taller sidewall in winter and it's not easy to feel a handling difference between them and the OE 235/50x18 Pirelli Scorpions. One might say the handling is the same though things happen just a bit sooner on the winter tires.

      For non-CC S60 & V60, a 225/50x17 would also work nicely . . . or, if you happen to have a set of 16" wheels in the shed, the 225/55x16 is also a possibility on T5s.
      Last edited by halfast3; 12-08-2019 at 11:22 AM.
      2016 XC70 2.5L T5 AWD, Platinum, Seashell/black, ipd rear bar, Curt hitch
      Previous Volvos: '16 V60CC, ours; '6? 145 & '7? 245, hers; '68 122S Wagon, his.
      Non-Volvos previously owned: waaay too many to list here.

    15. #13
      Junior Member JML's Avatar
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      Unless there's frequent really deep snow, Michelin Pilot Alpins are superb on my AWD S60 R-D. I've had four sets on two cars. In cold weather with mostly highway driving, they're unbeatable as performance tires, and in cold/wet conditions they're great. I have never had any sliding, slipping, or loss of traction, including 3-4" of snow.
      2013 S60 T6 R-Design Black Sapphire / Climate / Navigation
      IPD Rear Anti-Sway Bar, Front & Rear End-Links, & Skid Plate / Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (summer) / Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 (winter)

    16. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by JML View Post
      Unless there's frequent really deep snow, Michelin Pilot Alpins are superb on my AWD S60 R-D. I've had four sets on two cars. In cold weather with mostly highway driving, they're unbeatable as performance tires, and in cold/wet conditions they're great. I have never had any sliding, slipping, or loss of traction, including 3-4" of snow.
      I'll look into these - As I mentioned, I daily 100 highway miles so getting in deep snow isn't something that happens often unless I'm on I-79 prior to PennDot being out plowing.
      I'm up near Erie, PA by the way, I seen you're south in Pittsburgh!
      2015.5 V60 R Design Platinum w/ Polestar Tune
      Elevate Rear Sway Bar
      Powerflex Race Torque Rod Inserts
      Morimoto XB 5000K HIDs
      Interior LED Swap
      10MM/15MM Spacers
      25% Tint

      Summer:
      245/40R19 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
      19" Ixion IIs
      Winter:
      235/40R19 Pirelli Sottozero Series II
      19" XC40 31445813 5 Spokes

    17. #15
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    18. #16
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      Interesting.

      I'm running SottoZero IIIs (can't imagine there's *that* much difference between 2 and 3, right?), and I love them. I had Michelin Xice Evos on my STi and comparing the SottoZero III in my V60 to the STi on the Michelins is like night and day. That is: I feel much more confident in snow and slush and such in the Volvo on my current setup.

    19. #17
      Senior Member Wayne T5's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JO3V60P View Post
      Interesting.

      I'm running SottoZero IIIs (can't imagine there's *that* much difference between 2 and 3, right?), and I love them. I had Michelin Xice Evos on my STi and comparing the SottoZero III in my V60 to the STi on the Michelins is like night and day. That is: I feel much more confident in snow and slush and such in the Volvo on my current setup.
      The tread patterns are very different from II to III if you look at them side by side. The III has a more aggressive tread pattern.
      Past: '94 854, '99 S70 T5 SE, '99 S70 GLT, '04 S60R M, '12 S60 T5, '13 S60 T5, '15 S60 RD, '05 V70R GT
      Present: '95 854 T-5R, '06 XC70, '15.5 XC60 T6, '16 V60 P*

    20. #18
      Junior Member JML's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JasonV60RD View Post
      I'll look into these - As I mentioned, I daily 100 highway miles so getting in deep snow isn't something that happens often unless I'm on I-79 prior to PennDot being out plowing.
      I'm up near Erie, PA by the way, I seen you're south in Pittsburgh!
      I just moved, but drove for 10 years from Cranberry/Mars to Pittsburgh and back on 79/279 (about 30-40 miles each way). Never had any issues in any snow. On the highway the Alpins are as quiet as you could ever want in winter tires, and feel like (and are) high-speed performance tires. Plus the ride is comfortable (pretty much like my Michelin summer performance tires).

      Erie gets more snow than we do, but driving 100 daily highway miles with noisy winter tires would drive me crazy (I had Blizzaks on my previous two cars, and after 1 season they'd start to get noisy, and after about 15k miles, they got really noisy, drummed, etc.). And we get plenty of rain, the constant lake effect snowfall is usually light, and in town there's more slush than real snow. The Alpins are excellent in those conditions. Wet traction and braking are outstanding.

      I did not go down in width, and run 235/40-18 winter and summer (two sets of Ixion wheels). On the previous version, the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, 235/40-18VR, I had a total of 22,474 miles before replacing them. The new version, the PA4, has a 30k warranty, better than the PA3. And there's a Michelin rebate offer on them now.

      Whatever you install, make sure you have the balancing done with the new Road Force laser balancing equipment!

      Here's the link to the Tire Rack customer reviews: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...RatingsReviews
      Last edited by JML; 12-11-2019 at 07:40 PM.
      2013 S60 T6 R-Design Black Sapphire / Climate / Navigation
      IPD Rear Anti-Sway Bar, Front & Rear End-Links, & Skid Plate / Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (summer) / Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 (winter)

    21. #19
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      I’m in Maine and have Nokian Hakka R3s on my 2018 XC60 which have performed extremely well in the ice and snow we’ve had so far here. My wife has Xi3s on her V60 XC and I would have done the same except they don’t come in a 20 size but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the R3s grip and are not as noisy as I expected.

    22. #20
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      I have Conti Viking contact 7 on 235/45R18, on my V60 haven't had much snow but they have been sure footed on the snow and ice so far.

    23. #21
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      Quote Originally Posted by JML View Post
      I just moved, but drove for 10 years from Cranberry/Mars to Pittsburgh and back on 79/279 (about 30-40 miles each way). Never had any issues in any snow. On the highway the Alpins are as quiet as you could ever want in winter tires, and feel like (and are) high-speed performance tires. Plus the ride is comfortable (pretty much like my Michelin summer performance tires).

      Erie gets more snow than we do, but driving 100 daily highway miles with noisy winter tires would drive me crazy (I had Blizzaks on my previous two cars, and after 1 season they'd start to get noisy, and after about 15k miles, they got really noisy, drummed, etc.). And we get plenty of rain, the constant lake effect snowfall is usually light, and in town there's more slush than real snow. The Alpins are excellent in those conditions. Wet traction and braking are outstanding.

      I did not go down in width, and run 235/40-18 winter and summer (two sets of Ixion wheels). On the previous version, the Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3, 235/40-18VR, I had a total of 22,474 miles before replacing them. The new version, the PA4, has a 30k warranty, better than the PA3. And there's a Michelin rebate offer on them now.

      Whatever you install, make sure you have the balancing done with the new Road Force laser balancing equipment!

      Here's the link to the Tire Rack customer reviews: https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires...RatingsReviews
      Thanks man - I like the idea of the Alpins but seems like Tire Rack only has the Alpin PA4 N-Spec ( Different Tread Pattern ) in my stock 235/40R19 size. Maybe I'll look elsewhere on the interwebs to find some. Appreciate the feedback!

      Quote Originally Posted by Lofoten View Post
      I’m in Maine and have Nokian Hakka R3s on my 2018 XC60 which have performed extremely well in the ice and snow we’ve had so far here. My wife has Xi3s on her V60 XC and I would have done the same except they don’t come in a 20 size but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the R3s grip and are not as noisy as I expected.
      I've been highly considering these as I've found them in my size on other sites than Tire Rack but wasn't sure how they'd hold up to putting 500 miles a week.

      Quote Originally Posted by lilgoat View Post
      I have Conti Viking contact 7 on 235/45R18, on my V60 haven't had much snow but they have been sure footed on the snow and ice so far.
      Appreciate it - I'll read into these too!
      2015.5 V60 R Design Platinum w/ Polestar Tune
      Elevate Rear Sway Bar
      Powerflex Race Torque Rod Inserts
      Morimoto XB 5000K HIDs
      Interior LED Swap
      10MM/15MM Spacers
      25% Tint

      Summer:
      245/40R19 Firestone Firehawk Indy 500
      19" Ixion IIs
      Winter:
      235/40R19 Pirelli Sottozero Series II
      19" XC40 31445813 5 Spokes

    24. #22
      Member Veefifty T5AWD's Avatar
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      FWIW, I got the best deal on my X-Ice tires through tirebuyer.com - best price, fast shipping and great customer service. I'll use them again!
      Logan

      2015 S60 T6 AWD R-Design Polestar
      2008 S40 2.4i - hers

      Former:

      2013 C30 Polestar Limited Edition #87/250 | 2005 V50 T5 AWD | 1995 Yellow 850 T5-R

    25. #23
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      Quote Originally Posted by halfast3 View Post
      We have 225/60x16 winters which we ran on our V60CC and are now on our XC70. And yes, they *just* fit over the T5's brakes. We like the taller sidewall in winter and it's not easy to feel a handling difference between them and the OE 235/50x18 Pirelli Scorpions. One might say the handling is the same though things happen just a bit sooner on the winter tires.

      For non-CC S60 & V60, a 225/50x17 would also work nicely . . . or, if you happen to have a set of 16" wheels in the shed, the 225/55x16 is also a possibility on T5s.
      Congrats on the XC70, more room and in my opinion better design and overall layout especially the hatch height and depth of storage capability. What made you switch ? Thanks
      2012 S60 T5 FWD & 2013 XC90 AWD

    26. #24
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      Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman View Post
      Congrats on the XC70, more room and in my opinion better design and overall layout especially the hatch height and depth of storage capability. What made you switch ? Thanks
      Thank you.

      In addition to wanting more room for both passengers and cargo, we want/need:
      • to occasionally tow a utility trailer
      • to haul kayaks (long, low roof) and bikes, sometimes at the same time
      • all day seat comfort
      • Volvo safety
      • reasonable fuel efficiency and handling
      • reasonable performance at high elevation (turbo)


      While the V60CC checked the boxes and was certainly easy on the eyes, it always seemed like we were having to cram things in and we never really enjoyed the harsh ride.

      The XC70 seats are more comfortable and the ride is certainly better.
      2016 XC70 2.5L T5 AWD, Platinum, Seashell/black, ipd rear bar, Curt hitch
      Previous Volvos: '16 V60CC, ours; '6? 145 & '7? 245, hers; '68 122S Wagon, his.
      Non-Volvos previously owned: waaay too many to list here.

    27. #25
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      Does anyone know the smallest wheel and offset that will fit a 2016 r-design with the 336mm brake rotors? I am wondering what the largest profile, skinniest tire wheel/tire combo I can run on my V60.
      2016 Crystal White 3.0 V60 r-design Platinum with P*, BLIS, technology package, convenience package, climate package, 19” Ixion IIs

    28. #26
      Member Veefifty T5AWD's Avatar
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      You can't go any smaller than 17" in terms of the wheel size and clearing the caliper.
      Logan

      2015 S60 T6 AWD R-Design Polestar
      2008 S40 2.4i - hers

      Former:

      2013 C30 Polestar Limited Edition #87/250 | 2005 V50 T5 AWD | 1995 Yellow 850 T5-R

    29. #27
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      Quote Originally Posted by halfast3 View Post
      Thank you.

      The XC70 seats are more comfortable and the ride is certainly better.
      Congrats, I noticed the 1968 122s in your sig.

      Found a video of one:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yRZLEmZqtQ
      2012 S60 T5 FWD & 2013 XC90 AWD

    30. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Deeg16 View Post
      Does anyone know the smallest wheel and offset that will fit a 2016 r-design with the 336mm brake rotors? I am wondering what the largest profile, skinniest tire wheel/tire combo I can run on my V60.
      I'm running 215/55R16 Gislaved Nordfrost winter tires on oem steel wheels provided by my Volvo dealer. I have the sport suspension but I don't know what size the rotors are.
      2015 V60 T6 AWD Sport Suspension, ipd rear sway bar, 19 inch Bor wheels, Polestar Optimization, Premium Plus, Silver
      Previous: 2003 Passat 1.8T wagon, 1989 MX-6 GT 4WS, 1979 GS-1000E

    31. #29
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      Quote Originally Posted by Highwayman View Post
      Congrats, I noticed the 1968 122s in your sig.

      Found a video of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yRZLEmZqtQ
      Amazing condition! Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays.
      2016 XC70 2.5L T5 AWD, Platinum, Seashell/black, ipd rear bar, Curt hitch
      Previous Volvos: '16 V60CC, ours; '6? 145 & '7? 245, hers; '68 122S Wagon, his.
      Non-Volvos previously owned: waaay too many to list here.

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