Been meaning to do this for a while and never got around to it and also it has been a while since I have owned my favorite car of all time: a 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R. (Sedan)
How it all started:
Back in 2002 (dating myself in here) my roommates and I were hosting a party as we just moved into this huge house and I was super happy with the garage, parking and the space situation. As the night progresses, a buddy of mine approaches me and starts asking questions about my cars, what I do with them & etc etc. He is not a car guy at all so I ask him where this conversation is going? He tells me that he is looking for a place store his mom’s car in Seattle (they are originally from Canada) and he was wondering if I can keep the car at our house. At this point I am thinking asking my buddy to sell his mom’s car or park it in the street somewhere.
But then I of course ask: -What kind of car is it? –He responds: -Volvo
Me: It better be one of those Yellow ones as I am not interested in keeping a brick at my house! –He responds: It is Yellow
Me: Your mom drives a Yellow Volvo?
He goes, no my mom doesn’t even have a driver’s license. She saw it at a display at a Volvo dealer in Toronto in 1995, loved the color, how it looked and walked in and bought it on the spot and of course never drove it. (My buddy’s fam is very successful)
Story was then his bother took it down to Texas for college but after his studies did not need the car anymore and shipped it up to Seattle. Now the poor car with 28K miles is sitting in a shady parking lot somewhere in downtown Seattle as we were having this conversation.
10 hours and a jump start later she was rescued, detailed and parked next to my WS6 (please do not judge!)
Car actually gets transferred to my name and I am asked to maintain it with an open check book. It pretty much got annual oil changes and time based maintenance. It sat next to the WS6 for another 2 years until we moved to a smaller house in town.
One day, I am bored and I tell myself that I am going to spend some time with the Volvo like it was my own car. I decided to take it out, buff it, detail the heck out of it and actually made my mind to start diving it time to time which was completely ok with the owners -I just hate driving other people’s cars. After my full wash and detail (also while I am thinking I must be the only person in the planet who thinks this car is cool) I park the car in front of my house.
Couple of hours later, as I am taking the trash out, I find a card on the windshield from Volvo Speed Northwest Crew to contact them and the rest was pretty much history. That night there were at least 6 other super cool Volvos in front of my house and I was introduced to the Volvo world and bunch of good folks that I am still friends with to this date.
We had amazing gatherings and did some exciting stuff back in the day. I was also informed that my Yellow is the 3rd one to be accounted for in Seattle area……. Later on my best friend / roommate ended up bringing the 4th one to Seattle and of course we arranged another Volvo Speed meet to document the occasion.
In 2006 as fast as it began, I got a call from my buddy who owns the car that his fam wants it back in Canada, back at their house. By now, we were all thinking that his family will eventually want to sell the car to me and would not want it back. I have had this thing for almost 5 years! NOPE, a truck showed up in a week and picked the car up and I have never seen it in person again (we will get back to that)
My roommate still had his yellow and I ended up ordering a 2007 BMW E92 335i via Euro delivery to keep me sane as I was super bummed.
Later that year, we came across a Yellow Wagon that my best friend wanted since day he saw one at the Paris Auto Show and of course we bought it sight unseen and shipped it to Seattle. I had 188K miles and was in pretty rough condition. It was a new project for us and a dream come true for him. And of course, I bought his sedan.
Wagon Being delivered….only way to pick a yellow Volvo is with another Yellow Volvo to confuse everyone.
This was our new project and he wanted to make this thing the 1st day it came out of the factory with very few minor modifications. Again, with open check book. By this time we know these cars pretty well, we know all the locals who work on them and my body shop can match that yellow paint in his sleep. So off we go.
It took us about 2 years to get everything sorted out. Car was very original and mechanically solid. We fixed replaced whatever it needed and my buddy decided to go all out on the cosmetics….and we did.
Hood, fenders, bumpers, rockers all got a fresh coat of single stage paint, wheels were repaired to perfection (not painted), new Volvo windshield, grill, battery & emblems were installed, our paint protection film person re-did all the factory pieces and did a custom clearbra to protect the new paint.
All of this was done just in time for IPDs 50th year anniversary…..
I ended up selling the sedan bec it just was not the same as a 30K mile example that I got used to driving. That particular car felt way under powered and clunky in comparison to the low mile one and no matter what we did to it, it kept asking for more and more which I got tired of and called it quits. That car is still on the road and I hear is in good hands.
Sale of the Wagon:
So my best friend who had the Wagon for quite some time asks me to buy it from him all of a sudden! He knows I hate wagons, I have no room and what I am really after is a low mile sedan. So, I say, you are stupid for selling it to begin with but I definitely do not want it. We have been working on it for a while now and I am done with it as much as you are. Now the reason why he wants to sell it is pretty justified. We found a 2006 E55 AMG Wagon. Back then Benz did not make these unless you ordered one specifically and 2005 & 2006 model years are just as rare as Yellow Wagons. Of course the car was on the East Coast and that’s where we went to go get it.
Safe back in Seattle
Yellow sells real quick and shortly after the guy who bought it from us puts it on ebay, sells it and she is now in great hands.
At this point the only Volvo around is his wife’s 2005 V70R M66 which we love working on but we are also both driving different non-volvo cars.
Benz was replaced by a BMW F31 M-Sport and I went through several cars during that period. However, every single car / Volvo person that I know, knows that I am still after that low mile Yellow that most likely doesn’t exist or its locked up somewhere and is not coming out anytime soon. So my hopes are continuing to fade.
Remember my buddy who started all of this? Well, I get a call from him and it is about the VOLVO! He goes do you want to buy it back? ---I am super excited and thinking that the car went to storage after it was picked up and it still is in the same condition. Short answer is a big fat NO!
It stayed in storage for a long time until my buddy who is not a car guy decides that he wants to daily this thing and haul his dogs around. Long story short, he seizes the engine due to oil starvation bec a service light did not come to remind him that the car was due for a service unlike his modern Acura.
Life gets in the way, car gets flat bedded to their property in the middle of no where Canada for 2 years until I get the call. I sent a friend up there to take a look at it and he tells me that I do not want it back. After sitting like this for 2 years, farm animals chewed through pretty much everything and most likely she will never be the same again. It had a little over 40K miles and one of the saddest moments in my life was seeing the final pictures of the car that started it all for me. I did try to bring it back to Seattle due to its low miles and straight body but importing / transporting a non-running car back to US is a major hassle.
These are the last images of my old friend that I have. I understand that she was sold for scrap later on.
To be continued.