As soon as I had reached the train after my hike in the Tulliniemi Nature Trail, I started looking for my future summer car. My first plan was to buy a small car with around five hundred euros. I would drive it for one summer and then sell it, if it lasted for that long. If it wouldn’t, I would just have it towed to a scrapyard.
I had one problem, though. 500 euro cars were VW Polos, Fiat Puntos, Kias and Hyundais. They were small and impersonal cars, which didn’t stand out anywhere. And I wasn’t used to driving such cars. I love stories and every single car of mine has had a story.
When I was a toddler and I was taken downtown, I was shown dogs and told their breed, and cars and told their marque. I only learned the cars and when the time for my first word came, it was Volvo.
I always wanted a Volvo, my family didn’t. In the late 90’s when I was promised a car to drive in the backyard of our summer cottage, I wanted a Volvo and got a small one. I never drove it, we sold the cottage, and I and my best friend dismantled it in our new garage. Here it is when we finally had torn every single part we could off it just before it was recycled.
Also in the late 90’s a family friend of ours said, that everybody wanting a Volvo should buy a 850 Turbo. I was promised a car for my 18th birthday, but 850 Turbos were extremely expensive back then, costing around 15000 euros and upwards. We weren’t that rich.
But in the end I found one. Driven just under 120000 kilometres, it had automatic transmission, light brown leather seats, a wood trim in the dashboard and almost every extra you could get. We got it for 8000 euros. And here it is on the day I got it in late 2006.
I drove the car for more than seven years and loved every kilometre. Basically it was the symbol of my youth, but it was getting old. I graduated from my second degree, got a better job and wanted to get a better car. For a few weeks I drove my family’s Volvo S40 (yeah, they gave in and bought a Volvo in the end), but it was possibly the worst car design I had ever had. I had loved the large Volvo Estate, so I sought another one.
And I found this. The photo has been taken during one of my urbex adventures in the old vocational school dormitory behind the car. The photos from the location can be found here.
When I moved to the capital region five years later, I thought that I no longer needed a car, and sold it. And now I was looking for another one.
Originally I had thought of a small Fiat, as I have connections to Turin. But when I came home from my trip to Hanko, I was so drunk, I forgot what I was doing. I don’t know if I just missed owning a car of if I had a 30’s crisis, but time and time again I was watching this video from starting an old Volvo 850. I just loved the sound of the five cylinder engine, which is completely unique. No other car sounds like that.
So the following day I was looking for a 25 year old Volvo with a budget of 500 euros. It seemed impossible. 500 euro Volvos were in general not in working order, good ones cost way more than 1000 euros, and that didn’t fit my budget.
The following Friday I found one. I called and called, but the owner only answered me on sunday. He had sold it. I raised my budget and found another. The owner didn’t answer.
But by now I wanted my youth back. I raised my budget further, and when a new ad came up the following Monday, I immediately knew it was my car. And the following day I came home with this baby.
It was blue, not green and it wasn’t a turbo. But it was automatic and its interior looked just like my old darling. I paid 700 euros for it.
I drove it home and started planning my summer. Maybe a few national parks, maybe some trips to interesting abandoned locations I hadn’t yet visited. I was excited.
I had no idea what was coming.