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Meet Ole the Elk

We are both classic car enthusiasts, and since living in Berlin we never needed a car in the strictest sense, all we own are three 1970s classics - bread and butter everyman’s cars, not exotics, but nevertheless 40+ year old pieces of machinery that need and deserve care and being treated with a certain level of respect.

For our move to Finland, we need something entirely different: A reliable workhorse that can be flogged. A car that is neither new or old enough to really worry about it acquiring another dent or scratch. One that will haul large amounts of stuff over long distances reliably and comfortably. One where spare parts are in stock at Motonet for reasonable money.

German readers probably picture a VW Passat now, while US readers may more likely envision a Ford F-150, and Brits think of a Mondeo.

But moving to the Nordics, and having the additional requirement of rear wheel drive to make it a proper winter car, of course what we are talking about is a Volvo wagon. A big chunk of Swedish metal, designed by people whose only tool available was a ruler, powered by the legendary thirsty-yet-reliable “redblock” engine - the motor powering most cars Volvo made across 25 years.

So, without further ado, meet our new car: A 1992 Volvo 940. No turbocharger on the engine leaves us with a measly 131hp, it comes pre-dented, pre-scratched, and with some rust spots here and there. Also, it was dirt cheap which means all in all it’s pretty much perfect. The previous owner “improved” it with at least three Nordic cliché moose ornaments, so we named the car Ole the Elk.

As a special feature, it comes with little wipers for the headlamps, a detail Julia adored on her neighbor’s car (presumably also a Volvo) as a kid.

We replaced the overdue timing belt and now it’s good for another 100.000 kilometers at least.

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