Thank god for your wise choice on giving your son your brick. I'm in the process of buying one and giving it to my nephew when the spring comes around. This comment board is awesome and it's helped me in choosing a car. I want to thank all of you for helping me in my choice.
Your choice of a Volvo is a wise choice, indeed! Two years ago, my son (then 18) ran into a ditch along a substandard highway at approximately 50 mph. When the right front wheel hit a culvert, the rear of my Volvo 240 flipped over the front. Yes, like a pole vault. Thank God we taught my son to always fasten seat belts. While hanging upside down he was able to call 911 & then his older brother. My son was able to escape through a back door before emergency help arrived. He suffered only a bump on his shin. :-)
My first hint about my son's accident was when I received a page with his cell phone number followed by 911. I was exceedingly anxious until I was able to reach him via phone. I thank God that he was in a Volvo. Currently, he drives a '94 940. All life is precious, especially your loved ones.
My Father worked for Volvo while I was young, so growing up we always had a Volvo in our driveway. I grew up driving an 86 240 DL wagon. It was a super reliable car with only minor servicing and a replacement of the cadilliac converter needed in 13 years.
When I was 20 I purchaced an 85 740 Turbo Wagon. The 5 speed transmission was still on the original clutch at 223,000 miles. When I purchased it, the last owner got in a fight with a 1200lb elk at 80mph, causing the the windshield to implode and severely caving in the hood. None the less the engine was unharmed, I just had to drive around with a funny looking hood that I replaced for $50 from a scrap yard... The windshield cost $400. I changed the spark plugs. The Turbo was still money at 230,000, you could still red-line it out of 2nd, almost laying rubber into third!!!
So I just sold it to a buddy for $800 and a case of beer. My newest purchase as of yesterday was a 1990 740 Turbo sedan. Only 176,000kms, (yes I'm Canadian, but I owned an American 740 wagon) I picked it up for $4000...couldnt believe the deal I got. New brakes, timing belt, shocks and struts, mint interior. Needless to say I'm stoked to be back in a Volvo, all it needs is new rubber, but I definitley won't mind shelling out $1000 for some nice BFG's. This car IS the car to get. I just wish it wasn't automatic. You want a car, this is the best bang for your buck.
Another update... The 1990 Volvo keeps on ticking. I've replaced the left front turn unit ($70), the missing hubcap ($25 at IPD), and am still looking for a front bumper cap. Really, the old thing is running and driving quite well. In fact, in most ways (other than appearance of course) I still prefer the way it drives compared to my 1998 V70. The older car just seems better built, although with dual airbags and side impact bags the 98 is no doubt safer.
Wow, you paid $800 for a solenoid replacement? I purchased mine online for $135 and had a mechanic install it for $25 per hour. I paid less than $200 altogether. Also, recently at 175,000 miles the fuel pump went out on my 1990 740. I paid $200. Great car.
Another update: the 1990 740 keeps on ticking. 168000 miles on it now. Burns no oil. Leaks no fluids. Starts at the first turn of the crank. Suspension getting a bit creaky... probably bushings, I suppose. What a car.