At long last, the time may have come. In our youth we would never have imagined it possible, but the era of the Volvo may have passed, at least for us.
We've gone through most of the models, at least up through the 90s versions. From the very first one, a black '68 144 sedan with dual SU carbs that Dave rebuilt at least twice, through a couple of the 122 series, one a particularly fine '63 two-door with chrome lightning bolts on the side, to our more recent kid and dog-friendly 240 wagons, all used and all real workhorses. But now that the engines have gone computerized and you can't even see the ground when you open the hood for all the components, we've decided to leave the Volvo fold and downsize.
Yes, it's partly because of gas prices, but also because we just don't need a big car any more. It has to be passenger friendly, with enough room for Mr. B (who's 6'5") to fold himself into the back seat or for carpooling with friends. And it has to be big enough to also carry the two dogs in the back, though we downsized those in the last go-around, too.
So we're seriously thinking about the new Mini Clubman. The double doors in back are incredibly cute and also functional, the cargo area is roomy (enough) and the passenger area has enough leg room to seat two in relative comfort. And one of the back seats folds down so Walker can lick the back of the driver's head. Or for carrying long things, I suppose.
Plus their literature is amusing in that oh-so-British, cheeky way. When signing up for an online account, you're asked to agree to the following:
- I also agree to avoid ruts.
- And I agree to change my locker combination to include the numbers 1964 (the year we won our first Monte Carlo rally).
- I agree to chase squirrels around the park every now and then and giggle like a madman while doing it.
- I agree to be more adventurous and try to avoid homogenized restaurant chains.
- I agree to name my first-born Cooper.
- I agree to bare the soles of my feet to the earth and feel grass, sand, stones and streams.
- I agree to watch the movie "The Italian Job" as soon as I can.
- I agree to at last think strongly about learning to play a musical instrument.
- I agree to consider painting the roof of my house in contrasting colors.
Cute, huh? I'll keep you posted on developments.