Blog: An old friend turns 40
Graeme Roberts | 28 August 2014
Judging by the feedback from Hemmings.com readers, the classic 40-year-old Volvo 240 series may be long gone from showrooms but is hardly forgotten
A small but not insignificant milestone slipped by earlier this week, perhaps unnoticed by most industry watchers.
As my favourite classic car website, Hemmings.com reported, Volvo's 244 just hit 40. I have a soft spot for the old square-rigged Volvo (a rusting 245 is still someone's daily driver in my street) not least because I am old enough to remember the 240s and 260s new (albeit a rare showroom sight in my mid-'70s, import-restricted homeland).
Even better, about a year earlier, I got to drive a brand-new automatic example a few miles home from town, a huge gesture of faith in a tyro 16-year-old with a three-week-old licence by a kind (and trusting) family friend who had just acquired the white-with-blue-trim 1973 144 sedan. If memory serves, this body style first appeared in the early 1960s and was progressively updated (with huge mid-'70s bumpers ahead of the new US FMVV safety standard) before morphing into the slant-front 200 series.
I can still recall that distinct 'European new car smell' and the solidity and superior build quality compared with the shoddily locally assembled Japanese car for which my mum had swapped an even more shoddily made English car about six months earlier (it was already starting to rust in the tradition of the day).
Happy days. Happy 40th, old Volvo.
Renault may have been a little too quick with its press release claiming a new range record of 250 miles (400kms) for its Zoe EV. A walk over to the Opel stand at the Paris show would have revealed th...
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....
Given the startling complexity of obtaining a journalist visa for China - the code 'J2' is now indelibly stamped on my mind - it was with some surprise how swiftly I managed to sail through airport im...