Also a minor motion picture - watch on YouTube here!
Way back in the mists of 2017, after days wrenching on my almost-track-car, a hunger began to grow inside of me. It’s one familiar to all growing Jalops, a thirst for practicality, comfort, and speed.
Yes, the taste for a wagon had hit me over the back of the head like a whisky bottle thrown by a jilted fiancé, and the search begun. I knew that only Volvo’s finest would do - that square-cut jewel of the 1980s, the 740 Turbo.
The search was exhausting, peppered by false leads and disappointment. After a particularly bad weekend led to $300 of wasted flights to see a car that wasn’t even running, I was feeling low.
It was then that it appeared - a blue wagon, for the low price of just $750. There was just one catch - it was 6 hours east of a capital city that was already 8 hours away. Undeterred, my fingers danced across they keyboard.
“Mate, will you ship it?”
“You must be joking!”
Before I could push the matter, it had been sold to a young man far better placed geographically than I.
I was despondent. I’d missed this and a supercharged MR2 in the same week.
It was a mere fluke that saved me. The original buyer had fallen through! This time I didn’t hestitate.
“Mate, sold. $750, will pick up next weekend.”
The man named David was kind enough to agree to these terms - now I had to figure out a way to get there.
David was also kind enough to suggest catching the regional train and spending the night in scenic Mallacoota, though I was reticent to take a 10 hour rail journey or stay in the home of someone I’d only met over the internet.
The best I could come up with wasn’t great. A flight over, taking a friend with me, followed by a rental car out to Mallacoota. We’d then drive back, stopping for a night in Sale before dumping the rental and trucking it back the rest of the way home the following day.
The day of the flight, Jack suffered from an epic bout of hayfever, but really, everything was fine. Until we got to the hire desk.
I don’t think I’ve ever hired a car without it costing AT LEAST twice the initial quote online. Never mind the times they’ve tried to convince me to pay extra for an automatic - only to admit it’s all they have left, and give it to me for free. Regardless, they sent us off in a RAV4 as a “free upgrade” which really didn’t take the sting out of it at all. Fuck rental cars.
The drive out to Mallacoota was long, but uneventful. When we turned up though, oh boy. David took us for a ride to learn the ropes.
The car was great, particularly given the price. Tyres were in great condition, and it started real easy. Niggles were limited to 30 year old paint, a rattle from the front left wheel, and an extremely sensitive brake pedal. No showstoppers though, so the car became mine.
We jumped in, scored some premium unleaded, and booted it to Sale. I couldn’t believe the car was finally mine. Once there, it was time for a pub meal and a couple of brews.
The following day, we had a 10 hour drive ahead of us. Our stomachs filled with a hearty motel breakfast, we hit the road. The Volvo was proving to be an excellent highway cruiser, with the auto sitting happily at 110 km/h, and the boaty ride soaking up the bumps. Alright, I’ll admit it - new shocks are a priority.
...and Denim had to pull the door open for me after it jammed shut when I slammed it.
In the end, the car didn’t miss a beat. It was an amazing journey over a couple of days, and I couldn’t have imagined a better way to get to know a car.
The 740 has not only entered my driveway... it’s entered my heart. A daily for now, and as for what’s to come, well - stay tuned.
Check out the YouTube video of the trip below!