Illustration for article titled I Totalled My Volvo and My Heart is Broken

On Wednesday morning, I rear ended a Ford Escape in stop-and-go traffic at rough 10 miles per hour. I wasn’t even using my phone, rather I was gazing out of the windshield and not fully paying attention to the crossover that had suddenly come to a halt just mere feet in front of the nose of my wagon. Embarrassingly, I didn’t even apply the brakes, instead I just rolled into the rear of the young lady’s Escape. I am truly ashamed.

Thankfully, all parties involved in the collision made it out safe and damage free, but my Volvo did not fare so well. Both front airbags deployed and my car was immediately rendered immobile. Upon closer inspection, my radiator had completely caved in and the engine was pushed back a few inches. It is not easy to describe that intensity of the airbags. Imagine someone shooting a handgun six inches from the side of your head while being kicked onto the ground simultaneously. Soon after the airbags exploded in my face, the cabin of the V70 started filling up with smoke which caused me to believe that my car had somehow caught fire. Thankfully, there were no fires to speak of, but my bearings were way off. To my delight, and that of our insurance company, the other driver’s Escape only faced minimal damage to the tailgate and rear bumper.


At the end of the day, nobody was mad at each other, and all parties were understanding. I apologized, said we would be in touch, and I was ultimately cited with, “failure to reduce speed,” charge worth a whopping $238. I am grateful that the ticket is the worst thing to come from this little accident, aside from the death of my absolutely wonderful Volvo, because I know it could have been a lot worse.

When I first saw what would become by beloved 2001 Volvo V70 T5 on the dealership lot in Greensboro, NC back in November, I was less than impressed. The driver’s seat was in poor condition, something that affects a majority of Volvo’s from this vintage, and the exterior was covered with scratches and small dents. It was surely a solid, “10-footer,” but nowhere close to perfect. Mechanically, my V70 was very sound. I bought it with over six pages of service records, and many newly replaced parts under the hood. I got over my initial dislike of the wagon on my first drive. The turbo spooled up, making a most beautiful noise and just launching the grocery getter down the busy Greensboro, NC street. I instantly backed off the accelerator, knowing I was going to be very happy with my purchase.

I’m glad to say I was, too. My Volvo and I spent 13,000 miles together, and we had a great time. Whether it be sitting in traffic on my way to school, or two quite adventurous beach trips with some friends, the Volvo never let me down. Sure, it had some problems, but all PAG-era Volvo’s have some problems. I know that I will surely miss this car and I deeply regret killing it in the grotesque and offensive way that I somehow managed.

Goodbye, Volvo. I’ll see you on the other side, brother.

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