It has just occurred to me that it has been just a week or so over a year since I purchased my Volvo for the eye-popping price of $250. This sounds like the beginning of a bad time, but this little guy has been amazing.

The owners had given up on it after being quoted around 5k to get it road-worthy again. A nearby dealership offered them 250, I told the owners (at that point also my neighbors) that I would match that, and it was mine. After seeing it sit sadly in the parking lot for a year, it was finally liberated parkatory.

Here it was just as it sat. A few months of putting around in the parking lot and less than $500 in parts, and it was registered and commenced DD duties. It has done so almost flawlessly since then. Some electrical issues and whatnot, still a few little things to fix from the PO, but it has never failed to get me where I’m going. The low-pressure turbo really is quite fun, I don’t get the same “bored city driving” experience that many R owners speak of. It’s just a few seconds before you get boost and fun 5 cylinder engine noise. The steering feel is a little on the heavy side, but it’s still responsive enough for some fun with a little elbow grease. The tighter suspension on the 850s makes the ride a little rough, but I’m young and don’t mind. My son likes the way his voice sounds going over all the little bumps. My wife is less impressed, but tolerates it.


The interior trim is brittle, though I’ve managed to keep most of it intact despite the best efforts of a toddler and a dog. The overall condition is surprising considering no less than 7 previous owners. 10/10 would buy again.