Volvo Bashing


I am on my way North this morning, in an attempt to flee SW Florida and all the potential mayhem. Prayers appreciated as a Cat 5 seems to be bearing down on us. Mustang offers us a change of pace. I will catch you when I can….

 

Volvo Bashing

A story told by Rod Whitaker

Years ago, the man sought a vehicle that would suit the purposes of a country gentleman.  Upon the enthusiastic advice of a long-time friend, he ultimately decided on a Volvo.  His decision was predicated on the assumption that any automobile that cost so much, lacked beauty, comfort, speed, and fuel economy must at least be dependable and last many years.

Soon after he purchased the vehicle, our gentleman located places of rust, noted misaligned wheels, experienced grabbing brakes, and observed that his windshield wipers only flirted with the glass, and never once consummated their relationship.  Worse, the car had a trunk that required the two good arms of a weight lifter to close it.  He promptly returned the vehicle to the dealer, who punctually suggested that these were issues for the manufacturer.

Over many months, potential litigants exchanged letters, no one apparently willing to accept responsibility for the poor quality of workmanship at Volvo, until finally the company offered their condolences to squire’s bad luck in automotive selection.  Occasionally, we must all suffer a lemon.

The sullen landowner finally accepted his fate.  He set about transforming the Volvo into a vehicle capable of transporting sheep and bulky equipment into the high mountain regions, which were part of his vast estate.  He secretly hoped that the worthless vehicle would fall apart, forcing him to decide on a vastly improved replacement, but sadly, while he found no truth in the proposition that the Volvo was a quality manufacture, the vehicle’s claim to durability seemed entirely valid.  While it always ran poorly —it nevertheless always ran.

The country gentleman had some years earlier hired the village drunk to become his gardener.  In this, Pierre was utterly steadfast in two areas: watering the plants, and consuming no more than eight or ten glasses of Irouléguy each day.  It was to this man that the country squire assigned the additional duties as a chauffeur with the expectation that he would soon replace the Volvo.

Pierre had little trust in mechanical things.  In the first instance, he believed automobiles were far more complicated than necessary.  Pierre thus limited his interaction with the Volvo’s transmission to only two gears: reverse and low.  More than this was a waste of energy, he felt, for the result was the same had he managed to pass the vehicle in its fourth gear.  The clutch was good for starting off, but had no value afterwards.  It was just as easy to re-start the automobile at intersections where stopping was necessary and several times while negotiating tight turns to the left or right.

Normally, Pierre regarded stop signs as signals to proceed at flank speed.  It was also true that Pierre had little use for the foot brake, particularly when the hand brake was more convenient.

The local villagers were fortunate because it was possible to hear the Volvo’s screaming engine from a long way off.  It gave them time to park their scooters, leap over stone walls, or take shelter within the nearest tavern before the Volvo actually descended upon them, its engine racing, body rattling, and the exhaust polluting the air.

Pierre was a proud man.  He was also proud of his driving record; not once had he ever been involved in a traffic incident of any sort —which was more than he could say about others who used the narrow mountain roadways.  These other drivers would frequently run their scooters off the roadway, or drive their lorries into the business establishments along the mountain road.  It was not necessarily their lack of driving skill that bothered Pierre —it was their rudeness in offering him obscene gestures.  This was too much to bear.

In time, our gentleman came to accept that this monstrosity of a vehicle might even outlast him, who had just recently entered his 50th year.  In anger and disgust, he began kicking the vehicle before entering it, and upon exiting.  Initially, the local people found this quite amusing.  Then the friends of the squire began bashing the Volvo whenever they came across it parked in the village square, and soon it became a village tradition involving everyone —even the village priest, although without the profanity.

Thus began the custom of Volvo bashing in this small mountain village, and not just the Volvo owned by the country gentleman.  Tourists who rented Volvos had their cars bashed, too … and, in time, they too participated in this quaint behavior.  Then the jet setters that came to ski began bashing Volvos, and the backpackers who came to spend their parent’s money.  Within a year, Volvo bashing spread throughout Europe and there was soon a persistent if not mythical flavor to the rumor that the mountain people bashed their Volvo for good luck and it seemed to work for nowhere on the planet were there any Volvos older and more utilitarian than in the Pyrenees Mountains.

Rumors soon spread throughout Europe that in an effort to attract the smart set to an automobile that had sacrificed everything to passenger safety (despite their use of Firestone tires), Volvo would soon introduce a pre-bashed model.  This is how the Volvo Company ultimately appealed to the European affluent class, who remain convinced that their lives must surely benefit all of mankind.

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25 Responses to “Volvo Bashing”

  1. The Weekly Headlines – My Daily Musing Says:

    […] Volvo Bashing […]

    Like

  2. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Well finally someone explained that phenomenon. Thank you.
    Stay safe Bunker. I got family coming to live with us in Michigan. I think that’s as far north without hitting Canada, eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      I think that will do Ed!!

      Like

  3. Steve Dennis Says:

    Please stay safe my friend! I will be praying for you and your family, and for all the others in Florida! I hope the damage is kept as minimal as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks Steve…

      Like

  4. comradematrix Says:

    Be safe Bunker!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bunkerville Says:

      Yepper

      Like

  5. petermac3 Says:

    Hey Bunker,
    Ignore Horace Greeley’s advice, put the pedal to the metal and “Go North Young Man!” Be safe.
    As for piss poor modes of transport, after driving ultra-dependable economical used VW’s for five years I ordered a brand new 1973 “Super Beetle” for the then barely affordable $2,600. The regular Beetle cost $2200. Ominously I picked it up from the dealer. on Halloween night, 1973. IThe bug, pun intended, proceeded to get 8 MPG with both the dealer and corporate VW of America disavowing any responsibility. As a dopey 22 year old not yet worldly enough to fight back till the cows came home I lived with this for three years before trading it in for a used 66′ Beetle which ran like clockwork while getting the typical VW 25-30 ish MPG. Then there’s always FORD: Found On Road Dead or, if you prefer, Fix Or Repair Daily. Aaah the good old days of old automobiles. 🤠

    Liked by 2 people

    • petermac3 Says:

      Correction: Halloween night 1972.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      I had a 1973 Super-beetle. It had 240 air-conditioning (2 windows down, 40 miles per hour). It was all I could afford back then, brand new price tag was $2,300.00.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bunkerville Says:

        I had the death trap Pinto. $2200.00 smackeroos and it was new!! Engine blew out at about 10K miles.. Lucky I wasn’t hit from behinf

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cheryl Says:

    I didn’t know you were in Florida….glad you are getting out of there. I have some in-law relatives in Ft. Myers and haven’t heard if they are evacuating, but hoping so. Safe travels, Bunker….will look for your updates! Prayers your way!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      I recall that after Andrew, Florida residents had to deal with the problem of roaming animals from the destroyed Miami Zoo. Imagine taking out the trash and getting into a staring contest with a Baboon, Chimpanzee, or a very large lion. If you thought feral pigs were a problem … good grief!

      Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      I had planned on Georgia.. as the days move on seems that could be just as bad… will shelter if the map looks bad.

      Like

  7. Adrienne Says:

    Thanks, Mustang. Glad you’re heading north, Bunk. It’s the wise thing to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      Thanks.

      Like

  8. Always On Watch Says:

    PS: What about the Saab?

    Like

    • bunkerville Says:

      How about the citroen (Sp)

      Like

  9. Always On Watch Says:

    Mustang,
    Very witty! But, then again, I’ve come to expect nothing less from you. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      Thank you, dear friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Always On Watch Says:

    Bunkerville,
    Be safe and out of harm’s way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • bunkerville Says:

      🙂

      Like

  11. hocuspocus13 Says:

    KEEPING FLORIDA IN OUR PRAYERS

    💛💛 safe 💛 journey 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Simply Linda Says:

    Good post Mustang. Good luck Bunkerville, keeping you in prayer, friend. Safe travels (and wishing my folks and brothers and their families would heed the warnings, sigh).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mustang Says:

      Thank you, Linda.

      Like


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