Big, Strong and Boxy

Those were the heydays of the Volvo Cars….starting from the 144…240…244 …264 – all embodying the trademark features of  unmistakable Viking precision engineering and supreme obsession with safety.

I had the experience of driving one of my cousin’s 240GL back in the early 80s.   A bit sluggish though, but the low-frequency soft growling sound that reflected back from the road during acceleration felt like real power – raw and refined at the same time.  It had power steering but the Swedes had deliberately made it a bit on the heavy side.

Alas, changing consumer tastes, stricter environmental regulations and economic considerations took a heavy toll on Volvo Cars, and in 2009, the company landed in the hands of Geely Auto – a PRC company.

The classical Volvo design has vaporized;  latter-day models are indistinguishable from the myriads of “me-and-you-lookalikes” and also-rans.


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