This Is How I Fell In Love With A Swedish Classic
Story and photography by Edward Marius
As long as I remember, I have been fascinated by automobiles, and fell under their spell early on. But as my interests in the car world expanded, Scandinavian classics—Saabs and Volvos—began to catch my attention. It hasn’t left: all of the cars I’ve owned since getting my license have been Volvos. I was keen to try a few, but at the top of my list was a first generation Volvo 142—the classic one, featuring details from the ’60s and a shape that would evolve into the ’90s.
I was looking all over the web for the perfect one, and it wasn’t easy: these are rare and sell like fresh bread. Then came my lucky day: a few low resolution pictures, a short description, no price, and a location a mere 6 hours’ drive away. I quickly wrote to the seller, and the next morning I was driving to Toronto to see the car.
Thankfully, the owner was a true car enthusiast who had spent decades restoring Volvos back to their former glory. This is a 1970 142, a clean 1-owner car from California that he had completely restored back in the ’90s. The car had all the tasteful modifications I would have done myself anyway: uprated B20B engine, 4 speed manual with overdrive, front and rear disc brakes, lowered suspension, sway bars, GT instrument cluster, hot rod style hood louvers, and front air dam.
It was love at first sight. Part of the deal was to keep in touch, and a week later we picked the car up from Stuart—promising it’d never be a trailer queen or be parked next to a red car at a show (because red would draw attention away from the 142). I drove the car all the way back, in the best car trip of my life. In the last year, I’ve made a few changes, kept up with maintenance, and have been learning how to do things myself—making new friends in the process.