Yesterday some friends and I were driving down to a local coffee shop,about a block away my cousin spotted a car that looked oddly familiar (it should since my first car was one-of-a-kind). What he saw was a green 1976 Volvo 245 DL (245 means it's a station wagon). We took a lap around the block and parked, we got out and walked over to the suspect vehicle. Sure enough it was my baby. Ok, so a 1976 Volvo wagon is not exactly a collectors item, but she was mine, and I put plenty of work into that car. You never forget your first.

I had to get rid of my beloved ride over a year ago, she had been in my family since my grandfather bought her new in 1976. Finally the cost of parts and labor (for things I couldn't fix) got to be too much and my dad decided to donate the car to the Lung Association after the clutch system self-destructed (as a result of a cheap clutch cable a previous mechanic installed). The cost of repair was just too much, and I had to part with my cherished ride.

The car was donated and towed away. I took the complete set of original hubcaps I had painstakingly assembled and bought a Volvo key chain as a souvenir. I never even got a farewell cruise. It felt good to see the car rolling again, I knew the old girl had plenty of life left in her. In the back were some sleeping bags and other assorted camping gear, there was a child seat in the back and two tasteful bumper stickers. I don't mind the stickers, one was a Swedish flag emblem next to the license plate, the other was a cool graphic on the side cargo window. My baby's bumpers are straight, but there are a few rust spots. It doesn't really bother me, she was always a daily driver, never showroom. My baby is someone else's now, but she is clean and well cared for. That makes me feel better, knowing my girl has a good home.

It only took few seconds for these thoughts and observations to flash through my mind. I dropped my friends off down the street and came back. I drafted a short note explaining my history with the car. I included my email and asked the new owner to email me. I want to tell them about some of her quirks. You know, little things like the fact that she doesn't like a load on the engine under 2,000 RPM, and the Overdrive switch is a bit touchy and they shouldn't shift until 4,000 RPM at a minimum.

Hey, I still love her, what can I say? She treated me better than any other woman I ever knew.

UPDATE!: I talked to her new owner, a single mother and college student. They are taking excellent care of each other and my car now has a nice new set of top-of-the-line performance tires! I feel all warm and fuzzy!

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