SwitchSwitch to white text on black.Switch to black text on white.
Draplin Design Co., North America
November 02, 2010
New Volvo Rig
Posted at 11:20 PM




Finally settled a new rig.

A 2011 Volvo XC70 Station Wagon AWD Swedish Meatball Supreme!

Serious wheels, man. So blown away by this thing. My search went for about a month, starting with the Ford Edge, moving over to the Volkwagen Touareg, then a Jeep Cherokee, hell, even tried out a “way out of my league” Audi Q7. Simply, with this in mind: Best design wins. I plan on having this thing for, well, FOREVER, so every little button and line and wire better be FUCKING PERFECT. This sort of decision making factored into this pursuit.

SURE, SURE: Sure, we’re always flying the cynical flag. And Lord knows many of you will be thinking shit along the lines of “Never ever buy a new car, man!” and “What, another import, Mr. American-Made?” and “You can fit in that thing?” and other wild-ass sentiments.

BUT KNOW THIS: Just for once, in this life, or maybe a long line of shimmering reincarnations, I wanted to buy a brand spanking new car. Just once. You know, where you kinda enjoy getting in the thing, etc. Just once. And I finally did. Took me 37 years.

AND THIS: Hands down, the overall craftsmanship of the Volvo beat out all competition. Sorry Ford, sorry GMC. Hell, I’m sorry America, you are close, but not there yet. Sweden’s got you licked with these. Still. Sorry. When you hit my Design G-Spot, I’ll jump ship from the land of imports. But not until you hit it. So close.

AND OF COURSE, THIS: This thing is comfortable, and fits me, which is paramount, you know, for a “man of size.” This is stuff I had to consider. Packing myself inside the new 2011 Despair by whatever forgettable car company wasn’t gonna cut it.

GONNA MISS YOU: When I bought Big S the Passat in 2001, it was such a triumph. The $7500 I put down on the thing took me a fuckin’ year to save. The rest, I financed through the roof, and man, sweated out those monthly payments for 60 long months, faithfully maintaining the rig, BELIEVING in it. Never was late on one payment. And man, I got a good 160,000 miles and 468 incredible roadtrips out of him. Well, I handed Big S down to my little sister Leah and her beau Jacob, which is sad, but is a chance to see him live on. What a good rig. Gonna miss you. Enjoy him you scribs, and check his oil regularly!

YOU BIG GASHOLE: Then I bought that goddamn gas pig of a van a year and a half back. Fun rig, but just not sensible in the end. That hurts to type that. I did my homework and everything, got a killer price on it, and then it turned out to be a bit of beast. Couldn’t park it in the parking garage underneath the shop, each time you’d fill it up it was $90, and man, it was just “too much rig.” Got some good roadtrips out of him, and those memories are worth every penny that the trade-in yesterday didn’t cover. The dealer gave me a rippin’ trade-in price on the new Volvo, so I had to go for it. And I did.

WAY EXCITED: So I popped for a brand new Volvo, and man, it’s got Bluetooth buttons for my phone so I can make hands-free calls around town, and a hidden iPod jack, and the coolest trunk/spare tire zone you ever fucking saw, and a big comfy cockpit, and some real pep-in-his-step, and front and back bumper sensors, and a thumpin’ sound system, and he smells SOOOOO good, and man, the steering wheel alone is something to marvel at. And I have been. At a stop light today, I just sat there holding that steering wheel…caressing it…and then the yahoo beeped his horn behind me. Just kinda lost in the whole thing, and, whatever magic there might behind a purchase of this magnitude.

CRY WITH US: This is a big deal for me. I’ve saved for years. I bought that rig with a glowing smile, knowing, without a goddamn doubt, that every penny put toward the thing was a penny made by my hands. My hands. All me. I’m proud as hell about that. It’s a big, mean world, and man, shit can get the best of you. Pulling off that lot, I had this weird sense of, “Damned if I ain’t making it work, man.” Whatever that “it” is, I just have to recognize the beauty of this whole mess, and how cosmically lucky I am. Hard work, luck, more hard work, etc. Gotta keep fighting, and, at some point, take some time to enjoy some Swedish precision a bit.

So thankful. So Volvo’d.

Come by the shop and let’s go cruising. Fucker’s got 47 miles on it. Can you believe that? I can’t. Damn.

- - - -


- Leigh for putting up with my nitpickin’ search.
- Duane from Herzog-Meier in Beaverton for the courtesy and space.
- Doran who handed off the vehicle. Very thorough.
- Even the finance guy was cool. Firm. But cool.
- Tom the Dad for his help on the final price. Thank you, feet-squeezer.
- The entire country of Sweden.
- Swedish engineering.

There Are 27 Comments

congratulations. i really like volvos - my friend owns a c30 or something, but doesnt ford own volvo and recently sold it to the chinese?

myself, im holding out for a good electric car that isnt incredibly overpriced and/or 1st gen. hopefully i can get a few more years out of my 02 subaru which i also bought new, but have never loved. weep for me.

Posted by: ron on 11/03/10 at 6:45 AM

Congrats on the Volvo! My first car was a Volvo and I had to finally get rid of it after 10 years. It had 240,000 miles and would have easily gone to 300,000 - I hope yours will do the same.

Posted by: Doug Wilson on 11/03/10 at 7:07 AM

Nice choice, man. Like Swede cuisine, practical and sustaining. And like Swede flight attendants, deliciously svelte. To celebrate, perhaps I should make reservations for a meal of fermented herring and fish balls. You can drive.

Posted by: Hillerns on 11/03/10 at 7:14 AM

That’s awesome. Good for you. I’m at my 37th year and I’m considering the same thing. The 1983 4wd longbed Toyota, sans radio, locks and paint job isn’t quite cutting it. Plus you have to keep a hawkeye on the temp gauge.

Break that bad boy in.

Posted by: Desi on 11/03/10 at 7:58 AM

Aaron, I totally know where you’re coming from with the whole American made thing - especially being from Michigan. I’m not from Michigan - I’m from Rochester NY - we made a shit load of four barrel carbs for all those chevy’s coming out of Michigan. Remeber the old quadra jet? That was us - “was” being the key word ! Not only that but my Dad was a Chevy dealer who has passed away not too long ago. Since he passed I bought a Volkswagon Passat -and I gotta tell ya - ITS AWESOME!!! My Dad’s line when we were growin up was always, “Chevrolet puts food on your table !!! ” but man that VW is nice and I bet that Volvo is supersweet! The bottom line is that GM got their own asses in trouble - its time to be better ! They just have to make better stuff and I’ll buy the shit out of it. Good for you for buying that Volvo - you work hard and it sounds like a kickass roadtrip rig! Have fun with it and get back to work!!!!

Posted by: bill on 11/03/10 at 8:36 AM

As a Volvo follower and sales guy in the midwest, I salute you. Great car. Great job!

Posted by: Ian on 11/03/10 at 9:29 AM

nice choice, can fuck with sweden!

Posted by: scott on 11/03/10 at 9:56 AM

at least you did something right. great rig.

Posted by: roser on 11/03/10 at 11:54 AM

Dude, you are going to love that rig. I’ve have an 08, same body style as the 11 and it’s been eating up these harsh Wisconsin winters.

You may want to pick up a Prancing Moose sticker for the winter. http://www.davebarton.com/VolvoPrancingMoose.html

Posted by: DT on 11/03/10 at 12:13 PM

Shit, I coulda saved you a ton of dough and sold you my ‘97 Volvo 850 wagon. Forest Green. 160K miles. Beat to shit interior, but ran like a champ.

Looks like a nice rig though - keep an eye on the A/C, only part of a Volvo that is sketchy.

Posted by: Andy on 11/03/10 at 12:20 PM

Hell yeah! Nice rig! Take it to Kevin Meade at Kolorwerx and DDC pimp it out! (Read:Tax write-off!) Sweet deal man, you earned it! Congrats!

Posted by: Skegger on 11/03/10 at 12:48 PM

And if that’s Colorado silver… you never have to wash that fucker again!

Posted by: Skegger on 11/03/10 at 12:53 PM

Nice. Congratulations.
Good choice.

Posted by: Tim McGrath on 11/03/10 at 1:06 PM

Congrats! Volvos rule… Enjoy it!

Posted by: Steven DeCusatis on 11/03/10 at 1:51 PM

Congrats on the new ride, she’s a looker. I read through the post and then scrolled onto the “negotiation pose” image. Laughed my ass off all by myself. I love this shit!

Posted by: Todd on 11/03/10 at 3:29 PM

Sweet Jesus. Jealous as hell. I’ve got an ‘03 with a big ass dent in the front and it’s now covered in pidgeon poop thanks to it’s Brooklyn parking spot. Put that puppy in a garage and treat’er nice. What a beaut!

Posted by: Noah Armstrong on 11/03/10 at 5:38 PM

Congratulations, the XC70 is a fine ride. I’ve always been a fan of the Volvo, hopefully one day I too can move from my VW to the Volvo.

Grab some snow tires for this baby too, she’ll be able to fight back with just about everything that mother nature can muster.

Posted by: Digital Dave on 11/03/10 at 6:22 PM

Grats man - I don’t blame you on buying new at least once. I drove a brand spanking new Durango off the showroom floor no less. Loved every minute of it. Have to do it once. Enjoy!

Posted by: Brian Maddox on 11/03/10 at 6:48 PM

You continue to make me proud fucker - awesome.

If you rally that supercar through the Rockies this winter - better holler.


Posted by: Keeney on 11/03/10 at 7:52 PM

congrats-and excellent choice. i, too, am basing my future choice of car off of fuel efficiency and design. be thankful you did not buy a vw/audi-trust me; junk that is not backed my their pimp/dealers.

i really like what volvo has going on, as well as saab; hoping to see some seriously good trickle-down design work/detailing from the new 9-5 into a wagon.


Posted by: JAF on 11/03/10 at 9:32 PM

Nice rig, sure you’re gonna get some great miles out of it, but… where’s the orange?

Posted by: themark on 11/03/10 at 10:17 PM

So I take it you opted out of the volvo direct purchasing program? Where they fly your ass to Sweden to pick it up, and you get a little vacation out of the deal, and you save a little dough from what I remember. Maybe there not doing it anymore. Eh…it’s all water under the dike anyway now. Enjoy!

Posted by: brent on 11/04/10 at 12:16 PM

Love that car.

What was the final price you arrived at after hours of intense negotiations?

Posted by: Lew on 11/05/10 at 12:24 AM

Yeah! Hows them bun warmers treating you? did you get the adaptive cruise control? that shit is for reals.

Posted by: vtlogcabin on 11/05/10 at 10:52 AM

I just sold my 91 Volvo with 231k on it. Thing was an absolute champ. Never, ever let me down. Car was fantastic man, you made a solid choice. Can’t really go wrong with a prancing moose.

Posted by: Jeremy Bunting on 11/07/10 at 7:56 AM

congrats on the volvo, mr. draplin. i proudly drive my 1998 v70 wagon all o’er the damn greater atlanta area. HOWEVER, i was born and raised in FLINT. in fact directly across the street from the truck and bus plant. talk about michigan guilt; in my neighborhood, if you drove a foreign car, let’s just say it wasn’t unless you had a heavy-duty garage door.

we were duped and we still are. unless america gets over it’s sense of entitlement, we’ll never evolve. gmc, ford and chrysler are eating well-earned crow for screwing us ALL and i applaud your decision to buy a FAR superior vehicle. and i hope you didn’t lose a wink of sleep over it.

my home town, once proudly dubbed “vehicle city” is literally rubble and it’s because those numbnuts fell asleep at the wheels they were making long ago. we all know where the jobs went and they ain’t-a-comin’ back. yeah, i’m a little bitter!

drive that beautiful swedish art piece and do it with pride that you’re a hard-working american that has choices.

Posted by: Andy on 11/07/10 at 6:00 PM

Good for you, brother!

Posted by: Don Guss on 11/08/10 at 8:34 AM
Post a Comment