I’ve been quietly searching around for a backup/beater car. More specifically, either a Saab 900 or a Volvo 240. For some reason, I find these quirky Swedish cars to be classy and refined. My preferences in cars and my philosophy in general on life is continually evolving. Some say this is called getting old. When I was younger, all I wanted was a flashy-looking car. Now, not so much. While others like the attention and being able to break necks in their cool ride, I’m not really into it. Because it’s fake.
There is a reason why many of the truly rich choose to drive modest cars. Take for example Ingar Kamprad, IKEA’s billionaire founder. With all that wealth, he reportedly drives himself around in a 15 year old Volvo 240 and flies only Economy class. Now there is probably no way I would fly Economy if I had the means of choosing otherwise, but I do appreciate his restrained nature. Compensation by extension of trivial materialism is the mark of a fool. Money can be better invested in far more important things.
I’m glad I settled for “just” a 135i rather than buy a M3 or M5. Achieving quality while being understated is the goal.
Back to the subject of the Saab and Volvo… I think they are great choices because they’re cheap and reliable (aside from maybe a transmission concern with the 900). People will probably think I’m a hobo and disregard me. As opposed to thinking I’m a show off with a fancy car, which is not a good thing to be thought of. Since I obviously don’t want a headache, the car needs to be a good example. Although my standards are changed, that doesn’t mean I want junk. I’m simply looking at this car from a value-oriented perspective. But at the end of the day, there is no substitute for quality. Here are the qualities I’m looking for:
- Later Model year… around ’90-94 for the 900 and ’89-93 for the 240.
- Manual Transmission. I may be old, but I’m not old enough to accept a slushbox.
- Hardtop for the 900, no convertibles.
- Low-ish miles, preferably 100k and under.
- Clean and well-maintained, nothing that’s been parked on the side of the road all its life.
So we’ll see. I’m not in a rush or anything, and these 2 cars with my criteria certainly are not the easiest to find.
Be humble outwardly, yet extravagant inwardly.