Our favorite entries from Hagerty’s Classic Volvo Giveaway!
Greetings! Here now, the latest update in Hagerty’s Classic Volvo Giveaway!
Yes, that’s right—we are helping giving away a vintage car! A 1990 Volvo 240 sedan!
Caveat: The car is kind of scruffy. The odometer is well into six figures. But that’s the point—this is running and driving machine, still lovable, many fun miles ahead. And a great way to enter the classic-car hobby.
This contest is now closed, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over. More than 170 people entered our giveaway by replying to a post in Hagerty’s Community forums. Each of those folks wrote a short essay—or poem, or brain dump—of no more than 300 words. Those entries ranged from serious to funny, heartbreaking to heartwarming. In the end, our panel of judges worked with the 240’s current owner to select three finalists.
Those finalists were announced last week at this link.
The original contest entries can be found at the bottom of this post in our forums.
The grand-prize winner will be announced right here on Wednesday, July 13.
This site has 1.5 million unique monthly readers, and this contest was a fun window into your world. We loved hearing from you so much, we’ve decided to share choice cuts from your entries.
Don’t think of the selections below as a best-of list. There were just too many great submissions to share them all. The excerpts below are just a few of the many that made us smile.
Entries have been edited for readability and space. Editorial comment, where appropriate, lives in italics.
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!
I’m no writer, won’t be able to wax nostalgic and charm the judges with sleek, Ikea-centered jokes. —ttuseth
Pro tip: Our humor standards are extremely low. Never underestimate a car writer’s appetite (ha!) for saucy (double ha!) meatball puns.
Maybe call it a honeymoon trip for the car, and my soon-to-be wife and me. Well, maybe not her dream, but I bet it’d still be a lot of fun. —pjsmith7
My wife has been invited along on most of of my dreams. Some of them were even fun for her!
What a great chance to own the car I’ve been wanting since the ’80’s! I had my eye on one of these beauties back when, but my besties said the car was too old for me. —ronjsmoove331
I would grab every vehicle booklet whenever Dad went to a car dealership … Now I wonder why we were even at those dealerships, because Dad ended up coming home with a well-used 1987 Nissan Stanza wagon!
That Stanza taught six kids how to drive while earning the nickname “Spud.” It was shaped kind of like a potato, was just as practical as the humble tuber, and was every bit as bland and uninspiring. —Binksman
Let us all now bless and keep the humble tuber. Hallowed be thy name.
Like many I have heard the rumors about the durability … Rumors that Ikea was going to melt old redblocks to make door knobs but couldn’t make a flame hot enough, [that] Dolph Lundgren lost to a 240 in a bar fight, [that the car has] been called safe more times than A-Rod, or that Marduk throat screams cause black smoke to pour out the exhaust … I’ll rename my cat Sven. —wackojacko
I need this because I manically bought a $1000 shitbox at the beginning of the pandemic after a breakup, sold it six months later, and regretted it immediately. A rusty, one-owner SVT Focus with no A/C. It was not a suitable replacement for a girlfriend, it was better. I flew one way to Minneapolis sight unseen in hopes that it wouldn’t break down on the way home.
I drove alone through eight states, thought about relationships, listened to music on headphones (the radio was also broken), ate junk food, stayed in a third-world hotel, and fell in love with the decision I made to do something rather stupid and unexplainable … When I sold it, the buyer told me I was going to regret it. He was right. I need this in my life again. —MrShoe
I, Sam Smith, cannot remember ever buying a shitbox non-manically. You are my people. Welcome.
If the world needs anything nowadays, it’s a Volvo 240, the quintessential sleeper, with a supercharged V-8. Let me give the world what it needs! —Rushmore
On my 24th birthday, a surprise snowstorm kicked up while driving my 1983 Volvo 242. As I changed lanes to finish passing two trucks, the Volvo fishtailed ever so slightly in the slush. I tried to correct it, but that only made things worse. Then worse. And worse still.
Next thing I knew, the lead truck slammed into my bumper. He jackknifed, as did his partner, and both trucks crushed my Volvo against the freeway guardrail. One ended up in my trunk, and the other in my passenger seat. Every pane of glass shattered.
I walked away with nothing but a few shards of that glass in my scalp.
On the way to the hospital to get checked, the paramedics couldn’t stop talking about the wreck and my condition. They’d never seen anything like it. “I was positive we’d be pulling bodies from that car,” one said. —AUH2064
I’ve always wanted a Volvo. Well, actually, I have never wanted a Volvo, but after seeing one here for free it occurs to me that I could use this as the source of endless mirth in the Walmart parking lot. —tmkreutzer
This sounds like a car I would love. My first was a gold 2003 Volvo S60 base model. It may have handled like a boat, and 0-to-60 was three business days, but it was safe, and it did have a handbrake to goof off with. I named it Bunk, because when it first broke down (and had a small smoke show) a week after purchase, a close friend said to me ‘that’s one bunk-ass car, man’ and it stuck. —Redxzander
I wasn’t cool in college, because I drove a Triumph GT6 instead of a Volvo like this. Matter of fact, I was the black sheep of the family, as my older sister’s husband drove a PV444. Please help me redeem myself. It’s never too late! —M3_Tom
It’s all relative, Tom. I was deeply uncool in school, and I drove a Volvo. Now I am deeply uncool and want another one, so, uh, hooray for Volvos?
My first Volvo had those wheels. They were original. 1994 940 Turbo wagon. Those are 940 wheels. Do they have to go on a Turbo? Do they have to go on a wagon? I don’t know and I don’t care, but they were factory on that old 945 Turbo. And they were hot.
I need your Volvo. I hate wheel swaps. I love those wheels. I love that car with those wheels. Since I sold that teal 945 Turbo (not having any idea how stupid it was to sell a teal 945 Turbo), I have had a 1998 Volvo V90 with boringass wheels, a 2005 Volvo V50 T5AWD6MT with boringass wheels, a 2007 Saab 9-3 SportCombi Aero6MT with boringass wheels, another 1994 Volvo 945 (no turbo, no turbowheels), and another 1998 Volvo V90 with boringass wheels.
I still have the 945 and V90 with boringass wheels and I love them. But they do not have turbowheels. I need your Volvo. I will not convert it to a turbo, or a wagon. I will not add gauges and spoilers and I will not take the wheels off to put them onto my 940 wagon because my 940 wagon has the original boringass factory wheels and I love and appreciate that it has its original wheels. —mkw4114
I read this three times and laughed each time. Then I read it again a fourth time, just to smile again.
A Volvo I would not advise
It needs some buffing on its eyes
But, less than ten K yearly.
And so um, I might still decide
To enter (to improve my ride
And not from fashion merely)
I’d drive that meatball to Ikea
Attain my joy with that idea
I guess I’d love it dearly
My chance I know is pretty thin
I enter only on a whim
A little brickbox bet
I had a yuppie friend named Mark
Who bought a Volvo on a lark
He thought that he was set.
He died because he never knew
That Volvos can outlive us too
The car is running yet.
(With apologies to Belloc) —82spider
There was a good amount of absurd poetry. You guys are great. (The reference is here, if you missed it.)
Though square and Swedish,
the passion burns like a flame–
caught in clogged flame trap. —kblupino
And thus we mark the first time in history that anyone has used the words “Swedish” and “flame trap” in the same 5-7-5.
Sajeev, you villain. (Someone has to be blamed.) —Snailish
Our community manager, Sajeev Mehta, lives in a castle in darkest Texas, where he manages his evil empire. Either that or he’s got a perfectly respectable and non-castley place in Houston where he parks like 20 different 1980s Ford products and is generally a boon to humanity. I can’t keep track.
Hi there, recently divorced middle-school band director from Amarillo Texas here. That’s it … that’s my essay.
Straight up though, as someone that has zero life and minimal personal time (this isn’t a cliché, right?), I need this 240. There is nothing that goes more with my thrifted pearl-snap shirts and personality loosely based on a combination of Ben Folds and Brian from Regular Car Reviews than this sexy loaf of Swedish BEEF. (That’s what my roommate calls me.)
I owned a 240 from 2017 to 2019 that I drove several times from Virginia to Texas, and then to grad school every day. That was my dream car. Named “Lloyd” by the previous owner (she was hot and her dad was handsome), he was everything I wanted (the car). Lloyd had a Martha’s Vineyard bumper sticker and so much missing trim, but my favorite part was the lack of cupholders that forced me to use my inner thighs as a submarine for sweaty Taco Bell cups. That $700 ABSOLUTE UNIT was the wind beneath my wings.
Then I got married to a basic white girl and Hobby Lobby be expensive, you dig? I had to have a more practical vehicle to be an adult in … whatever that means. So Lloyd was loaded up on a trailer and sent out west. But I always said I’d have another brick someday when life settled down.
OH MY GOD WHY ARE THERE SO MANY PEOPLE LIKE ME THAT ARE BUYING THESE THINGS THEY’RE SO EXPENSIVE NOW
So here’s where I’m at. I’m a teacher. I have enough money to exist. But I want to be an enthusiast that actually has a project. I promise I won’t drink warm PBR in it. —Acbennington1
This is a family website, so we redacted the last line in AC’s post. But I will admit to laughing at it. (If you’re curious, the unedited essay can be found on the forum contest page. Hagerty neither endorses nor condones the message therein.)
They’re boxy but they’re good! If a Berserker was alive today he would drive a Volvo! Even a Bear can’t claw its way into a Volvo! —77cliff
77cliff, I love you.
In the ten-year span my dad owned the Volvo, my younger brother and I eventually became old enough to drive. (See pic below: me, my brother, and Volvo, circa late ’70s). We cut our four-speed-manual driving teeth in that car. In high school, our Volvo was notoriously known at the “taxicab!”
Wherever that car was, there we were … no one else in town owned a mustard yellow Volvo! What my dad babied for ten years, my brother and I put to the test. Dented doors and overcapacity passenger limits, the old Volvo endlessly delivered … until we were just tired of driving it. —namenotfound
Please enjoy this photo of three year old me and the 740 that’s still in my dad’s garage. –idriveabluegti
I did. Very much. Thank you! And thank you to everyone else who shared photos!
I’ll level with you right off the bat—I have no money. Sure, that sounds like a pandering plea to the wealthy masses for charity, but it’s a straight fact. I’m in my mid-twenties and work three minimum-wage jobs. Sure, I have a fancy degree in an otherwise useless field, but it’s yet to yield fruit beyond the occasional “oohs” and “ahhs” when people ask where I went.
I’ll say this for the Boomers and Gen Xers in the back while I’m out here, too, even if it might sink my Volvo-acquiring dreams: Life blows if you’re a Millenial or Zoomer. Growing up and entering the job market during the most economically unlivable period in American history sure is one s***-covered sucker of a bildungsroman. And while I’m here ticking off the old folks, I’ll say this: it’s a helluva lot worse if you’re a woman, especially a queer woman. Yeah, yeah, gasp and clutch your pearls, Harold. I’m a lesbian who likes Volvos (to absolutely no one’s surprise). I’ve got that card in hand, why not play it?
The word count is banging on my door right now, so I’ll wrap this up, but consider this, even if you don’t pick me—please pick someone who really can’t afford this thing. Do it for all us broke-ass young enthusiasts who feel like the world is on fire and we’re out of extinguishing foam. Because if we’re all going to hell, it might as well be in Volvo 240, right?
Lastly, to prove that I got a blasphemously useless degree in poetry, here is a haiku from yours truly (eat my cargo shorts, Harold):
An Ode to a Volvo 240
The old box lumbers
In proud patina, t’wards those
Freeway exit wounds.
I want this. I can see myself now, wrapping up dinner with Sam and driving the Volvo straight through the night to the Olympic Peninsula and camping on the beach, waking up to see the Volvo with fresh eyes. Mine.
And there’s Sarah the barista. She came to dig razor clams, but first she’s making coffee with my camp stove on the trunk. The stove boils 500ml of water in 100 seconds, and Sarah makes it all worth it.
Everything we brought fit in the trunk, and Sarah keeps the snacks in her door pocket. She likes how simple it is inside, and I bite my tongue when she puts her feet up on the window.
The first thing I did when I got the Volvo was detail it, and now Sarah rubs the sand from in between her toes while she drinks her coffee in the passenger seat. I forgive her, because she made coffee. And she does like Volvos. —newcaroldsoul
Wait. Are you … me?
So. A boxy, peeling-clearcoat, automatic sedan. Sounds like the dream, doesn’t it? The least desirable of old Volvos, at a time when Volvos are reaching a new level of hipster catnip.
Really, the market?
This may be Hagerty, but I think we’re all wise enough to know that no one owns a classic because of the market. And you sure as hell shouldn’t buy a car because other people are.
Like, bro, the spot’s already been blown up. It’s so mainstream now.
Sometimes, we don’t buy a car because it’s popular, or because of what it is on the surface. We buy a car because of what it represents. —johnoble
John gets it.