I Bought a 1990 Volvo 240 DL

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I would classify myself as a travel centered person, but life has thrown me a curveball and back in December I switched my focused. I got a job with Habitat for Humanity, started my skin journey with Accutane, bought a car, and signed a lease for a studio in the city. It feels strange to type this because a year ago today I was solo traveling through Ireland. That’s the thing with life though, you never know what’s going to get thrown at you. But if you’re reading this, you most likely want to hear about the newest addition to my family.

Introducing: Viktor The Volvo!

Viktor is the loving name I’ve given to my 1990 Volvo 240 DL as you can see from looking at him, he’s a beauty (or maybe that’s just me). I found Viktor through a craigslist listing one night and sent the guy an email with my phone number. He was super easy going, and up front with me on all the issues. So, I did what anyone would is I planned out a time to meet him.

Viktor The Volvo

It was over an hour from where I lived so I decided to bring a baggie of cash to barter with so I could hopefully leave with the car. I decided to go down with my uncle and brother, as my uncle knows everything about cars and my brother is intimidating. I prefer to be safe, and maybe it was overkill but they helped me stay level headed and aware of the car’s issues once we got to the house.

Buying a 30-year-old car means it’s going to have some issues. Going into that I made sure to prepare myself and think about what issues I’d be willing to deal with, and which would be deal breakers. Before making it out he I told me:

  • The taillights didn’t work.
  • The windshield wipers didn’t work.
  • The horn didn’t work.
  • Front speakers didn’t function.
  • The speedometer and odometer broke.
  • He hasn’t been out in over a year.

These issues did concern me but once I started looking through the Volvo forums and Amazon, I felt less concerned and decided to put an offer in on the car. Once we were down there, drove the car, I found a few more issues:

  • The tires were worn down, would need to be replaced within the month.
  • The battery was the wrong size and needed replacing.
  • The car had no mirrors.
  • The exhaust needed a clamp.

The battery alone I knew would cost me around $100 and tires would cost a pretty penny, so I made the decision to offer him what I felt the car was worth. I told him I had $900 cash and he agreed. I called a notary and 30 minutes later the car was mine. It’s kind of exciting how it all happened but with the help of those around me I was able to swing an amazing car. The only issue I’ve run into since purchasing the car (and it was maybe 24hrs later) was that the belts snapped on me. They were put on backward for some unknown reason, so we decided to replace all the belts with new ones from Amazon.

I have yet to take my car to a mechanic, mostly because all the issues I’m finding seem to be very straight forward and with the help of my uncle, youtube (the Volvo community is big about posting how-to videos), and my manuals I’ve been able to fix all the issues myself. At first, I was going to try and keep track of everything I fixed and paid for on the car but at the end of it, I no longer cared. The exhaust clamp cost me $7 (when mechanics were quoting $100+) and the taillights cost maybe $20 and 3 days of labor. But I loved every minute of it and that has caused me to love my car. I talk to my car, just little things here and there because sometimes I feel Viktor wants me to fix him up just as much as I want to fix him.

Viktor The Volvo

Viktor is my 1990 Volvo 240 DL and I love him. He’s not only reliable but a great cruiser. I still have a few small issues I’m working on fixing but I know he can get me to where I need to go and more. I’ll be packing up Viktor next week, now when I’m posting it has been past the trip but a post to come, for a drive to explore more of North America and I couldn’t be more excited.

I know this isn’t my usual content but as my life changes, I want to continue to share that with all of you, even if it’s just the small things in my life. I hope you enjoyed reading about my the new joy in my life and if you want to learn more about Viktor the Volvo and my upcoming journeys make sure to give subscribe.

Until Next Time,


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