DS Re-Ring

My friend Peter is doing a ring job on his Citroen DS21 and this isn’t something you see every day so here are some pics:

New Skins for Sadie

The dry rot was getting pretty bad after ten years so on with some Uniroyals. 175-65/15 might even correct my speedometer error.

A bench for Sir Jake

Haven’t felt like posting in a while because my good friend the original old dead Volvo guy Jake was tragically murdered in his own driveway over Memorial Day weekend, steps away from where we had so much fun over the last nineteen years. Good ol’Yakob. I’ll miss him. 
So yesterday was my birthday and it was epic. Among the awesome events was the gift of this memorial bench for the little grove in my backyard. 

Thanks guys!

A New Adventure 

Last post I shared the news that I had done the unthinkable- bought a French car. Not just any French car, a 69.5 Citroen DS21. And in spite of appearances it does run and drive.  And best yet- the fellow Paul who I bought it from found it in a barn!


Somewhere in New Hampshire


Just a little bat guano

Looking tall in a high suspension setting

My friend Peter has one that he’s been working on since I’ve known him and I’ve always been fascinated by it. Everything is controlled through a centralized hydraulic system. No springs or shocks- pressurized spheres provide cushion for the adjustable olio pneumatic suspension.

 It needs full restoration. Lots of rust to contend with.  Wiring issues galore under the hood.

Beyond the complete lack of trunk, note the buckled side panels from being rear-ended. 


Time to strip it down and see what we have. the answer: lots of rust.

First big push with the new porta-power.

A very gratifying Sunday evening activity.

Moving to the sides to push. One side was a little more stuffed in.

Here’s the other side. With the ram and some hammer tapping it’s beginning to look pretty good.

Turns out that the top on this side was crunched in as well.

There, much better.

I just ordered a bunch of repair panels and picked up some sheet metal fabrication equipment so stay tuned for some reconstruction.

A clever trade

It eventually dawned on me that having 145 and 122 wagons and no dedicated winter car was a bit redundant. Even though I was determined to drive Sadie through the season after a thorough winterization (with the 145 as backup) it seemed like I needed to make a change. What could I do? I’ve had Sadie the 122 since 1997 so I could never sell her. And who would give me what the 145 is worth in the middle of winter? The answer was right before my eyes- trade the 145 to my friend Jesse for his hotrod  ’92 240 wagon and some cash.  

so long you handsome devil

 Jesse had lusted after the 145 for a while so it was an easy decision for him.   

Jim’s new whip

 Jesse put a ton of work in the 240:

  • 5-speed conversion
  • IPD exhaust
  • VX cam
  • Billie HDs all around
  • Front lowering springs
  • 780 Bertone v6 wheels with recent tires and a full set of Firestone Winterforce on steelies
  • New belts, T-belt & tensioner and front brakes
  • Recent head gasket (was leaking out the side)
  • Cloth interior with matching headrest pads and armrest
  • Power mirrors
  • Immuminated window switches from a 960
  • Big ’89 matte black tach
  • Clock and economy gauge
  • Blue cargo cover

All it needed was cosmetic TLC and a few odds and ends- polish, trim blackening, washer nozzles unplugged, and a bit of exhaust welding. I also chopped 1.5 coils off the stock rear springs to match the lowering springs out front because Jesse hadn’t gotten around to that yet.   
 This combo actually gives a great ride.    Minky and Ryan helped with the polishing. 

 And Minky and I tackled the blackening using Forever Black.  

   The yellowed headlights got a restoration and black eyebrows.  
 I’m very pleased to have a classy ride for the winter. But more importantly the 145 got a wonderful new home in Somerville. And with the cash I picked up a 69.5 Citroen DS21, but more on that in the next post.  


164 in 2015

Guest post by Tim. It has been almost a year exactly since ODV has reported on the Burg, the wayward Triumph of Hope Over Experience Volvo 164. So what has happened to it since then?



After a slumber under a car cover won a Swedish Car Day ’14, a little air in the tires and it was ready to roll for some upgrades and repairs.


It was still on the tire/rims (and hubcaps) from a 145, and I just didn’t think they looked all that good.

2015-04-12 09.10.42.jpg

A set of steel 240 rims, painted glossy black was just the ticket.


Much better!


One of the first adventures for 2015 was to take a trip back to where I purchased it from to show the former owners that it was in fact up and running.


That same weekend saw the 164 in a small car show at eEuro parts HQ in Connecticut. A lot of neat Swedish steel there that day. I managed to pick up some bargain basement parts (including a pristine 140 shit lever and knob that also fit the 164), and an assortment of other 140/160 parts that may, or may not have been suitable for my car. But for cents on the dollar, it made sense.


May saw the addition of a new face to the family: Malwig.


Pending an 800 mile road trip to Carslisle for the Import and Kit Car show, we decided to take care of a grinding noise coming from the right front. Turns out the bearings that I bought at the eEuro car show for $1 each (regularly in ~$10 each) were a perfect fit. And no more noise!


Packed up and ready to go, against many better judgement. TOHOE!


I was proud of the 164 for having made it all the way down (and back) without any major issues. She looked good out there on the show field!


Memorial Day brought a vain attempt at bringing the burgundy paint back to life. A lot of effort for little results, sadly.


July included a few small local road trips.


Reports of a 164 in a MA junkyard brought us to Greenpeace. It was a ’75, but there were many parts that I could use. Too bad about that drivers side fender, it was rust free.


I grabbed as many small parts from the engine bay as possible, figuring that I was bound to get something that worked, or could work.


I also grabbed the passenger side front fender that was also mostly rust free.


I was also happy to have grabbed this rubber boot that covered the e-brake handle.


The B30 wasn’t running quite right, and our valiant efforts at adjusting the valves and other work didn’t do much to quell the stumbling and stuttering.


The Burg, Fridgewig and Malwig looking good on the show field.

It needed to be running though, because August was the High Holy days of Volvo-dom: Swedish Car Day at the Larz Anderson museum in Brookline, MA.



The Burg wasn’t the only 164 on the field that day. I was happy to see two others, even if it meant that I didn’t have the best (and worst) 164 there. Just the worst.


The opportunity to buy a complete (but non-running) 164 reared it’s ugly head, and I took the plunge.


Hanging out with Handsome Boy, the 145 in the rain.


After much beer, discussion and more beer, the poorly running B30 was diagnosed with an old and tired fuel pump. A few dollars and days later, a new pump was in my hands and ready to go.


Almost looks like I knew what I was doing.


Unfortunately, the new fuel pump was putting out the correct PSI, and the old and tired fuel pressure regulator that had worked in conjunction with the old and tired fuel pump gave up the ghost.


This was the only time that the Burg has ever left me stranded.


A new regulator was installed, and a fitting for a test gauge was also plumbed in.


With such warm temperatures in the Northeast in the December of 2015, the Burg kept on rolling along. I even had the change to celebrate Christmas with the 164!


The Burg made the trek to upstate New York (~700 miles round trip) without missing a beat.


My brother-in-law even took a turn behind the wheel.


So there we have 2015 for the Burg. It was an exciting year, and I’m happy to report that there are many plans for 2016 to make it even better, including a return trip to Carlisle, suspension work and possibly some bodywork. Stay tuned, this Old Dead Volvo isn’t quite dead yet!

Volvo 328

Tim just bought another 164. 164 * 2 = 328

Howdy Friend

Howdy Friend

240 Stripping

When I was on sabbatical in 2013 my nice bicycling wife put a number of my ODV cards on random Volvos. Two years later I received an email from Christy, who I had never met. 

 Sadly a tree had fallen on her poor Bertha   The damage was extensive

  But it had good qualities

And being registered and insured, I bought it and drove it home  

 Tim in the chase car liked the way it cornered 

 Buzzing down I-195 

 into her last sunset  Didn’t even get pulled over!
  The view from Camp GT  Jesse claimed the tailgate shade
  Wife Jenny was impressed
  Even came with meaty snows  
  And artistic window transmissions  And a lovely cloth interior
  We found this baby inside (jk)  It wasn’t too long before it was missing pieces
  And scavengers came around for the “pull the plug” party complete with champagne   After which the stripping began in earnest 
  Pulling of seats  Pilfering of gas (full tank)
  And washer fluid. No waste!  Uncle got a nifty ticket holder
  Then I went on vacation in North Truro. Sunset over Ptown  Ahhhhhh, nice.   Soon Mike and I were back at it
  And with Uncle we decided to drop the motor and tranny out by the subframe  Going
  Going  Gone
  Get over here  Miller Time
  Emptiness   A good night
  Mike got the whole driveline for various projects   What’s next?
  Not a lot left
  Maybe some interior bits  Fun
  Even The Minky got in on it  With some persuading the lights come free
  And the loot pile grew  we found more small stuff to pull
  And Minky got to use the plasma cutter on the two junk doors  Then the time came for her to go
  Blocks and dollies to the rescue   Ready
  Roll her down   Up
  Strap her down  And away she went
  And gone. Nice to have my driveway back. Time to sort the loot.  Bins and bins and more. All in all I made my money back and many friends’ 240s benefitted. Maybe this will become a yearly tradition. 

No Title

just a wonderful collection 


One of these cars is not like the others

hit the Portsmouth Abbey show this morning. Intermittent showers kept most folks away but some cool cars showed up.  

all so round except