VO Moose badge

A recent customer had this sticker on his Volvo. I have always liked heraldry shields, Scandinavian flags (with the cross), and the Moose emblem. This sticker puts it all together in one emblem. Very nice.

I was handed an iPhone at work today. That usually means a customer from AutoTrader wants to talk about one of our pre-owned cars. Sure enough, an out of state customer was interested in our 2006 BMW 750Li. This is a car that I have driven before. I had driven it to Cleveland and back on an errand for the dealership. But rather than recite a description from memory, I walked out to the car and looked it over while we spoke.

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As you can imagine, this car comes with a lot of nice options:

Cold Weather Package (Heated Front Seats, Heated Rear Seats, and Heated Steering Wheel), Convenience Package (Automatic Trunk Opening & Closing), Luxury Seating Package (Driver’s Side Front Active Seat and Front Ventilated Seats), Power Moonroof, and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.

The controls are a bit odd after driving Volvos and Mercedes-Benz cars. But I eventually figured out how to adjust the seats and turn on the fan inside the seats. (That is a nice feature on a warmish day.) The center controller moves you between navigation, entertainment, and a few other options. But I had the hardest time locating the volume knob for the radio. After many attempts with the controller, I found a small volume knob by the CD slot.

After the phone call, I took the car out for a test drive by myself to get re-acquainted. While I am not a BMW fanatic, I must admit that this is a very nice riding car. The 360 hp V8 engine has plenty of power and the ride is very comfortable. I had no problem getting up to speed on the highway and felt fully in control at every moment. In fact, what could have been a short drive around the block turned into my lunch break just because I enjoyed the drive so much. This is the car you would like to take for a day trip into the mountains. It has all the needed power, comfort, and driving pleasure you would expect from the top-of-the-line BMW sedan.

As of the writing of the article, the customer has not arrived to test drive the car. He may or may not. But if I was looking for a nice luxury sedan, this one would be a good one for under $20k. So, click here to see if the car is still available.

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As an adult, there are only so many times you can go down a water slide or sit in the hot tub. Even when on vacation, I like to buy and sell cars. So, with the help of Craigslist.org, I test drove several interesting cars. The first was a 1993 SAAB 900 convertible that needed too much work. The next was a 1996 SAAB 900 manual which was worse than advertised. But on our last full day in Columbus, I came across a 1995 Jaguar XJ6 that was good enough to purchase. I’ve been driving it every day since. It has a rebuilt salvage title but drives very well. I wouldn’t mind replacing the Mercedes-Benz S430 with it, to be honest.

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While in Sandusky, Ohio, I took our 2002 Honda Odyssey in to the dealership for a transmission drain and refill. (The van has already had the transmission replaced but preventative maintenance is always a good idea.) As it turned out, it was a good thing I took it in. The clunking noise in the front end turned out to be bad lower ball joints. (God answered our prayers for travel safety in a different way than expected.) The parts had to be ordered and would not be available until later in the week, so we took the only available loaner car — a 2007 Honda Civic. We left some of our luggage in the car and scrunched the five of us into it. Note: Hondas are not comfortable or especially enjoyable to drive but we spent only $30 for fuel round trip!

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P.S. Can you guess who wanted to drive the Jaguar back from Columbus while I returned the loaner car?

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Replacing the Volvo C30?

Several people asked us where the C30 and C70 were at the 2014 Cleveland Auto Show. They were disappointed to find out that the cars are no longer being produced. A recent report by Motor Authority suggests that the new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) may pave the way for another C30. We can only hope.

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Daimler and Infiniti to Share Platform

In a surprising turn of events, Infiniti will begin producing small cars based on Mercedes-Benz’s compact car architecture (Reuters). I assume the Infiniti will be based on the CLA-Class as the Q50 will be using the MB 2.0L turbo four (Car & Driver).

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No Tesla Dealerships — Who Cares?

Does it really matter that Tesla doesn’t have conventional dealerships? If they can sell their product without the middle man then more power to them. Right? Not everyone agrees. Click here to read Ward’s Auto’s take on things.

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This is a nice article about how safe SAAB automobiles were. I especially like the picture.

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An acquaintance from college recently posted this proverb on LinkedIn. I thought it appropriate to apply to the automobile industry. Some people scoff at the thought of purchasing a Mercedes-Benz or Volvo. Many people tell me that they could lease a ____ for $200 a month with $0 due at delivery. To which I usually reply, “You may be able to lease that car, but then you’ll have to drive it.” That’s not a clever come back. It’s the truth. You can purchase or lease a cheap car but are you willing to put up with it for the next few years?

Volvo makes the safest cars in the world. I am convinced of that. And so is the IIHS. Look at the numerous Top Safety Pick+ awards given to Volvo cars or read the stories of those who have survived horrific accidents in a Volvo or sit in the most comfortable car seats in the world. It won’t take long for you to be convinced that Volvos are worth the extra money.

Mercedes-Benz cars are very well built. Open the hood of a Mercedes-Benz and you will quickly see how nicely they are put together. Look at the seams where the fenders join the engine compartment. Look at the artwork of the brake lines coming out of the master cylinder. Sit inside a Mercedes-Benz and just look at the beautiful interior. Drive one for twenty minutes and tell me what you think of the handling.

It is true that both brands cost more to maintain than some other cars. Parts are more expensive. Maintenance visits are more expensive. The cost to purchase or lease is more. But if those were the only considerations involved with owning a car, we would all still be driving VW Beetles. Some things are more important to drivers than money. Some people consider safety to be important. They don’t mind spending a little more to be sure that their family arrives safely. Some enjoy a comfortable, relaxed drive. They like feeling refreshed when they get out of the car after either a six minute or six hour trip. Some enjoy fine craftsmanship. They enjoy the design of their car both inside and out.

But let’s be realistic. Not everyone can drive a Mercedes-Benz or a Volvo. It may not make sense financially. But those who choose to drive one realize that there is more to a car than what it costs. There are some things that are worth the investment.

1972 Volvo P1800ES

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This afternoon I heard someone paging “the owner of a yellow Volvo” to come to the service counter. It has been a while since I have seen a yellow Volvo. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever seen a yellow Volvo before today. However, a little while later, I saw THE yellow Volvo. Someone shipped this 1972 Volvo P1800ES to our dealership and will have it displayed in the Convertible Showroom near my office. No doubt this will garner a lot of attention. And I must admit that it got me pretty excited. This is a great looking car despite my poor attempt at photographing it. But it is also a very small car that would not fit me very well. My head brushed the ceiling when I sat in the front seat. Still… what a great car!

jag-stand

Remember all those Jaguar parts I didn’t know what to do with? I finally completed the “Jag Stand” to hold my tablet when the docking station arrived Wednesday. The docking station allows me to connect multiple USB, network, and audio devices at the same time. The docking station is sitting atop the gauge cluster from the 1990 Jaguar Sovereign parts car I once owned. The setup works well as I do like having the tablet close to eye level. Otherwise, I tend to slouch and my neck and back begin to complain after a while. So far so good. I’m using it right now to type this article.

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I don’t know how the winter has been treating you lately, but here in northeastern Ohio we have experienced a very cold and snowy winter. As I was cleaning off my car on Wednesday, I began to think about all the few lovely people in our area who don’t care to clean off their cars before driving. For instance, one driver pulled out in front of me this morning. I’m not sure if she ever saw me. A good 4-5 inches of snow was still on the roof of the car and the front windshield was only partially scraped. That would probably explain why she was traveling so slowly.

If you are one of these too-busy-to-clean-off-my-car people, please consider a few points:

  1. If you don’t clean your windows, you can’t see very well out of your car window. You might not like what happens when you hit something you couldn’t see.
  2. If you don’t clean the snow and ice off your car, the wind will eventually blow it onto your windshield, your rear window, and onto the car behind you. That only makes if more difficult for all of us to drive safely together.
  3. If you don’t clean the snow off your headlights, your headlights will not light the path ahead of you. The warm fuzzy glow will, however, give ample opportunity for people to take pictures of the “idiot” who can’t see where he is going in the darkness.
  4. Finally, if you are in such a hurry, please think of how much later you will be after the accident, surgery, court trial, and funeral. That’s not good for any of us.

Here’s my point. What might save you a few minutes could cause a lot of problems for you and the rest of us on the road. Consider the three fatalities near Sandusky, Ohio last Wednesday. Consider also the state highway patrolman who was crushed between two cars. Do us all a favor and take several minutes to clean off your car. Take the time to do it right. It will make a big difference for all of us.

In this age of small engines and turbo chargers, it is easy to forget about the V8 engine. What was once the staple of car buffs has become something of an oddity in normal cars. Why would anyone want to drive a V8 with today’s gas prices? Perhaps you haven’t driven a V8 lately.

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This is a nice 2008 Chevrolet Impala. J.D. Power and Associates gave the 2008 Impala 4 out of 5 Power Circles for Overall Initial Quality Mechanical. New Car Test Drive said it “…will be on many family-sedan shopping lists…a clean, neat, pleasing design that’s not so homogenized as to be boring. It’s an attractive car…” It is nicely equipped with features such as a 303 hp 5.3L V8 SPI, Alloy wheels, Driver & Front Passenger Heated Seats, Electronic Stability Control, Front dual zone A/C, Power Sunroof w/Sunshade, Split folding rear seat, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, Tilt steering wheel, Universal Home Remote, and XM Satellite Radio. With 108,112 miles, it is being sold AS IS with no warranty. Click on the button below to see if it is still available.

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When the new owner of the Jag declined to take the extra parts with him, I was faced with question. What should I do with the boxes of old Jaguar parts? There were three working climate panels, a gauge cluster, carpets, headlights, shifter mechanism, and a bunch of other miscellaneous parts. It seemed like they should be worth something to someone. But even eBay didn’t produce any interest. So…

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Most of the parts were put out with the trash tonight. (Better hurry over if you want any Jaguar junk!) But I did save several items for decoration and practical purposes. The first idea seems pretty good. I saved two of the beige carpet pieces for entrance mats for our porch. One sits by the front porch door while the other sits in the living room just inside the front door. If nothing else they will work for foot wipers before entering the house.

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But the Pièce de résistance is this gauge cluster sitting on the back of my desk in the basement. I recently replaced my old Windows XP desktop computer with a Windows 8.1 tablet and needed something to lift it up to eye level. Once the docking station arrives, I am hoping to use it to raise the tablet to eye level. That should help me to be less hunched over and save me from frequent visits to the chiropractor. Or you can just say I wanted to remember my favorite car, right?

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I remember sitting in the back seat of a borrowed VW Beetle when I was a kid. The rear floor boards had rotted out and there were several 2x4s covering the holes. Those were the days, my friend. The New Beetle borrows the name and a bit of the shape but is a much improved model.

This 2007 VW New Beetle is nicely equipped with features such as Cold Weather Package (Heated Front Seats and Heated Front Windshield Washer Nozzles), Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, CD player, Front Bucket Seats, Power Glass Sunroof, Remote keyless entry, and Telescoping steering wheel. Click on the button below to see if it is still available.