Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Va Va Voom...Volvo

Saratoga Springs, NY is often known for horse racing and fine dining. On our way home from The Ragnar Relay Race (not horse related but a 200 mile human running event. We dropped off some friends at their hotel and I found this. No, it's a VolksWagon Bug (I know, VW fans are cringing at the thought of me even referencing that) but I can see at least some resemblance. I had to ask about the car but it was locked up sitting pretty like a dog waiting his owner from the porch window. I moved on and was going to do a Google search on it but then as luck would have it the owner showed up! I was giddy as a school boy on the last day of school.  He graciously answered my plethora of questions and put up with my annoying enthusiastic persistent inquiry of his classic car. This is a 1954 Volvo 444. It's a 3 speed manuel fully restored to it's original specs. One of the fun things that I learned is the additional 3rd mirror as seen in the front shot on the driver side. It was added as a Volvo safety "innovation" to avoid blind driver's side blind spot. How cool is that? In the '50's few car makers were thinking about safety. If they did it was more along the lines of "our grills are so big you won't even notice that you've hit something". 
What I especially like about this car is the smooth lines that contour into was almost accidental aerodynamics. This car was a very common driver around town but seems not to have survived much in the way of classic car world. Much less typical than a VW Bug or Ford Mustang for instance. But how could this not be noticed. This symmetrical beauty was robust although not fast but take a look at this interior. Comfortable and neatly outfitted. Not bad for a "cheap" ride that was a run about.  The Volvo Owner's Club website has a great history on the PV444 as well as it's siblings th PV 544. It details the origin as well as some of Volvo's rich racing history! Who knew Volvo's were supped up to race? There are also some great shots of these cars from the Volvo archives. Enjoy! Write in with  your comments below in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you all!

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