Story of My Obsession

This story is still rather incomplete

Sometime in the late sixties or early seventies

I am in elementary school. A co-worker of my father stops by our house in a really cool car; a red coupe with fins. I am very impressed and I ogle it the whole time he is visiting my dad.

The early 90's

My father subscribes to Hemmings motor news. In the early 60's he really wanted to own a Corvair, but could never afford one. I buy my dad a rusty Monza convertable for $1500 on a lark. We pour some money into this car and have some good times, but eventually he decides to spend some real money $5000 (Corvairs are cheap.) one in good shape. At any rate browsing the Hemmings, allows me to deduce that the red car with fins I saw in our driveway years ago is a Volvo 1800. I want one, but I am also quite poor. A am a freelance artist with an assortment of poorly paying day jobs. Before I start thinking about buying frivolous cars, I should probably buy a house, save for retirement, and otherwise prudently use my finances. I do subscribe to a 1800 auto club magazine for a year. I almost buy a copy of Bill Webb's Swedish Iron (now out of print)

In fall of 2005 I get a job teaching in an Elementary school. Soon after I am browsing the internet looking at cars.

Add posted online on Sept. 23, 2005
Re: WAnted P1800 for Project
I have a 1970 P1800E for sale. Her name is Penelope. I love her but need cash for now.

Reply Show question Show reply Show debate Jessica, Madison, 2005-09-23 23:01:04

I purchase a Volvo repair manual $7.39


I register the car with the department of motor vehicles. $45.00 title fee, $137.00 sales tax. I do not get plates, since I do not expect to be driving the car any time soon. I don�t actually have possession of the car yet (which worries me some), but I have spent a lot of money to get the title and the act of registering the car makes me feel a little more like I own it.


Mike's towing service bills me $84.40 to move the car from Verona to our house. I ask them to use a flatbed in case there is salt on the roads. The driver is not sure what kind of car it is but he agrees it is cool. Hyunji and I take pictures of the car arriving. The car rolls into our garage, just barely squeezing in. (I think our garage must have been designed for a model T.)

Summer of 2006
I get cancer, so the project is on hold.

Summer of 2007
paint and bodywork is done. I get to drive for a few times before garage season arrives.

Spring 2008
The car emerges from the garage with a rough idle that gets progressively worse through the summer.

April 2009
I take the car to my mechanic who takes an awful long time to look into the rough idle.
November 2010 The car comes back

April 2010
I get the battery charged (It was dead and later I discover that an under dash light has been left on.)

Late April 2010
With the batter charged I take the car out. The idle is much better but still needs work. I drive to school and to a website client's home. The weather is just right and the car is a lot of fun to drive.

I find an ipod charger and speakers that plug into the cigarette lighter. The charger is $20 and the speakers are $8. Since I have never gotten the radio to work, I am delighted to have an alternate. The speakers are quite faint when the engine is running so I guess I will have to get the stereo working after all.

May 4 I take the car to the mechanic
May 5 One of my third graders (Maysn) says "Mr Haynes, I like your car!" All the other third graders chime in. Writing lesson is abandoned momentarily to discuss my passion.
Later that day the mechanic reports the fuel is running rich at slow throttle. He says there is no sludge in the fuel filter and good pressure from the fuel pump. The car is not ready yet.

June I am hired at the University of Seoul. Regretfully I leave the car in Wisconsin and head overseas. I take a matchbox replica with me.