Thursday, December 5, 2013

Need a baby blue Volvo?

Rich Retyi just sent in what is probably the greatest Craigslist ad of all time. It's quite long, but well worth the read. (H/T: Robbie):

1983 Volvo 240 Must Buy - $650 (Ypsilanti)

Hello. Stop everything you are doing. This is the most important Craigslist ad you will read today; indeed, the most important one you will ever read. In fact, when, as an elderly person, you look back upon your life, you will regard the moment you started reading this ad as the most consequential single instant in your entire life. Not only do you owe it to yourself to read this ad, see the car I am selling, buy it from me, and give me an above market price, but you owe it to your country, countries, or status as a stateless person (my condolences), and to the god, gods, or lack of god that you do or do not believe in (happy holidays). Failure to finish reading this ad will lead to the premature death of you and all your loved ones.

No pressure.

I am selling, and you should buy, a 1983 Volvo 240 Sedan. It's baby blue. In order to truly understand the enormity of the moral and practical imperatives which make it an urgent necessity that you buy this car, you must first be apprised of information about the model, and about this car in particular.

Before you do this, you must be immersed in the Swedish culture from which the Volvo 240 originated. Please start playing some dignified Scandinavian music, such as Edvard Grieg's 1876 Peer Gynt suite, or Basshunter's latest album.

Now that you are suitably en-musiced, here are some important facts about the Volvo 240 series:

Volvo 240s were manufactured by the Volvo car company in Sweden, from 1976 to 1993.

Volvo 240s run and drive. This is not a property of an individual car, but of all Volvo 240s as a group.

Unlike most cars, the Volvo 240 was not built on an assembly line. They were constructed by hand, outdoors in the snow, by teams of tall, bare-chested Swedish men who swung their tools in a synchronized fashion and chanted automobile-durability incantations in unison while they worked. This is the source of the Volvo 240's legendary durability.

Unlike most cars, the Volvo 240 was not designed by professional automotive engineers. Instead, it arrived fully-formed as an inspiration in the mind of the designer while he was ambushed by a sasquatch and trapped under an avalanche in the Swedish Alps. After he was rescued by the centaurs which roam the Swedish countryside, and escorted home by the Royal Swedish Bear Cavalry, he returned to work at Volvo and transcribed, by way of yodeling, his vision onto paper.

During the years it was being manufactured, the Volvo 240 was, as measured by NHTSA and IIHS crash tests, the safest car on the road in the United States. This was due to its strong construction, deep crumple zones, low center of gravity, and front and side passenger ejection seats

There are only three known ways to destroy a Volvo 240:

1. Place it in the center of a gasoline tanker explosion and then crush the remains in a hydraulic press

2. Drive it into the fires of Mount Doom, if you are strong-willed enough to part with it. Destroying a Volvo 240 in this manner may result in the loss of a finger.

3. E-85 gasoline

Because the Volvo 240 is the only car capable of withstanding a direct nuclear blast, and cockroaches are the only life form capable of surviving, in the event of a nuclear war, the earth will be populated exclusively by cockroaches driving Volvo 240s. You have been warned.

The Volvo 240 holds the title of all-time most-successful model in the 24 Hours of Lemons auto race circuit, a 24 hour, tongue in cheek endurance auto race. Volvo 240s have won more championships than any other model, and have the highest average number of laps completed.

When Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, God did not give them a car. But if he had, it probably would have been a Volvo 240. And if it had been, then it would probably still be running today.

Volvo's corporate logo is the spear and shield, the ancient Roman symbol for Mars, the god of war. Since ancient times this symbol has represented iron, and was originally meant to symbolize the superior grade of steel Volvo used in constructing its cars. In recent years, however, the spear-and-shield symbol of Mars has been appropriated as a symbol of masculinity, leading some to the erroneous conclusion that only men drive Volvos. Of course, this is not true. Volvos are driven by spear-carrying hoplites, by Martians, and by cool people of every sex.

The Volvo 240 has a large amount of headroom, because it was designed and manufactured by tall, bare-chested Swedish men.

A Volvo 240 does not have a slow zero to sixty time. Nor a fast one. It reaches sixty precisely when it means to.

A Volvo 240 appears in every James Bond movie between 1979 and 2002. The most recent movies do not feature them because Daniel Craig has had a phobia of Swedish manufactured goods since starring in the ill-fated musical comedy "Lute Fisk!"

Although some people like to name their cars, Volvo 240s are very serious cars, and are incapable of being named.

Some important facts about this particular Volvo 240 of which you should be aware:

This Volvo 240 was manufactured in 1982, has model year 1983, and has been in my family for more than twenty years, first with my grandmother and then with me. In all that time, it has not uttered a single word.

By virtue of being 31 years old, this Volvo 240 is so old that if it walked into a bar, they would not even card it. This will come in handy if you are under 21 and wish your car to purchase alcohol for you.

The odometer died in 1993, and has been reading 147,xxx miles for twenty years. In every one of those years, the car was being actively driven on a daily basis. Therefore, while it is impossible to know with certainty how many miles this Volvo has driven, it is almost certainly in the realm of 400,000 miles, which is enough to circle the earth seven times and then go to the moon.

This Volvo 240 comes equipped with the Jewish prayer for a safe journey inscribed in Hebrew on a handsome plastic plaque on the dashboard. This will shield you from all old-testament-related dangers while you are on the road. If, after buying this car, you are ever smited by God, I will take the car back and make sure you are properly un-smote. That is a personal guarantee.

This Volvo 240 comes equipped with an intermittent electrical fault, never successfully isolated, which means you will, on occasion, be unable to start it in the rain, and instead, while stranded on the side of the road, meet an attractive stranger who you end up sleeping with. It is imperative that you either repair this flaw, or keep the car garaged, if you wish to maintain reliable transportation or remain celibate.

This Volvo 240 was subjected, some time in the 1980s, to a baby blue paint job which, to my knowledge, has only ever been performed on one other Volvo 240. This was the neighborhood drug dealer in Hyde Park, Chicago, where I went to college. During that time, our cars were frequently confused, with the result that I was frequently followed by the police, occasionally approached by persons wishing to buy drugs, and sometimes forced by rival gangs to leave their territory. If you intend to live in Hyde Park, Chicago, please take this into account.

This Volvo 240 comes with a certain amount of body rust. If you ever become anemic, eating food cooked on the affected body panels will suffice to cure you.

This Volvo 240 comes complete with the original jack, a spare tire, and three out of four hubcaps. The fourth hubcap was used to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange on the day the last Volvo 240 was completed, and has never been returned. Probably.

This Volvo 240 comes with a speedometer which has the 55 mph mark outlined in orange, and only goes up to 85. Thus, on modern freeways, you will sometimes exceed the speedometer's measurement capacity, and thus be reminded that you are an autonomous individual, and all limits are temporary. This will boost your self esteem.

This Volvo 240's gasoline consumption is about 10% higher than that of a typical Volvo 240. The extra expense will ensure you develop good budgeting habits and eventually become wealthy.

This Volvo 240's dashboard is cracked, and has been covered with a fitted piece of dark blue fabric. Unlike the normal dash, which in direct sunlight will attain a temperature of 160F, the felt-covered dash will maintain 135F, which is the perfect temperature for cooking a medium-rare steak.

This Volvo 240's windows are manually controlled, which will increase the amount of exercise you get, and thus, your sex appeal.

This Volvo 240's glove compartment lock is frozen in place, necessitating that it be opened by pulling on the door. This will prevent your glove compartment from becoming cluttered, allowing more space for valuables, which will be secure from theft by extremely weak thieves.

This Volvo 240's cigarette lighter does not work. You will not take up smoking, and therefore will not get emphysema.

This Volvo 240 features an intermittent brake warning light, despite the fact that the brake pads were replaced in 2011 and the brake fluid is topped off and not leaking. This will provide illumination to make up for the fact that the panel lights are not all working.

This Volvo 240 comes with a detachable roof rack, which can be used to carry important cargo, such as a mattress and box spring, a full sized water heater, or a wooden crate containing the Ark of the Covenant.

This Volvo 240's radio does work, but only receives stations which are broadcasting static. This will protect you from advertising, and terrible popular music such as Robin Thicke's recent hit single "Blurred Lines." The Volvo 240 consists of straight lines.

This Volvo 240, like all Volvo 240s, uses a single belt to drive both the power steering pump and the air conditioning. However, this particular Volvo 240's belt is somewhat loose, ensuring that if you use the air conditioning during city driving on a hot day, the belt will sometimes momentarily seize, causing a loud noise and killing your power steering, as you execute a tight turn. The noise will attract the attention of other people, who will admire your feat of strength in executing the turn without power steering, and elect you to political office.

Unlike many cars, this Volvo 240 no longer features a suspension, and instead delivers every contour of the road directly to its passengers. This will make you a better driver, in the long run, and make riding in your car a thrilling experience, making you more popular and saving money on amusement park tickets.

Like many Volvo 240s, this Volvo 240 comes with eighteen keys, enabling you to easily lend it to your many friends, or to clean up at key parties. Look it up.

Now, at this point, you must be wondering why anyone, let alone someone distinguished enough to drive a Volvo 240, would ever sell such a car. Indeed, I have often wondered why I have come to this point. The answer resulted from a lot of soul searching. Over the last few years, I have come to gradually realize that I am no longer worthy of driving a Volvo 240. Ever since my girlfriend fell in love with me after I picked her up in the Volvo 240 on our first date, I have been monogamous, and thus have had to take great care to avoid leaving it in the rain (see above). Since starting graduate school, I no longer have encounters with rival drug gangs of my car's doppelganger. I seldom have the opportunity, any more, to show off my car at the valet parking of the Lyric Opera. In short, as I realized one morning while looking in the mirror after my morning swim across Lake Erie, I am not cool enough to drive a Volvo 240. I thus, reluctantly, have been forced to buy a newer Volvo, and to sell my 240 to you, for the low price of $650 or best offer.

Because you have assimilated all the important information above, I assume you are now driven by a passionate urgency to purchase this car, and are making calling me your top priority. Fear not, as I am prepared to take your call at any hour of the day or night. Simply make sure you are sitting down, and call (503) 867-9893, or email, above.

In case you are wondering, this is in fact a real ad. The electrical fault, body rust, etc, mentioned in this ad are also real. If you want to buy a baby blue, 1983 Volvo 240, or for some other reason give me money, please do call.

Incredible. I hope this car finds a good home.


  1. Didn't the Volvo wagon used to be the official car of Ann Arbor until being replaced by the Toyota Pious?

  2. Yes. You were handed the keys to a used Volvo wagon when you bought your first house in Ann Arbor until very recently.

  3. More than a few future home owners have the want surviving in a brand new building. Maybe the uniqueness of this notion has one thing related to the fact that your house are going to be fully fresh along with modern-day.Construction


  4. While the seller's enthusiasm is commendable, the exaggerated tone in the Craigslist ad for the 1983 Volvo 240 might be a bit much for potential buyers.