As I am about to start a new job (away from the city, therefore somewhere where public transport can't really take me ), I found myself in need of a beater car for the rest of the winter.

Now, In just a couple of months, I will be able to get my summer car out on the road. But in the meantime, I needed to spend as little as possible on a car to do around 110 km ( what, 70 miles ?) a day, for the next 2-3 months.

My main criteria for buying a car were :

1 : Cheap

2 : Really cheap (Like, less than 1000$ for the car+plates+insurance)

3 : Somewhat fuel-efficient ( So out went the few CVPI I spotted)

4: Reliable-ish

This list was made by looking at the logical reasons.

But I never bought a car by being logical. There is always that little voice in the back of my head that saw an ad on Kijiji ( Quebec's version of Craiglist ) and almost forced me to call this guy about his 98 Grand Prix GTP with a ''rebuilt supercharger making over 400 HP'' for 900$. That little voice added two points on that list.

5 : Different (no civic, corolla, accord, camry... Something I can easily spot in a parking lot)


6 : Power OR manual transmission OR diesel OR wagon ( because Jalopnik, of course).

Well I can now say that the search is over. I just came home with one of the rustier example of 1993 Volvo 240 wagon I ever saw.

Illustration for article titled So I needed a short-term car
Illustration for article titled So I needed a short-term car
Illustration for article titled So I needed a short-term car

Now, I know it is not perfect, it has some issues ( the overdrive is not working, making highway drive somewhat noisy). Visually it is not great, the rear window is one huge piece of plastic. But the engine is working great, there is 4 winter tires on it, and I paid 300$ for it.


So far, I quite enjoy the boxy wagon. It is dreadfully slow (four, err... 3 speed auto mated to an engine that made 107 horses two decades and more than 190 miles ago), but the combination of RWD and the great all-around visibility makes it very comforting to drive. Plus, even without overdrive, it still manage to do 19 miles per gallon, which is... okay, not that great. Any fellow 240 owner wanna chime in on what that overdrive trouble may be ( I heard it may be a solenoid on the tranny, but I would love to be sure before starting to throw parts at it)?

So here's to you, my new Volvo, may you never leave me stranded on the highway with pieces of your driveshaft strewn all over the road!

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