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A passion for the wagon

8 months ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


2 October 2023

I arrived as they were departing, and they left me with a strange feeling. I did not love the Volvo estates I drove as a cub reporter in the late ’80s and early ’90s; I drove them, frankly, because my job required me to do so. I don’t remember any surprisingly engaging journeys in one, nor anything that might remotely approximate to any kind of adventure.

And yet when I heard they would be no more, the news pricked something within me. Would I call it sadness? Probably not. But still something went missing, something I’d never really thought about until it was taken away. Like socks.

Of course, Volvo estates didn’t simply disappear in a puff of sooty exhaust smoke, they continued to be made. And although their days appear numbered, they are still made as I write today. But they are not the same. In the early 1990s, Volvo decided a complete change of direction was required, one that involved them making cars their customers actually wanted to buy. A preposterous concept, I know, but that’s the way it was. The old notion that you’d buy a Volvo for no reason other than you really needed a car with those particular attributes was simply discarded.

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