I really want to acknowledge two GIANTS  in the world of old Volvos and the 1800 in particular.  The first is the great designer who created this utterly unique blend of Italian styling and Swedish reliability, Pelle Petterson :  

And so it came to be that I had another way aside from my antique radio hobbyto spend a lot of my free time and WAY more money than I could sanely defend ..... and I'm having a BALL doing it.

So now Lars had some company: 

‚ÄčAs this addiction got hold of me, I eventually added a second, unmodified 1800 to my 'fleet' and, of course, I had to have a garage to house them and give me some room to play with them.  These graphics are from a Power Point show I made to tell the story of buying them and the building of "The Mancave" 

Back in mid 2008, when I was still running my business, I decided to try opening a branch office. As it turned out, my timing was horrible as it was that year that the financial wizards of the planet couldn't keep a lid on their misadventures any longer and the drove the world economy in the ditch.  So it was that in January 2009, right after the holidays, that I was sitting in that office, wondering if the locals thought it was some kind of a funeral home as business was so dead.  Frustrated and a bit depressed with the season, I turned to Ebay motors to check on the value of my long gone & missed  second car - a 1971 Volvo 1800E and that's how I came to see a sharply modified 1970 that seemed to be attracting little attention as everyone's eyes and ears were focused on the financial news.   So I tagged  it - "just to watch" I told myself, to see how the bidding progressed.  Day after day it hardly moved. Finally the last day came and I figured, "What the heck. I'll throw a realistic bid in the pot to get things moving."  So I did and it didn't, save a little flurry of activity at the end and...  I'd won the car.   

Now all I had to do was to figure out how the heck I was going to pay for it.  

I did and that's how I came to add an old Volvo hobby / habit / addiction to the way I can spend my time (and money).

... And the other person who MUST be brought up in ANY discussion of the 1800 is Irv Gordon who has, beyond the faintest shadow of a DOUBT, shown what an incredibly DURABLE car the 1800 is.... it is really as RUGGED as it is HANDSOME.   Thanks Irv, we all stand in awe of your unassailable record. 

Although I picked him up in Seattle Lars with about 300 K miles on him, was a long time California car with only some minor rust issues (since repaired) and Britta, with under 65 K miles on her had never left Southern Arizona (Tuscon then Phoenix) before coming to her new home so she was a solid as the day she was new. 

NOW I really  needed a place to keep them safe & warm from the Iowa winters; a nice SALT FREE den for hibernation...... that lead to the ManCave project: