... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Friday 16 December 2016

The fleet

For the last couple of weeks I've had a 'change car' as poor old Bluebird conked out en route to Sussex suffering from - we think - ignition module trouble. It was only after I Googled 'what does a ballast resistor do?' that I realised it had been showing the symptoms of being on the way out for weeks, had I but recognised them. As I not only had to get back to Sheffield, but the following week needed to do the car shuffle for getting Chertsey back to Alvecote, I came back in our newest acquisition. And I like it very much indeed.

On the way I set to recalling all the Volvos we've had since I fell in love with the first one on a local forecourt in 1999, and I came up with a total of eleven. They have always had names, which may seem daft, but of the current four, three are the same colour and two of those are the same model, so it does help.
The current fleet - from the foreground: Botterham, Sheffield, Bluebird, Uxbridge

I am a bit hazy on some of the technical details and specs, but Jim will no doubt be along to fill in the gaps. So here is the fleet list:

1. Trusty Volvo
Red, 240 saloon, 2.3 auto, C reg. £450 I think. 1999-c.2004. Scrapped; rotten underneath.

2. Rusty Volvo
Blue, 240 saloon, 2.3 manual. D-ish? Given to Jim by now long lost friends, one of whom drove it like a lunatic. 2000 ish; scrapped.

3. Thrusty Volvo
Silver, 960 estate. Turbo. Jersey registered, no idea what year. Also given by same people, who also drove it like a lunatic, with no water in it, for months. Eventually it succumbed.

Then there was also Crusty Volvo, which wasn't actually a Volvo at all, but a courtesy title for the 1974 Bedford CF Dormobile.

4. Snowball
White, 740 estate, H reg. One of the few we sold on. A bit too technically advanced for our liking.

5. Silver (aka The Flying Brick)
Silver, 240 estate, 2.3 manual. F reg, perhaps? Quite tatty looking but didn't half go. Sprung a water leak on the way to Stretton one time and ended up in Keith's scrap skip.

6. Bluebird
Blue, 240 saloon, 2.0 auto. F reg. 2005-present. Cost me £200. I miss the .3 though.

7. Fang
Dark grey, 240 estate. F reg. Ran this one for quite a while. Also ended up in Keith's skip I think; crankcase oil seal.

8. Tufty
Dark (non metallic) blue, 240 estate. A fairly basic model which we actually bought for its new headlights. Ran it for a bit but scrapped it when the heater stopped working.

9. Botterham
Blue, 740 Facelift estate, manual. H reg? 2012 - present

10. Sheffield
Red, 240 estate, 2.3 (I put manual but actually I think it's auto? Can't remember). K reg. 2014  - present

11. Uxbridge
Blue, 740 Facelift estate, auto. H reg. 2016 - present. And I might not give it back.

You'll see that we started with a series of rhyming names, then moved on to colour based ones. Tufty and Fang's names were derived from their registration numbers, and since the fortuitous find at Botterham, we've just called them after wherever they came from.

I hope I haven't made too many errors - there are bound to be some. I'm sure Jim and Halfie won't hesitate to correct them and fill in the gaps.


  1. Impressive! My son will be very interested.

    1. He might have seen the red one around. It came from up Ecclesall Road.

  2. After much unsuccessful struggling with the comment function, Jim has sent me the following:
    Thrusty was a 760 GLE with a Renault derived 2.9 V6. Had very exotic electrics and had its head gasket wrecked by Linda. [previous owner]
    Snowball was a 740 2 litre man, crap electrics
    Silver did not end in Keith's skip, it rusted away.
    740 turbo auto (not named) radiator hose went on M40 and was recovered to Keith's and went in skip. [this must have had a name but neither of us can remember it. It makes the total number 12]
    Fang was a 240 GLT auto. The crankshaft oil seal went on the M40 and we drove to Keith's via back road trailing a spectacular smoke screen. [and we had the fun of trying to get the spare oil out of the back whilst keeping the cat in...]
    BOtty is a 740 GLE 2.3 man/od
    Sheffield is 2.0 with 5 speed man
    Uxbridge is a 740 GLE auto with very low miles [and is very nice :-)]

  3. You're just making me green ...

    Andrew does know the red one. He's currently wondering what to do with his 850R (a rare manual one) on which the catalyser keeps self destructing. He wants a similarly fast Volvo estate to replace it.

    Meanwhile our 240DL keeps on going. But is dreadfully sluggish, as it always has been.