Surf Wagon: The Silver Swede

Surf wagons should have soul. They take you to the sea. Surfboards and suits, camping crap and a cooler. An essential. Especially for all us city dwellers turned surfers. Coffee on the way to the coast. Breakfast behind the wheel. Lunch looking out at the ocean. A beer or two on the back bumper. If you're lucky you can camp out inside. A welcome reprieve from winter weather. A safe place to sleep in the summer.

About a year ago, while waiting in line for the ferry, the waterpump in my Jeep took a shit. Our friends at O'Reilley's were kind enough to deliver some coolant and a couple of radiator hoses, but the damn thing wouldn't stop overheating. Our day was done? I think not! Couple of calls, friends and family, and we were back in line for the ferry, this time at the wheel of the 'Silver Swede,' a 1989 Volvo 240 wagon.

It belonged to my friend Joel. More like his mother. It had sat for a few years, though. Outside her house, somewhere down south. Government green got it. A refund check and a real deal. Ran like a top. Four small cylinders and an automatic transmission. It was perfect, really. Two boards, two people and plenty of room. We slept inside every weekend. Two or three nights at a time. We got in the habit of leaving everything in the back. Blankets, pillows and a pair of mattress pads. Like an unadulterated R.V.

It replaced the Jeep as our primary surf wagon. Fuel efficient, problem free and unassuming. One night, on our way out of town, we were pulled over by Washington State Patrol. No license, no insurance, no title, no nothing. "Just get your shit together," he told us. Had we been driving my Jeep, I don't think he would've been so kind. Maybe his mom drove an old Volvo ;) Fast forward a few months and a crazy-eyed bitch in a BMW decided to kill Karissa's car, turning ever so abruptly in front of us. At 30mph. DOA. Bought an Outback about a week later. A real nice replacement. Heated leather seats and all-wheel-drive. But you can't sleep inside. Not comfortably. And it has no soul. Not yet. Things like that take time.

Click here and check out some of the other Surf Wagons we've seen along the way.


Mark V said...

The end of the road is so sad.

Robert Carrier said...

My silver Swede. Love it.


Anonymous said...

You realize that this shit only happens when I'm in your car, right? -Beads

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