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Car of the Month

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Car of the Month August 2004 belongs to Sophie Watson-Brown, member 1431.

Me and my 480's

I'm Sophie, a 19yr old 480 freak from near La Rochelle, SW France. At this moment, we own two 480's, one being a 1989 ES and the other a 1994 Turbo. Although I'm not yet an owner, I look after, and when allowed, drive my parents 480's.

How I met the Volvo 480?

Some years ago, after a session on the internet, my dad said "That's it, I've bought it" Bought what I asked… The response didn't please me … "Oh no, not another Volvo ! Dad, we've already got a 340, a 360 and a 760, don't you think we've got enough tractors ? Can't we get another MGB instead?" But it was too late, the purchase had been made and a week later I was standing at the end of our drive, awaiting an ugly box thing that was going to take it's place in the family… All of a sudden, a stunning little black coupé appeared and crept up to the barn…black with an aubergine sparkle to it, and a red stripe down the side of it. I stood there speachless. What's this? Is this really a Volvo? That was our first 480. A 1990 turbo, with sunroof, and loads of gadgets everywhere. We kept her for only 6 months and then she was sold to a Parisien who needed her engine as his had caught fire… Not long after the turbo arrived, came the ES. She was really my first love, as she was the first one I was allowed to drive.

Who are my 480's?

I'll start with the ES. She was born in 1989. She's smoke silver, with leather seats, and the usual specifications. Her rear wings are a bit rotten and the windscreen is cracked from both bottom corners. She doesn't get driven anymore and she will probably end up being a donor car. I can't put her into the French system because of the windscreen and my lack of time to put everything right. Next comes the turbo, born in 1994, she is Paris Blue, with sunroof, leather/fabric interior and only 95.000km on the clock. We bought her a few months ago, in England, from a chap who had to sell her after she broke down and refused to restart. The AA recovery man said it was the fuel pump that had given up the ghost…very expensive to replace. Wrong ! An incorrect diagnosis made in haste as we discovered once we got it back to France. The car had been poisoned at the petrol station shortly before it broke down and on draining the tank we measured out 6 liters of water. Now she runs great !. We all feel really sorry for the previous owner when with a little further investigation of the problem he would still have his car today. Let this be a lesson to all…never accept a first diagnosis and certainly not one from a recovery man who is not a specialist. Other than this our little car is almost perfect although it seems she had an accident at some point, as the shade of blue isn't exactly the same on the front right wing, the door isn't quite set right, and the spoiler was originally red, as there are bits of blue paint coming off in a couple of places ! With such a low mileage on the clock she still drives like a new car, tight and responsive. A real dream!

What's coming next?

Right now I'm looking for a 480 for myself, and I'm rather interested in a nice little 2.0 litre Two Tone in the north of France. I'm still trying to get the price down a bit as there are a couple of things to do to it that may be a bit expensive for my pocket as I am still a student. However, when I eventually find the car of my dreams she will be the most pampered 480 on the forum. I've been contaminated with the 480 virus and I hope I'll never recover!

Greetings from France.

Sophie Watson-Brown, member 1431