Friday, August 12
Despite the rain on the friday and the fact that VROM 2005 only lasted 2 days instead of 3 it was a fantastic happening! More than 10 Volvo 480 showed up, mostly Swedish, to have a nice Volvo weekend in Göteborg on August 12th and 13th. The first day was tradition-wise a visit to the Volvo factory in Torslanda, a visit to the Volvo museum in Arendal and test-driving new Volvos. Unlike previous years where we could testdrive on the Volvo Demo Center we had a 3 km trip over the industrial facility outside the Volvo museum. This was a nice location to (ab)use all the provided Volvos, within the limits of traffic legislation, of course... Since it had been (and was still) raining quite a lot there were some amazing 'puddles' to drive through. Driving towards them doing 100 kmh and then braking as hard as possible when you enter them is something you probably wouldn't / shouldn't do with your Volvo 480.
The factory visit is always a nice moment to have a look at all the stuff Volvo have produced in the past and to see some of the concepts they have been working on recently. Also Volvos PCC (performance concept car) was put on display! But the nicest object in the museum is of course the Volvo 480 Cabrio, the car that should have been...
The tour through the factory is something that is always interesting to see. They show you the whole proces, from the rolls of sheet-metal that enter the factory to the fitting of the interiours and lights on the car. The role of car-builder has changed from someone that does work on the car to someone that checks or operates the robots that do the hard work for you.
In the evening of the Friday a Western Style buffet was arranged for participants. It took some time and the rock&roll-cover-band wasn't to everyones taste, but the food tasted good and the mood was excellent! The stories about what everyone had done with the various cars that could be tested became braver and braver as the evening passed.
Saturday, August 13
The second day started with a big parts-market in the harbour outside the Volvo museum. It's always funny to see what sort of old stuff is sold there. People paying lots of cash for an old decaying piece of foam with old leather around it, and then even smiling after the purchase is something that makes me wonder: will 480 drivers act in this same manner in a couple of years? Not much stuff is available for the 480 at the VROM parts market, but that will grow in time. Also Volvo had put some nice concept cars on display, as the PCC2 (yep, performance concept car v2), the ACC2 (adventure concept car v2) and the 3CC (3-seat concept car) could be admired.
After the parts market people could participate in the rally. There were four routes to choose from, each with a different activity in between. I chose to go to the Aeroseum. This turned out to be a fantastic flight-museum inside an ex-topsecret military facility. It used to be a high-alert airbase inside a mountain just outside Göteborg where, until a year ago, 8 Saab fighter jets were standing by. It was now a museum and volunteers were working hard on making all sorts of old aircraft fly again. Unless they were in an unrestorable state, in that case they were made fit for display.
At the end of the rally all participants had to perform a handling test, 5 white dots were put on the road about 2 meters behind each other, in a left/right/left/right/left pattern (a 'W'-shape so to speak). The mission was to drive over all the white dots with the right frontwheel. And after that a piece of wood was on the ground, and the task was to park as close to this piece of wood as possible. Of course you couldn't see the piece of would as you got closer, so it really came down to having a bit of feeling with the car.
The participants were divided into classes, like an amazon-class, a PV-class and a 480-class. Of the 11 480 that did the test I was proud to performed best in the 480-class, so I got all the glory, the trophy and lots of cool goodies!! The day ended with a nice meal.
After the meeting we drove to a place with a fantastic view over Göteborg to shoot some nice photos. VROM 2005 was a big succes!
For more info and pictures please visit www.vrom.org.