The MuscleCar Place Podcast – Episode #100 – Brigid Schulte’s Love of a Volvo 850 Turbo “Muscle” Wagon

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Brigid's "Muscle Car" Volvo - a 1995 850 Turbo Wagon

In honor of the 100th episode of The MuscleCar Place podcast show I decided to do a feature interview on a “muscly” 1995 Volvo 850 Turbo Wagon. Oddly enough, I believe that can hear the collective groan of muscle car readers worldwide as I type this, but I’ll ask that you bear with me a little bit. I came across this car after reading a fantastic article in the Washington Post written by Brigid Schulte that was called “Crash and Yearn.” The article had been forwarded to me by a high school buddy that thought I might enjoy it, and he couldn’t have been more correct.

The article detailed how painful the death of Brigid’s Volvo was to her after an accident that left it “totaled” by her insurance company’s standards. She wrote that the Volvo was more than just a mere car and had become a legitimate member of her family. It was a car she and her husband had purchased while she was 6 months pregnant with their first child, a move made in preparation to haul the baby whose existence was in itself a miracle after years of being told it couldn’t happen. The Volvo was a friend, a protector, and was something that had never occurred to her would ever leave her life. The more I read, the more I nodded in agreement, and the more I realized that her story is exaclty what this podcast show has always been about; the fact that the cars in our lives, even the muscle cars, are merely a bridge to people that we’ve loved and all of our life experiences wrapped into one.

As an investigative reporter Brigid took it upon herself to literally stalk her Volvo’s fate after it had been taken from her. She had determined that while she loved the car it had been a bit of a lemon, and when all was totaled up she had over $40,000 invested in it between the purchase price and the repairs, and she had bought it used. When speaking to experts on her connection with the car she learned that it was indeed possible for people to have a real honest-to-God relationship with the car, and it was a unique phenomenon that didn’t translate to other items like toasters and tables. She also determined that cars like hers were generally scrapped or sent to foreign countries to be rebuilt with cheaper labor and parts, but after running a VIN search she discovered the car had been spared and rebuilt by a shop in Maryland as a salvage title car. It was her hope that her article would perhaps reunite her with the car, somehow, some way.

Brigid’s article perfectly described the position we’ve all been in, be it a Mustang, Camaro, or even a Volvo. We all know the pain of losing a beloved 4-wheeled pal, and while it’s true that we can’t take them with us in the afterlife, we can definitely appreciate them, and the people behind them, while they’re here.

Thanks, Brigid!



Folks, since this is the 100th show in the arsenal I just wanted to thank you all for listening, reading, and coming to the website.

It’s your dedication that allowed me to take this business full time this year, and I’m now able to chase the dreams that I could, well, only dream about before. Instead of making a living in a gray cubicle I now get to write about, talk about, consult on, and in the future, race the cars that I love.

I’ve decided to devote a little time at the beginning and end of this show to that. I hope that you’ll enjoy it.

Here’s to 100 more!

-Robert Kibbe

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