Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Volvo 850R

Most people would consider the Volvo 850 to be a pretty mundane (yet somewhat preppy) grocery-getter. Nothing to really take note of other than its unremarkableness. However, from 1995 to 1997, Volvo released a special edition of the 850, the 850R, that was a bit more of a head-turner.

The 850R (known as the T-5R when it was introduced in 1995), had a more race-like body kit, a larger spoiler on the back, a sport suspension, Alacantra suede and leather seats, 17-inch alloy rims, and a turbo engine that was tuned to 240 HP--18 higher than the 850 T-5's 222 HP. The T-5R is perhaps best known for the cream yellow color that it was offered in, but the 1996 and 1997 models were only available in black, red, and white. But really, what other colors could you want? Plus, it was available in a wagon (though I prefer the sedan).

I had the pleasure of owning one of these for a couple of years. A black one. I have to say, I loved that car, and would love to get one back some day. However, the combination of low-profile tires and the ten year old sport suspension were not a good match for the awful pot-holed roads of Birmingham, and the car really took a beating. Plus, taking it into the shop every six weeks or so for some $300 repair wasn't the kind of thing I was looking for as a college student/recent college grad.

I have one picture that I took with the car before I sold it, and tried to find it to post here, but couldn't track it down. I hope that you enjoy looking at the rest of these photos, though (which are not mine).

9 comments:

npmaslow said...

Nice retrospective - I miss my '95 T5R sedan as well - best seats of any car I've owned (Every German brand and SAAB included). Too bad the suspension absolutely required the best seats in the business - stiff doesn't begin to describe the compression response. Deceptively quick, and no one noticed it - perfect combination.

manifolddestiny said...

I liked the Blue Jeep more. It got me to lacrosse practice quite reliably.

Also, my wife had Google Reader recommend your blog to her today. She subscribed. I told her I was disappointed she hadn't already.

PinkLemonade said...

your post-christmas postings have just been fabulous. I am now going through your music choices and loving them but really everything is wonderful! thanks!

JRS said...

Great post, Trip. While I never had a T5R, my wife and I owned a Volvo for a few years. It was built like a tank, but the $500 quarterly trips to the shop forced us to send her on her way.

Paul said...

I bought an '85 DL once (for my daughter) and the few times I drove it I was surprised at the great ride - floated on the interstate. It too when to Volvo heaven when the main computer module thought I'd spend a $grand to replace it. But I've always like Volvos

RHW said...

The 850 line is my favorite of Volvo's modern cars. Wife had a V70 wagon in 1998 and I hated that thing with a passion. All this car talk (here and another place this morning) makes me long for a vintage Eurotrash sedan with manual transmission and black vinyl interior...BMW 320i comes to mind. Cheers

JMW said...

Yep, Volvos are good cars. We had one growing up. I looked at them prior to my latest purchase, but in the end, my Audi wagon won out.

Ashlyn Stallings said...

Ha, just got a Volv as the 4Runner ("Ho Runna") was dismissed as being unsafe by Dad.

And I laughed out loud at your comment on my post. I got bit by NYC back in the days I used to live up there and do ballet in the summers. Before I settle here, I really just need ONE more year up there to get it out of my system. And a lot more substantial wardrobe, apparantly. Brr.

p.s. ATL is on my list... I think it's where you are?

trip said...

Ashlyn-
Yes, I am in Atlanta, but wish I was back in Birmingham. I actually got a 4Runner when I got rid of my Volvo. They both get 18 MPG, but I had a lot more fun burning the gas in the Volvo.