The Volvo Lifespan
You refer, in your article on the Volvo 244 GLT — August issue — to the recent Volvo advertising claim of a 17.9 year average life for their cars. The implication, one must assume, is that the buyer of a new Volvo might reasonably expect this sort of life out of his new car. I would suggest, however, that this is somewhat unlikely. The statistics used in the advert are Swedish and, as I understand that their roads arc not salted in winter (studded tyres being used instead), the only relevance they have over here is as a comparison scale between various makes of car. More important, though, is the fact that the current Volvo bodyshell wasn’t even in production 17 years ago! The model which is providing these attractive statistics or Volvo is the “hump-backed” PV 544, which was genuinely indestnictible. It went out of production around 1962, I think, but there must still be a good slumber left in Sweden as, up here th the North-East, we see quite a few well-preserved examples coming over on the Scandinavian ferries each summer. Current Volvos are obviously less prone to serious rusting than the majority of their mass-produced contemporaries but whether they will enjoy the same sort of life as the PV 544 and
the Amazon is entirely a matter for conjecture. Certainly, early examples of the present shell seem to have fared worse than the last Amazons 1122 series) which ran concur easily during the years c. 1968-71.
On a different subject — remember the line from the Beatles’ song “Taxman”, “If you try to walk, I’ll tax your feet”. Mr. Fowler’s bright idea must surely be the modern version of window tax! The entire premise on which it is based seems, to me, to be extremely suspect. That 1.25 million cars (or considerably more vehicles if you include lower-rated motorcycles) could be evading tax each year, for the entire year, is (to put it mildly) highly unlikely. I would suggest that the Swansea computer has come up with the 1.75m figure by comparing the number of vehicles still registered (i.e. anything not yet officially scrapped) with the number of tax discs applied for, thereby including as tax evaders all of us who either lay vehicles up for the winter or collect non-runners with a view to eventual restoration.
But then, 1+1 does equal 10 in the binary system, doesn’t it! Longframlington DAVID M. LANDERS