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Customer Feature - Jeff Stekly

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - Jeff Stekly - ipd customer

A Family Story of Volvo Vehicles

Having been born and raised in Montana in the USA, we didn’t see many Volvo’s in Cowboy Land. It wasn’t until I moved further south with my wife and we were expecting our first born son. While doing some intense research on new cars, a workmate suggested that I take a look at Volvo being they had such a high safety rating (he had an ugly looking 245 DL and was very happy with it). As an engineer, I was quite impressed with the stats on the Volvo’s and during this time, it seemed like cars built in the US had terrible QA/QC issues. Much to my surprise, my wife and I purchased a brand new 1982 Volvo 245 GL to bring our 1st new born home. I really wanted to get the Turbo but couldn’t justify it after, all we were just starting a family. Our 1st born really took to helping with the weekly cleaning chores as can be seen in the picture! 

The ’82 245 GL provided many fond memories and great road trips for our family over the years. Both of my boys were taught how to drive a manual in this car and it was slated to be the oldest boy's 1st car once he got his driver’s license (you can imagine the cool plans he had for a Station Wagon!). Unfortunately, after 14 years and 145,000+ miles on the iron horse, the family was transferred overseas and had to let it go to a very lucky man in need of dependable transportation. While we had the ’82 245 GL, I also bought a used ’79 264 GL which I used for a work car for several years. Great car!

Spending 6 years overseas, the family was preparing to return to the US when I heard about the ‘Volvo Expat Sales Program’. I ordered a new 2003 V70 T5 with all the bells and whistles to be delivered to Houston, our new home. As we were nearing our return time and packing out our villa, I received an email from Volvo Expat Sales regretfully informing me that my Volvo was among the 2,870 luxury Volvo’s, BMW’s and SAAB’s on the TRI-COLOR freight ship that sank in the English Channel!!!!! Volvo was frantically trying to find a match that was already in the states and had found one that was close to what I ordered however, it was not the right color. After making the journey back to the states and mulling the situation over, I was about let Volvo know that I would accept the car they had proposed when they informed me that they had found another close match in the right color. After making a few adjustments on accessories, we took delivery of our new ’03 V70 T5.

Three years later, my wife and I were transferred overseas once again. We loved the '03 V70 T5 so much that we couldn’t bear to part with it. So, we put the car in storage while being overseas and had our parents look after it while we were away. We also used it while we were back in the states during our annual month long vacations. 

Overseas, we had to shop for transportation once again and I purchased a 2005 S40 which I used as a work commuter until we returned back to the states in 2009 when I retired.

With only 9 months of retirement under my belt, my previous employer requested that I come back to work overseas however, on a rotational basis (i.e. a month overseas and then a month home in the states). My wife and I decided to try it and I’ve been doing this since 2010. During this time, we’ve found that living in our home state of Montana is quite enjoyable however, we sometimes find ourselves wishing the '03 V70 T5 had 'all wheel' or '4 wheel' drive to deal more effectively with the snow we get here in the mountains. 

After thinking about this dilemma for some time, I found out they still had a ‘Volvo Expat Program’ and I was eligible to participate in it. Knowing this, my wife and I test drove both the XC-90 and XC-70 and walked away really liking the XC-70 (probably because it is very similar to the '03 V70 T5). Hence, we ordered an XC-70 with all the bells and whistles to be delivered to Houston. On returning recently from one of my rotations, I flew into Houston to meet my wife and pick up the XC-70 at a local dealer. Picking the car up in Houston allowed my wife and I to take an eleven day ‘road trip’ back up to Montana while leisurely visiting with friends we have scattered across the states.

What to do with the '03 V70 T5 which is still in excellent condition with only 70,000 miles on it. As it turns out, my oldest son (the one that was going to get the ’82 245 GL) is now married and  contemplating starting a family. So, he is getting a sporty '03 V70 T5 with many more miles to go at a great price (family rate) and we get to keep another great car in the family. The '12 XC 70 T6 looks like the '03 V70 T5 on 'Steroids'!

I'm now contemplating getting a new C70 before they go out of production for the US and before I finally retire (again)!!?

We love featuring some of the great Volvo stories that come across our desk. We plan on doing this on a regular basis so if you have a project car, helpful tech tip or other cool Volvo related story, share it with us and we’ll likely feature you in a future customer spotlight.

Email me at bryan@ipdusa.com to submit your story.

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