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The Passing Lane - September 2011

Page 2: Customer Feature - Kit Lau, Wanted: Your Volvo Story

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Sale pricing valid from Monday, September 19, 2011 through Friday, November 04, 2011

It was 1997 and I had only just gotten my license that summer. At the time, I was driving a hand-me-down 1989 Oldsmobile 88 Royale, burgundy with burgundy interior. Everything was burgundy; hideous and tragic. Then real tragedy struck late that summer when Princess Diana passed away from injuries sustained in a high speed car crash. That was the catalyst for what would be my second hand-me-down car that would eventually lead me to become a Volvo fan-boy. At the start of the fall semester, my mother purchased a 1998 Volvo V70 NA with a cloth interior and bare essentials; power window/door locks and cruise control. The V70 wagon was white with neutral earthy tones for an interior. I drove that car whenever I got the chance. It was no Honda Integra or Toyota Celica, but it was roomy and more luxurious than your average Japanese car even with the bare essentials.

Like any other teenage boy, I wanted a new car, something cool and fast from the import scene or what would be the birth of the the Fast & Furious age. But like other teenagers of most middle class families, I was denied the privilege of having the option to pick and choose which car I was allowed to drive. My parents would not even allow me to purchase a used vehicle and I knew very little about automotive mechanics back then.

When senior year came around, my mother gave me the keys to the V70. She told me that I was going to need something more reliable for college and she was right. But something changed. I grew a deep appreciation for Volvos and their interiors and ride quality. Nothing else I sat in felt as good as my own Volvo. When the 2000 V70R in Laser Blue came out, I wanted that car so badly (I still do). Then there was the 2002 XC70 Ocean Race Edition. I wanted that too. And when I saw the 2004 S60R in Titanium Gray and Flash Green Metallic with the Atacama interior, I was just in love. I told myself I had to have that car. At the time, to purchase the S60R new, it would cost well into the 50k range with all the options. So I waited and told myself that I would buy a car to replace my V70 wagon once I graduated from college. And yes, I was on the Van Wilder (good movie; write that down if you haven't seen it) track of college careers.

As I was approaching my graduation day, I began looking for a car. I considered the 2000 V70R and the 2005 Saab 9-2x. I figured if I were to replace my V70 wagon, I should get something similar, preferably all-wheel-drive and with more horsepower. I graduated in the summer of 2007 and continued looking for the perfect car. I looked on Swedespeed forum classifieds, Autotrader, Craigslist, and eBay. Through out the years, I've searched and come across many cars I would buy, but never really had the chance to do so mostly for financial reasons. College or car; college wins. But now that I was done, I told myself it was time to get myself a present; a graduation present.

The search ended when I found a 2004 S60R, Flash Green Metallic/ Atacama interior with 37k miles in Pittsburgh, PA on eBay. I contacted the seller and made a deal right away. It took three separate trips to Pittsburgh, but eventually we settled and resolved the issues and had the car delivered to me. And this is the beginning to what has become Project Flash Green R.

All the years of trolling the Swedespeed forum instantly paid off because I had access to a vast network of information about the Rs at my finger tips. I gathered advice and opinions from many Swedespeed members including a few from IPD.

My first order of business was to acquire the intercooler, downpipe, and exhaust. The options I had at the time for a FMIC was Bell or Phuz. I went with Phuz because it was nearly 1/3 of the cost of the Bell and was just about the same width as the opening mouth of the front bumper cover. With the downpipe, IPD offered an alternative to the TME at the time and being more affordable, I went with IPD. The downpipe did not come without a hitch; it was poorly welded and had a hole. After that IPD went with a different manufacturer and replaced my downpipe. When it came down to choosing the exhaust, at first I wanted the Heico dual exhaust for the R, but after contemplating on the cost of the exhaust itself and that of fabricating the passenger side exhaust cover for the OEM body kit, I decided to go with TME.

For the interior trim and accessories, I got blue anodized door pins, machined door lock bezels, and audio/climate knob covers for the "aluminum" look. And this past year, I installed a custom iPhone mount to go on to the cup holder to integrate with my iMIV ipod adapter.

On the exterior, I took my moldings off and painted them flash green just like the car, spaced out the "Volvo" emblem on the trunk. And just recently, I finished installing the body kit and deck spoiler. For now, I'll take a breather, but the saga will continue once tax season comes along. Next project is a rear facing trunk camera as well as a nice set of 18" VST Monoblock Type R rims (hopefully I can get my hands on a set). I also had plans to swap out the center console with that of a 2005. But I think I'll just take it one step at a time for now.-- Kit Lau

Wanted: Your Volvo Story

We’ve increased our customer features lately and we’ve had great responses from our readers because of it. We’d like to continue to provide the Volvo community with interesting reader content so we are pleading, yes, even begging for articles. If you have a souped up 850 wagon that you want the world to know about or even if you’re in the middle of your S70 series project and want to show off your progress, let us know and we’d love to feature you and your ride. If you own a S60 series and have a great trick or tech tip you’ve discovered, send it on over and we’ll share it with our readers.

If one of the items on your bucket list is to be published in one of ipd’s famous newsletters, here’s your chance. Don’t deny it, you know it’s there; if it’s not, add it now and send in your story so you can check it off your list. Even if you think it’s not print worthy, that’s okay, let us be the judge of that because we still want to hear your story. Tell us about how you caught the Volvo bug, the remedies you’ve tried to get rid of it and what finally put you over the edge to finally just give up and let the bug take it’s hold.

Some pictures of you and your Volvo would be great to include along with how your experience with ipd went. It would be great to also include any ipd upgrades you’ve added and how our customer service staff treated you.

We look forward to hearing your story and the opportunity to share it with other sick Volvo lovers who have caught the same bug.

Send submissions to bryan@ipdusa.com

Sale pricing valid from Monday, September 19, 2011 through Friday, November 04, 2011

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