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Performance Specialists Since 1963

Customer Spotlight - Logan Stahler 2005 V50

2013-10-03 - Logan Stahler - ipd customer

I'm a fifth generation Vermonter which, genetically, predisposes me to having an affinity for domestic cars. The long line of Fords, Chevys, and Chryslers was sure to be passed down to me – loving anything else would be sacrilegious in a family where Chevelles and Corvettes were coveted like lazy Sunday afternoons.

My father certainly ingrained in me a love of cars. Maybe it was the late fall cruises he and I would take, the temperatures an omen of the coming snow. Windows down, the heater set at max, it was the "cool" thing do, both literally and figuratively; after all, a flame-orange 1974 Firebird Trans-am wasn't meant to be driven with the windows up. This was dad's prized-possession; bought new and cared for like a first love. Or, perhaps, it was the "Vermont frugality" that made me appreciate what I owned; taking care of something certainly reaped its own rewards. Regardless of the how, I love cars.

My first loves were, appropriately enough, two Fords: a Ranger and an Explorer Sport. My third love, named Lara, was a Connecticut girl whose family instilled in her a love of the foreign. A family in which Volvos abound, a white Volvo 740 turbo lovingly named 'Sven' was her first love. Our love seemed like a Shakespearean play; the Montagues and Capulets at odds over their choice of chariot.

The definitive moment, the scene where Romeo places the poison to his lips, was when I was introduced to ‘Leif’, the ever rare, pale yellow 1995 850 T-5R sedan. This was, at the time, Lara’s father’s coveted lazy Sunday afternoon. Soon enough, it would be ours. The curve of the oversized front chin spoiler, the low, race-inspired stance, the suede and leather that hugged me all further tipped that deadly bottle towards the heavens. I had died and was reborn, no longer a Montague, but much more a Capulet.

My next love was an Audi A4. This act of treason was only made palatable given our shared German roots, but I couldn’t help but feel as though I had betrayed my humble upbringing. Four cylinder turbos were nothing one would find at the local diner; and a gas cap on the opposite side of the car? Unforgiveable. My rebirth was complete when I introduced my A4 as ‘Catalina;’ a fine name for a curvy, luxurious, and spritely lover.

I’m an oogler. You know, the person who, when seeing something they must have, expels a guttural ‘ooooohhhhhh’ or ‘ahhhhhhhhh;’ the person who needs to visit the chiropractor after a violent snap of the head to catch a glimpse of that dream car passing by all too quickly. While doing my student teaching at a rather affluent high school, I was constantly oogling the BMWs or fellow Audis, bewildered by their presence given the meager salary of educators in the state. I distinctly remember the first time I oogled at a V50. It was red, carefully parked in an end spot to avoid the perils of careless teachers with bags overloaded with ungraded papers, and beautiful. I actually startled myself with the sound of my own voice when I first saw the car. Although I was driving my oh so adored Audi, I told myself that if the day ever came that I needed a wagon, that would be it.

After a love affair that lasted several years and 70,000 miles, that day came, and I left my beloved Catalina. Lara and I decided to expand our family, and adopting a retired racing greyhound seemed fitting given our love of the fast and refined. This, however, meant moving to a wagon, as during vacations to Connecticut, our backseat was already occupied with two furry Himalayan-mix cats, Mari and Ziggy. Lara (and I) wouldn’t dream of parting with Leif any time soon, so that meant becoming a two-Volvo family.

‘Jorgen,’ a red 2005 V50 T5 all-wheel drive, has been with us now for four years and 75,000 miles. Curious onlookers are always surprised to learn he’s a Volvo, and are even more shocked when I tell them Jorgen is eight years old with (now) 100,000 miles. Various aesthetic modifications give Jorgen a sporty, yet sophisticated appearance, but it’s my steadfast desire to care for my cars that has kept Jorgen in such fine condition. No poison could ever take this from me. I am now the one behind the wheel, windows down, heater maxed out as I take a leisurely drive, proud of my freshly detailed ride. After all, a passion red car isn’t meant to be driven with the windows up, right?

Domestic or foreign, Vermonter or Connecticutian, cars will always be at the center of so many peoples’ lives. My taste for the European vehicle so strongly drives my oogling habits, but I will always hold dearly a love for a fine American classic.

Oh, and while my father still maintains a fleet of classic Chevrolets and his Trans-am, his daily driver is now a Saab 9-3. His third 9-3, that is. His first came shortly after my initial tryst with the foreign.

It would appear that Romeo’s death was not in vain after all.

Logan Stahler


  • Jorgen: 2005 Volvo V50 T5 AWD (his)
  • Violet: 2008 Volvo S40 2.4i (hers)
  • Gone but not forgotten:
  • Leif: 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R yellow sedan (ours – she shared!)
  • Sven: 1990 Volvo 740 turbo (hers)