Saturday, July 5, 2014

LA's Real Life Car in Scale: Volvo C70 Coupe

Well, I think this has turned out to be my favorite project to date. I made a 1:43 scale replica of my much-beloved 1:1 scale Volvo. This car and I have been together for quite a while, a little over seven years in fact. It was my first car, bought about a month before my 16th birthday. We've made a lot of memories together. I learned to drive in it, took my date to prom in it, drove off to college in Florida in it, and my girlfriend and I had our first date almost 5 years ago in it! Needless to say, it's a part of the family, and will stay with me for the rest of my life.

It appeals to me for so many reasons. One, it is pretty rare. There's only about 25k of the coupes in the world, and I believe only about 6k ever made it to North America. So I very seldom see another one, which is nice. Two, it's comfortable. It has the absolute best seats I've ever come across. They are supportive in all the right places, cushioned just so, and upholstered in wonderfully soft leather. Three, it's fast enough, and handles well enough. A 240hp turbocharged engine gives it plenty of get up and go, but not enough to get into any serious trouble. It handled well too. Being heavy and front wheel drive, it's no Lotus through the twisty back roads, but it does pretty darn well for what it is. I looked at several other cars in its class when I made my purchase back in 2007, and for me, it is absolutely the best all-around car in its class. Sure, the 3 Series handles better, but the seats feel like they are made out of wood, and to quote Jeremy Clarkson, "I would rather fall down a flight of stairs then go over bumps with this suspension." The Mercedes CLK is also a very nice car, but has nowhere near as well put together interior as my Volvo. It's fast, it's comfortable, it's well made, and in my (maybe slightly biased) opinion, one of the best looking cars ever made. I absolutely love the shape of the coupe, and have been taken with it ever since the C70 debuted in 1998.

Here's a recent photo of my C70

After doing daily duty for 7 years, it's resting in my parents garage back home now, waiting for its poor college owner to come home and rescue it and give it some love. I get home once every month or two and drive it, but it needs some love. Long term plans involve a complete strip-down and restoration (whether it really needs it or not). I want to sink some money into the car so it will be nice and reliable for the rest of my life. I am not planning too many mods, other than a manual gearbox swap, and a few basic upgrades, like a nice throathy (non-ricer) exhaust, slightly bigger turbo, and suspension. It will be completely re-upholstered in the highest quality leather I can get my hands on, and given a high-quality paint job. Not sure of colors yet, but it will be a one-off, and very unique for sure. I want to keep with the GT car feel, maybe something like a modern day P1800. Stay tuned for that...

Anyways, here is the model. It's a Minichamps, so it didn't come cheap. But it was worth every penny to have a high-quality model of my car sitting on my desk to look at every day. It was black originally, but after a nice respray, it's looking pretty authentic. And I know, these aren't my wheels, but they are actually the ones I want for the car someday, so I like it! Any comments would be appreciated!

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