As some of you might know i like to go to Italy on my summer holdays and go there by towing a caravan behind a Dolomite. This caravan i bought for the purpose 14 years ago did turn 40 this year and makes a nice combi with a Dolomite. But not this year.
As the kids grow and my Dolomites don't i decided to go with my 1969 Volvo 145. I drive this for about 10 years because for a classic stationwagon I would not know what to choose else. Last year this Volvo had some new metal on some places and a good maintenance because it was becoming my "new" company car also. It was all these years mainly used for house renovation and moving Dolomite parts and only adding oil and keeping air in the tires.
Don't be afraid i'm going to sell any Dolomites and buy more volvo's but it is so much superior. It was the most relaxing trip ever. No need for upgrading cooling, brakes or whatever. A totally standard 1969 car that does brake in the mountains and the needle of the temp gauge not even near the red line. Even the heater could stay off instead of the children in swimsuits on the backseat asking why the heater is on at 35 degrees outside temp.
The car had it's moment before Munich when the camshaft gear did strip it's teeth. Sturdy valves and a bit flex in the pushrods was all i needed. At a parking place i did check the valve play and nothing was wrong after the valve/piston contact. I did find an enthousiastic classic Volvo parts supplier Autoteile Albert about an hour from where we were stranded and with one day delay we arrived in Italy.
For about 10 minutes we discussed to call the travel insurance for a replacement modern but glad we didn't. Driving in the rental a new Audi A3 to pick up the parts did convince us even more. Driving a classic in Italy is half the holiday fun.
When the kids go their own holidays i might consider using a Dolomite again or if we go without a caravan but for now the Volvo wins far ahead.
We had a good meet with some Dolomite related friends. There are about 100 Dolomites in Italy and most of them do " also " have a Dolomite. This year i visited a classic Renault collector who had in every available space a car, even a low mile original 5 Turbo in a metal shed. Since 1985 he did own his Dolomite Sprint (also).
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