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I currently have a Volvo DL and am considering the...

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Dear Tom and Ray:



I currently have a 1984 Volvo 240 DL, and am considering the purchase of
another Volvo. I have resisted purchasing a new Volvo because the body
style changed to the new "aerodynamic look" that all new cars have.

My 240DL is an OK car. It's had the normal problems and it's starting to
rust out around the doors and under the tire well in the trunk. I have had
it painted once about three years ago, but the rust is coming back. It's
also starting to be sluggish when I put it in Drive. The transmission does
not engage immediately. Is it foolish to try to keep this old car instead
of purchasing a new one? I prefer this body style and the overall look of
the older cars, but I need reliable transportation for the long run. What
do you suggest? -- Vonnie

RAY: You think Volvos have gotten too aerodynamic, Vonnie? Wow! I suppose
you think Bob Dole's getting to be too much of a swinger since he retired
from the Senate, too.

TOM: If you're looking for a reliable car for the long run -- or even the
short run -- it's not likely to be a 1984 Volvo 240. While you could fix it
up and keep it running, it's going to be very expensive, since you've got
rust and a failing transmission, and who knows what else.

RAY: So I have a couple of suggestions. One would be to buy a newer used
240. The 240 was still sold as late as 1992, and at that point, you could
get it with an air bag and anti-lock brakes. So if you could find a '92 240
in good shape, with low miles, you'd be a lot better off than you are
today.

TOM: Or you could just bite the bullet and buy a new Volvo 940, which is
squarer than the 850 model (which is probably the more-aerodynamic one
you've been seeing on the roads these days).

RAY: And if the 940 body style is still too rounded for you, you could
always let my brother drive it for a few days. He's such a lousy driver, he
squares off the corners on just about everything he drives.

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