In Detroit, it was 1969 OK, all across the USA. You had your Goats and Road Runners and vast landyachts and so on. But in Göteborg, far from being another year with nuttin' to do, 1969 was another year of Odin's heirs grinding out more slab-sided Swedish warriors to do battle with less sensible vehicular opponents. And you still see plenty of examples of the generation of Volvos that came between the Amazon and the all-radio-presets-on-NPR 200 series cars roaming the streets.

The '69 144S listed at $3090 when it was new. A brand-new Slant Six-powered 4-door Dart sold for just $2413, so the Volvo wasn't exactly cheap.

This 144S is pretty damn rough, like a Stockholm drunk who's eaten a few too many sidewalks after aquavit binges and passed out in a slush-filled gutter. Yet, just like that drunk's berserker ancestors, the ol' Volvo just accepts its pounding and continues to press forward.

I had one of these things for a while, and except for the horrible SU carbs it was actually a pretty decent car; the real problem with mine was that it had spent 13 years in a Central Valley field, with 110-degree summers and freezing winters, livestock and stray bullets, etc, so I had to replace a lot of bad seals and corroded electrical contacts.

Ah, the ol' reliable B20! This is one of my favorite engine emblems of all time.