Prolonging that new-car smell

Automobile’s New York bureau chief Jamie Kitman has just acquired a brand-new 1967 Volvo 122S wagon.

Yes, really. It had never been titled — it was still on the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin — and the odometer showed a mere 80 miles.

And I have to admit, had I made this purchase, I might not have been quite this astute:

The next thing you do when you buy a forty-year-old Volvo with no miles on it is call Dan Johnson in Volvo’s press department and ask if his company would like to honor the warranty, which, theoretically, hasn’t begun to run, because the car had never been registered. And, being the smart PR guy, he agrees, mindful that (1) there can’t be a dangerous precedent to set, as there aren’t too many ancient Volvos still on their MSOs and (2) the applicable 1967 warranty — six months or 12,000 miles, whichever comes first — doesn’t come close to Volvo’s generous coverage package, circa 2007 — four years or 50,000 miles.

Incidentally, once Kitman registered the Volvo in New Jersey, he had to have it inspected, and inasmuch as the car was after all forty years old, there were some things that had to be replaced, like, for instance, the fuel tank. Which wasn’t covered under Volvo’s 1967 warranty.





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