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So I figured this was the place to tell my tale and start down this destructive path we all call modding. Here's the twist in my story though...I've already destroyed my baby (more like she destroyed herself). I bought my 09 C30 in the summer of 2012. She was a beauty with a whopping 19k on the odometer. I traded in my favorite vehicle ever to get her (2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon), so she had a lot to live up to. She took some getting used to, but I grew to absolutely love this little thing.
So fast forward to February 28th, 2014. My lady and I decided to meet after work at the local Ikea (and this is where the irony begins) after work to pick up some very Swedish shelving unit...you know one of those that has seven consonants and an umlaut in the name? So after shopping we drove back home...about 25 miles or so. We unloaded our purchases and began dinner for the kids. And that's when it happened. Mixed in with the wonderful scents of my lady's cooking was a burning smell. Considering we were cooking, we assumed something was burning off in the oven. So we turned on the hood vent and went on with our business. After a lovely meal, I decided to drive to the store for some necessities. As I opened the door to the garage, I discovered where the burning smell was coming from... The smoke came billowing into the house, reeking of burnt rubber, plastic, fluids and god knows what else. I grabbed my fire extinguisher and hit the button to open the garage door.
Sigh...something most definitely HAD been on fire. I stress the had because this is my backasswards take on a Volvo saved my Life story. Miraculously the fire had put itself out! But the damage was already done. Needless to say, my jaw was on the floor and my mind just went completely blank. During the short drive home I had received absolutely no crazy gauge readings, no flashing lights, no warning messages...nothing. My car was turned off, locked up and sitting in my garage just like every other night. I immediately got word to a Volvo tech friend...because at this point I was a bit lost. We discussed it a bit and couldn't come up with a theory or cause, just head scratching. My next call, unfortunately, was to my insurance company. They took my statement and got the wheels in motion on my claim. Luckily, it was a Friday night, so I wasn't in dire straits to get to work the next morning. The next Tuesday, the insurance adjusters arrived at my house to give me an estimate. They tooled around and looked and we talked cars and racing etc. I have to say, the field adjusters were good guys. Very straightforward and to the point. We got a chuckle as they tried to find pricing for my "emblem" (Dave Barton prancing moose sticker) and a factory strut tower brace (off of a facelift). They commented on how clean the car was and what great shape it was in....other than the melted engine bay. As they talked, they gave me a magic number as a ceiling for making my baby a total loss. I don't remember their line, but their final estimate for repair was around $12,000. The guy shook my hand as he let me know, "sorry buddy, there's no way they're not totaling this one." Well shit. Well after getting the ridiculous estimate, and discussing it at length with my tech friend, we had the girl towed to Momentum Volvo in Houston. As bad as it looked, I was ridiculously lucky. We came to the conclusion that the fire burned through the AC lines and essentially she extinguished herself prior to burning my house down. Outside of the engine bay, hood and passenger fender (right at the edge next to the hood) the car was still pristine. It needed a wash to get the smoke residue off, but other than that...nothing. Hell the lights would even still come on when you opened the door. So I went to work on my insurance co., making the attempt to dissuade them from totaling and persuade them to work with Volvo for discounts, etc. They weren't having it, so we finally decided to total it and buy it back as salvage. And this is where it gets interesting...and weird. Now that the car was at Momentum, we decided to get Volvo of North America involved. The unfortunate thing was that she was all of 1400 miles out of warranty. Volvo sent the regional down to take a look at her and see what they could find. After going over everything, including sending off several parts to a lab for testing, we've all come to the conclusion that no one has a clue why it happened. However that 1400 miles also meant that Volvo didn't apparently feel responsible to assist with anything...which I could understand...didn't like it, but understood. We started to work deconstructing the damage and making a list of all the parts we'd need to put my car back right. The list comprised 3 pages, $7-$8k of parts new. Fak!! So we began looking for used parts. I hit up the local salvage yards but didn't have much success. Internet searches were fairly fruitless as well. Finally I got in contact with Erie Volvo. If you haven't dealt with these guys, they're great to work with. Sent them the entirety of the list and they sent me back pricing and availability ASAP. They had 85% of what I still needed at pretty damned good pricing, so I placed my order and started to see a light at the end of the tunnel. And then, in my typical lucky fashion, I got a notice of a delay in my UPS shipment. A week went by...and they gave me the reason....of all the trains, the one with my parts derailed. Are you f'ing kidding me?!? Bear in mind that at this point I've been renting a car for two months... So after a week of waiting, I found out that, yes indeed, of all the trains on the planet that could have been derailed by a tornado, it was the one my parts were on. Luckily, Erie Volvo had already been busy finding replacements and the minute UPS called it a loss they shipped those out. Let the re-build begin! The List:
And then the best news I've gotten in months comes! She lives!!
So after 5 months of scrimping, spending, renting and stressing, I picked my girl up from the shop. All told in parts, $2600...not bad at all considering the estimate. What's even better? I own her outright 3 years earlier than planned. She's not perfectly beautiful, but for now that's just fine. And I've decided on a name for her finally. I think it's quite fitting.
Meet Elda. It's Swedish for burn.
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