Today’s newsletter is a long one, ending with my formal launch of a 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo project. Some say it might even be interesting—my mood board for this car has been in the works for more than 20 years.
It’s Friday: so let’s start with the dessert. Unlike a normal savagegeese review, this perfectly-produced Porsche-inspired poem is more of a celebration for why so many people aspire to own a Porsche—ideally a brand-new one—for themselves.
You know when your cat wakes you up for food (for the third time) before 5am, and stupidly checking your email reveals that Audi is entering Formula 1 in 2026 as an engine supplier? In the hours since, the brand is already busy trolling Mercedes-AMG on Twitter and getting thoroughly shut down.
One step at a time, OK kids? Your slogan ain’t vorsprung durch tweets.
Mini pie tins for wheel caps. Mold-caked Bentley interiors. A shed-repaired Volkswagen Type 2 Bus. And an air freshener that operates the electronic parking brake. These are just some of the mechanical horrors sent into Just Rolled In, a channel I’ve been watching for way too long as it brings back fond memories of part-time jobs working at dealerships…starting in the back shop.
What inspired me to pull the trigger and share it as part of the newsletter?
Proof my then-greatest fear was a valid one: forgetting to close a valve and using the shop’s air pressure to force a geyser of old, warm oil everywhere…instead of into the waste oil container.
This channel in particular is fantastic as it includes detailed text in the description for the incidents shown. Allegedly.
Hit the playlist and let it run tonight instead of that thriller you planned to watch—seeing what’s next to us on the roads is scarier stuff.
Less than an hour after yesterday’s newsletter was sent out (read it for more on the Nio ES8 EV and how quickly it covered 1000 km), Bjorn posted a dedicated, much shorter video on the Nio battery swap station. He goes into great detail—it’s a fun watch.
Badge of honor: Volvo 740 Turbo project
I was feverish; I couldn’t wait to drive. By the time I turned 16, I already had part of my graduated license sewn up, all golds in Gran Turismo license tests, and was a dedicated subscriber to both Road & Track and CAR.
I was ready to grow up and get on with life.
See, the local Young Drivers outpost in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, had honoured my interpretation of the rules: the initial classroom portion of the lesson plan could take place within six months of my 16th birthday.
One of the few perks of being a January baby was that it meant I was the only 15 year old in the previous fall session.
This moved the in-car lessons forward so I could then be eligible for a full drive-by-myself license (G2) in just eight months.
Dad dutifully taxied me to the license office on that very snowy morning in 2000, and after acing the written test had earned my learner’s permit—a G1. I drove the family 1998 Volvo S70 T5 home, gingerly taking a few extra victory laps around the block.
(I wouldn’t be lying if I said my temporary permit then lived in my trusty velcro Ghostbusters wallet.)
Previously, my parents had been in a fairly serious accident, which prompted teenaged Michael to lobby hard for what I figured was the hands-down best car available: a Volvo S70.
My mom nixed the part of my plan involving a manual transmission, but the Volvo fit into the budget, had a turbo, was related to a BTCC winner, and its safety record was unassailable.
For what it’s worth, everyone in the family loved that car, aside from my sister, who hated how its charcoal interior smelled like a late-’90s electronics store had been covered in leather and balloons. My words, not hers.
Anyway, once I had my G2 license, I really needed a job to finally gtfo of town and figure out a car to buy. Months of borrowing the family van around extra-curricular activities was wearing thin. My mom, a teacher, and younger sister, a star with a schedule of her own, also needed it.
Same here: I was taking limited shifts at a local car dealer, plus researching creative ways to reduce the front tire circumference of that poor teal Mazda MPV LX any chance I could. (Fact: its first set of front tires lasted barely a year.)
Despite not really being responsible enough, my parents decided it was best if I was in the driver’s seat of my own mistakes, and offered to split the cost of a car by 50%.
However, I had a tough choice to make. Do I lease or finance a car in the given budget and worry about its buyout later? Or pay cash for 50% of a decent used car that wasn’t too “sporty”?
At that time, $8,000 Cdn. was enough to take home a Mazda Protegé5 or Volkswagen Golf (on payments), a used BMW 3-something, a bunch of cars everyone else had, and what I eventually chose: this 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo.
In the years since I’ve driven thousands of other vehicles and have owned—in no order—a Honda Insight, smart fortwo (451), Fiat 500 Abarth, Porsche 914 2.0-litre, Citroën 2CV, Volvo 240, and Chevrolet Spark EV, but this Volvo has become an anchor on my life that has become impossible to part with.
As best I can explain, this story is all about why this box finally deserves to get back on the road.
Turns out that my first car may be the perfect forever car.