Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
7/20/09 11:47 a.m.

Forget the Hokey-Pokey. Boost-fueled Volvo trickery, that’s what it’s all about. Nothing pokey about it.

Sure, on the outside these things look just like any other older Volvo, with their bricklike aerodynamics and a safe, sensible image. Through most of the 1980s, Volvo 740s seemed to be the vehicle of choice for dentists’ wives and soccer moms. It’s the kind of car that looks as though it came dealer-equipped with a bumper sticker reading “My Child Is an Honor Student at….”

But then there’s that badge on the back next to the bumper sticker. The one that reads “Turbo.” That’s the little honor student’s clue that he better make sure he’s tightly buckled into that big back seat and hanging on to his Star Wars action figures, because the trees are going to start whizzing by the windows real soon.

Like Samuel L. Jackson’s wallet in “Pulp Fiction,” it’s your clue that maybe it’s time to sit down and shut up.

Yes, the 740 Turbo looks like the typical staid, suburbia-bound Volvo—a fine upstanding citizen. But in its heart it’s a hellion. If it were a person, it would wear conservative navy suits, keep the lawn neatly trimmed and take great pains to religiously hide a penchant for tequila shots and Motörhead records.

It’s the sort of car that really confuses armchair sociologists who like to view a person’s car as an extension of the phallus. Jaguar E-Types they can figure out. Corvettes they’ve got nailed. What’s a fella trying to say with a Volvo wagon?

Henry Miller was long dead when Volvo introduced the 740 Turbo, but in “Tropic of Cancer” he described an erection as “light and heavy at the same time, like a piece of lead with wings on it.”

Take that, Sociology Boy.

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