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I did this 10 years ago .. no sponsorship ...... granted that was after FCP asked to follow me on FB LOL
You should have made youtube videos with crappy intro music, grandiose plans you had no idea of how to implement, give up on that, send the car off to get all the work done somewhere else, and maybe you too could have an FCP deal.
 

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Wow. Wish I could do that in three months. Fantastic thread - now you need to pick up a v60 Polestar in rebel blue and manual that...
 

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You should have made youtube videos with crappy intro music, grandiose plans you had no idea of how to implement, give up on that, send the car off to get all the work done somewhere else, and maybe you too could have an FCP deal.
 

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You should have made youtube videos with crappy intro music, grandiose plans you had no idea of how to implement, give up on that, send the car off to get all the work done somewhere else, and maybe you too could have an FCP deal.
LOL ouch
 

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New owner reporting for duty...

For those of you who have been keeping up with this thread and Julien's videos, you probably know by now that he decided to let Tinkerbell go. I'm happy to report that I'm the lucky new owner, and wanted to keep this thread going the best I can. I've been reading this thread since the beginning and really appreciate all the time, effort, and passion that Julien spent working on the car. I especially appreciate him sharing his journey along the way and hope I can do the same! Super excited to be a part of this community - I've already learned so much.

I bought this car in hopes that I wouldn't have to do anything quite as major as Julien has. I don't have anywhere near the skill or knowledge, so don't get your hopes up :)

My Car Story

TL;DR I'm a family guy who loves cars. Currently own 5 vehicles, including a 2000 BMW M5 and a 1998 BMW M3.

I have loved cars my entire life. Most people have a parent or family member who passed their love of cars onto them, but that's not really my story. I'm not sure where the love came from exactly. My dad is not necessarily a "car guy", but did nurture my love for driving a manual transmission. He's a lifelong Camry/Accord guy, but he always preferred a manual transmission at least. I learned to drive in his 5-speed 1985 Toyota Camry, and the first car I owned in high school and through college was a 1985 Toyota Corolla GT-S (AE86). Let's just say that I did not know or fully appreciate what I had during those years...

For some reason, I had a number of other fairly boring vehicles over the next 15 years, all of which were automatics. Got married, bought a house, had kids, busy career...super blessed life, but not a lot of time for hobbies. The most fun car I owned during that time was a 2007 Infinity G35S sedan. I loved that car, but got impatient trying to find a manual and settled for the auto. I still regret that decision, ended up selling it when my daughter was born.

A few years ago I was hanging out with an old college buddy who is a car nut, and we got to talking about them. It was a beautiful, sunny Seattle day outside, and he suggested that I take his 2001 Honda S2000 for a spin. It had probably been a good 15 years since I had rowed gears in any vehicle, let alone one of the best sports cars on the planet. Taking that car to 9000RPM with the wind in my thinning hair was all I needed to get re-hooked.

It took some time, but I finally talked my wife into letting me "dabble" back into a fun car. My dream was to get into a BMW E39 M5, but I realized quickly that it was more than i could chew at the time. So what better way to do dabble than with a Miata? In 2016, I bought a very low mileage 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata and the car-obsessed floodgates officially opened.



I learned a lot about cars during the 15 months I owned it, and learned how to do the very basics with fluid/filter changes and the like. I also started to get very hooked on auto detailing, picked up my first dual action polisher, and started hoarding detailing products like there was no tomorrow.

The Miata was a perfect start, but I wanted to drive it more. Commuting in it just was not working given our terrible traffic and large trucks constantly trying to kill me. Eventually, I sold the car on Bring A Trailer and the hunt for the M5 began. Although, let's be honest, I'd been looking at them online almost every day for 2 years at that point.

I ended up finding my 2000 Avus Blue BMW M5 in San Francisco. On an epic day in April of 2017, I flew down, bought the car and drove it home in a day.





I could go on and on about how much I love this car. Since purchasing it, I've done tons of maintenance, many non-power upgrades, and countless amazing drives. I've probably done 90% of all the work myself (and with the help of friends), and have made a lot of friends through ownership along the way. It's still my favorite car I've ever owned.

As car people, our sickness can be contained for periods of time, but never really goes away. I fell ill again when the thought of my pinnacle dream car in high school would not leave my bloodstream. Long story short, I bought my 1998 BMW E36 M3 sedan just after Thanksgiving in 2018 and had it delivered from Denver.





So many of these cars have been absolutely clapped out, and I felt it was my duty to keep this one glorious. I've since dropped a silly amount of money into maintenance and upgrades, with absolutely no regrets. It more or less served as a daily driver for me in 2019, and I still can't get enough of it. Even got my first couple of track days in it, which was a dream of mine since I was a kid!



We also have a 2010 Ford F-150 and my wife's 2014 Acura MDX. So why add the V70R to the stable? Because WHY NOT?!!!

The Quest For Sonic

I admit that previously, I did not know or care much about Volvos. I've always appreciated wagons and the brick styling of Volvos, but never imagined myself owning on. In 2017 I attended PNW Wagonfest, which is co-hosted in part by an incredible car club here in Seattle called Avants (the founder loves Audi wagons, so, go figure). It was a great show, and IPD even came up to host a booth. Needless to say, plenty of badass Volvos were there, including a 2006 Sonic Blue V70R. I'm not even sure that I knew V70Rs existed prior to this. The car was totally stock, had super high miles, was a bit crusty, and was by far the memorable car there to me. I just loved the shape, color, sound, utility, and novelty of it all around. Later that night, I went internet shopping and was surprised to find how relatively inexpensive they could be (har har, joke's on me as usual). At that point, I had no intention of buying one whatsoever, but the seed was planted...

Fast forward to everyone's favorite conversation piece these days: COVID-19! Like many, I'm bored. Up to this point I had read a lot about V70Rs, including joining SwedeSpeed and finding Julien's thread. Somehow, I officially decided that I had to have one and it had to be an M66. Maybe I just needed something to be excited about after months of doom and gloom. Who knows, but the search was fully on.

Now, in all of my sleuthing for almost 2 years, I had never seen a Sonic Blue with a manual transmission for sale. Not a single one in the country. I knew they were out there, but I also knew that apparently people were holding them tight. I realized that I might have to actually go with a non-blue color this time. I was hoping at least to get a brighter color regardless. After getting a PPI from an independent shop in the area, I nearly pulled the trigger on a super high-mileage Passion Red example at a dealer in Sacramento. As a last-ditch desperation effort, I posted my search effort in the P2R Facebook group over on a weekend in late April. I received a couple of good leads, but none that quite fit the bill. On Monday morning, I decided it was time to buy the Passion Red, knowing that it probably would mean a plethora of gremlins and issues awaited me.

Just a few hours before I was going to call the dealer to get the wire transfer info from them, I received one more response to my Facebook post.

I had to read it a few times, because I couldn't believe that Julien was ready to sell after a few short months and countless hours of work! I even considered messaging him directly to ask at one point, but figured there's no way he'd be interested. Needless to say, the car gods were clearly telling me this was the one.


Purchase and Delivery


In 24 hours, we agreed on a price and things were moving! The idea of getting out of my house to road trip another amazing car back home sounded so, so sweet. Unfortunately, our global circumstances meant that it probably was not the best idea. Luckily I was able to get a shipper to pickup in San Francisco in just 2 days, meaning the car would be in my driveway by the end of that weekend. Julien was kind enough to document for me:



I'll spare you the griping and complaining, but the car took what seemed like an eternity to get here (~2 weeks). The driver lied to me several times about where he actually was and when he'd arrive. Eventually, the car showed up and all was forgotten:



Julien packed the car full of goodies, parts, documentation and more. It definitely felt like Christmas! Of course, I immediately unloaded all of it and commenced production of large quantities of swooshy and brappy noises. Before I knew it, it was time for the first fill-up:



As seen in Julien's video, the next morning I enlisted the kiddos to assist in the inaugural first wash:





Later we took a nice drive out to my parents house. I felt like I'd reached peak dad with the kids in the back of our speedwagon. Capped off the first day of ownership with, what else.... a grocery run :D



It's been a couple of weeks now, and I've enjoyed tackling a few fit-and-finish items. Also, the car is currently on jackstands in my garage already. :facepalm: More on that to come later...

Instagram: @miata_at_midlife

2006 Sonic Blue Volvo V70R | 1998 Estoril Blue BMW M3 Sedan | 2000 Avus Blue BMW M5
 

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The blue theme with you and with tonyc seems to be addictive...
Nice purchase!
 

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Great to see this thread live on. Seems like Julien's VR fell into great hands - looking forward to seeing more Sonic.
 

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I updated the thread title and added a prelude to index the thread. If you'd like anything changed, let me know and I'll be happy to help. Welcome, congrats on the buy, and I'm a bit (read: a lot) jealous of your garage and its contents.
 

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As I said on your FB post, congrats! It's a beauty and Julien did some great work to it. Enjoy it and keep us posted!
 

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Congratulations on adding an R wagon to the fleet. I'll take that M3 off your hands when you're ready, LOL.
The blue theme with you and with tonyc seems to be addictive...
Nice purchase!
Glad to see another euro enthusiast and detailer! Welcome and hope to see more posts!
Great to see this thread live on. Seems like Julien's VR fell into great hands - looking forward to seeing more Sonic.
Congrats. Thanks for continuing the thread!!
As I said on your FB post, congrats! It's a beauty and Julien did some great work to it. Enjoy it and keep us posted!
Thanks everyone, appreciate the welcome!

I updated the thread title and added a prelude to index the thread. If you'd like anything changed, let me know and I'll be happy to help. Welcome, congrats on the buy, and I'm a bit (read: a lot) jealous of your garage and its contents.
Cool! I'm excited to have a consolidated thread history, so thanks for doing that.

I love my garage and am super grateful. However, I did make a deal with wife that I have to sell a car by the end of the year. That's going to be a tough one... :(
 

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Sell the Miata to make her happy, then once the appeasement period is over get an FD Rx7 (Tell her it's a "safer" miata :D )

I definitely plan on getting an E46, 05-06 M3 manual coupe. I'm not too fond of most M cars, but the ones I do love I'm hell-bent on seeing in my garage.
 

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+1. Me too man! What a machine.


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Congrats..... you purchase a nice VR. The engine in your car is in amazing condition for the mileage.


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Welcome to the club!

Now, in all of my sleuthing for almost 2 years, I had never seen a Sonic Blue with a manual transmission for sale. Not a single one in the country. I knew they were out there, but I also knew that apparently people were holding them tight.
Well back in the day the best SS members were able to deduce from VNA records was for the 2006 model year there were 377 VR MTs imported to all of North America, so there's not a lot of availability to start with, and that pool has diminished over the last 14 years. Glad you were finally able to locate one! Enjoy.
 

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1 month ownership update

I hope everyone is ok with overly-long posts, because here is another one :rolleyes:

A few minor updates and one major one. First, a non-Volvo update! With quarantine upon us, I have been looking for any excuse to get outside. We've had a kid's Crazy Cart for a year and it's been a huge neighborhood hit. I finally bit the bullet and ordered the Crazy Cart XL for us big kids. Talk about money well spent! It has literally unified our neighborhood, and pretty much every adult on my street has gone for a "spin". If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up...







Took care of a few little details that were pretty satisfying. First, I removed a couple of corpses from the tail lights. RIP little buddy...



Next up, time for some trim restoration. My favorite trim product that I've used on all my cars is Gtechniq C4 Permanent Trim Restorer. This product has held up on my M5 for over 3 years now, which was well worth the investment alone.

I applied it to the front cowl, window seals, and pretty much anywhere that had black rubber or plastic. Here's how the bumper trim turned out:



New wiper covers and cowl restore, which was already dirty in this shot:



The rear wiper and arm were only being held in to the car by spring tension. Time for a replacement:



After a couple of weeks, the car was just itching for a real, dedicated drive. My buddy Jamil and I spent a Saturday morning touring Camano Island and had a great time. His E39 M5 is loud. And mean. And beautiful.



It was pretty satisfying to whip the car a bit into some nice sweepers and feel out how these new shocks and upgraded swaybars performed.

Later that week the temperatures picked up in Seattle, so I took orders from the neighborhood kids and headed down the road to my local Dairy Queen. As I sat in the drive-thru line imagining the delight of my upcoming Peanut Buster Parfait, I noticed that the cooling fan seemed to be running rather intensely. Grabbed my tasty treats, headed back up the hill, and the car messaging system was begging me to pull over and turn the engine off. By the time I made it home, I noticed that the car had a bad case of the runs, providing a nice line of coolant all the way up the street and into my garage. Doesn't look bad here, but it ended up going absolutely everywhere.



Pulled the radiator, and of course:



I'm glad my house was only a half mile away, because this is all that was left when I drained the radiator:



I ordered a new Behr radiator and silicone hoses from IPD. Unfortunately, this was right before Memorial Day weekend, so it took quite a while for the parts to arrive.



At first, I was pretty excited to have a real project to work on. That excitement fled when it took me over an hour just to figure out how to get the new radiator back inside the engine bay (let alone bolt it all up). This was one of those jobs that would take me 1/3 of the time now if I had to do it again, but I do hope sincerely that day never comes.

At least the mess forced me to give the engine bay a good cleaning after. I was even able to get the dreaded charge pipe tattoo removed with a wire brush:



With the car back in action, I tackled a few other little things. The car still had a bit of a doggie odor in it. Not bad, but enough to notice. Since I knew Julien had the carpets shampooed, and I myself steam cleaned quite a bit inside, I picked up this ozone machine in an attempt to wipe out the last bit. Very impressed with the results! Hopefully I'll get more use out of this thing in the future.



The windshield had a pretty bad spot that was kind of driving me crazy, especially when taking left turns. I broke out my drill, felt wheel, and cerium oxide and went to work. This stuff is absolutely nasty, but can work wonders with patience:



Trunk mat and rubber floor mats provided by FCP Euro:



Maybe the most satisfying replacement yet...new knobs!



I absolutely love the Sony AX200 head unit, especially with Apple Carplay. Unfortunately, there's not a good place to store the phone in this car. I'm a huge fan of the ProClip and Scosche magnetic mount combo and run the setup in all my cars. They are expensive, but are rock solid, custom built for each car, and look fantastic. Really happy with this setup in particular:




Finally got the alignment dialed in. Pretty sure that loading and unloading the car on and off the transport who knows how many times threw it out of whack:



Last but not least, what good is a DadWagon without somehow broadcasting it to the world via a sticker? :D



More fun stuff coming soon...
 
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