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May 3, 2014

Volvo wagon a multi-purpose ride

NORMAN — For Apollonia Pina, there’s a lot to like about the 1985 Volvo 240 GL station wagon that she refers to as the “Blue Brick.”

For one thing, the University of Oklahoma pre-medical school undergraduate and her Swedish car are the same age. Older collectors often acquire autos built the year they were born but a young person having a daily driver whose year matches the one on their driver’s license is unusual.

“I like my car because it’s durable and as long as I take care of it I think it’s going to take care of me,” Pina said. “I feel secure in it because it has a steel body, not fiberglass.”

She deems the engineering fantastic and it’s hard to argue with the present 365,000 miles on the Blue Brick’s odometer.

“It runs great and is versatile as well,” Pina said. “I go camping in it, fold down the rear seat and sleep in the back.”

Frequent trips to visit her boyfriend in Pawhuska and home in Tulsa make for what she calls a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. Pina is a member of the Muscogee-Creek Nation and every summer she visits a Creek elder in Dustin in Hughes County for language immersion.

“I park on this woman’s farm and camp with pillows and blankets in my car for a week,” she said.

The Blue Brick is a cozy snoozing nook on wheels. Pina doesn’t dig the modern automotive styling trend toward rounded sheet metal. Her Volvo resembles a long rectangular box. One car writer referred to that model as having, “More right angles than a box of right angles.”

The Blue Brick reminds her of the Bauhaus-style of architecture and it’s an aesthetic she’s down with.

Pina is only the car’s third owner and she’s driven it three years. A U.S. Dept. of Defense employee originally bought it in Germany.

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