I have a first-world problem.

I’ve decided to sell the TDI back to Volkswagen.  We’ve had 5 good years and almost 80,000 miles together.  It’s half as long as I had planned to own it, but the buy-back offer is too good.  I will never see as much money for it from any other source.

Many people would use the money as a down payment on a replacement and take out another loan, but not me.  I own the VW outright.  I intend to pay cash for its replacement, no matter how long it takes.  The cash will go in the bank for now.

Without the VW, we will be left with only one winter car.  Snow tires for Mrs. Mack505’s Cadillac cost more than a good used car. Even with good tires, I fear the CTS-V would be as nimble as Wile E. Coyote on rocket skates in the winter.

I need a tank.  I shopped, and thought, and shopped some more.  I started haunting Craigslist, and I found this:

Introducing Sherman.

Sherman is a 1996 Volvo 850 with a 5-speed manual transmission.  If you account for inflation I paid less for it than for my first car, and I love it!  I grinned like an idiot the whole way home.

Sherman reminds me of what we have lost with modern cars.  There is no Bluetooth, no traction control, no trip computer.  The single LCD display tells the time and temperature.  All of the controls are manual.  You can turn the DRLs on and off.  You have to unlock the doors with a key. (gasp!)

It still features power windows, ABS, airbags, and an air conditioner that works better than our new ones.  The previous owner did all of the important maintenance and added an iPod input.  I haven’t driven anything else since it came home.

All for less than the cost of a set of snow tires, and it came with an extra set of snow tires!

My problem seems to be solved.

(for those who missed the title: Wikipedia)