Spending a year+ in Snow Leopard

On Dec 14th 2008, Snow Leopard passed 300,000 miles. If I had averaged 60 miles/hour I would have spent 208+ days in the car. Well 30mph is probable still on the high side, so I have easily spent over a year in the car - not counting the time spent sleeping in the back.
Snow Lepoard is a 1989 745 GLA Volvo that I bought new. My first and only (so far) new car. Below are pictures of the minor modifications I have made to the kitty over the years.
Feb 9th 2009 update: DOV mined me that my ‘LPRD - SNO’ plates were 10 years old and should be replaced. I checked (as I have done now and then) and this time ‘SNO LPRD’ was available. Kitty has her proper name on her tags.

glove compart

I added the cubby shelf in the bottom right so that when I pulled out the owners manual - and all the other paperwork I keep stashed in it - I did not have to remove everything else in order to put the manual back in. From left to right: weather radio, pressure gage, teka light - can make street signs readable at 100 feet on dark rainy nights (is there any other kind :) - hazard cargo index, binoculars - if I want to see stars I have to leave the metro area.

cup holder

My “temporary’ cup holder that when I made it 1990 I had in mind to redo in fancy wood. Maybe before kitty turns 400. The rectangle holder on left end was for my ICOM U16. Just below the speedometer there is some red gel taped over the high beam indicator.


Here is a better picture of the red gel. This was the first mod I did, cause I did it within 2 days of getting the car. The gel’s purpose is to dim and turn red the night vision robbing bright blue light that yells at you that the high beams are on. I find the blue light almost defeats the extra distance the high beams give.


Here the dash with the high beams on. You can also see that this shot was done when the car was 617 past 300k, whereas when I started this page I was about 400 shy. This means it took me about a 1,000 miles to finish this project. It just took a very distant 2nd place to job hunting.

mini stereo jack

The mini stereo jack - to the tight of the gear shift on the ashtray door - lets my iPod send into the amplifier side of the radio.

gas cap keeper

Real minor (and hard to see), a keeper cord for the gas cap. The first gas cap that I lost was blown away durning a very windy day when I was filling the tank.

work lights in hatchback

Hauling gear to and from cons often means loading and unloading the car in the dark. Once too often I nearly left something on the ground behind the car. I installed lights on the inside of the hatch back at the lowest part, which is the highest part when the hatch is open. It made a big difference in seeing what was on the ground and where to put feet. Tall folks also no longer seem to hit their head on the hatch back at night.


The top of the switch for the lights can be seen tucked into the pocket where the opening latched is located. There was no always hot power in the hatchback, so I tapped into the power for the license plate which is on when the parking|head lights are on. Headlights require the key be in the ignition, while the parking lights do not, so I usually turn the switch from headlights to parking lights when I want the hatchback lights.

work lights in hatchback sideview

Side view showing the ground illuminated.