The Quest for a Car

As soon as we decided to actually go on this adventure we started looking for what should become our mode of transport for this trip, our living room for endless hours on Nordic country roads with deep and dark forests on the left and trees on the right where the odd moose or reindeer might jump out right in front of us (rest assured, in case this happens we’ll have a dash cam to document the resulting mayhem) to give us some safety, to become our castle on wheels.

We were often thinking and pondering about the requirements for this, for our car:

  • 4×4 or not – having seen the type of cars that went on this trip on previous occasions we realized that four-wheel-drive wasn’t really necessary. After all, it’s supposedly summer. Still, Jeeps, Rovers, Landcruisers, Explorers etc. were definitely in the mix.
  • Van, station wagon, limousine, people carrier – we didn’t have a real preference for the type or the form of the car. In our search we came across some cool and tempting S-class Mercs or 7-series Beemers but also pick-ups and at several points we were seriously considering: why not a hearse – lots of room and potentially a roomy resting place in the back.
    Basically enough room and plenty comfort are the criteria here.
  • Power. Power is never a bad thing, or let me re-phrase that, power is never a bad thing when it comes to cars. A stable of 150 horses should be a good starting point. Mind you, we’ll have to carry a lot of gear, food, booze, and as you can see from the top picture we’re not exactly featherweight midgets. The more horses the better.
  • Interior: Leather! The thought of having to sit for days and weeks on 20+ year old, used, abused, fart-cured cloth or velours with stains of dodgy origin was instantly revolting and rash-inducing. So, it definitely had to be leather.
  • Colour. Who gives a flying rat’s arse about the colour? There’ll be stickers, decals etc. anyway, it might even get wrapped completely.
  • TÜV, the German Technical Inspection Association (MOT) tests and inspects all cars every two years that are registered in Germany and we were thinking that the car we were to buy should have at least 12 months remaining. Hence, assuming or to be honest hoping that the technical state of the car wouldn’t be too devastating.
  • Location – it shouldn’t be too far away from Hamburg for we didn’t want to spend too much time and too many weekends on the motorway to look for and check out cheap cars. So we thought 200 km around Hamburg should be the limit, preferably closer.

The search criteria on the various used car websites looked a bit like this – and remember, the car had to be at least 20 years old and the price shouldn’t exceed EUR 2500,- by too much:

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Every day we received the newest results into our inbox. However, we had agreed that we didn’t want to buy a car before 2018. So there was a lot of looking around and checking offers on the internet exchanging exotic finds, getting excited, sharing laughs etc. but no real action yet. One thing became clear, there was and is a lot of stuff out there even with our limiting criteria, so whenever we would seriously start to go out and look for a car there would be plenty to choose from.


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