I never cared about cars until I was 33. I was an enthusiastic motorcyclist. Fetishist, even.

Then I figured it was time to get a car at last. “I’m a smart, rational person. I should get a smart, rational car. A VW Golf TDI, perhaps?

The I helped my father-in-law-to-be to move out his apartment in 2003. He was retiring and moving to Brazil.

I opened his garage port, and looked at the rear end of a privately imported metallic green ‘94 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. I was astonished. I didn’t know there were such cars. All I saw around me here in Sweden were frugal cars. Compacts, Volvos, german highway locomotives. All rational.

We have a lot of old-iron US cars, but they are decidedly different from the quite modern Buick PA. It had electric everything, ABS, TCS, heated rear mirrors, you name it. Front wheel drive that worked stellar with its long, wide wheel base on swedish winter roads. Torquey and not very thirsty supercharged 3.8L V6.

Here was a beast entirely different from the ecosystem around it. Unabashedly large, soft, kind, spacious, strong, jovial - there is nothing like it on our market, and the car itself is unique in Europe as far as my investigations have shown. There are a bunch of regular Park Avenues, but no other Ultra.

I bought it off him instantly, and drove it daily for ten years. It ran on E85 for seven of those, because we have that in abundance here. It was even quite an economical car overall, according to my retrospect calculations.

It is currently stored in a barn, awaiting much-needed tender care, as quite a lot has stopped working. But I have no workshop garage, no resources for a hobby car right now

I would still drive it continuously, were it not for its geriatric state. I have looked for something to replace it. Mercedes comes closest, but it still isn’t the same thing.

So yeah - my first car love is my first car that I still possess, and constantly look for a viable replacement for.