John Patterson doesn’t live in a typical city, in a typical state…and he certainly doesn’t drive the typical car. On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, 105 miles northwest of O’ahu, Patterson designs and builds watches. He also owns a Volvo P1800.
He also drives to and from his workplace—if you can call it that—on a 58 mile-long ’U’-shaped road that goes nowhere. "There’s nowhere to go, so having a car is not a way to express your independence and how you’re going to leave and go out on the open road to have an adventure," Patterson says, "You’re really just going to drive it around…and then go home the same way you went."
Owning a vintage vehicle on the island presents its own set of challenges: there are no mechanics for vintage cars, no dealerships, and to get any part—no matter how small—depends on it making its way to Kauai. Patterson does all of the work on the P1800 himself.
It looks great, sounds great, and looks far nicer than it is—but the P1800, he says, is a modest classic. "It’s not expensive, it’s a Volvo."