• Oct 5, 2008


In the wake of Paul Newman's passing just over a week ago, we've seen countless, wonderful tributes to the man written from different points of view. He's remembered as an actor, a colleague, a racer, and most importantly, a towering philanthropist. One of the best non-written remembrances, however, comes from the mouth of David Letterman, who paid respect to Newman in one of his monologues on The Late Show last week.

The whole thing's worth watching, but at around 3:45 in, Dave gets to the story about when Newman called him up one day and talked him into buying a custom Volvo wagon (a 960) with a supercharged Ford V8 underhood. You see, Newman was having one made and was very pumped up about it, so he asked if Dave wanted one, too. And you know, how do you say no to Paul Newman? Dave recounts the whole affair beautifully, and of course, it's also funny.

After you watch the clip, head over to Swedespeed, where in 2003 they profiled a third car just like the ones built for Newman and Letterman, with even more background about Newman's car and what went into the build. This is the very definition of "sleeper."

[Source: The Sheila Variations]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      What a great car. And bravo to Letterman for taking some 9-odd minutes to pay tribute to someone who, by all accounts, was a tremendous humanitarian on top of whatever else he accomplished during his lifetime. Well done.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Volvo=sensible
      Supercharged V8=burnouts=outrageous

      Volvo + V8 Supercharged = cool
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great clip! Thanks for sharing.

      Would have wanted to see others faces when that Volvo started breathing fire middle of the street ;)

      Sleeper indeed.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's a "puffer."
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now that is how the mind of a gearhead works.

      RIP.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember watching that show some years ago when Paul Newman was a guest... I remember Dave being rather amused with Paul referring to add-on superchargers on those Volvos as "puffers". LOL.

      RIP Paul Newman.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That struck a chord with me, only the most sleeper loving car guys discover the wonders of Volvo Wagons.

      Another Newman Wagon I've seen is a 740 with a GNX engine...now that would be awesome!

      RIP Paul, you've brought joy to my life just hearing this story
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember this. A while ago I read (on autoblog I think) Paul newman take one of the last lap of lime rock of his life and he chose drove 2 particular cars. I think it was his Corvette GT1 racer and another car was a Volvo. At that time I didn't know what volvo it was or maybe it was a typo. I mean, he's a big hollywood star why he would bother on an anonymous mommy mobile? But he must've love that volvo very much that he chose it as one of the last car he'll ever drove on a track, out of all the cars he own. I got tons of respect for this guy right now.

      Oh btw I'm a big volvo enthusiast myself and I drove a 98' 350bhp volvo station wagon. I must say I never felt prouder owning a volvo than right now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I watched it when it aired last week. Such a nice tribute to a great man. The Volvo story was just a wonderful addition and just goes to show how much of a car guy Paul really was. But his love of cars was dwarfed by how much love he has shown thousands of kids and their families over the years through his charity work.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just sold my last volvo. I would buy newman's old v8 volvo if it were for sale at a reasonable price sans the celebrity markup...those Converse mashup v8's were great sleepers.