Peggy Sturdivant
Here is a car similar to the one stolen from Nervous Nellie's co-owner Todd McAllister outside of Cash n’ Carry in the afternoon of April 15.

At Large in Ballard: Special report

Grand Theft Auto: Beloved vintage Volvo stolen from Nervous Nellie’s owner

Todd McAllister, co-owner of Nervous Nellie’s, was picking up supplies from Cash n’ Carry at noon on today, April 15, when his Vintage 1964 122 Volvo Wagon was stolen from just outside the store entrance.

As anyone who chooses to own a vintage Volvo will attest, this is not any car. Not only is the car beloved by its owner, it is the workhorse of the coffee shop located at the northeast corner of 57th Northwest and Northwest 17th, transporting coffee, paper goods and most importantly, dozens of loaves of Great Harvest bread for Nervous Nellie’s trademark toast.

The car is a faded grayish-blue with a red front grill and a light colored back hatch. Luckily, Todd had not loaded his purchases before the theft. Police gave him a ride from Cash n’Carry back to the cafe.

It was definitely a crime of opportunity. Todd readily admits to leaving the keys in the ignition because they had a tendency to get stuck in the ignition, “and who would ever steal this car?”

Todd had always wanted to own a 122 wagon. His wife Jeannette Meade purchased it for him several years ago after Matt Pollitz, owner of X-Ray Auto called to say, “I think I’ve found your car.”

X-Ray Auto specializes in vintage Volvo’s. Since then Matt has dropped by several times per year to pick up the car in order to check the oil and put it up on the lift in exchange for coffee drinks.

“It’s a great car,” he said soon after learning about the theft. “I was in just blocks away when I got the call so I drove around a bit looking for it.”

Jeannette reminded me that I once referred in print to the car as "dilapidated." They had been planning to have the car repainted; as it was only its looks that were faded. Jeannette drives an off-white 544. She removes her keys from the ignition and locks her car.

At X-Ray Auto on Market Street, Matt Pollitz works only on Volvos manufactured 1974 or before (he drives a 1958 Volvo). He told me that 90 percent of the 122 Volvo wagons that you see in Seattle were produced 1966-1968.

The 1964 wagon that vanished from in front of the Cash n’Carry is much rarer, although that would not necessarily translate into high resale value.

Todd is extremely sad about the loss of his 122. It’s a stick shift with a rebuilt engine. Given that it was a crime of opportunity (“I told him that leaving the keys in the ignition wasn’t a good idea,” Pollitz said) he hopes that someone will take the opportunity to park the car and leave his keys back in the ignition for him.

He’s waiting for a phone call similar to the one that came when Matt first found him this Volvo. “I’ve found your car,” is what he's waiting to hear again, this time from a police officer, a friend, a customer, anyone with an eagle eye for a vintage Volvo that needs to be back at work ferrying bread for cinnamon toast.

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Todd's Volvo

It's hard to make out the license plate number in that photo. If you post it, we can keep a better lookout for the car.

What a sad thing. It's a lovely vehicle. (Todd -- after you get the car back, have the ignition fixed!)

Todd's Volvo

It's the morning after and Todd's Volvo is still in the wrong hands. The photo with the story is of a similar Volvo. His is much darker gray with a red front grille. License plate is 429 PES.