Buying an old classic car can be a painful and tiring process for the average human being.
You have to endure boring forums and listen to bearded blokes give you advice on oil leaks, values, chassis numbers and how authentic the carpets are, I’d tell them to get lost!
Old Volvos (and Saabs) on the other hand are different, because with an old Volvo, you don’t have to give a hoot about all of that preservation rubbish.
With a Volvo, it’s a Scandinavian classic that you can use every single day! They’re built like tanks, yet they look even better today with age.
Coming up now are 9 examples of old Volvos which are definitely worth investing in-
Amazon- From £5,000 (for a good one)
The Volvo Amazon was the last Swedish tank which had curves rather than boxy, sharp edges. It’s front end is reminiscent of a 1955 Chrysler 300, isn’t it just a really lovely shape?
And because it’s a Volvo, the little 1.6-2.0 litre engines will be as reliable as a Swiss army knife.
That’s not to say they weren’t pokey either, the 123 GT version had the same B18 engine as the P1800 with 115bhp on tap and could hit nearly 120mph!
For less than £5k, you can buy a project Amazon with bags of rust. But this example is in lovely original condition, and good value as well!
You really are better off buying a clean example, unless you’re looking for something to restore.
144- From £3,000
These Volvos were the little-known predecessors to the widely loved 240, but there’s not much to differ apart from the fact there wasn’t a fast version of either the 142 or 144.
But as an underrated Volvo, surely it’s worth considering, don’t you think?
The fact this car came from the mid-sixties meant the 144 was very modern, compared to the average Triumph 2000 or Morris 1100.
And with electronic fuel injection added to the later versions of the Amazon-derived 2.0 litre engine, (now code-named the B20) meant it was more efficient too!
And unlike a tatty old Triumph, this old Volvo can be used every single day, no matter the weather.
(I should point out the 2 door version was called the 142.)
164- From £5,000 (for one in good nick)
What happens when Volvo ups the ante from the modest 144? Simple, they add 2 more cylinders and make it bigger and sexier!
And the B30 straight six didn’t just meant added thirstiness. Because Volvo managed to make the fuel injected 164E go from 0-60 in just 8.7 seconds! Quicker than most sports cars of the time!
And despite pleading calls from Volvo dealers persuading the brand to build an estate version, it never happened.
But still, for around the same price as a second hand Ford Focus diesel, a quick, strong (and freaking cool) 6 cylinder Volvo is hard not to consider.
PV544 (yes, ’tis a Volvo) From £3,500
After the Second World War, Volvo thought it was a good idea to make an affordable, reliable car to be sold to the masses.
The result was the PV444 and it was an instant success, with a smug reputation for reliability and ruggedness, the Swedish masses bought tonnes of them!
Then Volvo decided in 1958, that they should make it faster. And so the PV544 was born, and it used that fabulous B18 engine for the very first time!
Obviously it’s not the kind of Volvo you’d have in mind when thinking old, but if you’re looking for a ’50s sleeper, the PV544 is considerable. It’ll leave any Hilman Hunter in the dust!
240 Estate- From £1,500
When someone says ‘old Volvo’, the 240 estate is quite possibly one of the first things to spring to mind.
A huge, boxy body with a boot the size of Jupiter. This car gave Volvo their definitive boxy image for the average Joe, yet us petrolheads appear to like it.
There’s no real point in telling you what engines and gearboxes this car came with (one of which was a diesel…), because mad junkies have swapped insane power-trains into these things!
Anything from twin turbo V8s to 1 billion hp 2JZ Supra motors have been shoehorned into these Swedish boxes, something that Volvo wouldn’t imagine is possible…
Despite there being a fast, turbocharged version of the 240, people are snapping these things up to modify the sh*t out of.
242 Turbo- From Around £8,000 (ish)
When turbocharging was trending like Punk back in the early ’80s, it was only natural for Volvo to spank up their trusty 240 series.
And the best of all, was the 242 Turbo!
Designed for the American market, the 2.1 litre 4 cylinder developed 155bhp. Which meant a 0-60 time of just over 8 seconds! That meant a top speed of over 120mph.
The 242 Turbo is a quick car, even by today’s standards. And a handsome one, the 2 door shape with the sexy ’80s wing and splitter make this a VERY attractive Volvo!
It’s not easy to find them for sale, even this gorgeous example had to be imported from California.
But if you gloss over the rarity and import costs, because the 242 Turbo… really flatters the heart.
850R- From £3,000
When was the last time you heard Volvo enter the British Touring Car Championship with a wagon?
Your only answer will be in 1994 driven by Richard Rydell and Jan Lammers! It’s that car pictured above with the blue decals and balancing on 2 wheels, how cool is that!
Nevertheless, Volvo also built the awesome 850R for the road. And it’s a bargain.
A 2.3 litre turbocharged 5 cylinder engine was used, which produced a barbaric 240bhp! Top speed was all the way up to 158mph, and if you choose the manual gearbox, a 0-60 time of just 6 and a half seconds!
Volvo themselves were so hyped about the speed, that they advertised simply as; “Until Ferrari builds a wagon, this is it.”
S60R- From £3,500
Scandinavian things tend to be incredibly popular amongst the Europeans below them, I only have to reference IKEA and LEGO to give you an idea.
So why then, is Scandinavia’s answer to the German sports saloon a forgotten gem?
The Volvo S60R never lit the candle like a fast BMW or Audi, so does that make it a cool choice for a second hand sports saloon?
With the 300bhp 2.5 litre turbocharged 5 cylinder engine sending power to all 4 wheels, it’ll be ideal for every season the earth can throw at it!
And while it thunders through the snow, it’ll also make mince meat of a midlife crisis Porsche Boxter of the time!
S80- From £1000
Before the high-tech (and really rather sleek) Volvo S90 came along, we had this, the S80.
And thanks to depreciation, these old tanks are going cheap. And that’s good news!
You can pick up an S80, with a full service history and a tonne of extras for the same price as a MAC computer. That’s staggering value for money!
And if you considered a later model (be it for more money), you could have the S80 with the same 4.4 litre V8 as the Noble M600. Keep that in mind 😉
But even if you’re tight on cash, and only wear charity clothing, a first-gen Volvo S80 is surely a damn good bargain.
Especially if you consider Sweden’s mental OCD on car quality and safety.
So there we are, that’s 9 cheap old Volvos that are definitely worth investing in. If you enjoyed the article, please leave a reaction below and let me know what cars I’ve missed!
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Hope you enjoyed reading 🙂