Markus' New 30,000-Mile Brick: 1985 Volvo 240 DL!

June 8, 2014

17 comments
Previously seen in this parking space, a 1968 Barracuda.
1985 Volvo 240 DL sedan.
1985 Volvo 240 DL sedan.
Golden Glow paint sealant sticker
1985 Volvo 240 DL sedan.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't 85 one of the defective wiring loom years? The wire wrap used during those mid 80's years tend to fall apart...

Otherwise great find!

Spiff said...

Love the 4th pic, not just the color but the play of the windshield and antenna angle with the mural. Awesome brick for Marcus, awesome shooting by Tony. :)

Mikael said...

One of the most overrated cars of all time. Most farm tractors are a lot more comfortable and handle better, too.

I pity the fool who has to suffer behind the wheel of that hupmobile.

Donkey Hoaty said...

That'd be an expensive one to drive daily- even at that age. Darn fuel filters for them things cost $40. I agree with Mikael- Volvos were terribly over-rated. Very expensive to maintain and repair; lots of problems (their 80's fuel injection was a NIGHTMARE- and requires a specialist); and their comfort; durability; and performance were no better than a Pinto. In reality (and contrary to the advertising image) they didn't even fare that well in crash tests.

captaingizmo54 said...

Hey Don! No wonder my wife didn't let me buy of these! She obviously knew some-
thing I didn't. On a paper carrier's salary, repairs to the car would've broke the bank.
I guess tbat's why we drove Taurus wagons on our routes until she passed. For years
I thought a Volvo would be a good choice as a route car until she priced out the
repair costs of these rolling moneypits. I understand now why she told me not to buy
one. She was always there to make sure that I always took my car goggles off before
we went car shopping.

Anonymous said...

Wow, where's the love?

This box looks cool. I like time warp rides.

Congrats to Marcus, whomever that be.

Donkey Hoaty said...

Cap'n, your Dearly Departed was one wise woman! A lot of lesser women (and men) buy into the "safety" image of Volvos...but your wife obviously saw through that charade! When I was young (before I ever had a car) I used to picture myself driving a Volvo wagon- then years later, I knew someone who had one, and got to ride in it once....and I was like "What a POS!"- like the guy above says though, they do look nice (Hey, they gotta have SOMETHING going for themselves!)- and they do present a nice image.

Tony Piff said...

"truck-like" handling? i'd describe it as a "planted" sensation, and once you're used to it, everything else feels flimsy. i love the sailing down the interstate at 1am on christmas in a 240 with automatic transmission and blast-furnace heat roaring. nothing like it.

so weird that, of the hundreds of volvos we've posted, this is the one that gets flamed?

Ben Piff said...

What are you guys talking about? I never thought I'd hear such unfounded negativity about such a well proven family of cars. I love hearing stories about cars people have owned or interacted with, but our family has owned a many different 80s and 90s Volvos throughout our life with none of the complaints you've mentioned (particularly the cost of maintenance and repair). Marcus, our dad, has owned his 940 for more than 10 years. And on that page you can see a link to another 240 that was in our family for 10+ years.

I can't wait to experience this beauty, which must be one of the finest examples on the road.

Ben Piff said...

It also makes me wonder, how many of our 2958 (as of 6/8/14) posts has everyone seen?

Tony Piff said...

thanks for adding the barracuda, ben. i did not remember the wall or the car.

Tony Piff said...

compare profile pics one and two for an instant gentrification timelapse!

Dad/Mark said...

Response from Markus -
Greetings fellow humans. I'll admit to being a long-time Volvo nut. For the individual that asserted that this car will be about as comfortable as a tractor, well, perhaps that is a slight exaggeration. I concur that when I'm driving a 240 I feel a little bit like I'm sitting in a hole. Volvo fixed that problem when they designed the 740 and have carried it forward into their subsequent models. For those who comment on the biodegradable wiring harnesses on these old cars, for this one I'm not too concerned, because it has virtually no amenities and is one of the simplest possible cars of its time.

Like Tony, I also really appreciate the "planted" sensation that the 240's suspension provides. Kind of funny to think of that as a "plus" because bricks were never really noted for their handling or suspension. Having owned a couple of BMWs (the last of which was a Dinan-badged 535 with significant suspension upgrades) I'll definitely give the nod to BMW - that's one of the things they're known for - and I'll also be glad to give a nod in the direction of Honda, because I've never driven a Honda that didn't just feel "right", whether it was an Accord (owned two), a Civic (owned one), an Element (drove one) or a Fit (driven and ridden in one).

But those cars are all expensive by comparison with a vintage brick. So everything has to be considered in context. And vintage Volvo's present (IMHO) a kind of special case, because they tend to last upwards of 300,000 miles. At that kind of mileage what car wouldn't be a bit tired?

Test driving this car was a kind of a thrill actually. It drives virtually as if it just came off the showroom. I now see that so many of the old Volvo's I've driven needed to be re-bushed and possibly have new shocks. This thing is butter-smooth, but not soft and wobbly, like a comparable vintage American car.

Oh well, I have tons more to write but I expect that none of you really care that much and I need to turn my attention back to work. In the meantime, have a great day.

Spiff said...

I've never met any of you boys (nor your dad), but have long admired your work, words and vision, and how they demonstrate a sense of true appreciation.

Now I know where at least some of that comes from. Marcus, you have a new fan in the anonymous world of the web. Enjoy that pristine 240, and those Hondas! (From one who knows what "just right" feels like.)

Spiff said...

And oops, my apologies for misspelling your name, Markus!

Anonymous said...

My wiring comment comes from being in the "know". My family, extended included had been Volvo people since the 70's. My cousin was a Volvo certified tech.

Any Volvo 4cyl up until the Ford era is built like a tank. Turbo cars from the 80's had issues as did a couple product years, but overall they are rock solid. Anyone who gripes about the cost of repair is silly or lazy. Sans a few specific items, parts and service are no more costly than that of a Honda. If you take your Brick to the dealer, expect to be screwed. Work on it yourself...it's 1950's technology with fuel injection added. In my family there have been several 240, 740 & 940 vehicles with 250k to 350k mile and running. You cannot KILL them! They are built solidly and with high quality materials. In their day, nothing could match the crash worthiness of the 240. Overrated...I think not.

Thomas said...

" their comfort; durability; and performance were no better than a Pinto."

I call BS on this: Seats aren't a sofa like in many US cars but they give support on twisted little roads we have here in Europe, US-style sofas would be useless.

Durability is excellent (except US-models equipped with FI, those were basically prototypes with smog equipment), very well par on any US car from same era. But not as good as US-cars in 50s or 60s ... I think nothing beats those.

A friend of mine still drives a -85 242GL he inherited from his father in 1992.

Also crash durability is very good, compared to any other european or japanese car at that era, as most were basically tin cans, not 2 tons of steel like US cars.

Volvo also survives a crash with moose and most cars, anywhere, don't do that, even now and even less in 80s.

Of course it's a gas guzzler by europeean terms and quite expensive. But built like a tank: Volvo is and was making military vehicles too so they knew how to make cars than can take the beating.