Like Rodney Dangerfield, Volvo's innocuous C70 don't get no respect. Well, that's about to change - for the car at least - because today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Volvo is too pimped to be diss'd, but will you find its price equally respectable?
About the time the amazing Aretha Franklin was demanding respect in the R&B classic of the same name, Porsche and Volkswagen were partnering on what would become the dual-branded 914. Aretha's version of the Otis Redding song placed number five on the Rolling Stone list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The 914 however was not similarly feted, perhaps due to its somewhat awkward styling, or more likely its tepid four cylinder engine.
Yesterday's 914 dropped the four and picked up some Chevy power, and while the build quality seemed pretty decent, and the wackadoodle-ness of the concept appeared 100% certified Jalop, its price was of concern. That, it turned out, was the primary vector for the SBC-powered Porsche to earn an RCH-narrow 51% Crack Pipe loss.
Volvo made a paradigm shift in their mainstay product with the introduction of the front-wheel drive 850 in 1992. That mid-size box replaced Volvos other mid-size box - the 200 series - which had been in production so long that it was what Beowulf drove to King Hrothgar's to kill the monster.
A shift in nomenclature meant that the 850 became the 60/70-series, and that positional number was preceded by a letter indicating the bodystyle - in case you were too dumb to figure it out from just looking at it. They used S for sedan, V for versatile, or wagon, and C for coupé, which is the subject of today's consideration.
The C70 arrived in two-door hardtop form for the 1997 model year and eschewed the traditional Volvo styling meme of rectilinear boxiness for a shape that was just slightly less so. TWR in Great Britain did much of the chassis engineering for the car, and it was offered with a spate of Volvo's fine four and five cylinder inlines, some with roarty turbos.
Despite all that, the C70 remained a completely anonymous car, with a chameleon-like ability to blend into nearly any background. Today's 1998 C70 however, not so much.
Sporting baboon ass red paint and massive 20" black and red donks, it has undeniable Sweditude. Smoked lenses on all four corners and a mesh grille complete the ensemble, however, just like See's Candies, it what's on the inside that really counts. Pop open one of the C70's long doors and be prepared to be two-toned into submission. Almost demanding an audible day-um! from first time observers, this riot in red and white custom interior looks as though it was yanked lock stock and barrel from a defunct Ruby Tuesday's diner, or perhaps the Satën section of Ikea. What's claimed to be Nappa leather - made from only the most adorable of baby sheep - covers every conceivable surface in the cabin, and the red and white color scheme extends all the way to the seat belt webbing and ceiling grab handles.
As noted, the stock C70 is about as somnambulant a ride as you can imagine, and even remembering its name can be a problem, even from behind the wheel. No chance of that here as it has been stitched into each of the four headrests, and should you forget who you are due to all the C70-ness inside there's a handy MR. X conveniently marring the glovebox door. Almost as a planned artistic juxtaposition, the pine tree air freshener the current owner has chosen is orange.
Mechanically there don't seem to be as many changes, but the car does come with a combo of the T5 2.3, which is good for 236-bhp and to make use of that engine's wide torque band an. . . automatic gearbox. Ruh Roh, Ragnar. Still, even with the slusher, the intercooled high pressure turbo five cylinder should make moose avoidance a piece of
cake lingonberry pie. Keeping the greasy bits stock means that, while it'll impress the hell out of the technicians at ACME Smog and Tune, they won't be able to fault it for its emissions.
And it should be as clean inside the engine as the car is on the outside as the seller lays claim to using only the best oil and gas in its operation. To my understanding that means Les Costas Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the flatus produced by Miranda Kerr's ass. That alone could be worth the $6,000 asking price this 142,000-mile Volvo carries, without even considering all the additional work and money - claimed twelve-large - that has gone into it. The seller denotes the big ticket items in his Craigslist post - after leading off the ad with the notification CAR NOT SOLD!!! just to set the record straight right off the bat why he's listing it here. Or maybe it's an admission of astonishment over the fact that buyers aren't wedgie-ing each other in the attempt to throw money and platitudes at him for the car.
If they aren't, why could that be? Do you think it could be the fact that, while eye-searingly modified, the C70 remains just too anonymous to be of much interest to anyone other than bank robbers? Or do you think it's the modifications themselves- so incongruous when applied to the somber and stoic Volvo? Or, is it the price? What do you think, is this now loud and proud C70 worth its six grand asking price? Or, is that a price that out-pimps the ride?
By the way, if you're not all that into Swedes, then check out this Volvo's brother from another mother.
H/T to mrpeugeot for the hookup!
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