1969 Volvo 144S

Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo 144S

In Detroit, it was 1969 OK, all across the USA. You had your Goats and Road Runners and vast landyachts and so on. But in Göteborg, far from being another year with nuttin' to do, 1969 was another year of Odin's heirs grinding out more slab-sided Swedish warriors to do battle with less sensible vehicular opponents. And you still see plenty of examples of the generation of Volvos that came between the Amazon and the all-radio-presets-on-NPR 200 series cars roaming the streets.

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Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo 144S


The '69 144S listed at $3090 when it was new. A brand-new Slant Six-powered 4-door Dart sold for just $2413, so the Volvo wasn't exactly cheap.

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Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo 144S


This 144S is pretty damn rough, like a Stockholm drunk who's eaten a few too many sidewalks after aquavit binges and passed out in a slush-filled gutter. Yet, just like that drunk's berserker ancestors, the ol' Volvo just accepts its pounding and continues to press forward.

Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo 144S


I had one of these things for a while, and except for the horrible SU carbs it was actually a pretty decent car; the real problem with mine was that it had spent 13 years in a Central Valley field, with 110-degree summers and freezing winters, livestock and stray bullets, etc, so I had to replace a lot of bad seals and corroded electrical contacts.

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Illustration for article titled 1969 Volvo 144S


Ah, the ol' reliable B20! This is one of my favorite engine emblems of all time.

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DISCUSSION

ranwhenparked
ranwhenparked

I know its a cliche to say it, but these things really were tanks.

North Korea still has a whole fleet of them running around Pyongyang as taxicabs, that really says a lot about their durability if they can survive 30+ years in that sort of setting.

If I remember things correctly, most of the basic platform was carried over into the very similar looking 200, so this same basic car was still competitive some 26 years after it was first introduced. Of course, that was back in the day before Volvo discovered the principle of planned obsolescence and started building overpriced FWD cars of questionable quality.