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1970 Volvo 142

Illustration for article titled 1970 Volvo 142

Welcome to Down On The Mile High Street, where we admire old vehicles found parked on the streets of the City That Rust Sorta Ignored: Denver, Colorado. This may be the nicest street-driven Volvo 140 I've ever seen.

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Illustration for article titled 1970 Volvo 142

I'm guessing it's a '70 due to the aluminum grille and the flow-through vents below the rear window. 1969 was the first year for the B20, and Volvo created one of my favorite all-time engine emblems for the occasion.

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Illustration for article titled 1970 Volvo 142

If you think the rear half of this car's body looks like a Volvo 240, you're correct; Volvo included plenty of the 140's genes in their famous brick.

Note: I've just heard from this car's owner. Here's what he has to say about his classic Volvo:

I purchased this 142 from the original owner (estate sale) in 2007 for $3200. Since then I have put in a brand new interior (which you likely saw since I left the driver's window opened). The seat covers come directly from Gothenberg, Sweden, and the carpet is new. I also had the car painted this summer at Porter Auto and Body. The clearcoat looks amazing. I replaced some interior knobs with originals, and I bought all of the original owner's manuals as well. Under the hood I put in an electronic ignition (no more points to play with) from a 1975 model; I replaced the lame Weber carb with a newly rebuilt pair of HS6 SU carbs; I installed an OEM block heater (which works amazingly well); I installed new rubber seals around the trunk; I had ALL rust repaired with welded steel (no bondo on this baby); I installed new brakes, rotors, ball joints, and struts; and lastly, I replaced the wiper blades with the original set that I found in a junkyard in Oklahoma.

I am very fastidious about the care and attention this car gets. However, I credit all of the aforementioned work to the best Volvo mechanic in this city, Bob Cope of Sweden's Pride. He and his brother Stuart run a first-class, honest operation. I have the utmost respect for those men.

I commend you on your astute eye. Yes, this is a 1970, as you noted. Volvo added the rear ventilation slots under the rear glass in 1970.

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DISCUSSION

Sweet!

240's and Amazons get all the glory but the 140 series were fantastic cars.

My dad liked the 122S he bought for me so much that he bought a well used 1972 144 in the mid-80s for a couple hundred bucks and it became his daily driver, pushing out the much newer VW Dasher diesel we had at the time.

I've never been in a car with as much passenger space as that 144. The seats went back far enough that even at 6'5" I couldn't reach the pedals and with them back that far there was still plenty of legroom in the back for me - the only car I could comfortably sit behind my dad in. Trunk space was ridiculous - it was just huge - wide and long and tremendously deep and the trunk lid was the full size of the rear deck so there was no limit to access like there is on cars today that might still have a decent trunk but a tiny porthole to put things in through.

For all the space, it didn't feel like a giant car, and nothing like the mostrosities coming out of Detroit and despite its RWD and a live axle, it still clobbered any FWD car for space utilization. I guess it's tough to beat a box for volume. The only trunk that's come close was my wife's '01 Lesabre and while it was longer it wasn't as nearly as deep and nothing short of a limo offers comparable leg and headroom.

The B20 with fuel injection was much less finicky than my B18 with its impossible to keep balanced dual carbs. With a four on the floor it was perfectly pleasent to drive. It wasn't fast by any means but it handled pretty well, had decent disc brakes all around and rode comfortably.

Beautiful example of the breed there. Makes me miss dad's old faded 144 - wish he'd brought it when the family migrated south - he'd probably still be driving it.