The phrase, “Down but not out,” originated in the boxing ring, but could just as easily describe today’s Nice Price or No Dice Volvo V70 R. Let’s decide what the prospect of going a few rounds with this hot Swede should rightfully cost.
Thanks to a greedy oil industry, the era of $6 a gallon of gasoline is upon us. What that means is even the classic car world is looking to economize, perhaps seeking out more fuel-efficient investment opportunities over gas guzzling tanks. That makes classics like yesterday’s 1991 Jeep Grand Wagoneer and its single-digit around-town mileage a hard sell, even with a $13,750 price tag. Many of you pointed this out in the comments. Oddly enough, the voting didn’t reflect that pessimistic appraisal, earning the Jeep a narrow 54 percent Nice Price win to lead off our week.
If you’re going to suffer from compromised mileage in a classic car, you might as well have fun doing it. That’s not to say that this 1999 Volvo V70 R AWD gets especially poor fuel economy. I mean, it’s only a five-pot, after all. But with 237 factory horsepower on tap, you know it’s going to be a bit of a drinker. In this model year, those ponies are routed through the standard-equipment four-speed Aisin automatic, and onward to a Haldex torque-splitting AWD system. Remember, friction affects fuel economy!
Countering that, this one may have a few more ponies in its corral seeing as the ad claims the car has an aftermarket tune and to have undergone surgery on both intake and exhaust. According to the ad, the car also has 147,000 miles on the clock, put on there by a total of four owners so far. Honestly, as an aside, I think owners are like spouses — you can stop counting after you get to three.
Aesthetically, this V70 R is kind of rough. It’s mostly dings and scrapes, and questionable wheel choices, but there’s nothing that probably couldn’t be addressed by a competent body shop and sourcing a set of the handsome factory alloys. The seller addresses the somewhat lackluster visual appeal by noting that the car needs “a little work.”
Inside, it’s much the same tune. The cabin does have the R-unique diamond pattern leather and Alcantara seats, but the mix of black and beige is a bit jarring. The unique upholstery has also seen better days. On the plus side, everything seems to be intact — including the headliner.
Other noteworthy aspects of the car include new rear brakes and a fresh quartet of Michelin tires to keep the car rolling. That latter addition is important as mismatched or unevenly worn tires can vex the Volvo’s Haldex system, and that can lead to expensive problems.
The rest of the car looks straight and free from road rot. The title is clean and outside of the straight-piped exhaust, the car doesn’t seem to need any immediate attention to be a daily driver.
For all that, the seller asks $2,500 and explains that the project is being passed along to fund the purchase of a house. That seems perfectly reasonable, but is that price?
What do you think? Is this semi-classic V70 R worth that $2,500 asking in its present, somewhat tired state? Or, does the wear and tear make even that meager amount feel too risky?
Eugene, Oregon, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Matthew Williams for the hookup!
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