Rectilinear Volvos like today’s Nice Price or No Dice 240 were once primarily favored by tweedy, pipe-smoking professorial types. Nowadays, pretty much every car nerd loves and covets them. Let’s see if its asking price could get you professing your love for this rare manual-equipped edition.
There’s this great line in the Tom Hanks movie Volunteers—the flick about a narcissistic rich guy forced into the Peace Corp to escape his creditors—in which Hanks’ character declares to another peace corporal: “It’s not that I can’t help these people. It’s just I don’t want to.”
I was reminded of that while perusing the comments on Friday’s 2008 Mercedes Benz GL320 CDI. A lot of you weighed in that the car’s $10,999 was a tad high, but many more noted simply that, while you could spend the cash on it, you could see no reason whatsoever to do so. Yeah, I know it’s not quite the same, but that’s just how my pea brain processes things so work with me here.
In the end, the Mercedes dropped in a 60% No Dice loss. On a much happier note, it was during the filming of Volunteers that Hanks and Rita Wilson decided to get hitched. They’ve been happily married ever since, a Hollywood fairytale as it were.
Few marriages last as long as has Hanks and Wilson’s, especially when they are burnished by the glare of celebrity. Enduring for decades while still putting on a good public face is a badge of honor. As I’m sure you well know, the same goes for cars. How many models out there can you say lasted for a decade or more and didn’t become a parody of itself—I’m looking at you, Foxstang.
One such everlasting gobstopper of a car is Volvo’s boxy 200 series. This model line debuted as the 140 series in 1966 and continued on in series production with basically the same body style and similar engines all the way into the early ‘90s. Talk about a run!
This 1985 Volvo 240 comes from half-way through the last full decade of the model’s run. This model year was the last for the four rectalngular headlight nose, which the car had sported since 1979. The ’86 update encompassed a number of other minor but noticeable changes, the most notable outcome being a significant toning down of the car’s brightwork.
Here it’s all bling up front, followed by funky Cream paint and black greenhouse trim. The body appears to be in fabulous condition and rides on cap-less factory steelies, a really good look. The tires wrapping those are said to be new, and add to the tidy presentation.
The ad claims the car to have 186,XXX on the clock and while triple X typically means something salacious, here I’m guessing that it simply means the car is getting DD’d and the miles continue to be in flux. That’s likely since the seller says that it “runs and drives good” and suffers “no mechanical issues.”
The interior is awash in swathes of wonderful brown fabric and plastics, with only a carpet dash cap to detract from the factory look and feel. The seller says the car is a four-speed, however, if the switch on the shift knob is any indication, this has the M46 four-cog with electric overdrive.
That should make highway cruising less of a chore. The engine doing the chore should be Volvo’s 114 horsepower B230F. That was introduced in this model year and served as the mainstay of 240 power throughout the remainder of its life here in the U.S. and in Canada.
The issues noted in the ad are a leaky A/C system and, well... that’s pretty much it. That A/C is most likely still R12 so that could be a hassle to repair unless you’re good friends with a licensed refrigeration dude or dudette. The title on the car is clear and the only thing stopping many of us from rushing to Charlotte and asking for this Volvo’s hand in marriage is the $3,800 asking price. We’ll now need to decide if that’s a hurdle we can also overcome.
What do you say, is this classic Volvo worth that $3,800 asking? Or, for that much would you expect a car and not the box it came in?
H/T to Mike C. for the hookup!
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