Hardtop convertibles were once all the rage, but like 3D TVs, their time in the limelight seems to have passed. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Volvo offers a return to that marvelous age of the origami folding top, but will its price prove it to be a worthwhile blast from the past too?
There has long been a stigma around VAG products from the late ’90s through the early aughts. This aura of to-be-avoided-ness has sullied the reputation of Volkswagen and Audi cars and trucks of the era since... oh about the ’90s through the early aughts.
A lot of that has to do with the coil packs on that era of VAG products. The flakiness of those has had the same effect on opinions about the cars as have the infamous IMS bearings on 986 and 996 Porsches. That opinion was evident in the comments on last Friday’s 2001 Audi TT, which as it just so happened, showed up with what appeared to be four working coil packs. That laudable attribute, along with a very nice outward presentation and a modest $8,995 asking price earned the Audi a solid 68 percent Nice Price win.
One of the downsides — perhaps — of Friday’s TT was its fabric convertible top. That could conceivably limit the car’s appeal in colder climes or in areas where top-slashing, glovebox-scrounging crimes are prevalent. For people facing these daunting issues but who still enjoy sun on your back, wind in the hair motoring, automakers came up with the metal convertible roof. These were offered by many carmakers for a number of years, but, owing to complexity, cost, and global warming making the cold a thing of the past and turning slash-and-dash thieves too lugubrious to commit their crimes, fabric roofs have made a comeback.
That’s not to say there aren’t quite a few metal lid flip tops around, and today’s 2006 Volvo C70 convertible is one of them.
This is the second generation of the C70 convertible, and while the first one rode on Volvo’s home-grown 850 “Project Galaxy” platform, the second series took its underpants from parent Ford Motor Company’s global C1 platform. Other cars to share this base included the contemporary Mazda 3, Ford’s European Focus and C-Max, and in stretched form, the Land Rover LR2. Embarrassingly, Ford’s U.S. operations felt the C1 was too expensive for the American market so the U.S. Focus of the time soldiered on with just an awkward re-skinning of the older C170 chassis.
Of course, Volvos have always been premium or at least near-premium cars so a solid and pricey to build chassis wouldn’t be a problem. Having a near-premium car that shares a certain amount of its underpinnings with the lowly Focus just might be though, so we won’t mention it again.
Of more interest anyway is that funky folding top. That was developed by the German auto parts and systems supplier Webasto and was built by a Swedish subsidiary of Pininfarina. In light of how complex its operation appears to be, the seller shows us pictures not just of the car with the roof closed and open but also in an alarming mid-transformation position. That means that it must work, which is a big deal with something so complicated and being of a certain age.
The rest of the car seems to have held up equally laudably. The black paint looks to hold a suitable shine and there’s no significant yellowing of the headlamp lenses. The seller appears to be a Jaguar fan, as the Volvo wears a Jag license plate frame and is pictured next to an XK8. That’s totally familial as Ford once owned both marques and packaged them both under its then Premier Automotive Group along with Land Rover, Lincoln, and Aston Martin.
Beneath the origami top sits a gray and black interior with leather upholstery and slick Scandinavian styling. The leather looks like it could stand some love, but is intact and free from any major issues.
Power comes from Volvo’s 217 horsepower T5 inline five-cylinder. That turbocharged 2.5 liter is mated to an Aisin five-speed automatic with manual shift mode. I think we can all agree that the automatic gearbox relegates this drop-top to cruiser rather than bruiser status, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
Mileage is a mere 83,062 and the car comes with a clean title and no word of any issues in the ad. The seller does mention a new set of half shafts and the fact that the car comes with a full-sized spare tire.
There’s a whole lot to like about this Volvo, perhaps most notably that these are appreciably rare cars outside of places like Palm Beach and Sun City. Yes, these are considered to be an older person’s car but let me let you in on a little secret — come on, lean in — none of us is getting any younger. Buying this Volvo now would just check off that one box on your things-to-do-when-I-retire checklist.
To do that, you’d need to come up with $6,350, and it’s now incumbent upon us all to weigh in on whether or not that price for this Volvo looks like a deal. What do you say, is this hardtop convertible a hard bargain at that $6,350 asking? Or, does that price not have you flipping your lid?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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