For $4,800, Could This SBC-Equipped 1990 Volvo 240 Be Valhalla Calling?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

A rod is a unit of measurement used in defining area. A Hot Rod is an automobile used in defining the coolness of its driver. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Volvo 240 could be defined as a Hot Rod owing to its SBC, but will its price be a cool deal?

Having a wedge, like yesterday’s 1993.5 Lotus Esprit is a good thing. Having a wedgie, which is what your ass is likely to have after spending any length of time scrunched up in its narrow seats, would perhaps be a less good thing. Fully 68-percent of you would risk that wedge wedgie at that Lotus’ selling price, earning the Esprit a very respectable Nice Price win.


Okay, let’s all consider what it takes for a car to be considered a Hot Rod. Got it? Good.


Now, let’s extrapolate that set of criteria to the products of the Swedish company Volvo. With that line of thought you might get something like the corporate crafted T6 Roadster, or, if your resources don’t extend quite as far as the entirety of the Volvo organization, something more akin to this 1990 240 DL with an SBC and 700r4 transmission. The best part of going this direction? Nobody will know you’re rolling eight.

The car itself is clean, evidencing no road rot, missing trim, or faded paint, at least in the pics. A set of dark-painted Draco wheels underpins and overall the car seems to exude icy Nordic charm. The only thing that could make it better of course is if it were a wagon. Still, saloons need love too.


Moving inside it’s like a mullet in that it’s apparently all business up front and a party in back. That’s because while all the upholstery seems to be intact and serviceable, the rear seat shows a hell of a lot more fade than the fronts. The dash is in good shape, but the same can’t be said for the passenger side under-dash panel which looks like it’s held in place with tension and hope.


Amazingly, the GM transmission is worked through the stock Volvo lever continuing the car’s sleeper ruse. The speedo and tach work too, and a trio of ancillary gauges has been fitted into the dash in a reasonably tidy fashion.


All that would be fine and dandy if it were just another 240 as these are getting harder to find in such nice shape. The addition of the GM drivetrain—the Camaro (assuming here) TPI V8, four-speed auto and LSD in back—makes it in my book just a little more interesting than that. The engine is said in the ad to have Edelbrock aluminum heads and to “run great.”

It does seem to be unencumbered by an A/C compressor, and in fact I can’t discern any indication that the heater is hooked up either. Also, for those of you—you know who you are—who get freaked out by random red wires in engine compartments, I realize that you are probably twitching in your seats right now.


On the plus side, the seller says the transmission was rebuilt by a pro shop and has only 20 miles, yes 20 miles, under its belt. There’s no note of how many miles the rest of the car has gone but it’s a 240 so does that really even matter? These things are harder to kill than herpes.


Let’s circle back to the original question: is this Volvo a Hot Rod? It certainly seems to meet the criteria of a higher performing engine enhancing a once staid car. Perhaps the more important question is: would you pay $4,800 for this sleeper 240 DL to give its hot-roddiness a long-term test?


That just so happens to be the asking price for this Swede, and it’s now time for you to weigh in on whether you think that’s a fair deal or not. What do you think, would you go $4,800 for this SBC-rocking Volvo? Or, does that price cool your interest in this Hot Rod?

You decide!


Detroit Metro Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Cookinwithgas2 for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.