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Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon

Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon

Because you can never have enough Swedish metal, this sub-14K cherry banana creme 1986 Volvo 240 Wagon will be joining Black Metal V8lvo and Project 1964 Continental.

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The combination of five doors, classic European styling and affordable rear-wheel drive have always made the Volvo 240 wagon (the five doors means it's a 245, as opposed to the 242 we race) an especially desirable vehicle for us. We'd been looking around for one, contemplating all manner of engine swaps, when we came across this sub-14,000 mile car in Llano.

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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
Illustration for article titled Introducing The Latest Jalopnik Side Project: Low-Mileage Volvo 245 Wagon
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The story, which has been verified through service records and a CarFax check, of how a 1986 Volvo 240 DL with less than 14K miles ended up in Llano, Texas involves a pair of snowbirds who flocked from Orange, New Jersey to live their final years along the banks of Lake Buchanan. We're not sure if they knew how long they'd have the car (or how long they'd live) when they moved down there, but given they only passed away a couple of years ago we'd say they did fairly well for themselves.

The car then ended up in the hands of the previous owner, who has driven the car occasionally as a fourth vehicle. He inherited the car at around 10K miles and has only used it slightly since. He did some work on the car, including adding the turbo Volvo wheels (referred to as Virgos), put in a new, aesthetically-challenged stereo system and made a few other tweaks.

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We picked it up this Saturday, driving it back from Austin to Houston. It was an absolute pleasure. Despite being a normally aspirated four-cylinder car, it wasn't as slow as you might think and actually has a bit of punch in the mid-range despite the weight. The addition of a kick-down gear in the four-speed auto transmission doesn't hurt either. Let's put it this way: in the spectrum of RWD European sedans of the 80s It's faster than a non-turbo Mercedes 300D but slower than a BMW E28.

The exterior has only two main aesthetic issues, namely the lack of rocker trim (we have it, he couldn't figure out how to reinstall it after taking it off) and the peeling of the black tape below the window. The interior has the typical crack on the dash but is in surprisingly fresh condition. The fake leather seating is soft, not crackly, and gives an impression of being kept in a garage and well-treated most of its life. In all of the seats there's only one tiny puncture we've seen. There's a small bit of rust near the back window inside below the gasket that needs to be corrected and repainted, but it's the only area of visible rust we've seen on the car.

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Mechanically, it seems in great condition (we'll learn more when we take it apart). The compressor seized so the a/c doesn't work, but that's a problem we're going to remedy come springtime. The engine runs without complaint. Shifts are smooth. The suspension handles bumps like a car of 8 years not 22.

In the end, we're pleased with the purchase and plan to spend the spring working on these phase 0 issues before contemplating what's next. The chance to have such a low-mileage Volvo that is mechanically and aesthetically 95+% is exciting enough for the moment. Then chaos.

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texanidiot25--needs-moar-hors-old
TexanIdiot25- needs moar horse powah

At a young age Matt was not like the other kids. While the other kids all played with their Corvette and Trans-Am hot wheels, Matt was scouring the dollar stores and toy isles for hopes that somebody had a Volvo wagon just like his parent's cars.

But sadly, no Matel or Matchbox held his misunderstood wagon. Mat went home, playing with the tape and cardboard station wagon'd hot wheels sedans he had done.

At 16, while other kids wouldn't be caught dead near a volvo, Matt foamed at the mouth for the little child hauler. He paraded around town in his drivers permit and mom's Volvo Station Wagon, reveling in the stares of the girls.. as they laughed on the inside at the site of a Texas boy in his mom's station wagon. But, Matt rode on, daring to race any 5.0 Mustang that came in site, thinking his invincible wagon could take em all.

At age 17, the wagon was seeing it's last days. Matt spent many days in his room, in the dark corner, with his wagonized hotwheels, waiting to hear back from the Mechanics. The Volvo was in for a blown head gasket, and Matt knew this could be the end. When the phone rang, Matt jumped out of his disparity and grabbed the phone, only to realize it was just a wrong number. Matt's heart sunk..

Later that night Matt's parents came home, shaking their heads. The Volvo could not be fixed, it's costs were too high. Matt went to his room, in a fit of heart broken rage, ripping down the Volvo photos on the walls and cursing at the Swedish gods.

That day, Matt said goodbye to his buddy, the Volvo station wagon. Nobody could understand them, but they were happy.

10 years later, Matt all grown up in his days. Strumming across the interwebs falls upon a site for his akey breaky Volvo heart. An Austinite selling their Volvo, could this be? It was piss yellow, just like his parents! While it didn't have the drive safely sticker on the bumper, and the wheels were jacked off some show-boating turbo Volvo, it beckoned to Matt.

A weekend later, and 300 miles of highway, Matt gets to relive his teenage hood. The girls still give him awkward stares, and the 5.0 Mustangs may just still be faster if the trailer park treated them well, but Matt scoots on, reveling in the day that he gets to drive HIS Volvo Station Wagon.