5k: 1971 Volvo 142S – Mustard Bil

Sadly, our first Volvo Thorsday has come and gone. That does not by any means prevent us from posting Volvos on Friday, and every other day too. These cars are just so simple and honest, not to mention usually manual and RWD, which makes them so refreshing to drive and own. Today’s lucky brick is one of the first boxy Volvos, this 1971 142S  for sale on ebay in Manitowoc, WI with bidding under $2000, no reserve, and less than a day left!

Bil means car in Swedish, and we think it would be a good name for this guy (intentionally mispronounced as “Bill”) if the buyer is inclined towards anthropomorphism. Just like the 1800ES, the 142S has a friendly face…albeit quite a bit dorkier. Our old pal Bil here would look natural with a pair of thick rimmed coke-bottle glasses covering his 7″ round headlamps.

It may not be obvious at first, but the 140 series is the direct ancestor of the iconic 240. The greenhouse including roof, windshield, rear window and quarter windows were all carried over to the 240 with very few changes. The doors are very similar, as is the floorpan and basic structure of the unit body. Don’t believe us? Check out the ’81 242 we featured and ignore the front & rear sheetmetal. See the resemblance? Ahead of the firewall the 142 is decidedly more antique than the 242 though, with it’s unequal length a-arm suspension and steering box, making the driving experience more akin to an A-Traktor than a Gruppe-A Tourenwagen.

The front and rear styling was arguably more svelte and attractive on the 142 – just look at that cool Kamm-back blunt rear end with its little vertical taillights at either end of the recessed flat panel. Very minimalist, very Scandanavian. Thanks, Jan Wilsgaard!

This 142S survivor is offered in Wisconsin, by way of Arizona and Oregon. It’s a claimed rust-free car with shiny original paint. We just don’t see them looking this nice anymore in 2012; it’s a top 5% car, condition-wise. The seller provides pictures of the underside of the floorpans, and the “buttcheek” spare tire wells in the trunk – both common Volvo rust spots, and both apparently clean and intact on this one.

The carbureted B20 engine is a pushrod 2.0L 4-cylinder, the same basic design as found in the 1800ES but pre-dating the later EFI. The stock twin SU carbs have been swapped for a single electric-choke Weber, which may improve tunability and cold-start manners if it has been set up correctly. The seller claims that the A/C works and the engine runs well, as long as it isn’t asked to go up any hills, in which case it stalls. Sounds like a fuel delivery problem which could be caused by gunk in the tank, a faulty pump, vapor lock, or something incorrect / funky in the aftermarket carb. Probably nothing a good weekend of “fettling” couldn’t cure, and at less than $2k for the whole car it would be in our driveway this weekend if it were local!

Think this mustard coupe is too slow to ketchup to the competition? Or is it the perfect companion for your corn dog?

Please, send us as many cool Volvo tips as you can! email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com