Well, it’s been a full 11 days since we’ve featured a Volvo 240 on the pages of DT, and this situation must be rectified! The two door (242) variation seems to be our statistical favorite, and they are great cars for one, two or the occasional three people and a bit of luggage – except sometimes you need the extra versatility of a wagon. But the newest 240 wagon is now 20 years old, and they’ve become something of a hipster’s best friend which has increased demand and started to drive prices up for the nicer examples. As such, it’s not often that you find one with all of the “sorting” work done, with some nice upgrades, ready to drive, for a reasonable price. Find this 1990 Volvo 245 for sale in Modesto, CA for $5000 via craigslist. Turbobricks forum members can also go here for the classified thread. Seller submission from Mike (twotwodoors).
This white 5-door would make a great daily driver for any casual or die-hard Volvisti, starting with the fact that it’s a late-model example. Volvo, being the stalwarts that they were, kept this car in production long enough to make big evolutionary changes in areas like rustproofing, reliability, efficiency, drivability, and comfort. Hop into a 1975 240 and you’ll feel like you’re back in 1968. But drive a ’90 to ’93, and you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a car that was actually designed in the ’90s (which it wasn’t).
This 245 is the semi-rare “slicktop” variety, meaning it has no roof rack and no sunroof. Frankly, that is ideal because the factory and dealer installed roof racks require holes drilled in the sheetmetal, and that can lead to rust and leaks. If you want to haul cargo on top of your Volvo, there are countless aftermarket roof racks that clamp to the drip rails and won’t cause any permanent damage. The factory sunroofs were supplied by German firm Golde and are cool to use with their old-school mechanical crank system, but again – they leak enough to pique even Julian Assange’s interest. Best to find a car without either!
On the exterior this wagon appears to be stock with the exception of window tint and the perfect OE Volvo “Polaris” 5-spoke, 17×7 inch wheels. These have the correct oddball 5x108mm bolt pattern, fit on a 240 with no drama, and the thick blocky spokes compliment the brick’s lines to a T.
The engine is the standard B230F, 2.3 liter four cylinder with Bosch LH-Jetronic pulsed EFI. This one has 195,000 miles on the clock but looks to have been cared for; it’s clean and should be ready for another 200k. The seller has done a raft of maintenance in the past 12k miles addressing all the standard needs. Air conditioning is said to work well and blow cold. The transmission is a slushbox auto (which fits with the survivor nature of the car) and should be fine for general cruising, but a manual swap is not difficult on these cars if you want a more involved driving experience. The terminal headcases here at DT would rather take a well cared for automatic car vs. an abused and forlorn manual as a long-term keeper; one straightforward swap job is far preferable to dealing with the mistakes and missteps of meth-addled
car molesters previous owners.
The 240 interior came in a wide variety of colors and materials over the years. It looks a bit austere in blue and black vinyl, but again this car is remarkably clean and tidy given the condition of 99% of 240s that are still chugging along as daily workhorses. The good news is those flat vinyl sofas will give you an entertaining ride at an autocross or twisty mountain road; the suspension has been firmed up with ipd’s lowering springs and anti-roll bars, and Bilstein HD dampers.
Overall this looks like the perfect way to get into a 245 and just enjoy the unique character these cars bring to your time behind the wheel.
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