Snow White: 1971 Volvo 145S

Double Thorsday on a Wednesday?! With the Winter Olympics going on, it’s pertinent to talk about choices of old affordable cars for ski trips. If you live in the great frozen North then you already have a winter beater and need not apply, but for those of us who have to drive to the mountains to slide face first through the snow into a whiteout oblivion, we need to think about whether our vehicle will get us there without much drama. Find this 1971 Volvo 145S for sale in Hermosa Beach, CA for $6,250 via craigslist.

Tip from Erik202.


First of all the ideal ski trip vehicle has to be made by people who understand snow and cold weather driving. Detroit Iron can be fine; Michigan winters are nothing to sneeze at and an old domestic land yacht can be entertaining in the snow as long as you don’t get stuck. Austrians, Canadians, Norwegians, and Finns don’t make many mass market cars as far as I know, so for my money it’s either German or Swedish.

A classic BMW or Benz would be fine for a ski car – plenty of highway performance to get you up there quickly and good handling with classic RWD dynamics for some fun in the slushy stuff. A manual trans wagon would be ideal with the extra control afforded from the gearbox and the extra weight out back over the drive wheels…but those are harder to come by from the Germans. How about a Volvo 145?

Honestly a 240 wagon would be better for a snowmobile, due to its more modern handling and far better parts availability. But if you need to motor up to the slopes in some early ’70s style, then the 145 is a fine choice. This one in the LA area (right down the street from DT Headquarters actually!) has a few minor cosmetic and mechanical needs, but for around $6k can you think of a better classic wagon?

From the seller:

It is with a heavy heart that I present for sale my 4 speed manual 1971 Volvo 145s. I have grown to love this car as I’ve used it as a daily driver over the past three years, but alas it is time I let it go. The 140 series is the predecessor to the long lived Volvo 240 series, sharing very similar lines as well as parts. This car comes with thorough records/ receipts from my ownership and some receipts/ records from previous owners. I believe I’m the forth owner and that the wagon was originally sold in Northern California.

Currently the car has 317,802 miles. The previous owner indicated an engine rebuild was done “about 70,000” miles ago, and while he didn’t have receipts a compression/ leak down test at my time of purchase reinforced that.

Aesthetically the car presents as a clean and cared for unrestored example. This means the paint is smooth but color can be patchy, with areas of original paint and some areas with very casual blending. The body is impressively straight, but isn’t without small imperfections. All 5 doors close well. The interior is in overall great shape but has typical areas of sun damage.

This car has treated me well, and all work that I’ve done while having it in my possession can be seen in the attached image from my records. Purchase includes a box of misc parts/ tools and a “green book” shop manual.

Things I have been watching/ that need work:

Small coolant leak on the cylinder head rear freeze plug
Small oil leak from the rear of the transmission
Heater blower motor does not work
Wind wings are not operable
Head light switch has been getting sticky lately but still works
Tears in the bottom of the passengers seat
Small rust bubbles on passengers side fender near the bottom of rear door
Rear window wiper does not function
Trip odometer doesn’t work
Gas gauge reads empty when tank is half full

Know a better use for “Ford Trucks” mudflaps? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

If any interested DT reader wants CFlo to take a gander at this 145 in person, drop me a line through the tips address above.