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1971 Volvo 142 S

Classics  /   /  By Tony Piff

Before all of Earthly yuppiedom embraced the Volvo station wagon as its un-minivan of choice, there was the humble 140 Series of the 1960s and ’70s. The unassuming, reliable 140 was an appropriate fit for college types and liberal professionals, but the cars were not celebrated, cherished, or preserved. Over the past 40 years, most early examples simply ended up wrecked, rusted out, or driven into the ground.

This charming 142 S has just 140k miles (lowish for a Volvo), and appears unusually well preserved. Blue plates and California smog sticker confirm a life spent on salt-free roads. The engine, transmission, and driveshaft have been rebuilt, and the car has a new clutch, lower ball joints, A-arm bushings, and suspension bushings. The seller reports that the fan, heater, fuel and temperature gauges, and all external lights work. He describes the paint as “okay” and says all external trim is “excellent.” The rims are from a 1980s 240 turbo but don’t look terribly out of place. The interior appears very well cared for, with an uncracked dash, and the front seats redone in black leather nicely match the rear seats, which are in good condition.

The seller states, “If something needed to be replaced, I had it replaced,” and says he is only selling the car at the insistence of his wife. All the details suggest that it’s a well-sorted driver with lots of life left in it. With continued regular maintenance, it should easily last another 140k miles.

The Collector Car Price Tracker lists 34 Volvo 142s sold on eBay in the past two years, with prices for the best examples averaging less than $4k. See the listing for this one here.

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  1. Don July 28, 2011 at 7:51 am Reply

    I guess the days of the $500 Volvo are coming to an end…

  2. steve July 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm Reply

    i purchased a brand new one in 1972,second day i had it ,the transmisson went,the second week,the rear end 14000 miles the engine blew up,and many smaller things .it took 6 months to get a new engine.guess what color it was ? LEMON YELLOW ! my first car,a $20.00 olds 88.lasted 4 years,and beat the —- out of it.give me a good old american car any day!

  3. Chase August 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm Reply

    I had a 1973 145 Wagon. It had the B20 engine with the twin SU carbs. I rebuilt the engine, which was fun, and used it while I was in college. They are fun to drive but beware…if its a 4-speed you need to keep it down home, cuz. About 55 mph and it’s already at 3500 rpm. If you are goint to do any highway driving, you need the overdrive.

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