Since the Volvo 164 is in the spotlight today, let’s go back to May of 1969 and read what Road and Track had to say about it.
click images to maximize
dat body roll
You say that like it is a problem?
I’ve always liked the front end styling of the Volvo 164. It’s too bad US Govt. required bigger 5mph bumpers for later Volvos. 5mph bumpers shrunk the grille, making it less than attractive.
There was a time when the Los Angeles Sheriff Department was seriously considering buying Volvos 164E as law enforcement vehicles.
Yes, it competed well against the American competition, but in the end the 9C1 Nova ended up being the choice. And the Nova ended up being one of the best all round police cars. Interestingly, in the late 90’s Volvo tried again to compete in the MSP police car tests with the 850 Turbo. Initially in 1996 it performed poorly against the stronger American sedans, and the 9C1 Caprice dominated in it’s final year. In 1997 though the Volvo 850 performed much better, outperforming the V8 Crown Vic.
And thanks for posting the old R & T article. These are my favourite posts.
The 9C1 Nova was a good car but the back seat was too small, especially with the police cage in the back.
So who cares about the comfort of somebody who rides in the back seat of a patrol cruiser?
If I was a police officer, I would like to have a cruiser with large back seats and large doors.
It would be easier to force a reluctant felon into the car without hurting him (lawsuit !) or myself.
I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one in the flesh…I want one, for those seats, if nothing else. I have to believe that a 144 from that era would be easier to maintain and live with…
The only thing I’d have done is install head restraints for the rear seats. The front seats have head restraints to reduce whiplash, why didn’t the rear seats have them?
That was the first Road & Track I ever read. I was working dismantling a shut down mine, and one of the miners had left that copy of the magazine in the dry.
And I remember the article, in fact, I remember the exact quote “A new kind of conservatism for Volvo?” 🙂
This has long been one of my favorite cars. Difficult to find in good condition these days, at least on the prairies of Canada. My buddy’s dad has a beautiful low mileage one in turquoise with matching leather interior and the four speed overdrive. He’s promised to let me have first option to purchase it when he decides to sell but being that he’s owned it since 1980 I may have to wait until he cannot drive at all anymore, he’s that attached to it.
I remember the buzz on these being that they were nowhere near as reliable as a 140 series. The 6 cylinder apparently had some kind of issue, but I don’t recall what.
It’s a shame because they are downright gorgeous.
Yes, it was true, they did not hold up as well as the 140 series in the reliability dept. I believe the issues were with the fuel system.When I was selling used cars, every one of these I bought had some kind of issues. They had a really smooth engine and felt nice to drive. Fairly expensive when new compared to cars in those days.
Love these old road tests. The V6 240 was also problem prone. The ones to get were the 4 cyl stick. Please keep these old reprints coming. I love the “feet per mile of piston travel” in the specs. I always wondered about that.
I totally agree. I miss these old Road & Track and Car and Driver magazines. I love reading these old road tests. One thing I do like about today’s car magazines is that the photos of the cars are all in colour. Other than that, I prefer the old road test articles any day.
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