Although I appreciate older Volvos well enough, their simplistic Scandinavian squareness is hardly head-turning styling. But driving through an empty parking lot on a drizzly Sunday morning, this appropriately taupe 1993 240 sedan did catch my eye, for this exact reason I might add. Catching glimpse of this final-year 240 made me realize something – I haven’t seen one of these in ages!
“Ages” might be overstating it a bit, as I’m sure I’ve seen another 240 in the past month or so. But it seems that very recently these cars used to be everywhere. The 240 was produced from 1974-1993, to the tune of over 2.8 millions examples sold worldwide. This long production span allowed the achievement of exceptionally high levels of quality, and thus durability, by the later years of the 240’s run. It wasn’t common for later 240s to go for hundreds of thousands of miles and over twenty years of loyal daily-driver service.
Along with other slightly newer Volvos, these were very popular in hometown. Many friends’ parents drove 240 sedans and wagons in the 1990s and some into the early-2000s. By the end of that decade, they’d passed them down to their kids or even bought a used 240 to serve as the designated “first car” for each child, who’d pass it off to the next when they left for college.
One of my best friend’s first car was a blue 1989 240 wagon (exact one pictured above) that had previously been the first car of his older sister and several older cousins. By the time it was sent to greener pastures in 2012, it had accumulated over 300,000 miles, not to mention over two decades of New England winters under its belt.
I’m sure there are still a great deal of Volvo 240s still out there serving as daily drivers. However, after almost a quarter-century since the last 240 was produced, time is beginning to get the better of these durable and iconic vehicles. The 240 is by no means alone in this losing battle. Which car or cars that were once everyday sights have you stopped seeing in the past couple of years?