I’ve decided that the true ultimate CC of Eugene simply has to be the Volvo 240 series. Unlike so many older “Eugene Mobiles”, they’re not fading away, and I continue to see well kept examples in the hands of their loving owners several times per day. They will outlive us all. But this example is not very representative of the type.
Someone obviously wanted to turn their (non-turbo) 242 into a would-be rally racer or something like that. No less than six accessory lights out front, an air dam, and even flexible skirts to bring the high-riding box-Volvo’s underbody turbulence a bit under control. yet there’s no evidence of any actual body lowering, as might be expected. Whatever. It’s a survivor, any way you look at it, even askance.
I seem to remember some Volvo ads for the 242GT? around the late seventies when this slanted nose treatment came out marketing it as sporty with extra driving lights and orange stripes? on a smaller than this air dam. So there is little history this car is remembering. So I am going to give this car a thumbs up.
That’s a lot of lights, I wonder if the electrical system can even handle having all of them turned on. And why two square lamps?!? Why not all round lamps? I have always liked 242s but the spoiler and ground effects don’t do it for me.
The gold BBS/pseudo-BBS wheels are a cool 80s addition. I wonder what the interior looks like…add some 80s Recaro seats with wild striped fabric upholstery and you’d be all set.
I’d drive that car, once I lost the spoilers and ground effects, for sure.
If the fuses are on good shape possibly
The owners just throwing on whatever spare lights he can find, I doubt they’re even hooked up.
These two doors were not that commonly seen around here. This is one of the few cars that looks better as a 4 door sedan than as a 2 door.
As for all of those lights, all I can say is that this car has a bright future.
Well, trying to give the owner the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it’s actually a street-registered weekend rally or rallycross car, and the side skirts are to prevent excess dust and gravel spray. Nah, probably not. My neighborhood had two nicely modded 242 GT’s until recently, but in general here the 240 sedans seem to be fading away, while the wagons live on. More than one local 240 wagon is used by contractors, hauling ladders and lumber on the roof and an amazing volume of construction tools and materials inside. I think one will see Gen2 and 3 Priuses in similar roles in 10-20 years. Perhaps there will also be Priuses with many fog lights and aero skirts as well. Nah, probably not.
Seeing a horizontal line or seam on that air dam, I would not be surprised is that was a “Flex Dam” like I had on my Datsun 510, popular enough in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Fiberglass top half, reinforced rubber bottom half in case you scraped a curb or speed bump. I had no complaints with mine but if you feared scraping, why the lower placement of driving or white fog lamps?
Side skirts and huge mud flaps on front wheel well only? Ain’t gonna touch that.
For all I know, this Volvo has one of everything in the IPD catalog installed. Or not.
It does look lowered though since I am not seeing much space between the rear fender lip and the tread of the rear tire compared to other Volvo 240-series I have seen.
This is a perfect vehicle for driving through rural Oregon in my opinion though the ground effects will probably get ripped off. I am a bit paranoid about hitting critters having had a few hits and numerous close calls with Deer in Central New York.
This seems fitting with the JC Whitney catalog post above it.
How ironic, all those lights and yet the driver’s side front turn signal/side marker is “bashed to bits”….non-functional. Yeah, ground effects on a Volvo 240 series that doesn’t have a turbo or 6 cylinder seems silly. BTW, there appears to be a small spoiler on the trunklid, too.
In my area, the 4 doors have barely edged out the wagons in longevity….like 51% to 49%. My preference is towards the 2 door for it’s “sportiness” or the wagon for it’s utility. Buying a 4 door, especially with automatic, borders on super stodgy.
There are some RAGGEDY 240s running around Cincinnati, and I will never understand why they painted some 4 doors in a bright red color? Seems weird for such a boxy, staid car, and it fades to a nasty pink color, which is accentuated by the bright red parts that were repaired/replaced and painted more recently. There’s a 79 240 sedan on the Cincinnati CL that is forest service green, if you can believe that. Cool old car but the color makes my head hurt.
Most of the 240s in my area are painted in shades of silver or grey and occasionally white or cream. I’ve also noticed that most seem to have at least 1 broken or non-functional rear light….brake or turn signal.
The car absolutely ready for the “24 Hours of Le Mons”
Have you heard of that awesome racing???
Check this out:
We had a ’89 240 in the family for a while, and I always filled my pockets with bulb holder sockets whenever I found one in the U-Pull. They were a crappy design and I was forever changing them in an effort to keep all the lamps working in the tail lights. As for this car pictured, well, if you can’t say anything nice…
My Brother had a 242 Volvo , it was an O.K. car (bent unibody , oops) but I remember it being a real plodder , why bother with the ground effects ? .
This owners pretty much eliminated one of the key points for getting a 240, ground clearance.
And I’d hate to see that cars wiring if those lights are hooked up, probably stalls the car when they’re all on.
Here’s our ’80 2-door as it appeared in early 2003, in the ever-popular solid light blue. This car was sold a few months later with about 245K miles (estimated, yes, because the odometer gear broke).
Ours was the base model, with a 4-speed manual (no electric overdrive) and manual steering. We added the dealer-installed a/c after suffering through one sweltering summer.
The 2-doors were always the least popular body style and disappeared after the 1984 model year. These cars had superb visibility from the driver’s seat.
Nice car, you deserve praise for being one of the few ol’c ar owners to actually install A/C. I can’t live without it during spring.
Yes, the front air dam and side skirts was a trend that came out in the late, late seventies. I put such a front spoiler on my 1979 Mustang Cobra along with rear window lovers and a whale tail. Later someone pointed out the whale tail wasn’t doing its job because air was going over the louvers. Anyway, I passed on the side skirts because they looked dorky at the time in my opinion and I felt the money would be better spent on other things like Coco mats and Cibie headlights.
I’d show you what I mean but the image of my Mustang is not on my iPad. As for those boxy Volvos I liked them back then and admire them to this day. There are a few restored examples that show themselves in the summer around here.
The majority of them has ended up that way here in Sweden…but on the other hand we have an extreme amount of pristine US cars (50´s until 70´s) over here, only driven in the summer.
Actually, the worlds biggest fair for US cars is held every year in Vasteras, Sweden:
Me? Just bought myself my first “amerkanare”, an Opel Corsa made by GM…
Looks like a factory rear spoiler, not necessarily original to the car. The spotlights are ok, the lower ones likely to be fog lights, but the skirts are out of sync with a ‘rally’ car.
There are a few guys who use 140s & 240s (using model names generically) as historic rally cars, although they are a bit cumbersome at times compared with Datsuns etc.