Somewhere in the middle of working on my P1800, and messing with my 444 I found this 240 GL. As you would expect I was down in Clinton working on my P1800 with my friend David, and I just happened to get on and check the ads for Volvos. The ad for this 240 had just been posted, and it was described as a one owner car in Tulsa. That intrigued me, but I really did not need another car. However, I could use some cash to pay for the parts I was using on the 1800. The seller was only asking $1800 which was a big steal for a 240.
I called up the owner, and he said that it was his aunt’s car who never married or had any kids. She was a nurse, and had passed away a number of years ago. The Volvo went to him, and he gave it to each of his 3 daughters to drive in high school. So basically it was a one owner car kind of since it was in the family, but on the books it was a 2 owner car. Nonetheless I was still interested, and asked if I could come by and see it. I woke up the next morning, and made my way from Clinton to Tulsa, which was a drive, just to see this car. When I got there it was just as described, a clean 240. The family called the car Ovlov and really adored the car. They told me stories of it making it to first days of school, proms, athletic practices, and never let them down.
I took it out for a quick test drive, and was sold on it. I offered them $1500, but in the end we settled on $1600, and I took it home. Luckily I already had a trailer with me for some reason, and was glad to have it. As some of you that are keeping up with my posts know, I had a more ratty 240 that I got my freshman year in college, and loved it. I thought that I would love this 86 even more because it was far better taken care of. The seats were soft and clean as they were when they came off the assembly line. The paint was clean and still shined up. It was almost mint. I was a little worried about it lasting through 3 girls in high school, but it was clear they took care of it.
My intention was to dive this car for a little bit, and then sell it for a small profit. As I drove it more and more, it just was not the same as my 88. I mean, it drove the same, looked the same, but just was missing something. To this day I still don’t know what it was about this 86 that I just wasn’t fond of, but I just liked my 88 240 better.
This car was prone to the few years of flaky wiring harness that plagued some Volvos. The protective coating around the wires would flake off, and caused all types of issues. This one had not seen a lot of miles or been exposed to the elements, so it was still ok, but only a matter of time. Like my last GL, it had the upgraded leather seats, but this one’s leather was still intact. I always liked the GL’s a bit more because of the rims and the tufted leather that it has. Gives you that classy feeling. It came with every single documentation possible including the sales receipt, window sticker, and service records. The sales receipt showed that the aunt traded in her 1972 Mercedes for this Volvo. It was bought at Fretwell Volvo in Oklahoma City, and stayed in Oklahoma all of its life. I love finding pieces of literature with cars. It tells a cool story sometimes.
I only kept the car for a few months as I bought it just to flip originally. I listed it for sale, and as you would expect someone came in right away and offered me close to asking. The buyer wanted a reliable car they could use to drive back and forth to work in. About a year after I sold it to them, they had listed it for sale again, stating in the ad that they do not drive the car much. The car sold pretty quickly, and I actually see this car on the road sometimes around town.
This was about it for my 240 saga, except for one small blip. I kind of had my fun with 240’s and haven’t really looked at them since. Now, if one were to come up for sale for a good deal, and was clean, how could I say no? But, for me it was hard to beat my 88 240 I had as a freshman. I realized I should stop trying to compare 240’s to it, and just accept that none will compare.
You could sell that on Bring a Trailer today for 10 grand. The folks over there love the nice interiors and automatic transmissions, and don’t seem to understand the issues with the biodegradable wiring harnesses. Crazy what values of these bricks have climbed to.
I had one of these once, for about a couple of weeks. My W124 300E’s lease was a bout to expire, and my neighbor was selling their 240GL, and he gave me a good price on it. Nice leather thrones, and sunroof. A bit slow compared to the 300E, especially with the automatic, but I rather liked it.
But then the lease company decided to accept my low-ball offer to buy my 300E, and so the Volvo’s tenure was very short indeed. But I have nice memories of it. I could have been quite happy in it, although more so with a stick.
Mid-1980s Saabs also had the crumbling insulation problem. Both companies must have used the same wiring supplier.