COAL #43 1993 Volvo 940 Turbo – That’s One Fast Granny

Right after my wife and I bought our first house together, my commute shrunk in half. My wife, on the other hand, could basically see Tyson from our backyard. I found that my F150 was just fine to drive the 10 minutes into work, but as usual I would periodically check the Volvo ads. I found this nice 2-owner 740 940 Turbo one day for $2500.

As I think any car enthusiast would do when they saw a 740 940 Turbo for $2500, I called the seller. He told me that it was his mother’s old car, and she had recently stopped driving. The car came with a folder full of records along with a Monroney sticker. The seller also said that it was an excellent running car, and had been maintained at a local Volvo shop in Tulsa, and it just so happens I know the owners. I basically told the seller to hold the car, I was on my way that night. Since Tulsa is only an hour and a half from me, it was manageable to leave after work, get the car and come home.

When I saw the car, it was basically what I expected. It had been garaged, and the paint looked good for its age. No signs of paint peel or dents. The interior had some nasty seat covers on the front seats to hide badly cracked and deteriorated seats. This was ok though because the seller was open and honest about it, so I knew what to expect. The car drove great and the turbo spooled as it should. The AC blew cold, and I really could not find much wrong with it. The exhaust did sound like it had a slight leak somewhere, but I never bothered to trace it down.

I have a friend who has a 1993 940 Turbo that he bought new. His now has over 500,000 miles on the original turbo, no smoking or problems yet. So I kind of knew what to expect from this car. My plan was to drive it to work for a bit, and then sell it for a profit hopefully. When I got it home the driver side turn signal had lost its plastic cover along the journey. A new one on eBay was quickly fitted on, and we were back to normal. In my part of Arkansas there are not too many Volvos, so this one turned heads quite a bit.

In 1993, as far as the 940 went, you could basically get a basic 940 or a Turbo. I believe all motors where the 2.3 liter 4 cylinder, of course one came with a turbo and one didn’t. You could also get a manual transmission or a 4 speed auto with electronic overdrive. The driver side airbag was a nice addition, and a nod to Volvo’s safety, although many higher end cars were also incorporating this into their cars. The 940 derived from the 740 series, and incorporated a lot of its styling and interior.

If you can please draw your attention to the car’s Monroney picture above (sorry for the photo quality). As you can see, this was bought new in Mission, KS at Superior Volvo.  Recent Google views show it to now be a CVS pharmacy; Superior Volvo was around until a few years ago when it was bought out by Premier. You can also see a 36 month/50,000 mile warranty, which for now is pretty standard nowadays, but not sure how that measured up back then. This car got all types of goodies like: power seats with memory on both passenger and driver sides, heated driver seat, cruise, power sunroof, power side mirrors, and alloy 5 spoke wheels. Included in the Luxury Package is: sunroof, leather seats, and premium audio. All comes to a whopping total of $29,580, or $53,280.85 in today’s money.

I didn’t drive this car much, only to work and back. Like I said above I was planning on selling it, and that is exactly what I did. Turns out someone who missed out on the deal before was more than happy to pay a little more for the car. The guy was roughly my age and was very excited to get it. He took it back to Tulsa, and a few months later he messaged me a picture of a fist size hole in the block. I guess he ran it a tad low on oil. I remember a few weeks before this, he posted on the forums wanting to make it go faster. Poor car never had a chance, but I never knew his intentions before selling.

I am glad that I got to own one. I don’t know if it was a life changing experience or not, but still a nice car to drive around in. It gave me the comfort and speed that I needed, and that was good enough for me. I have no idea what ended up of the car, but I hope someone will put a new motor in it, and chug it along.