Curbside Classic: 1993 Volvo 240 Classic Wagon – So Long, Old Friend

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Between 1966 and 1993, Volvo’s bread-and-butter car was the stolid, safe and reliable 1966-74 140 Series and updated 1975-93 240 Series. Available in two-door sedan (through 1985), four-door sedan, and station wagon variants, they found favor with buyers wanting “a car to believe in” as Volvo’s tag line stated in the ’80s. But all good things must come to an end, and the new front wheel drive 850 was in line to replace the venerable 240. But not before one last fling.

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Volvo knew that the 240 was much-loved, and to celebrate the car’s life from 1975-93, a final-edition Classic model was introduced. Available only in April and March of 1993, the Classic was very well equipped, and added niceties such as lacy-spoke alloys, wood trim on the instrument panel, color-keyed side-view mirrors and grille, and a color palette limited to Ruby Red or Dark Teal Green.

The special model was available in either sedan or wagon form, and only 1600 were available–the last 1600 Volvo 240s imported to North America. It truly was the end of an era. I was thirteen when this announcement was made, and it was like losing an old friend. My first car memories were of Dad’s brown 1979 Pontiac Bonneville and Mom’s blue 1977 245DL. We also had a maroon 1981 DL two-door sedan, silver 1984 GL four-door sedan (CC here) and cream yellow 1986 240DL wagon. They were familiar, they were a part of the family. And now they were going away–for good.

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When the Classic was announced, my dad had recently gotten a Nautic Blue 850GLT sedan with Taupe interior and five-speed manual, but a friend’s dad got a Ruby Red 240 Classic sedan at around the same time. I would see that 240 from time to time in town, and it was easily spotted due to the special wheels and trim. Not to mention it was one of only 800, as the 1600 Classics produced were divided 50/50 between sedans and wagons. Sadly, Mr. Mueller was in an accident a few years later that totalled that lovely burgundy sedan, but he walked away without a scratch.

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The 2.3L, SOHC “redblock” engine appeared, as always, under the hood of the final 240s. The final version included Bosch LH-lambda electronic fuel injection, producing 114 hp at 5400 rpm and 136 lb-ft of torque at 2700 rpm. Wagons were as capacious as always, too, with 41.7 cu. ft. of space with the rear seat up and 76.0 with the seat folded. Four wheel discs with ABS was standard as well.

I saw this car in my uncle’s neighborhood in late summer of 2012. We were on our way to the car show, but I saw that grille and ordered Dave to stop! I knew what it was, you see. One of 800 wagons, with near-20 years of attrition at the time, meant this was a real find, especially to a Volvo nut like me. And yet, I only now sat down to write it up! Such is the nature of the CC writer and how pictures can “age,” like wine or Scotch. But better late than never, right?