CC Capsule: 1986 Volvo 240DL – Smurf Blue Sighting

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As your resident CC Volvo guy, I have to chime in every now and then on these Swedish boxes. We have already done the early and mid-cycle 240s on CC (here, here and here), but I had to share this circa-1986 DL sedan due to its striking color: Smurf Blue, as it was known in my family back in the ’80s.

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In 1986, the venerable 240 got a number of cosmetic changes. While the “240” nomenclature had disappeared from the flanks of Volvo’s tried-and-true sedans and wagons in the early ’80s (they were badged DL, GL or Turbo), it reappeared for ’86, in rather plain 240DL and ritzier 240GL forms.

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The 240 Turbo was gone, as the 740 Turbo, introduced in 1985, replaced it. That left DL and GL sedans and wagons, all equipped with the 2.3L “redblock” inline four, now providing 114-hp @ 5400 rpm and 136 lb-ft of torque @ 2750 rpm.

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While the exterior got new black rocker cladding, flush composite headlights, “aero” wheel covers and a new grille, the interior was about the same as 1985. DLs got cloth seats (vinyl upholstery was standard in wagons), while GLs received standard velour and optional leather.

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Ah, but what about the color? I don’t know what the official factory name for this color was (probably “Medium Blue,” those Swedes are so sensible) but our family always called them Smurf Blue. The color appeared on 240s sometime in the early ’80s and continued as an available color up to 1989 or ’90, as I recall.

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It was not a rare color, but it wasn’t exactly common either. I remember us kids going “Look Mom, a Smurf Blue Volvo!” when we’d be driving to the store or swimming lessons. It was kind of an in-joke in the Klockau household.

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I noticed this one just a couple of weeks ago; although there are still quite a few 240s around here, they are no way near as numerous as I suspect them to be in Eugene. I hadn’t seen one in this color in a long, long time, so I had to stop for a few pictures, despite sub-twenty-degree weather and high winds. This one looks rather well-kept, too. One backup-light lens and one wheel cover, and it would be good to go. Drive safe, little Volvo, and be well!

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