COAL: #31/#32 1975 Volvo 164’s – Junk Yard Specials

**Note these cars were bought at different times, so I will try my best to not expose any future COALs.

First up, is the silver 1975 Volvo 164. This car came to me right after my 2007 4Runner, so it is in sequence with my other COALs. As I usually do, I was browsing Craigslist one night (sorry for the bad pictures on both cars… I realized I did not take any good pictures of them), and came across this ad not far from me, in Tulsa. I was a bit taken back, as you don’t see too many 164’s. If I remember correctly the seller was asking $500 for the car, and needed it gone ASAP. I called the number in the ad, and was told that the seller’s dad bought the car for him to drive for his first car. His dad was a big Volvo enthusiast, and lived in Colorado now with a few classics. The seller drove it all through high school, and college, even doing some work on it while he was at a vocational school for auto work.

The seller told me that the car had sat for at least 10 years in his back yard, but they were moving and the house sold so the car had to go. I offered him $250 for the car since I had a bit of a drive, and before I could even finish my sentence he said “sure”.  Looks like I was the new owner of a 164. I was mainly buying this car for parts value as the seller did not have the title, and the amount of money, time, and resources to bring this car back would far exceed the value of it, ever. As it turns out, I had a few days off work coming up, so I decided to get it then, and have a weekend project of stripping parts off. I belong to several social media pages and groups that have 164 owners from all over the world. The second I posted the car on a few sites saying “parts are for sale, tell me what you need” I was bombarded with messages from people everywhere telling me what they needed before I got the car off the trailer. Knowing what I know now, 164 owners are not like 1800 owners. 164 owners will buy parts for their beloved cars even if they have several parts. The 164 was not nearly as loved, so parts are not easy to come by, and their owners will bite at the chance to choose parts off a parts car.

At this point I was still living in an apartment, and wouldn’t you know it my grandparents heard I bought another parts car, and said “bring it over” with a sigh. I had not gotten the car off the trailer, and I was already going through it stripping off everything. I would collect it, sort it in a box, and label each part so I knew. Even the smallest parts I would take off like sun visor clips, just in case someone needed it some day. For the next several weekends I would make the drive over to my grandparents, get a good cooked meal, and start to pull parts. Even my grandfather got in on it with me pulling parts off. I think he enjoyed it, something about ripping apart a car is relaxing. Once I got off most of everything, I sold what was wanted, and the rest I kept.

There is not much to say about this car other than it was not treated right. Even if it had not been sitting for 10 years, the first car stereotype lived up to this one. The seats were shredded, parts of the body were dinged and dented, and I could see lots of evidence of rigging to keep the car afloat. I think what had happened was when the seller got out of high school, maintenance was possibly the last thing on his mind, and the rigging done while he was at a vo-tech probably did not help. The end for this car was not in my hands actually. Those who follow this series every week might remember my white 1971 164. Well, when I was selling that car, the buyer actually found out about this one, and wanted to buy it as well. I told him that it was just a parts car, and that many parts were sold, but he still wanted it for his own parts stash. He bought the 71 and this one, and hauled them both off. Now, actually earlier this year I ran across the car on Row 52 at a junk yard near where he was from. Looks like he kept the car for a bit, and sent it to the junk yard. A very sad ending for this car, but like I said before, its parts will live on for a long time.

Up next is the black 75 164. This car actually came to me about a year ago, so it is a little out of sequence. But since it was a parts car, I did not have enough for a whole week’s segment. Just like the last one, I saw this on Craigslist in Oklahoma. This car’s past was a bit darker however.

The Honda mower here is one my dad wanted me to scrap for him. We had it 15 years, and it rusted so badly the engine fell through the deck.

The seller had the car advertised for $750, and was part of his ex-girlfriend’s belongings. The poor car had been neglected and abused for a long time, as you can tell by its rattle can paint job. The seller did not want to budge off the $750 asking price, so I left him alone for a few weeks. After a while, he agreed to take $250 for this one. Sadly, there were not many parts left on it, but I knew that I could make the best of it. When I got the car home, again 164 owners were chomping at the bits for parts on it. One thing I learned from the 75 164 is that they have a one year only rim. It is a little wider, and only came on the 75 164. A lot of Volvo owners love this, because you get better tire options, but also it gives the car a better stance. I found out that I can actually make my money back just on the rims, and then some. So of course the first thing to go were the rims, and just like the last ones they went to Europe.

Check out the shifter. No it was not even a manual.

When I said this car had been abused for a while, I meant it. The door cards were recovered in a western blanket theme, and held on with staples. There were seats from 2 different cars, the dash was ripped apart, and the mechanics had been Mickey Moused. Again, I pulled everything off that I could, but sadly many interior parts where shot. Someone had come in and sprayed the headliner black paint and it got everywhere. I pulled off what I could, and quickly put it out of its misery.

Both cars came to me at different parts in life, but they served the same purpose. I really hate destroying a car just because. The fact is these cars were just too far gone to justify spending any money on them. I hate that they were later destroyed, but the fact is I think they were destroyed long before they came into my hands. Without these cars I would not have met a lot of people, and made a lot of connections. I don’t own a 164 anymore, but a lot of these owners don’t just own a 164. They own other Volvo classics, and have helped me by sharing their knowledge about something, or even a part for a Volvo I do own. I will say it again, their parts have will live on to another car, and give that car life.