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1979 Volvo 262C: Chopped By Bertone


This rare 1979 Volvo 262C Bertone coupe here on eBay has been kept in a garage for the last 20 years. If you ask the seller, it’s ripe for an engine transplant, as a few hot rods have been made out of the chopped-roof Swedish coupes, which bear more resemblance height-wise to a 3-window from the 30s than a model known for safety and durability (the similarities end there, however). Would you rip out this Volvo’s guts or preserve this limited-production factory special? 


While this is a standard-issue Volvo 260 at its core, Bertone handled the construction and assembly of the roof pillars, roof pan, windshield surround, cowl, and the upper parts of the doors. The result was a roof that was 10 centimeters lower than that of the 260 sedan. You can see the quite clearly from this angle the shorter windows and abrupt transition of the roof up from the rear glass. I wonder if those stickers in the back glass are for parking, possibly indicative of a car that was used by a medical doctor or faculty member at a university.


The PRV engine does not start. It cranks, but that’s it – and why the seller is planting the seeds of an engine swap in any potential buyer’s mind. This is the same engine used in the DeLorean DMC-12, and from that application, we know it was never a rip-roaring success. The 1980 models enjoyed greater displacement and a new front air dam, so this being a ’79 model means it makes do without those improvements.


Luxury was high on the list of priorities when Volvo gave this special edition the green light. Lots of leather, heated seats, wood trim and full power options were all standard. The interior looks fairly presentable despite the car’s extended slumber, and it’s encouraging to see optional pieces like the OEM rubber floor mats and mud flaps on the outside still in place. There are two bids on this no-reserve auction, with the car currently selling for $510. Are you a fan of these rare Bertones or is it purely an engine swap candidate?


  1. Chas

    This one even has the extremely rare snow plow option! These things never realy did anythign for my tastes, bu tthen there are very few Volvos that do, perhaps limited only to the P1800 Coupes and P1800ES wagons, P1900 Sport, and the earlier PV444, 445 and 544 models and the P210 Duett and P220 Amazon. Any Volvo after 1966 really loses all asthetic appreciation for me.

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  2. Chris in WNC

    Preserve it….
    IPD has a huge selection of upgrades to make this a flying brick!

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  3. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    The only way you stay original is to have a store of new parts available for the CI. The injection system for this era can be difficult to service, diagnose & maintain due to age & knowledge there of, It’s all about fuel pressures. Truly a funky time capsule.

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  4. jimmuh

    Yes! Rip out this Volvo’s guts!

    Sorry, got a little overheated there…..but you started it;-)
    But yes, a good candidate for an LSx swap.

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  5. JACKinNWPA jack Member

    I had a Volvo 780 Bertone coupe with the V6 and how I wished it was powered by the B2300FT ” turbo.” In fact that would be an easy and worthwhile swap. But then I do have a 1979 Lincoln 460…….

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  6. Howard A Member

    Snow plow option, HA. It’s pretty obvious which market Volvo was going after with this model. I had a ’78 244 with a 4 speed and O/D and it was a great car ( although pricey to repair) This was kind of the 240 series on steroids. I suppose this is a rare model, just not a lot of interest, and will break the bank to restore. A shame, as these were such nice cars when new.

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  7. Car39

    The Toonderbird. The 6 ate cams like other cars change oil. At one point, the official factory repair procedure called for cutting two holes in the firewall and sliding the cams into the interior of the car. Then, the lawyers got involved. And people still kept cutting holes in firewalls. It worked.

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  8. Martin


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  9. Duffy

    Time to call Trouts junk yard, they recycle junk cars.

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  10. GaryMc

    I owned one of these for a very brief time as the “chopped” top had poor headroom for anyone over 5’8″

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  11. Rando

    Reminds me of a 75 LTD…. sorry, this one ain’t my favorite. LOL

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  12. Nelson

    These are great cars and not that hard to make them go again. I’d keep it all OE. I have 3 of them at the moment. Maybe # 4 not too far away.

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  13. Pfk1106

    We had a 265gl with 4 spd ,od. Really loved that car, luxury with great handling and quickness. Never had any trouble with the drivetrain or suspension…..electrical though….don’t get me started…the local Volvo mechanic was on retainer.

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  14. chris parks

    I have a original 79 262c Bertone and I have been restoring it to the original show room condition. I am in need of the chrome molding clips for the front and rear window trim!

    Please contact me if you have any information on where I can get them?

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  15. chris parks

    I’m interested in the Volvo above and I am in Ca and I will do everything to do just as I have with my other 1 and complete restoration to the way that it rolled off the assembly line.
    Please contact me if you truly interested in selling it and especially to a great home who will be able to restore it within 5 years. Just as I have the 79 262- Bertone with minor problems that took me a longer time to find all the original parts than it took me to restore it

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