54k Original Miles: 1979 Volvo 242DL

While for many years Volvo was known as the producer of staid and conservative cars that were mainly famous for their design safety, this is probably under-selling their products to a certain extent. They also produced cars that were not only notoriously long-lived but also capable of some pretty impressive performance. In particular, the 240-series Volvos were under-rated, when they were actually quite capable of outperforming their 6-cylinder siblings. This Volvo 242DL is just such a car, and you will find it listed for sale here on eBay. It is located in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and is being offered for sale with a clear title.

The condition of the Volvo looks really good, and this has been helped by the fact that it has been kept in a garage for its entire life. The owner claims that the car has covered a genuine 54,000 miles, and while he doesn’t state it outright, he may actually possess enough documentation to verify this. From the day of purchase by the original owner, right up until the day the second owner parted with it in 2015, this Volvo was serviced by the same Volvo dealership that originally sold it. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the dealership will also possess the documentation that could verify the mileage.

The interior of the Volvo also presents very well. The vinyl on the driver’s seat where the button is located to move the back-rest forward is a bit puckered and stretched. Otherwise, the interior is really good. One of the areas on Volvos of this era that was prone to deterioration is the door pockets. They tend to deteriorate very rapidly, eventually cracking and breaking. Both door pockets on this car look really good, which is a big plus for the interior. The car is also fitted with air conditioning and a rear defogger.

The Volvo is fitted with a 2.1l 4-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission. The owner also receives the benefits of power steering and 4-wheel power disc brakes. The engine is an area where the 242 really shines. While the 240-series cars are no lightweights, the 4-cylinder engine provides quite sprightly performance. The brakes were recently renewed, and the Volvo rolls on Pirelli tires. The owner says that the car runs and drives like new.

A Volvo 242 is not a performance car by any stretch of the imagination, but this 242DL is in really nice condition. It is the product of careful ownership, and it should still have a long life ahead of it. At the time of writing, bidding on the Volvo has reached $5,200, but the reserve hasn’t been met. Good examples still remain surprisingly desirable among a discerning group of individuals, and it is not uncommon to see them sell for figures in excess of $8,000. If you’ve ever driven one, especially over a long distance, you will understand exactly why they sell for these prices.



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  1. Howard A Member

    I had a ’78 very similar to this, same color only 4 door and 4 speed with O/D. Mid 80’s, I paid $350 bucks, and it needed an alternator. It was a VERY nice car, I loved it, but when it came time for brakes, the parts cost more than I paid for the car and sold it.

    Like 2
  2. Chris in WNC

    we had an ’83 242 with a stick shift and it was fun to drive, bone stock.
    it was one of six 240 series cars we drove and loved over a 20 year period.
    lots of bolt-on mods are available to make them fast and great-handling cars.
    this is a great opportunity to get a wonderful Swedish nerd-mobile.

    Like 3
  3. JimmyJ

    Volvo’s are like Harley’s ‘if you’ve never had one then you don’t understand’ I love the 242 but looks like I’m not the only one.
    I’ll stick with my turbo’d 240 5speed wagon it’s doing a fine job of spending my spare money.

    Like 3
  4. lc

    Had a ’75 242 4spd in pea green, Loved it. Still drive a ’97 850, 5 speed wagon, Love it too. Driving these cars is the only time it’s natural to think “inside” the box!

    Like 2
  5. Wolfram

    i don’t know where they have this good reputation from. Ok, safety was verry good for it’s time (like Mercedes and Saab). But quality was just horrible, and parts astronomic expensive. Stereotype? No had a brand new 2series station wagon in 1991. One of the worst cars ever. Within the first 4 weeks rattle on every corner, front suspension fall apart partly, engine lost oil and around 50 of its 100 something hp………

  6. Kenneth C. Nace

    Great find, sorry you had so much trouble with yours Wolfram, I have had six of these autos over the years as my fleet of landscape vehicles, I could not kill them no matter what I did to them. As for the mileage, that was my personal Volvo dealer when I lived in York, Hanover, PA I know that they still have the records for this car.

    Like 1
  7. Maestro1

    All I can say is that everyone I know who is a past Volvo owner loved the car, and got very good use from it. Someone should buy it.

    Like 2
  8. stillrunners stillrunners Member


    Like 1

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