BF Auction: 1983 Volvo 240

Sold For: $3,600

Update: The high bidder was not able to complete the transaction so we have relisted this super clean 240!

An exceedingly clean example of an otherwise ordinary car is one of the more tantalizing options for project car ownership. While we can grow accustomed to spotless, completely-restored cars that command high price tags, an honest-to-goodness survivor with the right maintenance and upgrades is an appealing alternative. This 1983 Volvo 240 may be the sort of car that everyone once owned in high school or who rode in the backseat of one with a safety-conscious parent. The seller’s car is highly original with a healthy list of recent maintenance. As a California car since new now living in Texas, rust is said to be non-existent and it even comes with a desirable new old stock dashboard the seller tracked down from Europe. The Volvo is listed here as a Barn Finds auction.

The 240 may have been a base-spec model when new, but it never felt like a cheap car. The construction of the Swedish “brick” was of the same caliber as the Mercedes-Benz W123, with that classic bank vault-like build quality. Volvo always placed a high emphasis on safety, so while its looks may seem decidedly un-sexy, the company was on a mission to build vehicles that would allow its occupants to survive an accident – not win a beauty contest. Even so, with that lustrous paint and black bumpers that show next to no fading, this particular 240 might take home a few car show trophies anyway.

The Volvo’s interior was made of highly durable materials, much like the W123, so years later it still looks good. Inside the cabin, the seller notes that the air conditioning works and that the car will come with numerous spare cans of R12 refrigerant. The steering wheel has been wrapped, and while it’s not to everyone’s tastes, it’s better than looking at a tired wrap. Among its many new parts, the Volvo features new tires, upgraded brakes, a new master cylinder, a replacement speedo cable system and gears, and new timing and serpentine belts. All lights and switches still work and the seller notes it cranks up 100%, starting on the first bump of the key and settling into a nice purr at idle. It also comes with an aftermarket keyless entry and three keys.

In addition to their sterling reputation for heavy-duty build quality, Volvo drivetrains of this era were also incredibly stout. It’s a shame in some ways that Volvo has become more of a stylish brand; when it was cranking out bland boxes and station wagons, some with turbocharged drivetrains and three pedals, it was an exceedingly charming company. This 240 is a reminder of what we’ve lost, and the seller has seemingly done the heavy lifting necessary to keep this Volvo on the road and possible to use as a reliable driver. The clean condition and the seller’s attention to detail make this one super attractive.

  • Location: Abilene, TX
  • Mileage: 129,00
  • Engine: 2.3 B23F
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Body Number: YV1AX884401846647
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $3,600
Register To Bid
Ended: Oct 21, 2022 1:00pm MDT
High Bidder: pathwayrev
Buyer Premium: 5%
  • pathwayrev bid $3,600.00  2022-10-21 12:55:12
  • 2Travelers bid $3,500.00  2022-10-20 10:45:16
  • beardog99 bid $2,000.00  2022-10-20 06:45:42
  • dare2brare
    BOB OREN bid $1,900.00  2022-10-18 19:28:47
  • beardog99 bid $1,750.00  2022-10-18 15:31:47
  • RwRay bid $1,600.00  2022-10-14 09:38:02
  • 2Travelers bid $1,500.00  2022-10-12 18:05:49
  • Barry1 bid $600.00  2022-10-12 15:54:44
  • Joey bid $200.00  2022-10-12 15:26:48


  1. Connecticut mark

    Worked for animal rescue many years and many of these 4 cylinders were donated. All with over 250k to 400 k, nothing wrong but always door map holders destroyed. Also had a diesel wagon donated, sold then all, the diesel sold for the mist.

    Like 5
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      I disagree with the comment about the durable interiors on these cars, at least in Florida. The plastic trim (like the door map holders) became ridiculously brittle over time. Also, when I had mine, you could not find those hood-springs (one on either side) anywhere. No one was making them.

      Like 3
    • connbackroads

      Good to hear . . . I currently daily drive a 1993 940 wagon with “only” 196k on the odometer.

      Like 2
  2. Charlize

    Are 240’s non-inteterferrnce?

    Like 2
    • 4spdBernie 4spdBernie

      SOHC red motors only = non-inteterferrnce

      Like 4
  3. alphasud Member

    I had a couple bricks a while back. First one was a 79 caramel colored DL model which I though stood for the dull edition. 2.1L CIS injection was a little lethargic but did well at speed. Bought it for $300 from the recon manager at the dealer. Went to a self serve auto parts place and pulled a 4-speed with O/D, and a complete power steering set up to upgrade to P/S, and overdrive. Rebuilt the A/C and upgraded the cooling fan to 2 Saab electric fans. One of the few Volvos with good A/C. Installed IPD stabilizer bars, new bilstein shocks/struts, and a newer interior from a 88. Loved that car and it never let me down. Sold that one and rebuilt a 83 GLT wagon.

    Like 10
    • Howard A Member

      I liked my ’78 240 DL.( 4 round headlights) I bought it in the mid-80s, as a beater, I think $300 bucks, and needed an alternator. Turns out just needed brushes, and had O/D, it was a comfy car. When it needed brakes, the cost of the repair exceed the cars cost, by like 3 times, and I junked it. It was just a beater,,,,plenty more where that came from.

      Like 2
  4. Peter K

    I had one of these with a 4 speed + Overdrive. I know of several people that have taken the B20 motor out and installed a chevy 350 or a Ford 302 in its place along with a comparable transmission. Now you have a real sleeper for cheap money that will take most sports car owners a surprise of their life.

    Like 2
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking car. I grew up with cars like this. I remember when Volvo cars looked like this. This is my favourite generation Volvo car.

    Like 3
  6. Steve

    You’d think if Pearsonville is ‘The hubcap Capitol of the World’ they could find some nicer ones.

    Like 3
  7. MGSteve

    I thought this place, Pearsonville, was in California, on 395, on the route to Bishop. Plus, the car has CA plates.

    • Edward Sel

      It is a CA car recently relocated to TX (per the story).

  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    I love the hubcaps. They look like they came with the car.

    Like 2
  9. Dave

    I sold these in the mid to late 80’s, great cars. Only other issues we had, and this was in the heat of Arizona was they had issues with the wiring harness insulation coming off. Can cause a fire if wires touch. We replaced most of the wiring harnesses to fix the issue.

    Like 3
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      That can certainly be a problem. Is there’s a material that can go over the wires that’s heat resistant to prevent such things from happening?

      • Joshua Mortensen Staff

        Most of the earlier 240s I’ve looked at that are still driver’s have already had their engine harness replaced or repaired.

        In the off chance that you find one that hasn’t been fixed already, you can buy a new one or a repair kit that just replaces the main wires that fail, but we’ve repaired a few harnesses ourselves and its not that bad of a job to do. There are some really great enthusiasts sites out there that have wiring diagrams plus lots of advice on how to keep these cars on the road indefinitely.

        Like 4
  10. Kelly Breen

    Stodgy looking cars. I thought the wagon was the most practical car ever built. I had a 79 sedan, same metallic blue but with the horrid Renault V6. It never ran right and was always dragging one dead cylinder with the resultant poor fuel economy and brutal acceleration.
    I was going to swap out a 4 cylinder with a 5 speed, but ended up selling it instead.
    I am sure some people had good luck with the Renault V6 but I never knew one that ran properly.
    That was a great what if car. It was comfortable and I did not mind the stodgy styling.

    Like 1
  11. Jack

    Best car on the planet if you can handle the slow acceleration. And the fact that you might just live doing a head on with a semi.

    Like 3
  12. matt

    I had a 740 turbo. I should have gotten a lot more tickets with it than I did.
    One night on my way home from work, the road looked pretty lonely so I lit it up.
    The Ohio highway patrol caught me and said, Matthew, I think you were speeding, ( I said, YES SIR )
    I’m going to give you a ticket for 10 over and I think you need to slow down.
    Again I said, YES SIR.
    I think I was nearing 100 when I dropped gears to slow down…
    that car was reliable – and tempting every time I got in it. I was always hitting the turbo boost, it just came on so strong…
    I should not own a fast car…

    Like 9
  13. Edward Sel

    Something about the color in the pics says “repaint” job to me – and the radiator hose has what looks like blue over-spray on it. Some of the Vovlos of this era (maybe later 80’s) were known to have electrical gremlins – I also saw a you tube video where a guy cut the back springs (or maybe on all 4 wheels) on a Volvo wagon to lower it as part of a street racer posture – not that hard to do and it had a pro look.

    Like 1
    • JimmyVolvo

      It’s original paint, never been painted, and doesn’t have a single electrical issue. Wiring harness is in great shape.

      Like 4
      • Jack jones

        Hi Jim, I have 2 240 volvos and a 86 wagon. Had 2 other 240ies one killed by a deer falling out of the sky,and the other one destroyed by a accident. On a few occasions I had a mystery electric problem. 3 cars and all had the same problem with different results. The last one was the car stalling, and when I opened the hood. Battery was hot. Terminal burned hand while disconnected it. A direct short. I tracked it down to the wire from the alternator, where it follows the curve at the engine bottom. It appears that this is really a problem spot, as I have had it happen to three different cars.of different years. It is out of site, and the perfect place to become abriated and short. Or cause a no charge situation. I just wanted to share that weak spot with you. I really love all the great work you have done on the 83.

  14. john

    My first experience in this car about this era was thinking I had never been in a car with such a great turning radius. Loved the ride in that car from Ohio to Florida.

    Like 2
  15. Paul Member

    Concerned about the history of the car. It came up in the Volvo 240 group on Facebook. Apparently it had been sitting for about 3 years. Car and title were not together so it was kind of a sketchy deal for the group. The car was moved to Texas and hasn’t ran since. Some of these pictures have to be at least 3+ years old. Videos are probably new, but It looks like it’s in great shape otherwise. Just wanting everyone to be aware, if you bid, make sure the car can be titled.

    Like 1
    • JimmyVolvo

      (Seller) Thanks for your concern of my car’s history. You could have just asked me via fb. I have verified the CLEAN title to barnfinds, and I’m as upfront a seller as you’re going to find. If you want the VIN just ask. I’m a rescue pilot who flies in CA for a TX headquartered company, so this car has been driven occasionally, tires inflated, battery float charged, and fuel preserved. As the 2nd owner, this was my weekend driver from 2013 to 2019, don’t make assumptions that it was moved for storage. The shop in the photos belongs to me also. I provided 150+ photos and videos, mostly taken the day before the auction to BFs, and they choose which photos best tell the story, not me.

      Like 9
      • Steven Manus

        Hi Jimmy,

        Can you give us a quick rundown of what might need attention in the Volvo?
        Is there anything in immediate need of repair or replacement?
        Anything looming on the horizon?
        It looks like a very clean car, but its 38 years old . . .

      • Joshua Mortensen Staff

        Hi Steven,

        I know I already sent you a response via email, but wanted to post the answers here as well.

        From Jimmy – The tie rod ends could use being replaced. There’s a transmission leak that should be addressed. And after replacing the distributor gear, the timing seems off and needs to be dialed in.

        Like 1
    • Joshua Mortensen Staff

      The seller has a clean title in their name and it doesn’t show any brands or issues. They even sent a photo of the title to verify that it’s clean and in their name.

      Like 3
      • Joshua Mortensen Staff

        Here’s the title. I covered Jimmy’s address for privacy reasons, but it’s otherwise unedited.

        Like 5
  16. chrlsful

    got 20 yrs from my 240 waggy so bought the 850 (maroon turbo wagon). Not 1/2 the car (it DID last tho). 740 or 240, nuttin else I say –

    Like 1
  17. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The high bidder was not able to complete the sale so we have relisted the auction.

    Like 1
  18. Don

    I have doors and a bunch of parts for that vehicle

  19. Paul R.

    I had a 1974 Volvo 144. Just a great car. Standard shift but I drove it as a Taxi in Brockville , Ontario in the winters.
    I remember being the only car in the fleet still roaming the streets during a particularly bad blizzard.
    As an aside, I don’t think Volvos had serpentine belts in ‘83, correct me if I’m wrong.

  20. Psychofish2

    I wish I had appreciated these more when they were new as they really are the sort of long-lived design I gravitate towards.

    Back in the ’60s I used to collect their ads and their comparisons to flashy luxury cars and their ever changing faddish styling and “improvements”.

    Granny and her husband had one for a few years, a black ’79 and it was as solid as anything I’ve ridden in. It was about 13-14 years old at the time and had spent most of it’s time near the OR coast. I don’t recall any rust.

    I was impressed and for a dyed in the wool Big 3 cheerleader [at the time] that was saying something.

    Beautiful car.

    Lots of pictures. That’s how it’s done. Thanks.

    Like 1
  21. Brad460 Member

    Cool car. This is from a time in history when there were good differences between brands. Volvo cars had their unique features that made it a Volvo. Cadillac had certain things that made it a Cadillac, etc. New cars are all cookie cutter where you can’t tell a subaru from a ford.

    For this reason alone this Volvo would be a nice addition to any collection and would be sure to draw interest and looks at any car show.

    I’m full up with my own fleet of unique oddball, so I’m out on this one, but certainly hope it goes to another good home. Glwts

    Like 1
  22. Steven Manus

    Is there anything this car needs right now, either mechanically or cosmetically? Is there any reason it couldn’t be a lightly driven daily driver?

    Like 1
    • Joshua Mortensen Staff

      It’s ready to be driven!

  23. angliagt angliagt Member

    We’re looking for a car for our 17 year old Granddaughter,
    who’ll be driving soon,& paying for most of,or all her money for.
    This would be the perfect car,but the shipping would kill the

    • Joshua Mortensen Staff

      Fly in and drive it home?

      • angliagt angliagt Member

        I can’y fly – no enhanced driver’s license or passport.
        I’m looking into this ’85 Celica right now.

  24. Car Nut Tacoma

    Lovely car. I remember when Volvo cars looked like this. At the time, I didn’t find the 240 series very attractive, but I agreed with their commitment to safety. I would’ve bought one if had I not had another car at the time.

  25. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Low maintenance fuel injection AND CB radio. Folks just can’t contemplate how basic this model was designed & the ease in which it survives multiple owners over several or more decades. We’re Volvo. We don’t mess around. Now if I could find that unicorn of a 760 turbo wagon perfect, original & low miles…

  26. Steven Craig MacDonald

    On the BF home page it’s listed at a current bid of $1900, but on this page at $1600. Which is correct?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      You were probably seeing a cached version of the page. That won’t happen though if you are a registered bidder.

      Like 1

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