BF Auction: 1986 Volvo 240 Wagon

Sold For: $10,183

If you are familiar with old Volvos, then you know that the brand used to be more associated with durability than luxury. Many of the high-mileage record holders are Volvos and if you couldn’t tell already, I love them! In fact, this wagon has been my daily driver for the past year or so. I am going to seriously miss the charm of this old Swede but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.

This Volvo has only covered 125k miles. I say “only” because this is not your typical used car. At one hundred thousand miles, most vehicles are about worn out. Not the 240! The engine can last indefinitely if maintained and I have a huge stack of service records to prove that this one has been taken care of. The previous owners loved this car just as much as I have and it shows.

If you have ever been to Boise, Idaho, then you’ve probably heard of Hurless Brothers. I can’t say enough good things about this indy shop that specializes in BMWs, Mercedes, and Volvos. This particular 240 has been in their care for decades and even though they don’t like working on older cars anymore, they are happy to continue servicing this one because it’s so nice.

One of the numbers was a little on my latest emissions test so at its most recent checkup Hurless recommended a new catalytic converter. So off it went to the muffler shop. The engine runs great and sounds even better after replacing that rattly cat. It’s no hot rod but the engine is healthy and pulls strong. As with every 240, the brakes work better than many high-powered rigs.

As you can see, the inside of this 240 is a nice place to be. The seats, door panels, and rear cargo area are all in amazing condition. Even the map pockets are in one piece. There are some cracks in the dash but I currently have a carpet cover on it. Plastic covers are available or you could junkyard hop in hopes of finding a crack-free replacement. That would make the interior about perfect.

The best feature of this 240 could be that original blue paint! It’s in amazing condition and looks so good coming down the road. Most old Volvos are suffering from peeling clearcoat and dried-out trim but not this puppy. There isn’t a speck of rust anywhere either. Be sure to look through the extensive photo gallery and post your questions in the comments below.

  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Mileage: 125,400
  • Engine: Four-cylinder
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • VIN: YV1AX8859G1682907 (CarFax)
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $10,183
Register To Bid
Ended: Nov 6, 2022 4:06pm MDT
High Bidder: cosmopop
Buyer Premium: 5%
  • cosmopop bid $10,183.00  2022-11-06 16:02:51
  • Iloveoldtrucks81 bid $7,955.00  2022-11-06 15:59:51
  • cosmopop bid $7,855.00  2022-11-06 15:00:00
  • Iloveoldtrucks81 bid $7,700.00  2022-11-06 14:41:06
  • Iloveoldtrucks81 bid $7,600.00  2022-11-06 11:36:27
  • DailyDriver bid $7,500.00  2022-11-06 10:08:10
  • reric55 bid $7,000.00  2022-11-06 07:02:10
  • DailyDriver bid $6,500.00  2022-11-06 00:55:24
  • cosmopop bid $6,157.00  2022-11-05 14:28:58
  • Slb0151 bid $4,900.00  2022-11-05 12:51:45
  • sturgis bid $4,700.00  2022-11-05 09:25:29
  • Slb0151 bid $4,600.00  2022-11-05 08:22:13
  • sturgis bid $4,500.00  2022-11-04 14:32:10
  • hat bid $4,400.00  2022-11-04 14:24:25
  • sturgis bid $4,300.00  2022-11-03 15:40:04
  • sturgis bid $4,200.00  2022-11-03 15:33:22
  • C bid $3,800.00  2022-10-31 17:49:20
  • jpfrazier bid $3,600.00  2022-10-31 15:40:55
  • Luki bid $3,500.00  2022-10-31 15:19:27
  • jpfrazier bid $3,100.00  2022-10-31 11:14:05
  • tim bid $3,000.00  2022-10-31 07:15:34
  • Luki bid $2,550.00  2022-10-30 11:52:30
  • drfiredog bid $2,200.00  2022-10-30 11:09:05
  • gonavy78 bid $2,000.00  2022-10-30 10:06:31
  • beardog99 bid $1,800.00  2022-10-30 09:37:31
  • bruce3652 bid $902.00  2022-10-29 19:36:28
  • C bid $701.00  2022-10-29 18:20:01
  • dljdad bid $601.00  2022-10-29 13:12:58
  • JR bid $500.00  2022-10-29 09:26:34


  1. Tbone

    How old are the tires? Does it have AC?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Tbone – Good questions. I noticed that the tires were looking a little old during the photo shoot so it’s going in for new tires this week. It does have AC and has been converted to 134a. It hasn’t been blowing as cold as it used to though so I’ll try to get that checked out before the auction ends too.

      Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Tbone – I misspoke. The system does not appear to have been converted to 134a but the compressor does kick on when you turn the dash switch so there must be some pressure still in the system.

      Like 1
  2. TheOldRanger

    Years ago, my immediate boss at work had just purchased a brand new Volvo (this particular year and model). He and his wife decided they wanted what was billed to be the safest car on the road since they had a new baby. He brought his son into work about 6 months later so we all could “ooh and ahh” and then he headed back home. The baby was strapped in the second seat behind him and he was out on Central Expressway when they was a pile-up in front of him, and he slammed on his brakes and cut off the one side to avoid the mess in front of him, only to be hit from behind by a large truck. After the screeching and the crunching of metal, he was totally aghast at the noise of his baby in the back seat. He turned around, and the baby was not hurt, and the last part of the car was crunched but the metal part next to the baby was not affected. He climbed out, opened the back seat, got the baby out, and no physical damage to the baby. He said later, that was the best money he had ever spent on a car. Insurance got him a new one, just like the one he had before. Those things were build like a tank.

    Like 18
    • Bamapoppy

      That is the best thing I’ll read about today. This week. This month. I 100% agree with your former boss.

      According to the National Insurance Institute for Highway Safety only one car sold in the USA from 1988-1992 had zero fatalities recorded. The Volvo 240.

      Like 7
      • Bamapoppy

        Or maybe it was NHTSA. In my older age my mind is not as sharp as it once was.

        Like 1
  3. Homer

    Do any of you remember the Volvo ads years ago that had them stacked 10 high to show how stout they were?

    Like 2
  4. Troy

    Homer, that is exactly what I remember about the add for those cars is having more cars stacked on top, I have never had one this one is very low mileage for what I have seen for sale over the years My kids are all grown up with families so I don’t have a use for a wagon.

    Like 1
    • BTG88

      I remember in 1990, Volvo actually got into trouble here in the US when it was discovered that for an ad demonstrating that other European cars structures could not stand the weight of a truck rolling over it, but that Volvo could. Problem was that the Volvo was structurally reinforced well beyond what the actual production car would have. Needless to say, Volvo and their ad agency got a hefty fine.

      • Kevin

        The issue was a commercial called “Monster Truck”. It was based on a true story from Texas, where a Volvo wagon was the only uncrushed car after several attempts. When the commercial was shot, the car used was reinforced, but the Connery was not tagged as a recreation. That’s where they got into trouble. All of the advertising material had to be destroyed. Most of it was.

  5. Ron

    Is the car in good enough shape to drive from Boise to Fayetteville, Arkansas (about 1600 miles)?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      I drive it everyday so I’m sure it could make the trip. As with any older car, you’d want to bring a tool set, some spare parts, and a AAA card just in case. There isn’t anything that would make me think it couldn’t make a long journey though.

  6. Eric B

    *sigh* I’ve been wanting one of these, badly. But, unfortunately it’s reached a point where it doesn’t make sense in my location. I live in the rust belt. I’d love one as a daily, but it would get destroyed here in the winter and it just doesn’t make sense for me to own one as another “summer car”. I believe the solution is changing my location. I’ll be envious of it’s next owner, looks like a spectacular example.

    As a side; can someone explain to me why many mechanics don’t like to work on old cars lately and some flat out refusing? I think part of it is a case of one thing leading to another with older cars and maybe having to deal with customers not understanding that. They take it in for one thing and the mechanic finds a list of needs. But, if just based on the cars, why would they not want to work on a simple, easy to work on car as opposed to a newer computer on wheels? A few years ago there was a 240 wagon on BAT by it’s original owner. She claimed that since she moved to a new state, her new mechanic didn’t want to work on it, so she bought a new Subaru. I totally don’t get it. She buys a new car that won’t need his services for years and passes on work from a simplistic machine.

    Like 3
    • Reid

      These days, it’s because “technicians” aren’t mechanics, and aren’t taught how to diagnose anything that isn’t fed to them from a computer. Pre OBD fuel injection is easy to figure out if you know the process, and have experience. If you don’t have that knowledge, it’s like trying to read Dostoyevsky translated into Sanskrit, and you’ll lose your shirt trying to figure it out while on flat rate. Most shops don’t want any job they can’t kick out the door in two hours. There’s no profit margin in it.

      Like 2
  7. Homer

    I drove a 1963 122S for 10 years and loved it. Not overpowered by any means but a stick so performed well. No AC, PS, PB. Very simple. I drove an 850 for 3 years and the fun drive was not there. I would love to have this also but as my wife has a problem getting in cars that sit low. I wish I could use it.

    Like 1
  8. Eric B

    By the way, kudos on the pretty thorough presentation Jesse. Are any videos available as well?

    Can you share any history of the car? Number of owners, some highlights of what looks like a healthy stack of receipts, etc.

    • Bamapoppy

      7 high. Filmed just outside Mobile, AL. And I don’t recall any other manufacturer trying to duplicate that.

      Like 1
  9. Chunk

    I’m in California and delighted to see that the EPA tag lists this car as Cali-compliant. Is the new catalytic converter going to be OEM or OEM-equivalent? It would have to be to pass CARB’s smog requirements and that might be all that keeps me from this sexy flying brick.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Chunk – I believe the cats would be considered OEM-equivalent.

  10. Luki

    I have a question about the wiring in the engine compartment. Pictures 106 and 107 show what looks to be electrical tape wrapped around the harness where it exits the firewall. Was there a repair done to the wiring? If so do you have any information on what was done?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Luki – Good eye! This era of 240 was known for having some wiring in the engine bay that could deteriorate with heat. Luckily, this one’s engine harness was repaired by Hurless Bros long ago. I believe Dave Barton sells replacement harnesses if one wanted to make it look oem but I haven’t had any problems so I didn’t mess with it.

  11. Jks055

    Im assuming its located in Idaho? Plates looked like Ohio, so just checking…thx!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      It’s in Idaho and those are Idaho plates.

  12. Rick Hunter

    I leased one of these for my company car years ago. One of the best cars I’ve ever owned. My kids thought it was the ugliest car ever but they fought for the front seat in the winter for that heated seat! Great car. I’d love to have this one.

  13. Luki

    Great survivor.
    Could we get a few pictures of the dash without the cover on it? Is that where the speaker grill is?
    Also is there a divot on the driver’s side of the windshield?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Luki – I added a couple of photos to the gallery of the dash cracks and window chips. Please let me know if you would need anything else. Thanks!

      • Luki

        Got it. Thanks.

  14. JP


    I like your 1986 240 – that’s a fabulous car you have there.

    I also wanted to ask you your opinion about Volvos in general. Do you think that the more recent Volvo products like, say, the 1st-generation XC60s and XC90s, will be as coveted and long-lasting like the 240 and 740 series?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @JP – That’s an easy one, no. The 240/740 was simple and built to last at least a decade. No manufacturer is going to build them like this today because it’s not as profitable. They want things to break so consumers have to pay for repairs or buy a new car.

  15. Homer

    Hi JP. With Geely’s Chinese ownership of Volvo, I can’t imagine that current Volvos will be coveted.

    That being said, we are most fortunate that the Japanese forced US makers to up their quality, far surpassing anything in the past. Hopefully they don’t screw up the Volvo legacy.

    My granddaughter has a Volvo 2022 XC40 and it is a great little car, very smooth and handles well.

  16. Eric

    Waiting on the answer to the a/c question. As an owner of three 240 wagons, the typical a/c issue, if not resolved by a fresh charge, could be a variety of issues- some cheap, others not inexpensive. This is a color I’ve always liked. The wheels/tires are 14 inch for those not as familiar with these cars. A shame that it’s getting new tires on the 14’s as it is a good opportunity to upgrade to 15’s.

    Like 2
  17. James

    Third row seat?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @James – no third row.

  18. chrlsful

    ck IPD for prts too.

    If this is “DL” its the base. I had
    the GL, spoke like wheels, other add
    ons like leather, more heaters etc. Liked
    it so much (lasted 20 yrs) when I moved I got
    the frnt WD as I hada v e r y steep drive in the
    NE (sno). The 850 was 1/2 the car altho 5 cyl’n turbo.
    I’d skip em now as per JM’s comment above. Gotta B care-
    ful w/purchases now. Deeper research needed as the manufacturer
    can have good’n bad yrs back to back. Even the JDM aint 100% anymore~

  19. Eric B

    240’s are notorious for their odometers not working at some point in their life. Is it currently working and is there any evidence that it was broken in the past?

    Has a carfax or autocheck been purchased and if so, could a link be provided? If not, could the VIN be posted? It would be nice to get some background/ history on it. Thanks.

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The odometer works as it should and the mileage lines up with the Carfax and the documentation. I have paperwork all the way back from when the car wash almost new. So, I have no reason to believe that the mileage isn’t correct. I’ll try post a copy of that Carfax. The VIN is located above if you’d like to check yourself too. Thanks.

  20. DRV

    This has to be the nicest original one out there, and the perfect color too! Idaho is almost as nice to cars as Oregon. I want this big time but I’d have to be rid of my 544 to fit it in. Dang, someone is going to get a keeper.

  21. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff
  22. doug johnson

    I bought your last one from you last year which my sister loves. Does this one have cruise control?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @doug johnson – I’m glad to hear she likes it! No cruise control on this one.

  23. JACKinNWPA Jack in NWPA Member

    That is a beautiful Volvo and in outstanding condition. I feel it should bring “all the money” I have had 5 Volvos myself and liked every one except my ’86 740 wagon that I loved! 740, 2 760’s 245 and even a 780 Bertone. All good old ones. I can guarantee the new owner will love this beautiful blue wagon.

    Like 2
  24. DLO

    I bought a 1982 240 wagon with a stick new. Drove it everyday till my ex got it in the divorce in 93. It was a great car. The stick really made it come alive. For a wagon, it was absolutely amazing. I’d put weight over the rear wheels during the winter and rarely got stuck in Pa., or Iowa or Colorado. Only got stuck when I was doing something I shouldn’t. Always my fault. Loved that car.

  25. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The reserve is off! I’m gonna regret selling this one…

    • Eric B

      For letting it go for that price you will. It would’ve brought much more on some other platforms that shall remain name less. One in particular, but I suppose everything sells for more there. Someone got a deal, especially if shipping won’t be involved.

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        @Eric B – I disagree with you there. I checked the other sites and the only 240s that have gone for substantially more were super low-mileage or special edition ones.

    • Eric B

      Oh, how weird….it looked like it sold for 8 on my end. The site was acting glitchy when I was making the comment and kept randomly refreshing on it’s own (?) and looking like it was selling for 8. I’m not sure what was going on, but now that I see the actual sale price; that’s quite fair. Sorry for the confusion with my comment.

      And while I may make a comment regarding BaT every so often, I don’t think it’s typically complimentary. Stating that everything sells more there is not a good thing lol. Many years ago it was a great site, then once covid hit and the deep pockets couldn’t go to the big name auctions, they infiltrated BaT and ruined it (my theory and opinion).

      You’re absolutely right; the super low mileage 240’s went for big money there, which I find to be, well, ‘bat’-ty.

    • Eric B

      Hey Jesse, I had replied last night, but I don’t see it posted (?). Anyway, when I made the comment, it looked like it had sold for 8 on my end. But, the site was acting glitchy and kept randomly refreshing itself. Maybe something going on at my end or maybe something to do with the auction winding down? Sorry for the misinformed comment.

      This is definitely a more fair price. Considering how clean it is, the records, color and relatively low mileage, I still think it’s a decent buy. They’re getting more difficult to find in certain areas (not the west coast and pnw).

      While I may mention BaT sometimes, I don’t think it’s usually in a positive way lol. It was such a great site many years ago, until deep pockets infiltrated it. Saying this would’ve sold for more there (the 8 I thought it sold for) isn’t necessarily a good thing. It’s nice to see cars sell for a fair price for both party’s. You’re right, the super low mileage ones went for ridiculous money there, which I find to be ‘bat’-ty!

  26. Rick Hinter

    Someone got a great buy in my opinion. Congrats to you both!

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