Bulletproof Driver: Low-Mile 1991 Volvo 240

The Volvo 240 sedan is perhaps one of the most recognized models of the 1980s, known for both its impressive reliability and its warm embrace of being shaped like a brick. Today, they remain affordable entry points to classic car ownership that won’t break the bank, and the seller of this example here on craigslist in Newport, Rhode Island, has made some tasteful upgrades to give the 240 more style than it typically radiates. The asking price is $6,700.

The wheels alone make this 240 look far more sporting than the stodgy grocery getter it is, and while they may look like basic steel wheels to the untrained eye, they’re actually a pricey custom two-piece job made by Corsa Velocita. Try getting a set now; they’re almost always sold out. The original steel wheels and hubcaps are included, but I’d have a hard time going back to the original setup after seeing these on otherwise vanilla 240.

The best part about cars like these is that, despite their classic status, you still get heated seats and safety that rivals many modern cars. How many of us know someone who bought a Volvo because of its safety record? It’s a hallmark that still carries weight today, especially in regions of the country like New England where these and Saab 900s are about as revered as it gets when it comes to cars that can serve multiple generations of the same family.

The 240 is equipped with the legendary red block B23 four-cylinder engine with just 85,000 miles, which basically means it will live forever. The seller has still addressed several basic tune-up items despite the car’s reputation for reliability, including an IPD drop in air filter, IPD high-performance plug wires, and NGK spark plugs, along with two new rear KYB shocks and a replacement idle air control valve. It’s hard to go wrong with one of these, and the asking price seems fair to me.

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Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I agree these are good solid cars which are quickly coming up in value. My first one was a 79 244DL that I bought for $300 from the detail guy in the shop. Went to the local pull and save and got a 4-sp. with O/D set-up and P/S, and a newer interior from a 88. I used that for a couple years. Great car after I put IPD stabilizer bars and new Boge struts/shocks. I always wanted to to a Chevy V8 conversion to one and have a real screamer. Life got in the way.

    Like 3
    • Skorzeny

      I’ve always loved these, worked on many. Have to agree with you on the V8 conversion. It’s a bucket list car for me, of course with maximum suspension upgrades and some nice wheels with Yokohama’s.

      Like 1
  2. AwHeck Member

    I had an ’87 in the same colors. Loved that car. Traded an ’84 Corvette for it. Don’t ask!

    Like 6
  3. Eric B

    Very nice, but wish it were in wagon form. Been looking for one for a while. I may be wrong, but I believe the aftermarket wheel options for these are pretty slim, so that makes the wheels even cooler. I’ll have to look into those

  4. Evan

    It’s not a B23 engine. The B23 was superseded by the B230 in 1985.

    Like 4
  5. GreggoL

    I have a 91 240 wagon with IPD sway bars front and back, lowering springs, strut braces and Koni shocks and struts. The car corners like it is on rails. Wish it had a few more HP. Huge loading area with the back seats down. Great car, don’t really think of it as a classic car as I use it all the time.

    Like 2
  6. Sal Paradise

    They have several insanely annoying quirks. Tail lights disconnect themselves every other day and you cannot find a quality replacement. Fuel pump relays – basically you have to carry spares and just pop them in as needed. AC is impossible to fix for some reason.Wiper motors get weaker and weaker until they barely move the blades. The heater fan is so far inside the car that you have to take the entire dashboard off. And it will start to make noise. The interior plastic is biodegradable as is the wiring. That’s just off the top of my head. Yes, the redblock engine will keep running for eternity but that doesn’t mean you wont be working on the car every weekend.

    Like 2
    • Tommy

      You didn’t mention the exhaust system – prematurely failing motor mounts. But this is a really good car strong engine brakes steering build
      G O O D

  7. Matt

    I have had three 240’s. The last I bought was a 1992 which was the same color as this one, about twice the miles, and in similar cosmetic condition. I paid $250. Maybe the wheels are worth $6500?

  8. Bob C.

    These were the real deal for Volvos. Dated? Yes, but true Volvo owners loved them and wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Matt

      I’ve owned 8 Volvos, 3 of which were 240’s (2 sedans and a wagon). Good cars? Sure, especially if your scale trends toward the agricultural. Is this one worth $6,700? No.

      Like 2
  9. Spud

    Shine it up a bit, take better pictures, and he could probably sell it on BaT for close to what he’s asking. It’s a bit of a stretch on Craigslist though. People are paying good money for these now, although there are still lots and lots that are in so-so condition that go for much less than this. The interior is in great shape on this one and is the only reason why I’d even consider that 85K miles might be correct (more than likely, the odometer is broken and has shown 85K miles for the past 10 years). And really, he should sell the wheels separately and put back on the stock ones. The aftermarket ones do nothing for the sale price on this.

    Like 2
  10. Phipps Hadaway

    My first car was a ’90 240 DL. LOVE these things!

  11. ChrisC

    Looks clean with low miles. I worked on these when they were brand new. Easy to maintain and bullet proof drivetrains. Rare to see rust free examples up here in New England. Would be more fun with a stick. I agree wheels look fantastic. Would make a great daily driver.

    Like 1
  12. Geoff

    I had an ’85 245 GLT (turbo wagon). It was a fun car, with lots of room for friends and snowboards. No real need for the V8 when you have the turbo! But living in a valley in New England meant that it was tough getting out when it snowed (but fun for doing donuts once you got up the hill) so I went FWD and got a SAAB 900 turbo and never got stuck again.

  13. BOBBSEA

    My first VOLVO XC was a 2001.They became popular as company vehicles for those on the road in my company and remained so through 2010. In this period I (we) purchased 31 VOLVOs’ I still have three, including a 2004 Ruby Red XC70 that just hit 80K last week. No major repairs on any of these vehicles, but replaced rear wheel bearings, coils, and for some strange reason, multiple leaky plastic windshield washer reservoirs.

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