Handsome Brick: 1989 Volvo 780 Bertone

Although Volvos are largely produced in quantities that rarely make them rare, the Bertone collaborations did yield some very pretty cars that are hard to find in any condition. The late 780 coupe is one such example, and finding one that is largely preserved is cause for a closer look. This 1989 Volvo 780 Bertone coupe here on eBay is currently bid to just $2,000 with no reserve. 

The chopped-top earlier Bertone coupes were definitely distinctive but not necessarily handsome; these later cars are quite a bit different, looking as stately as a Mercedes of the same era and almost sporting with those attractive basketweave wheels. Why Volvo only put the BBS rims on special editions is beyond me – all of their cars look fantastic with this more upscale design. The Bertone here is in good cosmetic condition with the exception of some ugly tint.

On the inside, you’ll find some of the most comfortable seats known to man. The design of the leather isn’t to everyone’s tastes, but what’s important here is that all seating areas look to be in presentable condition. Some of the power functions on the driver’s seat do not work, however, most likely the result of a stripped gear. The backseat shown here looks practically unused and surprisingly roomy for a coupe.

Thankfully, this example comes with the more desirable B230 turbo engine, a much better choice than the often lamented PRV V6. The seller has been rolling out a number of European “yard find” cars over the last year, so they clearly have a nose for the uncommon; however, one review says the car they bought (another Volvo, ironically) barely made it to its destination. This car appears mostly sound, but with anything European and over 10 years old, a PPI is mandatory.

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  1. Luki

    Neither utilitarian nor sporty. Misguided attempt at luxury that completely failed.

    Reminds me of the 1978 Lincoln Continental Mark V Givenchy Edition, Bill Blass and other designer disasters.

  2. Dave Wright

    I bought a similar car from the US government for an old girl friend. It had been an embassy car. Very nice car but as slow as a toad. Slower than my 240D. It worked well and as a school teachers daily commute car was efficient.

    • Blyndgesser

      That must’ve been an amazing 240D! Either that, or something was badly wrong with the Volvo.

      • Dave Wright

        A manual transmission 240D works pretty well……as well as being bullet proof, they are quick little guys. All bets are off with an automatic.


      But was it a turbo?

      • Dave Wright

        Mercedes never made a turbo 240D. There were a few aftermarket conversions but very few. When Germans wanted more power, they would go to a 5 cylinder 300, many of those were turboed from the factory and in Germany you could get one with a 5 speed.

  3. jackthemailman

    This ugly thing looks like a mid-80s Japanese Toy-Hon-Dat. Yuck. And … I greatly disagree about the earlier Bertone coupes. They’re killer.

  4. Rustytech

    This is a nice car, you got the dependability of a Volvo and the price of a daily driver.

  5. Francisco

    233,000 miles. This car is worn out.

    • Richard V

      No, remember, it’s a Volvo!


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