No Reserve: Optioned-Out 1974 Volvo 144S Project

If you follow our YouTube channel, then this Volvo may look familiar. We bought it this past summer with big dreams of building a rally car. Well, as is often the case, my eyes were bigger than my stomach. You don’t want to overeat at Thanksgiving and you don’t want to have too many project cars. So, this one is listed here on eBay with no reserve and there will likely be more to follow.

The blue color may have caught my eye but the fact that this car is fitted with power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning made me think it might be something special. If we were talking American cars, that options list would not sound like a big deal. Old Volvos are a different story though. They were pretty basic and mostly bulletproof. At least until the company decided to chase the luxury car title.

A quick look inside confirmed my suspicions. The multi-colored upholstery and 4-speed manual could make this the ultimate 144. That well-padded and badly-cracked dash may not be as attractive as the earlier 140s but the car does benefit from the remote short shifter setup that was used in the later 240 series. The biggest surprise in here may be the four Volvo rubber floor mats. Originals are darn near impossible to find!

It’s not perfect. There are dings and dents but the body is solid and the paint is original. The car had been parked for a while before we got it so it’s going to need some TLC before hitting the road. The previous owner claimed that it was parked because of a bad fuel pump. I can confirm that the pump is bad so the story is probably true. I was able to get the car to start and run for a few seconds on starter fluid so the ignition system works.

The fuel system still had pressure when I removed the pump so that’s a good sign. There’s no guarantee but I’m guessing after installing a new fuel pump, she’ll run. I would want to drop the fuel tank and flush it out just to be safe. Then I’d probably go through the steps in this nifty fault tracing book to get it fine-tuned. Finally, I’d give the interior and exterior a very thorough cleaning.

Then, I’d weld a big bar to the front bumper to create a bush guard like the one found on this sweet rally 144! This car, The Camel, was my inspiration and I’ve wanted to build one like it for a long time. In fact, if I think about this too much, I’ll end up pulling the auction! Anyway, the pictured car has an interesting story behind it that you can read more about here on Historics Auctions. Anyway, if one of you ends up buying the car, please keep us updated on what you do with it. Who knows, may we’ll see it at the next running of the Peking to Paris rally!

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Comments

  1. Dan August

    Is there an engine in there?
    All I see are hoses and wiring…

    Like 11
  2. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking Volvo. Assuming everything works as they should, it’s capable of running under its own power, and there’s no rusts holes anywhere in the body, then I think it should be saved, driven, and enjoyed.

    Like 3
  3. chrlsful

    great cars ! Duette is a fav. Had a 240 & 850, 20 yrs w/1st…2nd was 1/2 the car. Like MB’s heavy focus on usa market created the down fall in both co.s. ’70s? still in the gold. To rally ck in w/IPD Portland for some great prts (still around I guess).

    This one a real find – 50 y/o seat covers, oe wheels, no cuts for radios, etc. I say “bring em back” oe (or oe & performance – sleeper style). The “P” wrd = pep and MPGs.

    Like 5
  4. Terrry

    Putting a crash bar on the front would improve the Volvo’s looks, since the federally mandated bumpers look hideous. And underneath all those wires and hoses lurks a very dependable engine. I would bet if the fuel pump and tank were replaced, an engine flush and oil change would get you a car that would run for many thousands more miles.

    Like 2
  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    I like the “Gov. mandated” bumpers. I find them not only more functional, but also more attractive.

    Like 4
  6. t-bone BOB

    Located in:
    Boise, Idaho

    Like 1
  7. Randy

    Had a 74 142 Auto. Similar but green with brown cloth interior. Had seat warmers.
    The fuel pump also failed. They were underneath the car near the back tire. I carried a wood stick to smack it and lose the dirt buggering up the contacts. Finally had to change it. The car probably will run with a flush and clean gas. Rust will be the eventual killer of this.

    Like 2
  8. Jasper

    Killer seat upholstery!

    Like 2
  9. DRV

    Throw out the fuel infection and put in your choice of carbs and run the rest as is. That fuel pump is expensive but not needed with low pressure carbs.
    This brick will provide many more safe miles of vintage miles.

    Like 2
  10. Ralph

    Dang Jesse this is a really sweet ride here. I want this so bad. Hate that you have to sell this one. But wish you and the buyer the best. Someone should be very happy. Thanks for this great example.

    Like 2
  11. Tracy

    That would be a great old car fixed up.

  12. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Sep 17, 2021 , 3:14PM
    Winning bid:US $2,025.00
    [ 97 bids ]

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