One Owner Manual: 1990 Volvo 240 DL

The Volvo 240 wagon is perhaps one of the most recognized long roofs ever made. It found favor with numerous consumer groups, from college students to the professors that taught them. To this day, it remains a benchmark of quality and safety that few wagons have surpassed. This example appears to be extremely clean and rare for a few reasons: namely, the manual transmission, but also for the color as most 240 shoppers weren’t looking for flashiness when buying the safest vehicle they could buy at the time. Regardless, this super clean 240 in New Hampshire checks both of those boxes and is listed here on eBay where bids are approaching $7K with no reserve.

The selling dealer notes that the Volvo was purchased new at their dealership and just recently traded in. I love cars like this – clearly maintained to a high level, and by an owner who remains loyal to the selling dealer 30 years later. That’s also a different generation of consumer that did this, as I can’t think of anyone under the age of 50 that would patronize a dealership to that level. I would assume this means the seller also have full service records for the 240, as it’s extremely likely it was a regular visitor to the service department – but only for regularly scheduled visits, given the reliability record of this era of the 240.

Mileage is listed as 164,285, which is neither high nor low for this era of Volvo. The interior looks outstanding, with tan leather seats in extremely good condition for the miles. The Volvo comes with OEM rubber floormats, audio speakers, and of course, the exceedingly rare manual transmission for a Volvo wagon of this era. The listing does note that the 240 comes with “…tons of service history,” so hopefully my suspicions are correct that the seller has access to the years of records from the long-time original owner. At this point, my biggest concern would be whether the 240 has any rust given it’s resided in New Hampshire since new.

Now, the seller does disclose there’s some minor rust to be aware of. The listing states  “…there is a little surface rust on passenger front fender behind the mud guard and in front of the drivers rear wheel.” That’s truly minor for a New England car and easily fixed. The engine bay looks about as pretty as a 240 engine bay can look, but it’d likely pop a bit better with a proper detailing. To own a 240 likes this means you’re aware it’s not a particularly sporting ride, but it is one you can depend on for daily duty should you decide to press it into such service like the longtime original owners evidently did.


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  1. Harris Pepper

    It’s a 30 year old vehicle with only 164,000 miles on it. That roughly 5,500 miles a year. The average is 15,000 miles a year. Considering it’s an older generation Volvo that live forever, I would say that is low mileage.

    Like 1
  2. local_sheriff

    Hah; there’s a guy in my neighborhood owning one exactly like this down to colors and all. I see it parked in his garage almost every day when I walk the dog. He’s not your typical gear head but he has a soft spot for older Volvos as he’s also owner of an Amazon. His 240 is at least as good looking as the one in this write-up if not even better.

    Having grown up with 240s on every frickin’ street I personally have never cared much for these social-democratic bricks however I got to admit this is one nice example. Volvo deserves respect for producing the same basic design for so long time and there are endless possibilities to make a 240 move! Just not my cup of tea

    Like 2
    • jaymon1962

      Hey, man, good job bring politics into a perfectly fine car thread. We really needed that. Great job!

      Like 4
      • Dave Mazz

        Shush!!! Politics are NOT ALLOWED in these comments!!

        “RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks”

        I guess impersonal attacks are okay! :-) :-)

      • local_sheriff

        Feeling a bit sensitive these days, are we…? Just curious how such a metaphor can make anyone see any political campaigning??
        Too bad that was enough to ruin your day – read on, cheer up and have fun! 🥳

        Like 1
  3. 8banger dave Member

    I have a ‘92 version of this with 286k and it runs better than most that come into my shop. The manuals are good, but the M46 (4 spd w/electric o.d.) is the one to have.

    Like 2
  4. Chris in Pineville

    spectacular car with another 100,000+ miles left in it.
    red is my least favorite color, but I still like this one.

    never ceases to amaze me when people trade in exemplary cars like this to dealerships for peanuts so the dealer can make a killing on them…..

    Like 5

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