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Orange All Over: 1974 Volvo 144 California Edition

1974 Volvo 144 California Edition Front Corner

UPDATE 1/14/12 – The $2,900 Buy It Now was selected.

Sure we would all love to own the aforementioned Shelby GT350, but for many of us, the price keeps it out of reach. Even if we could afford cars like that, there is no way we could bring ourselves to drive them everyday. Now an old Volvo won’t ever beat a Shelby in a drag race, but it could provide years of reliable everyday driving at a low price. This orange 1974 Volvo 144 California Edition might even provide some fun along the way. The car is currently located in El Cajon, California and the seller has listed it here on eBay with bidding starting at $2,000 and a BIN price of $2,900.

1974 Volvo 144 California Edition Interior

This could be the first time we have seen an automobile with orange door panels and we never thought it would be in a Volvo. The color combo may not appeal to everyone’s taste, but it sure makes this stand out among all the boring Volvos out there. Sadly, the California Edition seats are sun faded and the driver’s seat is about shot. The seller has a set of replacement seats available, but the cloth is different. We would be tempted to try to salvage the original seat cloth and just install new seat foam underneath.

1974 Volvo 144 California Edition Engine

This 144 is powered by Volvo’s infamously reliable B20 four cylinder engine. This car would have originally been fitted with fuel injection, but has had a Weber carburetor installed in its place. If the carb conversion was done correctly, it should prove to be very reliable and easy to work on. The seller still has all the original fuel injection parts, so it could be switched back to the stock configuration if desired. The B20 engine isn’t powerful, but its bullet proof and if maintained properly will last a long time. The seller has already cleaned everything and done a full tune up.

1974 Volvo 144 California Edition Rear Corner

The seller claims that the paint is all original and that it looks good with exception to some rust bubbles starting to form at the base of the windshield. They seem to be honest about the car’s flaws and have included many photos and a few videos. Volvos were built to last and this one looks very solid. Be sure to inspect for rust underneath because any rust repair would not make sense financially on a car like this. There are a lot of these cars available so you can be picky unless you absolutely need to have an orange one.

1974 Volvo 144 California Edition Front Left Corner

The suspension and interior are going to need some work, but it could be driven as is. Be sure to watch the videos because the seller mentions a lot more about the condition of the car and it helps you get a better idea of its needs, than photos could ever do. Love them or hate them. Volvos were not the most attractive cars ever built, but their overbuilt engines can last forever. Here’s the proof.


  1. Corey

    In 74 and 75 you could get a color called Mandarin Orange on Cadillacs, complete with matching orange interiors with orange door panels. The triple orange ones are uber rare. And SMS up in Oregon probably has the cloth to redo the seats.

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  2. Greg

    It’s good that the original FI parts are included, but there’s no reason to undo the Weber conversion if you intend to drive the car. ’74 Volvo FI was, to put it mildly, problematic.

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  3. Don

    If it was a ’73 (last year of the small bumpers), I’d be all over it. I hear a lot of complaints about the early fuel injection on these cars, but honestly, I never had an issue with the F.I. in any of my early Volvos.

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  4. AMonFM

    there’s just something very cool about this car… in a nerdly kinda way. Wish i could find a slightly earlier one (’67 – ’69) around here that the northeast salt hasn’t eaten.

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  5. sara

    Very strange, i bought this same car, except for different upholstery, in Encinitas. However I’ve never seen another 144 and always wondered how many are out there. weird to find almost the same one in El Cajon.

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  6. Mean

    Just love these 144s…

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  7. Israel Valentin

    still available

    Like 0

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