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Rare 5-Speed: 1992 Volvo 240

What a difference a transmission makes – or does it? In the case of cars that are not typically equipped with a manual gearbox, car enthusiasts normally prop that model up quite a bit as being more desirable for having three pedals. The question is whether the lack of a self-shifting apparatus really does, in fact, increase desirability, especially as it relates to the driving experience. This 1992 Volvo 240 listed here on eBay is equipped with the rare 5-speed and located in Williamson, New York.

We recently posted an article about an auction in Vermont featuring a bevy of Volvo 240s; you can check out that listing here. I actually reached out to inquire about one of the Volvos I could see in the photos, specifically to ask if it had a manual gearbox. It turns out it did, and for a moment, I was contemplating what my life would be like with a manual transmission 240. But then the cold reality hit me: would it really be all that much fun to drive, even with three pedals?

Volvo 240s are certainly special cars, and one of the more significant models in the company’s history. It was known primarily for two things: being bullet-proof mechanically and quite safe. A performance car it was not, at least not in naturally-aspirated form, and that’s OK. The 240 did experience some success on the rally circuit when equipped with performance and suspension modifications, along with a roll cage, but the standard-issue model was not built for speed. This 240 has all of the usual Volvo hallmarks intact, including a notoriously durable interior.

The seller reports that the odometer on his car stopped spinning around 119,000 miles, but that he hasn’t driven it much since then. The 240 has some IPD suspension upgrades, and the timing belt job was done last year. Wheels are from a later model Volvo and spaced out a bit, so the stance is much improved over a standard 240. The car isn’t driven in winter and even in the warmer months is primarily used for pleasure driving. If you’ve always wanted a 240 with a stick shift, here’s your chance!


  1. Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

    If you are really interested in a “FUN” 3-pedal Volvo, the best way is to drop a 5.0 and five speed into a 740 wagon.

    240’s can be played with, but this one is too nice to trick-out for track days. It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast…not that it will be a 4 door Miata, but still…

    Like 8
    • RayT Member

      Oddly enough, I remember talking to a guy who worked for Volvo USA some years ago who told me some at the company were dropping SBFs in their Volvos. A pretty simple swap, apparently, with little or no downside.

      But yes, this one seems pretty nice as-is. They make nice cruisers when stock (the IPD parts help) and, if the reserve isn’t too high, I’d be interested.

      Like 5
    • Stan

      These look great w turbine type rims. 😎

      Like 3
  2. alphasud Member

    I had a couple 240 Volvo cars. Both with the 4-speed with electric overdrive and they were much more fun to drive over the automatic. Good clutch take up and anytime you are stirring the gears direct and not via cable or lever the mechanical snick snick feeling you get is automotive euphoria. IPD stabilizer bars and good struts and shocks really transform these cars. Very pleasing experience without the V8.

    Like 14
    • Bamapoppy

      I envy you, having owned two 240’s. In 1980 I was saving a dilemma; a new 240 in baby blue or a 1976 bright yellow Corvette. I chose the Corvette which I long ago sold. I would probably still own the 240 because they are so reliable.

      Like 5
    • Connecticut mark

      David letterman has a 960 wagon, stick, with 360hp, V8 lots of upgrades pretty cool.

      Like 4
      • chrlsful

        totally different car (bean counters said “go upscale or go home”, as did SAAB, & look @ them now gone’n gone to china). Avoid if smart. (stick w/ 240, 740).

        Like 0
    • RMac

      I had a 68 242 with 4 speed and overdrive had a buck interior and British racing green exterior did some engine tuning headers and wide mini lites it was a hoot until my sister borrowed it ran a red light and got t boned she walked away but the Volvo was u shaped

      Like 3
  3. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    My wife drove an 89 240 DL 5 speed until 2005. Bullet proof transmission, never required anything, a pleasure to drive. The car’s weakest area as it aged was the plastic trim.

    Like 4
  4. Frank Sumatra

    How much for a complete exhaust system replacement? The current one is held together by rust. This car is 1/2 hour from me and I was interested until I saw the Ebay images.

    Like 4
  5. Johnny Bravo

    Interference motor?

    Like 4
  6. FasterAsteroid

    The redblock is not an interference engine. My current Wisconsin winter daily is a ’92 740 wagon. It is soooo slow but for some reason I absolutely love love love driving it. My son has a ’92 240 sedan and if I ever get rid of my wagon I’m taking his.

    Like 3
  7. Vance

    I always wondered why Volvo and Toyota owners were so loyal to their brand, and the answer was their dedication to service. I was briefly, a service writer for both, and every customer was adamant to having their red, yellow, or blue service done on time was the answer. Yes there was good engineering on both brands, especially Toyota, but it was the adherence to the service schedule that was the key. Volvo’s plastic interiors were shoddy, but they ran forever and were butt ugly. I am sure Honda and Nissan were similar. I sold Ford products for 10 years, and if a Volvo or Subaru pulled into the lot, we ran like roachs when the kitchen light turned on. The reason being they would never buy and just wasted one’s time as they bragged on their brand. I did learn something however, I have a 2007 Mercury Gran Marquis that has had every service known to man and it has over 250K on it, and would drive it across the country and not have a worry in the world.

    Like 8
    • Greenhorn

      I completely disagree on the ‘butt ugly’. While not a fan of these headlamps, a round headamp 240 always looked great to me, 4 door or wagon. But you are right on the services, that’s key.

      Like 5
    • Stan

      Interesting comment Vance. 👍

      Like 3
  8. Dan

    The first thing I’m wondering is why the odometer quit working and exactly how many miles have been added since then. But at $4500 you can’t really go too wrong. Seller seems upfront and this car looks very clean and solid for a NY car. Looks turnkey so you can enjoy it as is before doing an LS swap ;)

    Like 1
    • MKG

      The small gear in the speedo head gets mushy and gives it up. They are available and it isn’t too bad of a job to repair it. I’ve done several over the years. I always wanted to know my mileage.

      Like 3
  9. JimmyJ

    my son has a 5speed wagon ,rust free west coast 380kilometers and runs like new,great cars but some electrical issues which i cant stand fixing. he daileys a mazda b2200 pu easier to haul his dirtbike around but doesnt want to let the volvo go.

    Like 2
  10. Greg

    My mom had a 1990 244DL can someone explain the difference if any. I personally love the Bertone model of this Volvo. They are the only true Swedish model ( all Swedish parts) to come from Volvo and the only Swedish l’d buy. I love a nice 240/244DL Volvo.

    Like 2
    • Greg

      No offense to Sabb owners

      Like 2
    • Dave Graham

      the basic model designation is a 240. They made DL and GL trim levels. A 2dr version was a 242, the 4dr was a 244 and the wagon was a 245. I was with Volvo products from 1986 to 2002 in Scottsdale AZ. The had wiring harness issues but most were fixed under warranty. They had a 4 spd manual transmission and in the earlier years had a push button on the shifter that was an overdrive. Great safe car, loved the wagons the most.

      Like 3
  11. MKG

    A 5 spd std would be nice in a 2dr. I had one in the 80s, I dont remember the year and it was fun. But the auto with OD is a great tranny too with a lot less work. As I get up there near 70yo I’m becoming too much aware of that lol.

    Like 1
  12. David Cusick

    It’s a nice car and also an hour away from me…I’m gonna keep an eye on it and see what happens…..

    Like 0
  13. chrlsful

    Nother great line-up of all 17 ‘cars’. And I say that not
    cuz I owned, drove, worked on, or friends had ‘em.
    Wish I hada nuff time to read up on all, reminisce, etc.

    Here I had 2. The 1st 20 yr ownership so when buyina
    place w/steep drive went for the 850 (Fwd). Really should not
    have, as nuttin like the 240, spoiled me. Safe (then),
    durable (then), cushy (lux0box). DL was nice w/leather,
    moon roof, alloy wheels, etc. Great presence w/silver
    on the blk leather. 3 seating rows, Lill extras around’n about but
    no cup holders (wont talk abt the 850).
    Now, how does one ’space out’ the wheels when fitting a later model
    on the car ?

    Like 0
  14. justpaul

    Perfect car to send your kid off to college in. Sturdy, reliable, and unlikely to be driven by their friends because it’s a stick.

    Like 1
  15. Bamapoppy

    True story; when John Grisham graduated from law school at Ole Miss he bought a new Volvo 240. When he got to the office he went inside and told his partner. They went outside to look at it and his partner immediately asked why John didn’t get the GL model with leather. John replied because he couldn’t afford it. LoL

    I used to live in DeSoto County, MS where John first practiced law and I got to know his partner years later.

    Like 0

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