Live Auctions

Rebuilt Engine! 1969 Volvo 145S Wagon

We cover a lot of station wagons on Barn Finds but they are mostly of the Chevrolet or Ford persuasion. Today though, it’s a 1969 Volvo 145S, a car known for its longevity and design safety.  This 258K mile example is located in Phoenix, Arizona and is available, here on eBay for $4,100 with thirteen bids tendered at this point.

The Volvo 145 is a member of the 140 series that was in production between 1966 and 1974. Three different body styles were offered including a two-door sedan (Model 142), a four-door sedan (Model 144), and a station wagon (Model 145) such as this example. The 145 (singe carburetor engine) was introduced in 1968 and a dual carb motor version was added in 1969 and denoted as a 145S.

The seller states that this Volvo is an all-original example that was owned by a Volvo enthusiast school teacher who provided proper maintenance for this daily driver since it was new.  The body shows very well and I suppose that it’s possible that this Volvo is still wearing its original white finish. There is no sign of corrosion though there is a bit of surface rust around the grille and the below-the-grille filler panel appears to have been lightly kissed. Other than these minor items, nothing else looks to be out of place – it’s in amazing condition considering its age and mileage. The safe assumption is that this Volvo was probably garaged most of its life. There are included images of the underside and that all looks to be exactly as originally intended.

The interior was a bit of a surprise as I wasn’t expecting a white interior with a white exterior. Nevertheless, it works well with the black accents i.e the dash, floor mat, and armrests. The white cloth fabric/vinyl upholstery is in surprisingly nice condition, while it’s not split or cracked, both the vinyl and the cloth are showing only minor wear with some sporadic discoloration. The headliner is revealing some yellowing but it’s not ripped or gravity challenged. The cargo compartment, which usually takes the brunt of a lot of wear in a station wagon, shows to have been lightly used over the last half-century. A split dash pad is really the only thing that is out of order.

The 2.0 liter, in-line, four-cylinder engine, and its adjoining, three-speed automatic transmission were rebuilt about 50K mile ago and the seller claims, “I’ve been driving this car for the last week and I gotta say, it runs like a sewing machine, smooth and quiet, I can’t believe how much of a pleasure this old girl is to drive!!” The engine is the first-year B20, and being a dual carburetor version it is either 105 or 118 HP, it depends on the compression ratio. The air cleaners, which appear to be aftermarket pieces, are the only noted changes from stock.

I was a bit taken back at first by this Volvo’s milage but then again, it is a Volvo and legendary for high mileage attainment. The 50K mile-ago powertrain rebuild is a bit reassuring, however. This Volvo 145S is a nice find and a notable alternative to a Chevy, Ford, or Plymouth station wagon, don’t you think?


  1. robert gressard

    I have been watching this Volvo on line for a couple of days. I have a 1970 145s also from AZ. It’s the same color white and in original paint. The interior is blue. I bought it on line and had it shipped to Ohio. This is the first one I have seen for sale since i bought mine two years ago; I am thrilled with mine. No computers easy to work on. I have been won over to Volvos. You can’t go wrong with this series Volvo. Cheers Bob.

    Like 16
  2. Derek

    There was a 162 estate built a few years ago, wasn’t there? Drum braked V6 2-door wagon; what’s not to like?

    Like 1
    • alphasud Member

      Actually the 162 was a inline 6 based on the same architecture as the B20 engine.

      Like 1
  3. Pat

    Had a 79 265 years ago that we just loved. Same body, different power train. It was our first of what became 5 Volvo’s. One of them hit 300k miles 👍. Our son’s family is on their 4th too. Great cars.

    Like 1
  4. Howard A Member

    These really turned a corner for Volvo. The 122 was a dud, and Volvo knocked it out of the park in the US with these. Even though, they were basically the same car underneath as the 122, the public went nuts. I believe it was their “safety” theme that got people interested, as safety was the “hot button” of the 70’s. People don’t like the automatic, but I read it was a Borg Warner unit, and EVERYBODY used the B-W units. Great find, you won’t do better than this.

    Like 2
    • Donek

      ‘The 122 was a dud’ ?

      Like 11
      • Howard A Member

        Was in my neck of the woods. I liked the 122, and wanted a wagon, but to many, the styling was a bit outdated, like Volvo was always one step behind in style until this car. 122’s in the midwest were hard to find.

  5. David Miraglia

    1969 was a good year, my parents bought a 1969 164. solid as a rock.

  6. ACZ

    Just remember….”They Don’t Write Songs About Volvos”

    • James A. Mogey

      Well, they should – and about SAAB’s too.

      Like 2
    • robert gressard

      Well actually there is a VOLVO song. I didn’t say it was good. Search VOLVO MY VOLVO. V O L V O my volvo V O L V O my volvo on and on. Trouble is after you hear it you will hear it in your head over and over and over

      Like 1
      • Steve Clinton

        Thanks for the warning!

        Like 1
  7. Bigcat Member

    Had 2 142S’ back in the day, same color scheme as this 145, talk about plain vanilla. One was stick, one auto. Both good horses, only issue I had was plastic cam gear that disintegrated but it’s a non-interference engine and was fairly cheap job to fix, even at dealer. Hope they changed this one when rebuilt.

  8. Pat

    If Volvo decided to bring out a brand-new exact copy of my ’69 145 S, I would buy it at the speed of light and drive it for the rest of my life! Ours went 300k miles and I sold it because it would have cost more to fix the A/C than the car was worth. Shouldn’t have done that!

    Like 2
  9. Jimbo

    I owned a ‘68 142 2 dr. It had 200k on the clock when I bought it in 1995. Drove that car everywhere and I became a Volvo lover. It had the 4 sped manual and I swear those cars are built like tanks! Finally sold it to a guy who was down on his luck for more than I paid for it.

    Like 1
  10. Steve Clinton

    ‘Patina? I don’t see no steenkin’ patina!’ (Up to $5000 with 2 days left).

    Like 1
  11. chrlsful

    122, 164, 240 – a great string of hits. Small changes over the yrs, getting it better each yr. Y is that not done today (well, OK, a lill w/the Japanese co.s)?

    Those mentioned above (saab/wolwo) did the same mrkt research, got the same results – must go upscale (ford just changed to trucks only) to continue making sales in heu hes hay. That soon ended the make (2014 saab TOTALLY gone, wolwo on it’s way w/the china sale). No more falcons, pintos, chevettes…let’s hope we can get back some market share (world wide) w/some EV rig…

  12. Bill B

    My DD is a ’93 960 wagon with 270k. LOVE it!

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.