Round Light Coupe: 1976 Volvo 242 DL

This 1976 Volvo 242 DL coupe combines numerous treasured qualities of Volvos from this vintage, including round headlights, two doors, a stick shift, and the notoriously reliable B21 engine. This example is said to be an extremely clean survivor wearing awesome period green paint and showing no major flaws. The Volvo is offered for sale here on eBay where bidding is over $3K with no reserve.

Any one of Volvo’s cars from the 240 family has a well-established reputation for reliability. These are stout machines with simple drivetrains that can be used daily without too much worry. Plus, with those horrid US-mandated “park bench” bumpers, you stand little chance of getting crunched in traffic. Steel wheels and mudflaps, a very traditional Volvo look.

The interior features bucket seats and the preferred manual transmission. Cracks are evident in the dash and floor mats look a little tired, but that’s it for major flaws. There’s some fraying of the driver’s seat fabric and sun damage elsewhere in the cabin. The seller does note a possible repair with the disclosure that the driver’s side window frame was welded at one point.

The engine bay presents well, with matching mint green paint under the hood and lots of fresh hoses. The seller says that while the paint is largely original, there is evidence of touch-ups in spots. The mechanical bits have been treated to numerous updates, including new engine mounts, various seals/bushings, new rotors/pads, new exhaust, EGR tube repair, and more.

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Comments

  1. local_sheriff

    The social-democratic brick! Haven’t seen an early 242 this clean since the 80s. A friend of mine owns its identical twin, down to the same colors in and out. Given his spent its life in more winter-ish areas it’s not near as clean as this Cali example.

    I’ve never been much of a Volvo fan myself, but it’s cool to see well-preserved examples are now treated as classics. Owning a 240 was one of the essential three ‘V’s for victory proving your success in social-democratic Swedish society – Villa, Volvo och Vofse ( translating into House, Volvo and doggy…)

    5
  2. Marc

    The key here is safety- I had a 144 wagon. I was rear ended by a Ford Tiempo at a stop light. Her car was totaled smashed to the windshield.
    My Volvo’s rear bumper was turned down by 15 degrees.
    The irony was my insurance company totaled my car. It was more expensive to straighten the bumper than my car was worth. I took the money, kept the car and got free massage therapy for a month due to the rear end “trauma”.
    My daughter’s first car will be a Volvo from this era.

    8
  3. Evan

    Uncommon combo of a/c without p/s. You’ll not want to fit tires much wider than stock.

    1
  4. Peckstar The Supercar stooge

    LS 1 sleeper. Widen the steel wheels. Hide the dual exhaust and go surprise a few

  5. Wyatt

    I have one of these as my first car right now! 1980 242 with a 4 speed

    6
  6. Rube Goldberg

    I had a ’78 244 like this, very nice car. Mine had O/D and no O/D would be a deal breaker for me, and good luck with parts, they were scarce and expensive in the 80’s.

    1
    • local_sheriff

      eh…parts? 240s are probably the easiest Euro cars to locate parts for. The Swedish hardware chain store Biltema more or less built its entire business on supplying typical wear-out parts for older Volvos keeping them away from bone yards for decades. They still do

      4
    • Steve R

      That was the days before the internet. That is rarely the case for any mass produced car, almost any serviceable part for this car is likely a few clicks away. In the 1980’s you had to rely on your neighborhood parts store to carry what you needed, chains weren’t nearly as prevelent. A car like this would have been obscure in many parts of the country, getting parts could have been difficult. That isn’t an issue anymore.

      Steve R

      5
  7. Redwagon

    “Notoriously reliable”
    Oxymoron alert.

    4
    • Chris in Clover

      OK, how about “legendary reliability”

      we had 6 of these bricks over 20-25 years.
      indestructible.

      • djkenny

        If they were indestructible, why didn’t you have 1 or 2 over twenty years? I had a turbo Sprint for 18. A 92 VW GTI 16v from 99-Now. Still
        Runs great.

  8. Chris in Clover

    unless bidding erupts near the end, someone is going to get a GREAT deal on a GREAT car……..

    1
  9. Jeff

    Same bumpers in europe

  10. Bob C.

    This basic design ran until the early 90s. A true testament to its durability.

  11. Bill Hall

    There is a used car lot near my place in Portland Or that has a few nice Volvos of 80s & 90s vintage. I think it is connected to a repair shop for Volvo. If anyone wants pics or info let me know.

    2
  12. CJinSD

    “Plus, with those horrid US-mandated “park bench” bumpers, you stand little chance of getting crunched in traffic.”

    Volvo loved those bumpers. They put them on all of their cars, even models never offered in the US. I had a girlfriend in the Netherlands whose parents had Volvo 245s, which we discussed. One day I was run down in front of our school by a British couple in a 323i. While I was reassembling my knee on the sidewalk, my girlfriend observed that at least I hadn’t been hit by a Volvo with their giant bumpers.

    2
  13. RJ

    “Coupe”? Funny the factory didn’t know that. Looks like a 2-door sedan to me. Too bad about that color, Volvo’s first try at anti-theft technology.

    1
    • Jay

      The color is wonderful. Thank God it’s not white Gray Silver or black like nearly everything sold in the past twenty years.

      2

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