Special Swede: 1977 Volvo 245 Estate

Update 7/3/13 – This wagon has been on eBay for over a year now. We think your asking price could be a tad high guys! Still, we would much rather drive this than anything we could get new today for $13k…

From 4/30/12 – A Volvo wagon may not strike many enthusiasts as a classic, but the example featured here is an incredible survivor. For many mass-produced cars like Volvo’s 240 series, these workhorses suffered for their durability, oftentimes enduring multiple generations of ownership. Today, finding a clean, well-preserved example is unusual, and this special-order 245 available here on eBay has just 30 minutes left.

Why is it so special? It’s a one-owner car owned by Volvo dealer who spec’d it out with seemingly every option available. With a price tag of almost $8,000 in 1977, this was likely one of the priciest Volvos sold that year, complete with four-wheel disc brakes, a four-speed manual, and a cardinal red velour interior with front buckets.

Here is a shot of the R-Sport gauges. Not sure how well they work at night, but the military watch vibe works well with the utilitarian nature of this wagon.

Other personal touches include bumper-mounted Hella 500 fog lamps, a CB radio and wood-rimmed steering wheel. Not to mention the fact that it only has 42,677 miles and beautiful cascade white paint.

This car is equipped with the B21A four-cylinder, which provided around 100 b.h.p. and 114 lb. ft. of torque. As many owners of European cars of this vintage can attest, fine tuning the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection system is considered an art form. The 245 gained notoriety for the introduction of Lambda Sond, an emissions reduction system that worked in harmony with K-Jetronic to achieve better performance and reduced emissions.

As one of the best selling Volvos of all time, the 240 series is also known for its safety. Volvo was ahead of the game in the 70s for making safety a priority in its lineup, and the 245 was no different. Featuring front and rear crumple zones and bumpers that could pass for diving boards, the Swedish automaker is still considered a leader in safety today. Coupled with a MacPherson front suspension and power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, the front engine/RWD layout provided stable, sporty handling. We noticed that this car is also fitted with the European-code headlamps that should provide better illumination.

While not a hot rod, this 245 was likely a bit more entertaining than the fuel-conscious imports of the 70s. Add in the 41 cubic feet of storage space that came standard, and you’ve got the perfect ride for sitting track-side at Lime Rock or hitting the drive-in. This Volvo definitely led a gentle life, and although we all lust for the muscle cars and European road-rockets, a sensible classic that can be driven every day has some appeal as well. Despite this, over $12,000 with the reserve unmet might send us looking for a similar model needing some TLC. If shopping for a reliable classic with room for friends, how would you spend your money?

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Comments

  1. Corey

    I’d get a late 60’s big block wagon or one of those mid 70s Cadillac Fleetwood wagon conversions. You can carry 9 in comfort and style and still tow a boat….who cares if you get 9 feet per gallon….

  2. Jesse

    The auction ended with bidding at $12,600, but the reserve was not met. If you actually want one of these there is another clean one here with bidding at $7,500 and no reserve. Only bad thing is that it is an automatic.

  3. Mark Hershoren

    This one’s fuel injected as we’re accustomed to seeing in the states, hence not a B21A, which would have had us staring at a single Stromberg side draught. The Stromberg would have not been a plus in my book.

  4. scot c

    ~ $12,600, reserve not met. i’ve read the listing a couple times since bidding opened and thought of my first Volvo, a 145. i’m a bit confused- did the early 245s continue with he same tail lights as 140 estate? the cloth seating is the best. i’ve owned 19 Volvos in 36 years since the 1st. all but 3 were wagons. this one is extremely nice, perfect company for the pair of 745s outside. beyond budget though.

  5. Mark Hershoren

    @ Jesse: I just noticed the gauge package too; this was an accessory unit that’s highly sought after. Usually referred to as R-Sport gauge clusters. I notice too that the car has a Laycock d’Normanville overdrive unit tacked on the gearbox (M46) which enhances the desirability of the car, at least where I’m concerned. If anyone needs a replacement wheel of this sort, I’ve got one remaining unit, like new.

  6. Justin in Indy

    Huge wagon fan. Two-time volvo wagon owner. LOVE this car. Outstanding.

  7. scot c

    ~ never have seen a stock Volvo with this instrument layout or yellow on black. my most recent 240 wagon, a ’77, had 420,000 miles when i gave it to another driver-in-need. the true 5 speed is preferable to 4spd w/ od. [or auto]
    Volvos for (my) life.

    • Dolphin Member

      Agreed that a true 5-speed is preferable to a 4-spd with OD….it’s more direct in how it works, less to go wrong, lighter, less expensive to manufacture, but I have never seen a 240 series Volvo with a true 5-speed.

  8. Jesse

    There is an orange 245 on craigslist in Phoenix. It is not as nice as this one, but they are only asking $3,800.

  9. Kyle

    This wagon has the R gauges as others have pointed out usually found on the 242GT of the era, very sharp. Also notice the toggle switches above the climate control are completely full – this is the first time I’ve seen that. I’ve had an ’83 244 Turbo and currently have the S60R with 4 other Volvos in the family. The 242 GT, Homologated 242, the 850R and S60R are in my opinion Volvo’s best but this wagon is very slick. Debatable on the asking price, seems a bit steep regardless of options and condition for a mass produced version despite its uncommon options.

  10. James Wallhauser

    I’ve always wanted one since I drove Doc Salmon’s wagon around Short Hills, NJ in ’76. Solid, safe, quiet and dependable. One could hold one’s head up in ANY establishment on ANY social occasion in this beautiful example — The Plaza, Baltusrol, Newport, Pebble Beach…or Elkins, WV for Forest Festival next October. What a great car.

  11. Cameron

    My Mum used to own a Silver 240 GLT Estate and although I have seen much nicer interiors I loved the fake leather plastic that the dash, console, door handles and doors were covered in, the dash looks fairly close to what you see in this one except I remember the Radio being at the top and there were heat controls that had coloured reflectors on them (easily broken though) the only thing I didn’t like was the leather seats although I did like the cloth and leather saphire seats my dad had in his classic 240 which we are sadly scrapping due to a Bananad body after a t-bone with another car (the Volvo won however as Dad drove the guy to his destination in the Volvo and kept running it for 3 years after whilst the other car was totalled and in bits tinier than a pencil shaving by the side of the road ( there are two lessons here: 1 buy a classic Volvo and 2 Don’t think that jst because you have one you never have to look up from the wheel again as whilst you may only have to fork out a pittance your victim may have you fork out a kings ransom), whilst it was real leather they were sticky in the summer and cold in the winter so it was either rip 10 layers of skin of or wear trousers or feel very cold. I also remember it having a port in the front where we could plug the car in in the morning or overnight ( I don’t know what this did weather it warmed up the oil to make it thinner or put extra charge into the starter motor…) I have always had a theory about these body-shape Volvos, namely that if they both crashed head on they would do one of two things: 1 they would both bounce off unharmed or 2 the resulting energy could lead to the emplosion of the universe and end of life as we know it.

  12. Robert J

    I think this car is totally worth it… but that’s because I own a classic Volvo already and see firsthand just what well designed cars these are.

  13. carl w french

    Thier mistake is they have no idea what they have and how to sell it. They make no or only passing mention of any features that give this value. Most of the ad looks like it was cut and pasted from the Wiki on Volvos.

  14. paul

    These cars are bullet proof & drive great, handle quite well for a wagon, while the price seems high 13 g’s doesn’t get much these days.
    seems odd to go all this way in options & not drive the thing.

  15. Jesse Staff

    Why is there a high mileage badge on the dash if this car only has 42k on it? Surprised no one noticed. I still I sort of want it.

    • Randy

      I noticed it too. Nice survivor, but nowhere near the value for the kind of money this dealer is looking for.

    • jim

      seller now claiming 142677 miles

    • scot

      ~ i still read Mileage: 42677
      Vehicle Details
      Year: 1977
      Make: Volvo
      Model: Other
      VIN: VC24545H1128133
      Stock Number: 5215
      Mileage: 42677
      Transmission: Manual
      Exterior Color: White
      Interior Color: Burgundy
      Title: Clear

      • jim

        i just checked again and under Ebay ” condition ” it is 142677 miles. under seller vehicle details it is still 42677!

      • scot

        ~ my bad, i do see correct miles in ad.

  16. jim

    great catch on the 100000 miles badge. i have looked at this car so many times and missed that badge. does look like it has the switch on the gearshift knob for O/D. i had one of these 8 or 10 years ago that was an early 80’s with a diesel, should never have sold it!

  17. paul

    also of note the headlights are not US units the car was fitted here with 4 smaller square units these are probably Cibie European type.

  18. jim

    not your bad Scot, this is all the sellers Bad. miles should be updated, and match, anywhere stated in listing. and is it just 142677? seller needs to post a free car history report and any paperwork they have showing miles.

    • scot

      ~ yeah, just broken-in!

  19. jim

    this car looks like it has had a hole put in roof for a cb aerial so i would want to look real close for water leaks/rust. if it does pass a PI it would make a great car, i think. if i was going brick gas i would get the newest i could find, would be back in early 80’s if i wanted diesel. on this car have to wonder why fate put it in the hands of this seller.

  20. Jesse Staff

    At 42k this car might be worth $13k to a collector. With 142k and paint that good, I’m starting to question things…

    • scot

      ~ seems to be market consensus on that.

    • paul

      At 42k the car would have sat way to much, at 142k at least the car was driven, & at that miles it isn’t much for these cars also these rear drive cars were cheaper & easier to maintain. I could see someone who put all these options keeping this car up the paint on these cars was first rate, the only question is how it came to be ending up with used car guy.
      still worth a checkout.

      • Jesse Staff

        Good points Paul. At any rate it looks like someone may have refreshed things under the hood. I want this car, but I can’t help but wonder if I might be better off finding a cheaper, but still clean example and going through everything myself. Finding a set of those gauges may prove to be a challenge though…

      • scot

        ~ oh yes, i admire it greatly (& gratefully) –
        . i need a wagon this nice. …or concentrate focus on improving current stock.

  21. jim

    maybe this for $2500 buy it now,you would have $10950 left to get it shipped and upgraded.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1982-Volvo-242-DL-RARE-2DR-Estate-Sale-/221247992644?pt=US_Cars_Trucks&hash=item3383687344

  22. paul

    I think you would be hard pressed to find one with all these options ,a stick, euro headlamp system, rust free, low miles for the year, & really good paint, but you need to see this up close & road test.

    • paul

      personally you may find a cheaper one but the cost of bringing close to this one would probably get you in the same ball park I also looked at the photo’s & all the body gaps look factory ,as in no hit from what I can see.

  23. E

    PASS….owned a ’85 one of these. Being a Toyota/Datsun owner most of my life I was pretty disappointed. The engine seemed to have the ability to go 250k or so plus, but the crumbling wiring harness, and every part attached to the engine seemed to want to break. FI went bad, 4sp OD went bad, (why attach an automatic od to a perfectly good 4 speed?) suspension bushings were crap, front brakes wobbly….could never get discs to last, even brand new….but it was built like a tank! My daughter experienced her first accident in it, and drove away!

  24. Foxxy

    I’ve had 5 volvo’s in the past 35 years, and none of them gave me a bit of trouble. Best car in the world to put your wife and kids in. I’ve never seen one as optioned as this one. I guess the dealer wanted a show horse to show what could be had. I don’t know if it’s my 60 year only eyes, but this sure looks like vinyl seats to me. Very nice car, but for that much money I could have a low mileage 850R decked out.

    • paul

      Yeah Foxxy I read E’s comment & my thought was he must have found one with a million ten thousand miles on it & thought he found one with 10 thousand, crumbling wire harness who knows maybe the car sat in the Mohave desert, suspension bushing’s, must have been the desert thing, ” wobbly front brakes ” as in the guy doing the brakes didn’t cut the rotors properly & they pulsated? Couldn’t get the rotors to last ? Maybe frozen or sticking calipers or maybe a bad nut behind the wheel? My man if you had all these problems with a Volvo of that era??

      • E

        Bought it with 100,000 miles on it. Ppi by an experienced Volvo mechanic. Live in San Diego…mildest climate in the US. Yes, I suppose the calipers were sticking, but I bought brand new rotors, because my mechanic said they always warped and so it was useless to re surface them. 254,000 miles on a Toyota p/u I have owned since new, and I have never had the problems I had with that Volvo. I do think there were many well built parts on the car, but there were also some suspect ones. One I forgot to mention was the windshield wiper motor going bad…..really? Doesn’t it rain like hell in Sweden? You’d think they would have figured that part out

      • Foxxy

        Paul, I have definitely been through the wiring harness headaches, but IPD sells some premade replacement kits that really help. I trust them and have bought a lot from them, including the odometer gear I have to replace in my wife’s 850. I have always had pretty good luck with brakes. To tell the truth I’ve had more problems with the ’96 850 than all of the 240’s combined. Our best volvo was a ’74 144,, I know we put well over 180 K miles on it and all we needed to do was tune-up’s and tires. great cars. I’ve read where some think the problems with the 850’s comes from ford ownership, and fords bean counters. I believe that.

  25. paul

    So you bought a car with 100 k miles & had it checked out did he know the history on the car as in was it in the Mohave Desert? I just have never seen a Volvo of that era with crumbling wire harness, crumbling front end RUBBER parts it doesn’t add up sorry & I never had problems with pulsation after cutting rotors in those cars. All cars have to withstand many climates from Alaska to the Mohave desert it is quite a challenge for the engineers, but you can be sure that a Volvo of that era didn’t have crumbling harness issues at 100k!

  26. E

    Believe what you want…also had to replace the heater fan…what a bitch! Never had to do that on any car I’ve owned either. The car was local, owned by a judge, from a well known and respected family. Btw, it was the rear suspension bushings.

    • paul

      E, I re read your post & I see that you are talking about an 85 version not this 77 car, by 85 Volvo was starting to have financial problems & sold the co. to Ford so they probably cut a few corners by that time, I owned an 850 model at one point that wasn’t quite as rock solid as my 70’s car & with it’s front drive layout it was more expensive & harder to work on but still a very solid car, then you go on to compare it to a current car Toyota with 250k miles & there is no question the Jap cars hold up very well but your also comparing your 80’s car & a more current car in the 80’s or earlier you changed plugs at 30k intervals, wires at 60k, exhaust systems at 70k give or take today you do none of that because technology has progressed, I remember those Datsuns rusted out in 5 years give or take, today all cars have a 10 year warrante against all that, why technology, epoxy primers etc.but don’t forget that this 70’s Volvo cost 10 grand maybe & today’s car would be 50 grand that coupled with the fact that the companies realized they can lease you a car get it back resell it on there used lot so they are making these cars hold up longer , one of my current cars, a Volvo s 40 has never had brakes in 60k miles, back in the 70’s you got 30k out of the front pads & maybe another 10/ 15 k out of the rear.

  27. Brian C

    The gauge package is cool, but at 142K, I think this is a $3500,…..and mostly because of the gauge package (which was a Bertone Coupe option if I recall). If I were in the market for a 245 wagon, it would have to be a 245GLT or 245GLT Turbo. Had a few of those both new and used back in the day. They were taughter cars and almost fun to drive, and the turbo automatics would literally light the right rear tire on fire with a little brake application with full throttle……..(:>). My favorite of the series was my 242 GLT non turbo coupe in red with a black/gray tweed cloth interior. I had it as a new demo,….I was a new Volvo Sales rep from 1980 to 83. Fun days to be selling new Volvos. Some of my favorites were my 1800ES, My 164E and my one owner (before me) 1967 122S wagon,….which now lives in a private collection in Maine.

  28. Brian Collins

    Doesn’t this seem like a far more interesting Volvo wagon choice at asking price of $4800?? http://nashville.craigslist.org/cto/3916534738.html

  29. Ken

    I have this car at my shop.very nice car but I need a new speedo any one have one laying around? thanks ken

    • Jesse Staff

      Did you purchase this one Ken?

    • scot

      ~ @ Ken, email Petr Tuma at
      eurocar63010@yahoo dot com
      . he may be able to help.

  30. Carl W. French

    Pretty sure those gauges were made of unobtanium. You will do much better getting this one fixed. Nisonger, or Moma, would be good places to call.

  31. Ken

    nisonger fixed the speedo very fast service. thanks for help
    car is one of our customers.
    we are also looking for flex disc between steering shaft and rack i think the part # is 1221641

    thanks for help ken

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