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Spotless Survivor: 1993 Volvo 240 DL

Automotive history will record that Volvo is renowned for two significant traits. Their offerings have always tended to be some of the safest vehicles to ply our roads. The company also has a record of keeping models in production for years longer than most manufacturers could achieve. Take their iconic 200-Series offerings. The first cars rolled off a production line in 1974, while the last example appeared in 1993. Our feature car is from that final year of production. This 1993 240 DL presents superbly and is one of the nicest survivors you are likely to see. It carries the hallmarks of a classic that has spent its life treated with respect, but the time has arrived for it to find a new home. Located in Wilmington, North Carolina, you will find the Volvo listed for sale here on eBay. Spirited bidding has pushed the price beyond the reserve to $15,100.

I have examined the photos of this Volvo carefully, and I’m beginning to think that it could be one of the nicest examples left on our roads. I’m not sure whether I could describe its condition as perfect, but its next owner could take it to a show or Cars & Coffee feeling no shame or embarrassment. Its Code 019 Black paint shines beautifully, with no evidence of significant flaws or defects. The seller is the car’s third custodian, and the ownership history suggests that it has been treated with respect since new. It has always been garage kept, meaning that it hasn’t succumbed to any UV or rust problems. The panels are laser straight, while the trim and plastic are flawless. Swedish winters are not the kindest on the planet, with snow and ice capable of wreaking havoc on panel steel. Volvo does not differentiate between its domestic and foreign offerings, with all cars receiving the same level of rust protection. If a car can survive successfully in the home country, those destined for foreign shores possess the same robust nature. Given its ownership history and those inherent character traits, it is no surprise to learn that the car remains rust-free. The original alloy wheels are free from physical damage and stains, and the glass is spotless.

The seller supplies a vast selection of interior shots, but none provide a broad overview. However, by piecing them together, we’re left with a positive impression. The seats wear Grey cloth upholstery, and apart from some visible wear on the outer edges of the driver’s seat, it appears faultless. There are no signs of stains, marks, or other physical damage. The carpet may rate even more highly, with no wear apparent beneath the pedals. The plastic trim looks excellent. There is no crumbling or discoloring and no cracks on the dash or pad. There are also no aftermarket additions. The factory AM/FM radio/cassette player is intact, while occupants also receive a driver’s airbag, air conditioning, power windows, and power locks.

Lifting the Volvo’s hood reveals the 2,316cc four-cylinder engine that sends its power to the rear wheels via a four-speed AW70 automatic transmission. With 114hp available under the right foot, the car should be capable of accelerating from 0-60mph in 12.1 seconds before winding its way to 108mph. This classic has a history of appropriate maintenance and has also received some recent TLC. The seller sent the car to have the transmission serviced, installed new KYB shocks, replaced the brake lines, installed many suspension bushes, replaced the fuel lines, plus a long list of other tasks. It is a turnkey classic that is ready to be enjoyed by a new owner during the coming summer months.

The Volvo 240 DL will hardly rate as one of the world’s great high-performance classics, but it is still a car that deserves respect. The company’s focus on safety and build quality mean that its offerings can survive for remarkable periods without significant problems. Some people prefer the V6 versions, but the fours should never be underestimated. It is common for those cars to eclipse the six under acceleration while also consuming less fuel. I admit that I tended to give these vehicles a wide berth until I drove one. That was when I developed newfound respect, and I have often considered parking one in my garage due to that experience. This 240 DL looks like an absolute gem, and if a practical and interesting classic is on your radar, it might be worth a closer look.


  1. nycbjr Member

    Shame it’s an autotragic, but nice car overall!

    Like 4
    • Slomoogee

      This looks like a nice one and having driven all types of Volvos for over 50 years, the main thing to look for is a documented service history. A manual transmission perks these up, and having the suspension refreshed with a set of Konis and the IPD sway bars makes it a capable road carver if you care to. These nice ones are starting to bring big money. I currently own 3 Volvos but no rear wheel drive cars. AWD and front wheel drive are the norm now and manuals are a thing of the past. Battery power is here. It’s not the car world I grew up in and I don’t like it! And while your at it get off my lawn!

      Like 7
  2. Shawn Fox Firth

    set aside the factory drive train and fit a de-stroked LS > 4.8 crank in a 6.0 block , twin rotrex superchargers and a six speed manual .

    Like 1
  3. Grog

    Fine grocery getter, sunny day cruise. However, one damned robust vehicle!

    Like 1
  4. Stan

    Those Volvo autoloaders are tough units i heard.

    Like 1
    • Christopher Gentry

      Had 2 different 245 estates. 4speed both of em. Dang good cars. Don’t buy a V6. Although I never had one. Always heard there were a problem. Straight 6 fine. But not the V6.

  5. Ronny Reuter

    Looks like a nice car that was kept in fine shape.

  6. Homer

    I drove a 63 122S 2 door for 10 years and that engine was bullet proof. I could never keep the twin carbs in sync however. At that time oil changes were at 1,000 mile intervals so the Volvo mechanic would always correct my mistake.

    Would love to have this one.

    Like 2
  7. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Super shiny engine bay with the bar code sticker on timing belt cover all yellowed. Uh huh. A 240 with no maintenance for 20 years tends to start & run just fine. You buy a 240 1986 model & up to ensure little/no problems. Automatics are just fine, use high test gas.

  8. alphasud Member

    I did the Volvo tour back in the late 90’s when the recon manager sold me his 79 244DL for $300. It was a A/C car 4-speed with no power steering. One Saturday I drove to the nearest U-pull parts yard and got a 4-speed with O/D and the electrics, a power steering set up with all the pullleys and brackets and other odds and ends. Bought the interior out of a 89 244 from another local salvage yard. Made that my daily driver for a year or so until I came across a GLT wagon with the manual transmission. I love that platform! Such a strong car. All my cars got euro spec headlights and IPD stabilizer bars. Transformed the driving characteristics. I don’t know anyone who would want the PRV V6 in the 2 series. They were garbage compared to the inline 6 of the 1 series. My parents bought a 78 265GL and had nothing but engine issues. Camshaft failure was the one thing I remember and my dad was religious about car care.

    Like 2
  9. Homer

    the inline 6 was a great engine also

    Like 1
  10. chrlsful

    loved my 240 wagon (w/o much to attend to) for 20 yrs. So impressed I got nother (the 850 w/frnt WD as I bought a house ona hill). It was 1/2 the 1st car.
    @ about that time the european co,s did their mrkt research to come up w/ “if we wanna continue selling in merica we need to go ‘upscale’.” That was most of their down fall. We bought them for what they were, not state side clones.

    Nice car (last yr 240). Put some IPD goodies on and go autocrossing/canyon carving?

    Like 1
    • Ronny Reuter

      Those boxy Volvos were solid and lasted and lasted. They did change over to FWD, and after Volvo being sold, began building expensive cars that cannot and do not stand up to the reputation that those boxy Volvos had. Trying to clone the American cars and then dumping the company on BMW (I think) caused a car with solid and long-lasting reputation to go down the toilet. I had a 144E (1972) and that car was bullet-proof. The engine and transmission and the car overall, was tops. The 240 series were even improved.

  11. trav66

    Sold $16,800. Great deal for the condition it’s in, it’s history and everything that’s been done to it, IMO. Lots of life left in this one.

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