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Swedish Deal: 1972 Volvo 142 E

The Swedish are known for manufacturing brick shaped cars, and while both Volvo and Saab are guilty of this Volvo kept it going for a long time. Volvos are the type of car you either love or hate, but to find a car like this in unrestored condition still standing in the United States is not a common occurrence. This Volvo 142 is in very good condition, but would require some minor work to be a really nice car. This car spent an unknown number of years languishing in a junkyard in Wyoming before it was brought to Wisconsin and sold to its present owner. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $500 and reserve not met. 

The engine is a 4-cylinder B20F 2.0 liter with Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection. In 1972, fuel injection was still an up and coming technology and a mass-produced car with such technology was still something of an anomaly. The seller has performed a large amount of mechanical work on this car since owning it including new motor and transmission mounts, new vacuum lines, and new brakes. View the ad to see the entire list of repairs performed. The seller drives this car on a 65 mile round trip to work on a regular basis.

The interior looks to be in excellent shape, though the seller states that the driver’s seat is in poor condition. It cannot be seen in this picture, but there is a picture of the back seat and it looks like it has never been sat in! The color combination this car is finished in looks like it would’ve been quite eye-catching when new, and is far more vibrant the the colors most Volvos are seen in. The transmission is an M40 4-speed manual which will make for a fun driving experience, even if you aren’t going that fast!

If this boxy styling looks familiar, that is because this car is the predecessor to the well-known Volvo 240 series which sold very well in the North American market and shared a very similar body shape to the 140 series. There is no rust on the body of this car, and with some minor body work it looks like it could be painted back to its former beauty. The patina on this car is nice and interesting, but the seller thinks it is possibly simulated (this car changed hands once between the junkyard in Wyoming and the seller). Furthermore, patina does not really suit a car like this in my opinion and I would much rather have it in its original condition. This is a nice car that could be kept as is, or used as the starting point in a restoration!


  1. 68 custom

    my dad had one that was virtually identical back in 70/71 he bought it new from a Volvo dealer in the DC area that had been involved in a fire, I remember some minor damage to the roof he never repaired. nice car that when maintained will run forever.

  2. BiggYinn

    These are bullit proof and will last for years …..the car with thr highest ever recorded milage on its origonal engine is also a Volvo (Irv gordons 1966 P1800 at over 3 million miles)… on the top 20 list theres a few other volvo’s that topped over a million!

  3. 8banger Dave Member

    My daily is a ’92 240 wagon with 287k, it runs like new, and is one of the most forgiving cars I’ve ever had…

  4. T Mel

    Someone forgot to put the hyperlink where it says find it “here”

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      I’ve fixed it, thanks!

  5. Ensign Pulver

    In 1983 I had the same year and color but as a 144e…as a stick it was pretty quick…coming from a 64 MB 220b fintail….I bought it with a blown piston and did the engine/body and it looked nice. I was sideswiped head to stern by a Dodge Monaco and their insurance gave me $1500. This is another one I miss having.

  6. Rex Kahrs Member

    Volvo had some nice interiors over the years, but I’d argue that it ended with the ’69 1800S. After that the 1800 got generic and boring.

    I know most car companies by 1972 were starting to cut corners with more plastic parts, but it would appear Volvo was all-in with that concept! The interior of this 145 just looks so cheap and boring, and who chose THAT faux wood grain contact paper!?? And really, the body doesn’t offer much visually either…compared to, say, the BMW 2002 of the same era, the Beemer is way cooler.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      You won’t see me disagreeing that the 2002 is a cooler car! I love those little cars.

  7. Gay Car Nut

    I’ve always loved Volvo cars of this vintage.

  8. Stew W

    I had a ’72 145 wearing the same color, back in the early ’80’s, but the body rusted off. If it wasn’t for that, I’d still be driving it.

  9. On and On On and On Member

    Had 2 1972 142e’s , one red 4sp. and one yellow auto. Great cars 25mpg and comfy seats in front. Miles of smiles from those guys.

  10. BTG88

    Brick shaped Saabs? From a company that makes airplanes? I think not.

    • Andrew Tanner Member

      I don’t mean to be contradictory, but Saab made some brick-like cars back then. Not quite as boxy as the Volvo, but not far off!

    • Nevis Beeman

      Very well said….and thank you for that….BTG88

  11. Will Owen Member

    These old bricks may be solid, but never stolid! Despite the dutiful-workhorse looks these can be rowdy fun to drive, with useful get-up and happy-go-lucky handling. Except for one poor dog of an automatic, every one I’ve driven has been a total hoot, and even that one was fun going downhill. Wish I were free to pursue this one.

  12. Martin Horrocks

    Agree with BTG88.

    SAABs were primarily designed around aerodynamics, and Andrew´s post of the 99 pic confirms it. It may be a 3 box saloon but look at the curves on the hood, windscreen and trunk.

    Then try building a house from such a shape. the 9000 was the staraightest SAAB I remember.

  13. Anthony

    Something does not seem right with that front grill.
    I wonder if it has been changed or modified ??

    • Mike W H

      Yes, someone put a later model grill in there; the original grill was blacked out with a chrome diagonal running across.

      Not every car buying decision is style and performance based; when my first child was born I wanted a TANK to keep her safe and a ’70 144 filled the bill. Safest car on the road. Plus these things have a trunk the size of a small import pickup. In 1973 baby gear hadn’t evolved into the tricked out portable stuff it is today. So that trunk came in handy.

      How much of a tank is this thing? I was driving around a corner where a bunch of sand had washed across the road, and lost traction, straight into a pole. except for the front bumper bent into a “V” , no damage to the car. Poll was knocked out of the ground including the big concrete anchor.

      • Anthony

        I knew it. Thanks grill looks ugly.
        My favorite Volvo is the 1969 to 11971 Volvo 164 with manual transmission.
        Had one and miss it.

  14. Bob C.

    I used to replace auto glass for a living and I’ve worked on many 1980s 240 models. You had to put about 20 plastic clips on the windshield before setting it in. Then you had to love tap the one piece molding on all the way around. If you weren’t VERY careful, you would crack the glass.

  15. Ensign Pulver
  16. Elvon douglas

    nitpicking here, but Saab was an aeronautical outfit and built low drag co-efficient cars. hell even the gauges in early saabs had an airplane logo. up until GM decided hell with that and ran the brand into the ground. I’ve owned 122’2 125’s 142’s 242’s, 740’s, etc. and Saab 96, 900’s . research the 96’s for cool early tech features. however, looking for a flying brick (142) to desecrate (lol).

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