Sweet Turbo Brick: 1988 Volvo 740

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A few days ago, I came across a junked Volvo 740 Turbo. It was one of those moments where I became instantly interested in a car I knew and loved but had forgotten existed, sort of like re-listening to an old album of a band you hadn’t thought of in a while. These were not exceptionally rare cars, but it is difficult to find survivors such as this 1988 model here on eBay with one bid to $3K and the reserve unmet.

This particular Turbo sedan has just under 70,000 original miles and clearly lived with owners that believed in high levels of care and detailing. The interior boasts supremely comfortable bucket seats that remain in outstanding condition with unmarked leather. The automatic transmission isn’t the preferred gearbox, but it’s certainly the more common option in terms of the 740s we’ve seen.

The seller says the Volvo is mechanically excellent, with recent tires, brakes, and exhaust. The A/C system has been converted to R134A (and is presumably working) and the exterior cosmetics speak for themselves. With small details like the original window sticker, books, keys, and records included, there’s not a lot to worry with a car like this. Neglected 740 Turbos can be a nightmare; this one appears to be anything but.

I always loved that Volvo felt the need to shout Intercooler from the trunk lid. This 740 was the ultimate mom-mobile back in the day but was equally loved by enthusiasts in Turbo form. With so few remaining in condition like this, I’m sure we’ll find takers for this example, even with the automatic. With no previously recorded accidents or paintwork, this may be one of the best ones left.

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  1. Doone

    Looks like it has the dealer installed cupholder center armrest.

    Like 2
    • rapple

      Maybe that was part of the $695 “Appearance Group” shown on the dealer’s supplementary (added profit) window sticker. At least it’s more useful than the “Fabric Sealant” (a quick spray of Scotchguard) and the “Weathershield” (they waxed it!). With this package of high profit add-ons they could give the buyer a generous $500 discount and still be ahead of their cost for those items.
      By the way, a VERY nice example of a wonderful car!

      Like 0
  2. Chris in Clover

    weakest offering by Volvo during those years.
    give me a 240 anytime……

    Like 0
  3. BobinBexley Bob in BexleyMember

    Why the boo hoo for the auto transmission ?! Right foot buried will work just fine & allows you to sip your coffee.

    Like 2
  4. dan

    The 740 shared the same drivetrain as the 240 , but was a far superior car . While both are super reliable and durable , the 740 boasts more power, better handling, smoother ride , nicer interior ,and a lot more options than was offered in the 240 . I’ve owned several of both models and there’s no comparison

    Like 6
  5. Capriest

    BOXY………but good

    Like 5
  6. Dave Graham

    I’m a little confused by your comment “You came across a junked Volvo 740”? Where in the ebay listing does it say anything about it being junked? Did I miss something?

    Like 0
    • Donek

      The text does not imply that it is the same car.

      Like 0
  7. Superdessucke

    Finally some apparent sanity. Even in red hot times, Volvo enthusiasts remain cheap! I guess I know what I’m going to be driving if I want an older car during the next year.

    Like 0
  8. connbackroads

    Somebody help me with this please . . . didn’t Volvo use junk engine wiring harnesses in 740’s close to or including model year 1988?

    Like 0
  9. Boss351

    Those wiring harnesses were an issue in the day. Most have been replaced by now as the engine heat would cook the wires. The engine is hardly broken in with less than 70,000 miles. The turbo was okay and more troublesome than a non-turbo. I had both 740 versions years ago and our non-turbo was well over 300,000 miles when we gave it away to a person really needing a car. It was still running strong and could easily get 30 mpg on the highway.

    Like 2
  10. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    $3600, “Reserve Not Met”

    Like 1
    • BobinBexley Bob in BexleyMember

      These days $3,600.00 doesn’t buy much of a daily driver. This car could easily see $5k/beyond range & that’s what they’re hoping for. Whatever’s the outcome here’s what WILL happen as soon as this car gets back to regular use. Gonna start leaking oil & the stitching in the seat cushion cover pleats gonna start splitting. Notice the wet oil around top of dipstick tube & oil filler cap ? Automatic transmission is just fine.

      Like 0

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