Turbo Brick: 1980 Volvo 240

While Volvo wagons have long been considered essential transportation for families looking for the safest means of conveyance possible, some enthusiasts see them as the ultimate utility vehicle for their space and dirt-simple mechanical bits. This 1980 240 wagon adheres to some of those truths, as it is quite practical for a classic motor, but any semblance of being a staid or boring vehicle goes right out the window when you look under the hood. The seller has built this sleepy wagon up into a turbocharged long-roof that is said to offer daily driver reliability. Find it here on eBay with bidding at $5,500 and the reserve unmet.

It’s not often you’d call a Volvo a looker, but this one bucks that trend courtesy of an aftermarket suspension and wheels. The seller is the builder of the 240, and lays out some impressive details as to the extensiveness of the refresh. While most of the work occurred under hood, the body is quite straight and indicative of a vintage car from the Pacific Northwest. There’s no evidence of rust, and although the huge U.S.-spec safety bumpers aren’t exactly attractive, the polished sections look good. The acres of glass are also defect-free. This is an earlier model, with the dual-round style headlights that are far more distinctive than later models.

The turbocharged engine is paired with an M47 5 speed manual transmission. Inside, you’ll find a nicely preserved black leather interior, that carries over to the backseat. The dash shows no cracks with just some minor stress fractures near the instrument binnacle, and while the door panels have been fitted with aftermarket speakers, they don’t appear to have been damaged during the installation. Paint color is a mocha brown, with corresponding color in the door jambs. The 240 benefits further from new carpeting and a headliner, and a new heater core and blower motor have been installed.

The engine is truly the centerpiece of the car, featuring a B230F that’s been completely resealed with a new headgasket and OEM crank and cam seals. Plenty of details are included in the listing detailing the turbo build, which features a 1990+ turbo manifold; 850 turbo injectors; 16tT from an S60 T5; and a 3″ exhaust with two mufflers. The listing provides extensive details about additional drivetrain and suspension enhancements, and the seller claims that before a new car came along, the turbo’d 240 did plenty of road trips. Now, he wants the 240 to find a new home where it will see more use; could it be possibly be your driveway?


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  1. Moparman Member

    Even though I personally have no need for this long roof, I LIKE IT!! GLWTA! :-)

    Like 5
  2. Fred W

    Not a fan of most super low profile tires, but that wheel / tire combo looks perfect on this car!

    Like 7
  3. Brian Weyeneth

    I’d take the back roads to the grocery store with this thing everytime.

    Like 3
  4. Damian Ibberson

    Good job it’s on the wrong side of the Atlantic or I might well be on the sellers doorstep!

  5. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Certainly appears to be a finished, well thought-out car.

    I can see why the seller wants more money for it than has been bid up to this point…. But this is in my mind one of those times when investments in time and cash will not be rewarded with an equivalent return.

    Like 7
  6. Steve P

    If I remember correctly, Paul Newman owned a Volvo wagon but with a hopped up engine in it.

    Like 3
  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I remember when Volvo produced cars that looked like this. At the time, I didn’t find them as attractive as the Mercedes-Benz 300TD. But I find them way more attractive today than what Volvo has been offering for the past few years.

    Like 1
  8. Skorzeny

    Props to the seller, this is a nicely built ride. Just from the info in the story you can tell they knew what they were doing during the build. I would love to have it!

    Like 5
  9. Wayne

    With the owner being in the Northwest, i makes it easier for trips to IPD. As I am sure the suspension mods came from there. Clean pretty car. And once the suspension issues are addressed. (grandma style stock suspension) These handle quite well. (A Dinan BMW was embarrassed by my 5.0 engined 240 wagon in the Bay area once.) These are very strong, rigid cars so once the suspension is properly addressed they are really fun to drive. Also Volvo Turbo cars of this era are very reliable. I ran a 740 Turbo with cranked up compression and cranked up boost for many years with no problems. (other than having to add octane boost to the fuel when visiting CA. (I live at 4,300 feet so premium was just fine here at home.)
    Nice car, but the price is a little too nice for me.

    Like 2
  10. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    Really, unless you’re way beyond handy this is worse than grey market. It’s no market. Cobbled together this & that. Who works on it when it burps/quits running ? Yeah.

    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      This is far more thoughtfully done than “Cobbled together this& that.”

      • BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

        Working in car service for 20yrs+ & in Volvo svc for 15yrs I can say I’ve seen a bunch. If you gut an engine bay & replace it with what was not there before then you got…..

  11. alphasud Member

    I always have a warm spot in my heart for these bricks. I used a 79 DL for a couple years as my daily. Bought it for $250 from the recon guy at the dealer. Updated the A/C, installed interior from a 88, and went to the local pull-and-save and got a 4-speed with O/D and power steering. A set of IPD anti-roll bars and I had a nice driving car. Always wanted to do a V8 conversion but never has the funds.

    Like 2
  12. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Maxed out at the $5500

    I’m sure that the seller has more than that in it, plus all the planning and time hunting and installing parts. A major effort.

    Sad to say, that if he parks it due to “no sale”, time will take it’s toll. IF he has truly moved on with another car to drive, it may be time to cut the Volvo loose to someone who will care for it and….. keep it on the road.

    Like 2
  13. DayDreamBeliever Member



    BIN $8,750

    I’m thinking that the seller was expecting more than that from the first auction.

    Like 1

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