Couple of Swedish Coupes: 1987 Volvo 780 & 1991 Volvo Coupé

You wouldn’t know it from looking at the current product portfolio, but Volvo carried a bit of a staid image up to and around the turn of the millennium, with 90 degree angles and boxy styling ruling the day. The cars had their following though, with a reputation for safety and reliability unmatched by almost every other manufacturer in the world. Looking back on Volvo’s history, there were a few flash in the pan moments in terms of styling, such as the P1800ES, the 480 and these cars we see here, the 780 and Coupe. Essentially the same car, Volvo decided to produce an encore to the chopped top 262C, employing Bertone once again to have their hand at a two-door version of the 700 series. Just over 8,500 examples were produced from 1986 to 1991, with the final year seeing a name change to “Coupé.” We’ll start off this Double Take by looking at a 1987 780, with the venerable 2.8 liter V6 engine.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Volvo 780 on eBay

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1983 Volvo 245GLT Turbo Wagon

We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from readers over the last few months with regards to some of the Swedish machines we’ve featured from time to time. Sure we get the errant “that’s not German” comment from time to time, but somehow “German and Swedish Cars For Sale Blog” would add a bit too much length to the website address. That being said, let’s take a look at this 1983 Volvo 245GLT Turbo Wagon for sale in New York. For almost 20 years, the Volvo 200 series was the bread and butter car for this manufacturer, with many of them still on the road to this day. Like the Mercedes-Benz W123 sedans, coupes and estates, these Volvos were nearly indestructible. The only thing which might have made them even more versatile is four-wheel drive.

Amazingly, Volvo did have a bit of a competition history with the 200 series, competing with versions of the 240 Turbo in touring car racing in the 1980s. This would extend into the 1990s when Volvo would field a variant of the 850 estate in the British Touring Car Series. There was really nothing like seeing this five-door brick fly around the track. These fast wagons were the result of a collaboration with Tom Walkinshaw Racing, and it was Walkinshaw himself who stated in an interview “the psychological pressure placed on other drivers when being overtaken by an estate cannot be ignored.” Duly noted. This clean 245GLT Turbo Wagon may not be as fast as those race cars from the 1980s and 1990s, but with a manual gearbox and the 2.1 liter turbocharged engine, you’ll at least be able to have some fun with your heavy helping of practicality.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Volvo 245GLT Turbo Wagon on eBay

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1978 Volvo 242

In case you haven’t noticed, we like Swedish cars here at GCFSB. They embody a lot of the sturdy, well-engineered qualities as the cars from Germany possess. Perhaps one of the most Germanic of all Swedish machines was the Volvo 240 series. Known in some circles as “the brick,” these cars lasted in production for 21 years, all the way to the early 1990s. Many of these cars are still on the road today and beloved by their owners. This 242 for sale in New York is quite possibly the best preserved example of a two-door model I’ve ever seen.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volvo 242 on eBay

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Practical Saint: 1973 Volvo P1800ES

There’s a running joke here at GCFSB regarding Volvos and SAABs. Without exception, every time we post one someone comments either here or on our Facebook page that those two manufacturers aren’t German. It doesn’t really matter that we explain nearly every time that though we know this, we still enjoy to look at a super Swede from time to time since – let’s face it – a majority of people on Facebook don’t actually read the articles that are posted, but rather just react to the headlines. Now, we could actually get into a discussion about how the Swedes are actually a Germanic based tribe if you go back far enough, or how many of their engineering principles fall in line with those of their Southern neighbors. We could mention that many of the newer Volvos and SAABs actually utilized German derived chassis from either Ford Europe or GM’s Opel division. But that would be pointless since those arguments don’t apply to today’s example, the P1800ES. You see, Volvo is mostly regarded as builders of very slow moving, very safe and very conservative boxes – but go back a few generations, and Volvo threw a few curve balls as the plate. None were more curvy than the P1800, a pseudo-sports car with stunning looks available in coupe version or the more rare 2-door wagon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volvo P1800ES on eBay

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2004 Volvo V70R Wagon 6-speed manual

Three things we like here at GCFSB are Swedish cars, fast wagons and manual gearboxes. Sometimes, we are fortunate to come across a combination of these three genres in one package. The last ten years have been good to fans of fast wagons, with choices ranging from the bonkers Cadillac CTS-V Wagon to a hauler that Mercedes-Benz won’t give up on, the E-Class AMG Estate with a bunch of fast Audi Avants in between. Volvo was a bit of an outlier in this game, but nonetheless put forward a quite capable wagon in the form of the V70R in 2003. This wagon had a 2.5 liter, turbocharged inline-5 under the hood cranking out 300 horsepower hooking up to a Haldex all-wheel drive system. And yes, you could order one with a third pedal. Rounding off the package was Volvo’s 4C suspension system and Brembo brakes. This V70R for sale in Richmond, Virginia wears a unique Flash Green hue and has a host of IPD performance upgrades.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volvo V70R Wagon on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday Swede Speed: 1978 Volvo 262C Bertone LS3 Widebody

Okay, before we get going – yes, I’m aware that Volvos aren’t made in Germany. Worse yet, this Volvo isn’t even made in Sweden. But occasionally we like to showcase some European cousins from the land of Abba, so if you’ll grant me a little leeway we’re going to look at this particular Volvo. As Volvos go, I think the 262C Bertone might be the least attractive made. That’s saying something, since I think the 240 might be the least attractive car of the 1980s. But the 262C was basically gone by the 1980s, and it embodied all of the wrong things of the 1970s. There was the chopped-look that Bertone gave the ungainly coupe. It was always somehow out of proportion to me, and despite the top-tier name I don’t think it’s an attractive design at all. Then there’s the reputation of the parts; assembled by Bertone in Turin, Italy, the 262 also featured the anemic and much maligned Peugeot/Renault/Volvo “PRV” V6. Top that off with a vinyl roof, and the 262C always seemed like a bit of a joke to me – what Swedes thought people in Florida would like if they bought a Volvo. So, I was not upset at all to find that someone had modified one. And when I say modified, it’s hard to see what they left alone:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Volvo 262C Bertone on eBay

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