Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5k: Minty Turquoise: 1972 Volvo 142E

We've featured our fair share of Volvo 142s over the past year here at DT and for good reason; these early bricks are good looking, simple, robust, and actually fun to drive. Granted they are a bit antiquated compared to their 240 successors, with recirculating ball steering boxes, very basic accommodations and pushrod engines. But with simplicity comes lightness and reliability and the engines in the B18 / B20 family are easily hot rodded into respectable performers. We're talking early V8 power with half the weight. Most 140 series cars have been recycled into Taiwanese laundromats by now but today's Thorsday feature is a minty sharp lookin' strong runner. Check out this 1972 Volvo 142E on craigslist for $7500 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The seller obviously knows that a sharp looking car looks even better in a picturesque setting with low lighting, as evidenced by the above shot of the 142 resplendent in front of a picturesque bay. Besides the great looking paint and clean body, this car has added driving lights in the grille and Minilite / Panasport style wheels for that classic rally aesthetic. Unspecified "ipd suspension components" (likely springs and anti-roll bars) should wake the car up in the handling department.

Hopefully there are some nice gravel backroads in Victoria to get this old Swede sideways on and make it feel young again. It is too nice (and too pricey) to convert into a true rally car but an occasional off-highway session is the perfect opportunity to practice your Scandanavian Flick and then brag to your buddies about how you almost clipped that telephone pole but managed to heroically save it at the last second.

The interior on this little guy looks just as clean and nice as the exterior and has the same basic color scheme. Velour will be good for keeping your butt somewhat on the flat couchlike seats during the aforementioned pendulum-of-doom oversteer maneuvers. The seller mentions a "Rallye gauge pack with LEDs" but the gauges look like Volvo R-Sport pieces to my trained Nordic eyes.

With a fuel injected B20E 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine making 125-ish horsepower and a four speed manual with electric overdrive, this should be a very highway friendly car with decent mileage to boot. A clean, well maintained 142 is a compelling alternative to comparable 2-door sedans like the BMW 2002 and Datsun 510. Cheaper, less common and arguably better all around, it happens to be one size up from those two which makes it practical to boot. The perfect Daily Turismo?

Find a better reliable fun machine? Email us here:


  1. The posting has expired, sob.

    1. Drat. This was still up as of this morning. We'll keep a lookout to see if it reappears.

      In the meantime, here's a near-twin in Katonah, NY that has a gutted interior with racing seats and a roll bar...more of a Weekend Turismo rally machine than a Daily, but the same price as the one above at $7500.

    2. ~ the blue car from Hemmings is really enticing, but this 242 is more me.

    3. I could sneak this one past my wife, the Hemmings one, not so much. Ah, well, saved from myself again.

  2. The photo perspective cracks me up--this is what cars look like to three-year-olds.

  3. Nice one! The Hemmings one has been around:


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