Saturday, May 2, 2015

5k: Prettiest Swedish Face: 1971 Volvo 164

Volvo's 164 was the long luxurious take on their venerable brick formula - they took the 144 sedan, extended the wheelbase forward of the firewall to fit a few more cylinders, and added a stately Rolls Royce-esque front styling treatment to match the upmarket engine. It may not have the panache (or power) of an aristocratic Brit, but I say it's one of the best looking old boxy Swedes. Find this 1971 Volvo 164 sedan for sale in St. Clair Shores, MI for $5,500 via craigslist.

With the looks of exclusivity but a sticker price far below any Rolls, the 164 was the budget-luxe equivalent of the 1800 "sporty" coupe, which looked like a Ferrari at 3/10ths of the price. Stand in front of a 164 and squint - you just might mistake it for a Silver Shadow that's been smeared with baby poo.

From the back, the 164 looks like any plebian 140 series car, which is to say pretty handsome and tidy. The Kamm treatment of cutting off the rear bodywork at a sharp angle always works well with a boxy shape. This is early brick in its purest form - no huge diving board bumpers or DOT-mandated taillight growths.

The driving experience won't be inspiring, but it will be smooth and comfortable. The B30 inline six will make more torque than the B20 four that it's based on, all the better to spool up that torque converter and get this thing floating down the highway. Interior appointments are sparse by modern standards but have a clean '60s aesthetic. I spy air conditioning vents and a center console - too bad the seller doesn't give more info or pictures. This 164 appears to be far nicer than the average 1971 Volvo and could be a great reliable daily driver alternative to a W108 Benz or early Jag XJ.

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  1. I'd love to see a DT feature or Twister on cars that share a name or at least designation. For example, this Volvo 164 and the Alfa Romeo 164. Maybe title it "Brothers By Another Mother"?

    1. great Idea!

      Nissan S14
      BMW S14

      datsun 240
      volvo 240






  2. Or maybe Pinocchios - cars whose noses were given the Spanish Inquisition treatment to accommodate more motor.

    Got four in mind right now, sure there must be more somewhere.

  3. Of course, the 142. But 2 large? Grumble.

    If I were local to it, I'd check out that 240 just for the experience of visiting that dude's yard.


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