Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Simple Driver: 1979 Volvo 242

The Volvo 200 series was launched in 1974 as an updated version of the rugged 100 series and subsequently over 2.8 million of the boxy sedans were sold to folks around the globe before production ceased in 1993.  Today, a good used example won't win many automotive competitions, but it will provide a great building block and alternative to something beige.  Find this 1979 Volvo 242 offered for $2,400 near Minneapolis, MN via craigslist.  Tip from Gunther.

The Volvo 200 series was range of midsized boxy automobiles built in Sweden that established Volvo's reputation as a pioneer in vehicle safety.  Large crumple zones fore/aft, 3-point belts, and 4-wheel disc brakes were standard safety features on Volvo's family sedan when new.  Today, a used Volvo makes sense as an inexpensive daily driver, and prices are cheap enough that you may as well get a good one.

The Volvo 242 was equipped with a Volvo B21 inline-4 good for 100 horsepower, which won't be fast but it will run for miles with basic maintenance.  This one is unfortunately shifted with an automatic transmission, but that is easy enough to swap to myriad later & better engines.

Trust editor CFlo when he says "ditch the K-Jet and install a later turbo EFI engine. It's almost plug & play and updates the classic brick to the mid '90s (mechanically), which is a huge improvement."

See another slow but steady cheap driver? tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. "Today, a good used example won't win many automotive competitions, but it will provide a great building block and alternative to something beige."

    I believe you could actually order this car in beige. Would this car, painted beige, become something beige, or would it still be a beige-colored alternative to something beige? Don't think about it too hard. It might open a wormhole in space or time or something. ;)

  2. Volvo has as many colors of beige as Porsche has colors of orange

    Grey beige
    Golden beige
    Sahara beige
    Beige metallic
    Mojave beige
    Artesia beige
    Beige brown
    Rose beige
    Dark beige
    Light beige metallic


    Porche oranges here

  3. @CFlo - B-b-but what if I like CIS (K-jet) injection?

    1. Unacceptable!

      J/k. I happen to think it's pretty impressive what the Bosch engineers were able to do with mechanical fuel injection. It's a system of levers and pulleys, no wait, levers and orifices. They use fuel pressure to control...fuel pressure. Which varies the air/fuel ratio. Totally opposite of pulsed EFI where pressure remains constant (out of boost, anyway) and injection time pulse width is varied.

      If your Kjetz are squirting well, go with it. Such an archaic system though, so when something goes wrong, might be best to ditch it for LH2.2 or 2.4.

  4. I bought this car- it has some fuel issues, but I love it. 242= dream car.


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