Saturday, April 9, 2016

No Title, No Keys: 1968 Volvo 122S Wagon

Here is another hot tip from the staff at DT:  The sketchier a car looks on a craigslist advert --the better the potential deal.  This next car is missing its keys and title, but it has a long roof, very clean engine bay, and a set of Cali black plates for a bargain price.  Find this 1968 Volvo 122S Wagon offered for $5,000 in Orange County, CA via craigslist.

 The Volvo Amazon (badged the 121/122S/123GT outside of Sweden) was the more practical, more upright older sibling of the P1800/1800S/1800ES sports car, to which it donated its engine, transmission, and suspension optionsThe Amazon isn't hoarded by wealthy robber barons, instead it can be seen at your local car show or being used as a daily driver by cool kids around the country...which is good if you want to drive a cheap classic car.

I can't get over how nice and tidy the engine bay looks for a car that has been sitting for at least a year and is being sold without a title or pictures outside of a small garage.   This is either (1) a scam where the seller wants to wear your skin or (2) a great opportunity for someone who knows the basics of auto repair/maintenance.  


  1. I agree that it's cool and rare and seems pretty clean. But I still have trouble with $5000 being a "bargain price" on this one. I'm not going by any market data here, just my gut. Reasonable, maybe. Bargain? No.

    It doesn't look like it has current registration. Keep in mind there are probably some DMV back registration fees that will accompany the replacement title. Cars don't "drop out of the DMV system" in California the same way most sellers claim. Beware. Unless this one has been on non-op, there are likely fees due. Just because he lost the title doesn't mean the registration renewals stopped appearing in his mailbox.

    As a side rant... I never will understand why people are too lazy to non-op unused vehicles. It's a one-time fee of $17 or $18 bucks. That's it. And it saves you from paying through the nose later or losing money on your sale when the buyer negotiates your price down because of back fees. I see cars for sale on CL and often the seller says "registration expired a few months ago". Idiots. Instead of paying a few bucks to non-op, they're now accruing penalties and will have a harder time selling the car. Word to the wise: always check with the DMV to find out the total back fees due before buying a car with expired registration.

    1. You can always register it in another more back California DMV fees.

  2. " a scam where the seller wants to wear your skin " lol on what other car related web site would you see that phrase? the first sign of trouble came when the seller said "it puts the WD40 in the basket"..

  3. Keep in mind these have a sheathed ignition. Hot wiring probably won't be an option.

    1. Egg-zactly- A used key switch with coil(and key) is pricy and hard to find used. The only way the switch can be removed is with the key in 'on' position.

  4. Signs of recent work and certainly not dusty enough for legit garage find. Bring your own coil and a couple jumper wires and $2500........

  5. I would agree that this COULD be a good deal..IF it could run/drive.
    The CA DMV website has a page where you can calculate fees(so there are no surprises later)

  6. Not being above group humiliation, I drove a 66' 2dr all fours years of undergrad stint without a key at all. I used a slender long-shaft screwdriver. The lock tumbler can be popped out with a punch. I kept it around in the ash tray for times when I was in NYC and they'd steal about anything in the late 70's.

    I never did fix it. I used the very same screwdriver to open the hood. Every time my father sent spending money I had the moral dilemma: Hood latch cable or beer? I used that screwdriver for two years on the hood. BTW, I still have the screwdriver.

    These cars are in my top 5-10 cars of all time. The $5K is a good buy and yes, if you no someone in an non-title state (like VT), send a buddy the cash and she can send you the plates and reg. ****The advice offered is for discussion purposes only. Please consult an attorney to be certain****

    PS: Forget the legal note, it is easy-peasy.

  7. As long as the seller is more Ed Gein than John Wayne Gacy I'm good. Hate clowns.


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