Friday, April 7, 2017

Swedish Rolls: 1975 Volvo 164E

The name Volvo comes from the latin Volvere which means "I roll", so it is not without some degree of irony that the next seller calls his Volvo a "Swedish Rolls".  And here I thought a Swedish Roll was a freshly baked Kardemummabullar.  Find this 1975 Volvo 164E offered for $3,200 in St Paul, MN via craigslist.  Tip from James.

The Volvo 164 isn't really a Swedish Rolls as much as it is a Swedish Benz -- it offers a luxury ride, but without the decadent opulence of something like  Rolls or Bentley.  The Volvo hides the luxury under a veneer of practicality and safety.  You could buy the most expensive Volvo on the planet and people will applaud you for thinking about the safety of your kids.  Those same people would spit on you for melting the polar ice cap with a Rolls Royce. 

See another car parked in the snow?


  1. I've only driven two of 164's and that was in the late '70s, but they were not very impressive. A friend of mine bought one of them and was forced to give it up when the Volvo dealer couldn't keep it running long enough between visits to their shop for him to earn enough to pay for those visits. He sold it to a lady and then saw it about 3 days later; abandoned in the grassy median of a main street, pretty close to the Volvo dealer (which was some distance from her home). It apparently missed the dealer and wanted to return, no matter who owned it.
    All other Volvo's I've encountered in the almost 40 years since then were rock solid and reliable. The 164's..not so much.

  2. My family had a BMW Bavaria and a 164 (carbs, 4 speeds, no O.D.) similar market niche, otherwise totally different. BMW was very nice, sort of a Mercedes upgraded by Porsche, the Volvo was a Chevy upgraded by British Leyland. British tranny w/optional o.d., AC Delco parts with Smiths instruments in a Chevy panel,British fussy carbs, Chevy style suspension, sold to places like North Korea and North Vietnam, so inferior in every way to the BMW, although as a collectors item those comparisons are irrelevant.

  3. Bavaria..1972...Jah! Volvo.........164.......Nein!

  4. On a related issue.....wouldnt "I roll" be volvontur......whereas volvere is the infinitive of the verb? Dr. Stephens would be so proud of me........or not. Perhaps I have once again missed a typically sly DT language trick.......................

    1. @Woodie Man,
      The infinitive is volvere (volvēre - when you spell it, the accent stresses the o), so I roll is volvo, you roll is volvis, .... , complete volvo declination here . Volvontur dose not exist, volvuntur does ( volvuntur ). Our Latin professor at the high school was very strict.. luckily I was one of the best in that class.
      Cheers from Italy


  5. Stretch 140 nose six inches, install tractor six even less willing than regular Volvo tractor four.

    What's not to like? Aside from the extra weight and the utter lack of anything resembling oomph.


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