Monday, January 15, 2018

DT Favorite: 1984 Volvo 240 5.0

V8 engine swaps into square edged 240/740/940 rear wheel drive Volvos never get old or go out of style here at DT.  A certain something about any of these swaps makes them quite delicious.  It could be the Letterman/Newman connection or that these are the ultimate Walter Mitty car.  Today's example is on the lower end of the price range for one of these swaps and has a few minuses against it in terms of scoring and desirability- not a wagon, has an auto transmission, and uses a relatively mild Ford 302 engine.  Find this 1984 Volvo 240 for sale in Montauk, NY for $3,500 via craigslist.

The 1984 240 started life as a diesel powered car and has a fuel cell in the trunk.  The current owner did not perform the engine swap and bought the car this way.  They mention the transmission is a Ford C6 unit.  No details are given about the engine other than it is a 5.0.  From the pictures, you can see a Edelbrock air cleaner and what looks to be some sort of aftermarket ignition set up.

The seller mentions the car is surprisingly fun to drive with the auto and that they were eventually planning on converting to the car to a T5 5-speed.  They are throwing in a factory 240 5 speed pedal kit with the sale.  The dash has been re-imagined in a sort of Steampunk themed fashion with white aftermarket gauges inlaid to a stainless steel backdrop with multiple toggle switches.  You could assume the dash top material is cracked as a carpeted toupee' is shown on top.

The toggle switches are labeled above them in case of foggy memory.  The far right switch controls the ejector seat a-la a F14 fighter jet!

See a another V8 Volvo? Bonus points for wagons, brown exteriors, and manual transmissions- email

Cory is still waiting on a suitcase from American Airlines that has his 94 C280 shift knob and shifter rods in there for his C36 trans swap.


  1. OK CA friends, this is a great way to pull one over on the DMV and the smog Gestapo.
    I had a Volvo 740 wagon diesel with a SBC. I loved pulling up next to people with it's 2 chamber flowmaster mufflers.

    1. I just remembered a funny thing about my 740 v8. I bought it off a guy that was the father of a young actress from a horrible show called "Small Wonder". For those of you not in the know, small wonder was a sitcom about a family that had a robot daughter with monotone voice and a dry sense of humor.
      I should have had her sign my dash.

  2. these were cool conversions, back in the day... but now, with everything from Porsche to Chevy S-10 being built with an LS motor, these V-8 Volvos can be left in the dust, even by a stock 2018 Camry!!!

    1. You can make that argument about nearly any newer car versus something 20-30 years old. I would happy drive Magnum PI's Ferrari 308 and have no qualms about get smoked at every stop light by said Camry.

    2. +1

      "I would happy drive Magnum PI's Ferrari 308 and have no qualms about get smoked at every stop light by said Camry."

  3. This one looks very familiar as if I have seen it advertised before. The description sounds like the new owner bought it without a test drive (which should be mandatory for buying a conversion) and decided it was not what he/she wanted and then wants to sell it to DT/CL readers. The problem is not the smaller V8 but an old style slush box, etc.

  4. Thought, cool a Volvo 240 V-8 swap, then I saw the dash.


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