1972 Volvo 140 142E 1.9 liters


An engaging car to drive and one that is comfortable, too


I bought the car used and it had been treated poorly. Within a year of purchase, I had to replace a U-joint. It went along well until 4 years after purchase. Then, I had to replace the water pump, shocks - which I upgraded to gas shocks - the distributor and most of the ignition components, regulator and fuel injection nozzles. It went along all right until 2003, when the disc brakes had to be completely redone. The hard part was finding the parts. Import Performance Divsion in Portland, Oregon, had some. But I had to get completely rebuilt calipers from a high-end vintage brake repair shop. Still, the total cost was only about $800.

General Comments:

These cars have plenty of room, having been built to accommodate people whose average male is about 6 feet 2 inches. The turning radius is extremely tight for a sedan and is one reason these were great rally cars. Acceleration is pretty good - 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds is a guess - for a small, in-line, four-cylinder car. With the four-speed manual transmission, I can get 22 mpg on the freeway. Thing is, the car weighs 3,250 pounds - not light for a two-door sedan. This is my second vintage Volvo, since I was hit in its predecessor and can attest for the safety of Volvos. The four-wheel disc brakes were advanced for their day and have a fail-safe system to back up the first if it fails.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2004

28th Sep 2005, 23:01

I just bought 142 1973 and the comment are pretty accurate I am getting to like it though I need to know more about it and work on it more, it is a sweet car!

11th Aug 2006, 22:56

I bought my 142e 16 years ago for $800, I've been using it ever since. Currently it is my 'spare' car, and because it has a trailer hitch and a roof rack it functions mainly as my 'truck'. A remarkably dependable vehicle, the engine and automatic transmission are original and have performed flawlessly. No repairs worthy of note except perhaps the distributor assembly, which houses a second set of points that control the fuel injection. I'd overhauled the fuel system before I realized that my troubles were caused by these points - a simple cleaning and all was well again. Oh, and then there's the heater fan, a real bitch to swap out (but not impossible). Too bad Volvo didn't keep the same system as the 122, which was a breeze to remove. Overall: great car and probably the pinnacle of the B series engine models.