Volvo 242 Review from Sweden

1977 Volvo 242 DL

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership1980
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.7 / 10
Distance when acquired33000 miles
Most recent distance685000 miles
Previous carToyota Celica

Summary:

Simple design but I doubt there's a tougher, more enjoyable, roadworthy, reliable car... period.

Faults:

Yep, the seat belts have worn pretty badly (the driver's belt, that is), but what would you expect for original seat belts that are 31-years old and have been extended and retracted possibly 40,000 times?

The B21 engine is a work horse. A piston ring broke at about 300,000 miles while I was towing a trailer over the mountains between Oregon and northern California. I had the engine rebuilt, blueprinted and balanced with oversized bearings and forged pistons. I've used Castrol GTX oil exclusively since the rebuild and now have 385,000+ miles on that engine without a single major problem.

General Comments:

When I bought the car (@ 33,000 miles), I installed heavy stabilizer bars, gas strut cartridges, Volvo rally springs and a lot more up-grade stuff including Laguna wheels from IPD and a front spoiler. I also put a limited slip differential in the rear end for straight-ahead traction on wet or snowy roads. I later equipped the car with an OPTIMA Gel-cell battery which has lasted now for 16 years... believe it or not... and a 70 amp alternator replacing the original 55 amp unit. In effect, I turned the DL model into a GT+ with a 4-speed + electric overdrive 5th gear.

All in all, the '77 Volvo 242 is the finest, most reliable, fun, roadworthy vehicle one could imagine. I live off the US mainland for 9 months each year now, and when I get back and hook up the battery to get the car on the road again each June, it fires up within seconds. Of course, I put STA-BIL in the gas over the winter and take other storage measures. The point is, though, that I doubt there's ever been a more rugged and relaible car made than the late-70's and early-80's 240's with manual transmissions. This is a GREAT machine.

I will never part with this car and may ask to be buried in it instead of a casket (ha!). I love this car. Incidentally, my other car is a 2005 Corvette. I like the 'vette, but I LOVE my Volvo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th October, 2008

Average review marks: 8.7 / 10, based on 1 review