1972 Volvo 140 142E 1.9 liters from Sweden


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.

1970 Volvo 140 144 S B20 B from North America


Slow, uneconomical, but lovable


Carburators needed to be rebuilt.

Engine needed to be rebuilt.

Drive shaft support had to be replaced.

Transmission is making lots of noise.

Hood hinge supports bent.

General Comments:

The car rides well.

It is underpowered, but cruises well at highway speed.

The car handles reasonably well, and has a modestly sporty feel.

Visibility is excellent.

Gas mileage is poor, around 15 mpg.

It's easy to work on. Parts are available, but expensive.

Paint and interior have held up very well.

It's been decent transportation. I want to sell it, but find it's worth almost nothing.

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

Review Date: 9th August, 2004

1971 Volvo 140 S B20 from North America


A great driving, good looking car


Rust around the rear fenders, taillights, as well as the wheel-side corners of the rear doors. Have not had the chance to fix yet.

The son of the guy I bought it from hit a rock the size of a small basketball. This ripped off the exhaust pipe sections and both mufflers. It also punched a hole in the gas tank, and though it was repaired before I bought the car, it still leaks. Have temporarily replaced mufflers with one from a 1974 Yamaha motorcycle.

Had to clean both carburetors and replace the cracked intake manifold. Replaced all the gaskets in the process.

Float chamber plate on the rear carburetor leaks around the seal.

Had head redone, which required the replacing of two exhaust valves. Replaced head gasket in process.

Brake booster works only half the time.

Several electrical problems. Added wires to fuse box to complete it to wiring diagram standards and now the interior light, backup lights, rear defroster, and cigarette lighter work.

Mechanical fuel pump quit before I bought the car. Previous owner replaced it with an electric model from a Subaru.

Distributer quit sending spark to engine. Discovered that the number 2 cylinder spark plug wire shocks me through the rubber. I have no idea why. Have not fixed yet.

Support straps under the driver's side seat was broken when I bought it. Both front seats sag like this, so I sit really low.

Left rear tire kept going flat on a slow leak. Need to clean bead on all rims to fix and prevent this. Put spare on for now.

Needed battery. Bought one from store.

Cannot get the left rear tail light to light up for the life of me.

Right front door is hard to open depending on what kind of slope the car is parked on.

General Comments:

I bought this car for 200 dollars. I am only 16 so I can't afford much in the way of repairs. I am still in the process of repairing it, and have not yet driven it on the open road. I have very high hopes for this car, and I get lots of attention for it just sitting in my yard. It looks very cool and I love the prospect of driving it. Old Volvos are great cars for kids because they're slow, simple, cheap to buy, but expensive to fix. Therefore it encourages them to get a job. I have also heard that the engines in these run forever. I certainly hope so.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th March, 2004

21st Sep 2004, 22:10

Fixing those seat straps will change your life.

Go to a fabric store -- or send your girlfriend -- and buy some 4 inch nylon strapping. (Like you find on a backpack). You can spend twice as much and buy seatbelt strap nylon, but you really don't need it for your seat.

For both seats you will need about 20 feet. For each seat, you will need 2 straps about 17 3/4 inches long, so cut 4 pieces 20 inches long, fold over the ends and stitch a fold at each end -- with the metal clip inside the fold.

The front straps go from one end to the other and back again. You will need two pieces about 53 inches. Fold and stitch one end as above, then fit the strap in place in your car, from one end to the other and back. Pull it as tight as you can, and mark your end... Go inside and stitch the ends with the metal clip in place.

Be nice to your girlfriend and good luck.