1973 Volvo 140 145e B20f from North America


Best total cost of operation


Typical old car problems, like cracking rubber hoses and plastic parts, some rust underneath.

Brake calipers replaced. (usual)

Exhaust manifold cracked. (Common)

Replaced seats with 240 model.

General Comments:

All around still a very modern car.

4 wheel disc brakes.

Fuel injection.

Huge interior room, excellent ride.

Reasonable gas mileage 22-24.

Front a-arm suspension, superior to Mac strut.

This car has the lowest total cost of operation possible, unless someone paid me to own a car. The lack of financial liability actually lets me enjoy driving this more than my more expensive vehicles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2002

1970 Volvo 140 S B20B from North America


Solid, safe, durable and surprisingly fun to drive


Brake booster leaked and a caliper seized on me, requiring a complete front brake job. The brakes, are outstanding, however for this car having 4 wheel discs.

Water pump failed at 150K.

Carburetors (dual) need constant attention and can leak if not rebuilt every few years, like mine did.

Heater blower started to give out, squeals after it's been on a while, this is a difficult repair on these cars, requiring the complete disassembly of the dash.

General Comments:

Highs: Safety, quality, ease of access in engine compartment, brakes, very comfortable seats and ride, durable mechanicals (the motors in these cars often run over 300K).

Lows: Some parts can be tough to find and good mechanics for these cars even tougher. Manual steering is heavy at low speeds.

The Volvo 140 is a great classic car that's fun to drive, safe and easy to work on. The dual circuit 4 wheel disc braking system is as good as many new cars today, the car has a built-in roll bar and it feels like you're driving around in a bank vault it's so solid. The handling and ride are surprisingly good for a 20 year old sedan and these cars don't rust as easily as other brands.

The B20 engines are durable and reliable, but are not the best on gas (unless you get the later FI models). The dual carbs (SU or Zenith) require frequent tinkering to keep them running at their best, but some of us Volvo owners enjoy that part of owning the car. The manual steering (no P/S was available on any 140) is fine when at speed, but is heavy at low speeds requiring some muscle to park the car.

These cars aren't the best choice as money savers because the parts can sometimes be difficult to locate and they aren't all that economical, but the 140 (142, 144 & 145) have a certain character that is difficult to describe, but make them highly enjoyable to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 2002

16th May 2009, 00:04

I have a 1970 145, which I purchased used in 1993. At that time, it had just rolled over to only 40,000 miles. The car had been owned by the Texas Wildflower Corp (to the best of my knowledge of the name). In addition, affixed to the window on the left rear door was a decal which stated that President Johnson drove this little red wagon on his ranch. I can only presume that he was the original owner. I took pictures of the decal before removal, as it became a problem when people would gawk at the car.

Now it's 2009. The car runs like a top, and it still gets plenty of attention sans decal. The odometer reads 115,000 miles. Not bad for an almost 40 year old car. Mileage with the 32/36 Weber carburetor is 17 city and 20 Hwy. With 4:11 rear end gears, the engine is really revving high at 60 mph. Even with the BW 35 tranny, this car really boogies down the road with authority when you shove the accelerator to the floor at 70 mph. This little red wagon has no rust and has never been in a collision. It has never failed to start. It has even been driven on a round trip vacation from Central Texas to Fairbanks Alaska. Volvo meant it when they said their cars are rugged and durable.

20th Apr 2010, 11:08

Mine is a 1970 142s, being a Vista Volvo tech for 23 years I've rebuilt it several times over the years, mostly to take advantage of new performance parts or just for the fun of it!

It's 2010 now and the car hasn't been on the road for over 6 years and it shows. But at the end of this year I'll embark on another full restore. Lots of rust (12 years in Boston), but I had the forethought to carry around with me for years all the sheet metal needed to make it completely new.

The interior was completely replaced with MBTex vinyl and still looks brand new! Dual Webber 42dcoe's, m41 overdrive, Volvo headers, F cam, 2200cc pistons make it go like crazy!