1969 Volvo 164 3.0 litre straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand
My first car which I have kept since 1986 = love it
Window regulators, where they fix to the glass, have a tendency to rust and part company.
The brake master cylinders wear out as normal wear and tear, and I suspect will happen more often when you don't go to the trouble of bleeding the brakes routinely.
Not surprisingly the leather seats crack and wear as they get older. The seats are very comfortable and have a good range of adjustments, including lumbar support.
Engine and drive-line are pretty much bullet proof. The fibre timing gear tends to have a limited life and will produce a rattle as they wear (sounds like a terminal death rattle), but not a big deal to fix. Best solution for this is to locate a set of steel gears, which was a genuine part as fitted to some later fuel injected cars, I think.
The M400 and M410 gearboxes are great, if not a little heavy (over-engineered) and deliberate to use. I upgraded the M400 4 speed original to the M410 overdrive box and this makes the car a superb highway car. The car also has a limited slip differential, which contributes to excellent handling and traction, if not sometimes exciting over-steer. The spider shafts are prone to cracking in LSDs.
The car is fitted with a Volvo trible SU manifold and carburettors, which I have become quite adept at tuning and balancing over the years. The manifold I think originated from Volvo Penta marine (?) and is an improvement from the standard twin Strombergs.
I also upgraded the standard front discs from solid to ventilated with ATE calipers from a later 164, and these never let you down.
These cars are under rated, and unfortunately you don't see many on the road any more. Heaps of fun to drive, and with a little tweak will handle beautifully. I have replaced bushes, rubbers and ball joints, plus upgraded the front sway bar and put a bar on the rear (not standard fit item). Koni shocks are worth the money. With the 4 wheel disks and coil suspension, mated to a sound design and construction, you have something worth working with.
While Volvos are considered by most to be rather uncool, you can have a lot of fun in a 164 at a very reasonable cost.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th January, 2008