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.

General Comments:

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

1973 Volvo 164 B30 A (dual carbs) from Sweden


Not a real luxury car, but a cool cruiser


The leather on the seats have bad quality and is ripped in the seams.

The camshaft broke (probably due to improper mounting, not Volvo's fault, the cam was changed in the 80s).

The rotors in the back were also bad and had to be changed.

The windshield washer motor also stopped working and had to be changed.

General Comments:

The seats are very comfortable.

But it rattles and makes noises, and it is a little bit bouncy on roads that are in bad condition.

I love the whole drive train. Engine, gearbox and rear axle. Powerful and comfortable. Maybe the clutch is a little bit heavy.

Volvo tried to compete with Mercedes /8-series with this one. Even if the Mercedes 250-280 was more expensive, it was more comfortable and had better quality than the Volvo.

It is a very cool car that looks good, but it wasn't worth its price when it was new. These days, it may be sometimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2006

1975 Volvo 164 e 3.0 from North America


Look luxurious and is very comfortable, but what's the next item to break?


Air conditioning compression froze shut - had to bypass the pulley system with another belt.

All electrical wires are fragile, and insulation comes off easily after 31.

Have just finished spending hours cleaning all light bulb contacts, and replacing all light bulbs.

Rebuilt transmission.

Front suspension is a overworked due to the additional weight of the 6 cylinder engine.

Overall a bit sluggish, but once it gets going, is is very comfortable.

Have rebuilt all seats, to be expected after 31 years.

Great visibility.

People like the styling of the front end, too bad the real end looks as ordinary as a Swiss Brick.

Door handles are weak, had to rebuilt each door, with new handles and regrease everything to work smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th August, 2006

14th Aug 2006, 22:53

What do you expect for a 31 year old car!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Obviously practically EVERYTHING will need to be rebuilt/replaced at that mileage/age.

Owning and driving a car this old will require a lot of time and patience...that's why it's good to have another car to use as a daily driver.

Good luck!

11th Aug 2009, 14:40

Hmmmmmm. "Swiss Brick"... Swiss is Switzerland not Sweden!

7th Mar 2012, 22:33

I agree, how many cars of 30 years or more are still on the road?

Comparing how many Volvo's have been sold to how many are still on the road, I'd say they lead the pack.

I know plenty of Fords and GM's of around 10 years that are junk and ready for the scrap yard.

Why am I so loyal? Ask any Volvo enthusiast about what makes them (Volvo's) a pleasure to own. It's because they well designed, reliable, beautifully built and a pleasure to work on.

Yes they can have issues, but with such a large following throughout the world, there's always a solution and help available. Do an internet search and you'll see what I mean.

Volvo 164E (71) & XC70 (07).