1988 Volvo 240 DL 4 cylinder gasoline from North America
An engineering marvel for 300 bucks
This car is falling apart in just about every way a car can fall apart, but somehow it miraculously keeps soldiering on.
The odometer was not working when I bought the car. The girl I bought it from told me that it was not working when she purchased the car (her first) -- 7 years before. Judging by the wear and tear, I'd say that it has somewhere in the vicinity of 300,000 miles, but would not be surprised if it had a million.
It leaks oil from (at least) three different places. The oil drips onto the hot manifold and exhaust, burning off and causing a plume of smoke to bellow out from under the car at stoplights -- I have had several people tell me that my car is on fire. Hilarious.
A mechanic told me that the battery (and a grocery list of other things) was bad and needed to be replaced immediately -- over a year ago.
The A/C has never worked, and probably never will.
There is a good amount of rust in the rocker panels, and a large rust hole that I filled with Bondo on the inside of the driver's door. One of the door hinges has rusted to the point that it has completely broken off, causing the need to lift the door as I close it.
The radio has a mind of its own -- it works 80% of the time.
The brake lights are nearly impossible to fix.
Both the hood and the driver side door have literally almost fallen off -- rusted hinges. Both fixed with trips to the junk yard -- $20.
Popping in some new fuses has caused the rear wiper, heater, and fan to come back to life. None of which worked when I bought the car.
This car is amazing. I paid $300 for it, and have spent all of $20 to keep it on the road since then.
It starts right up every time, goes down the road nice and straight, still has tight steering and good brakes, a working heater and radio, and people seem to like it, which I find especially interesting for a $300 car.
I could still use it as a daily driver (and have occasionally) whenever my other, much newer car is in the shop.
Even as it continues to shed parts, I have driven it on at least three 500 mile weekend trips to south Florida with only minimal drama.
Truly an engineering marvel.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th February, 2011