1979 Volvo 242 Reviews

1979 Volvo 242 DL 2.1 carb from North America

Model year1979
Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 2.1 carb Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired190000 kilometres
Most recent distance230000 kilometres
Previous carVolvo 140

Summary:

A very reliable car for a cheap price

Faults:

Replaced the head on the engine because the previous owner barely drove it and coked up #1 cylinder valves to the point of not seating.

Rear lights need rebuilding. Have a light out on each side.

Original suspension and shocks. Little sloppy, but still gives a decent ride.

Need to rebuild the heater fan. It squeaks when it's cold out.

Minor rust on drivers side between the door and wheel well.

General Comments:

Bought this car for $500 cdn, and put about another $500 into it.

This car was made in 1979, but has a '77 front end on it from the factory. (Still trying to research on why it was made this way. I have found no other 1979 Volvo 242 like this)

Everything is original in this car, but everything works. Even the buzzer for leaving the lights on works.

I miss my old 1974 142, but this car seems to be worthy as a replacement.

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

Review Date: 8th April, 2007

11th Apr 2007, 00:47

Most of the body structure is the same on these cars and hence you can mix'n match parts between the years. This is especially true for fronts where you can bolt on a front from a '93 to a '75 with very few modifications. You can even replace the interior with the one from a newer car. Needless to say all engines and drive-train are interchangeable with few modifications. The Volvo 242/244/240 series is really like a heap of Lego bricks where you can build the car you want. There is a lot of after market stuff to this car as well if you want even if this car went out of production over 13 years back. If you take care of this car I think you can run this for many years since these are extremely durable. I have experience with '75, '79, '85, '89 and '91 models. My current Volvo is a '89 based one, but with a lot of parts from a '91 and a '92. It has got a 2.5L Garrett Turbocharged engine about 280bhp, limited slip diff and gear box from a old rally car. An ultra fast Porsche eater that cost me less than $15,000 to build and that are bullet proof. The sissies have to bite the dust. Enjoy your Volvo!

1979 Volvo 242 DL 2.1L 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1978
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.1L 4 cylinder Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired2 miles
Most recent distance250000 miles
Previous carLincoln Mark VIII

Summary:

A great, reliable, Volvo!

Faults:

Overall, this car is a great automobile. The alternator went out when it was 14 years old and that's about it. Aside from minor mechanical problems (mainly the odometer breaking and lights that go on that shouldn't be on, the car runs like a champ.

General Comments:

Over the 25 years my father owned this car, it took him to work everyday for 19 years until he retired. After retirement, he still drives it. The engine and tranmission are still good as new and parts that should have went out years ago are still there, like the starter! Its not very big with style, but it has great reliability. Now that Ford owns it, I don't know how the Volvo's are. I hear they are still made in Sweden, like the S80 and S60.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd August, 2003

1979 Volvo 242 GT 2.1 from North America

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership1979
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.1 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired20 kilometres
Most recent distance300000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen GTI

Summary:

A car that will last forever.. almost!

Faults:

The sway bar link broke.

I replaced the clutch this summer.

Last year we replace the rear suspention.

General Comments:

The car is now in storage in the winter for the past 14 years.

It's a fun car to drive and got tons of cargo space in the trunk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th June, 2003

1979 Volvo 242 GT 2.1 from North America

Year of manufacture1979
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 2.1 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired220000 miles
Most recent distance243849 miles

Summary:

A car that could never go out of style

Faults:

The alternator has gone bad with this car. But it did not cause me to not drive it. or leave me stranded.

However nothing else has gone wrong with it.

I do regular maintenance on it myself. I've changed the transmission and rear axel, plus the front suspension before it caused me any problems. but Eventually all moving parts do wear out, its enevitable.

General Comments:

I really cannot see myself with another car. The 242 GT is the ultimate car I could in vision for me. It is my first car, and I hope it would be my last car. I seriously believe this car would last me forever. And I give this car so much abuse that if I were to drive, lets say a Honda of some model. It would have died 5 times over by now. Just to give an example of the abuse I give my Volvo. We call them bricks for a reason!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th February, 2003

26th Nov 2005, 22:15

Right on! My 78 gt brick is currently going thru a full restoration, but there was nothing wrong with it (except rust) and has been in the family since new. also the first car that I had ever drove and it took years of abuse. 3 paint jobs 2 accidents lot of air caught on back roads and went up one meridian, but my kids will end up driving it. If I let them.

29th Aug 2007, 19:31

I had a 80 GT. I only had it for 16 months. It was a constant pain to keep going. Bad airconditioning compressor. Syncros in the transmission were machined wrong and would kick back the shift lever... broke my thumb. Rust on the body on the rear quarter too. This car was only 16 months old and bought new! No more Volvos ever for me.

6th Sep 2009, 23:39

I also bought a new 1980 Volvo GT, on the Tourist & Diplomat program in England. I have had the car for almost 30 years and drive it regularly. It has been reliable, comfortable and easy to maintain. The local dealers still stock 240 parts! What they don't have is generally available from the aftermarket without any major issues.

If it had a little more power and a cruise control, the GT would be perfect. I did put air conditioning on it after I returned to the states.

30th Jul 2010, 10:18

I own a fully restored and then some, 1980 GT. While the handling was good and the engine was solid, I find the addition of a turbo motor from a 94 940T to greatly increase the driving pleasure. Bilstein shocks, 25mm sway bars and sport springs make the car a true GT.

2nd Oct 2010, 09:27

Speaking to the person who owned one for a year and a half... it's obvious you were needing a daily driver rather than a restoration project. Properly restored to original condition, these cars are not only head turners, they are a dream to drive!

Average review marks: 8.9 / 10, based on 4 reviews