1990 Volvo 780 2.3 turbo from North America


Rare Swedish Italian Art


I have owned this car for a year, as I bring it back it back to life as a seldom drive it. This is not my daily driver. I have driven it 1000 miles in a year. The car made it 500 miles to my house from the previous owner and died. I needed a new fuel relay and a fuse box. Easy enough.

The car leaks oil around the rear main seal and the rear differential. I'll fix those in a few years. They are slow leaks and old Volvos are known to leak with their original seals.

I can't get too mad about the issues with this car. It is nearly 25 years old.

The car had some slight rust, which has been addressed. The rust was most likely caused by shoddy body work from before I owned it.

The leather in the back is like new. The front seats are being redone. Old Volvo leather is terrible.

90% of the electrical components still work!

General Comments:

This is a project car I am restoring back to life with many hours of work and many thousands of dollars. I'll probably have $7,000 in costs bringing this girl back to life.

This car is very easy to work on. The interior parts fit very well together and in a logical fashion. Various websites provide parts for this EXTREMELY RARE (even rare when new) car. There aren't many of these cars left 23 years after they last made them. An internet search in the US will show 2-3 available for sale at any one time. You are more likely to see a Ferrari than one of these on the road.

The car has good pick-up from the reliable redblock engine. The styling is wonderful. It was designed and built by Bertone in Italy, so it has a Maserati Biturbo/etc look to it.

The car drives well, and what I love about it is you may see one a year where I live. And if you do, it is either beaten up or in wonderful condition, but you have to be an enthusiast to drive this car. This isn't a car for a novice driver, because it can be needy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th December, 2013

25th Dec 2014, 04:29

Needy??? Wow, in fourteen years of ownership my 91 has had less problems than any other vehicle I have ever owned. No oil leaks, no engine issues, transmission issues (overdrive relay, yes), original turbocharger, Nivomat shocks, and even the same suspension parts. In those 14 years I have put over 100,000 (248,900) miles on the car and it had 143,000 when I bought it. Yes, tires, brake rotor/pads, heater valve... etc., but I don't think these cars are needy.

31st Mar 2015, 12:33

I am the original poster. Any car this old is going to be needier than a more modern car, so you are right, I should have clarified that.

I am glad to hear you have had such great luck with your 780. Mine is slowly being restored. The new paint job makes it look awesome. That alone cost $2,300. The interior is almost done. Most of the electrical gremlins have been worked on and the other ones that still exist I don't really care about (power antenna button, gas flap buttons, bulb out indicator).

The next step is the rear main seal, water pump and a tune up. I'll keep you posted.

1989 Volvo 780 4 cyl turbo from North America


Best bang for your buck


Rust spots seem to be the biggest problem. Whoever bought the car lived up north as the salt had its way with the car. The body and the interior are holding up very nicely.

The previous owner used it as a race car because the gas tank is in the trunk. It's super quick and responsive on the road.

This is my second 780, and they all seem to be just alike with the same problems.

Overall, I cruise with the best automobiles on the road everyday. The only difference is I have my title (car is paid for) and the BMW's and Mercedes I pass do not. LOL.

General Comments:

Where else can you own a vehicle built by Bertone. The car says Italian coming down the street. The cabin is super cosy and inviting. If I could buy up all the Bertone 780's I would. Bottom line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2009

8th Jan 2012, 11:56

I'm looking for a 1989 Volvo Bertone black, front end lower cover plate. Not sure of name, it is the plastic cover under the bumper it is like a spoiler. Please advise if you can help. edwin.mckesson@gmail.com

9th Jan 2012, 13:33

This is called the front 'air dam' and are hard to find. You might try http://www.vandsautodismantlers.com/ since they are most likely to have or know where to find it. Good luck, I have a 91 Pearl Blue with charcoal interior, great car, 232K miles, and still runs & looks like new.