By on February 21, 2013

In the kind of Plate-O-Shrimp moment that happens all the time in the car-writing business, I ran across a genuine, one-of-8,515-build Volvo 780 Bertone Coupe in a Denver self-serve wrecking yard just days after writing about this fine Swedo-Italian machine.
Yes, in spite of being considered a high-value collector’s car by legions of Internet Car Experts, this rare 780 couldn’t manage to sell for better than scrap value at auction and thus ended up as a parts donor. By the way, if you’re restoring a 780 and you’re now looking at this post later than, say, April 2013, this car has been crushed by now. Sorry.
With the troublesome Peugeot-Renault-Volvo “PRV” V6 under the hood, 156,519 miles on the clock isn’t too shabby. This car reeked of old, bad gasoline, which means it sat for years or maybe decades before getting hauled off on its final tow-truck drive.
When Swedes and Italians join forces to design a car’s interior, you get something like this puzzling IKEA-meets-Armani scene. I might need to go back and get this seat for my van!
Speaking of weird design, where did Volvo find this more-80s-than-Flock-of-Seagulls font?

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82 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1988 Volvo 780 Bertone Coupe...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I like those seats they look cool! I also want to own a car with the Bertone b on the side. That also looks cool. Gotta love the 80’s airbag steering wheel. Looks like something off of a bumper car.

    Also, Volvo still sorta uses this font don’t they?

  • avatar
    Signal11

    Holy snakeballs, that’s an incredible rear seat. If it were in good condition (and if I were stateside) I’d consider obtaining that to convert into seating for the man cave.

  • avatar
    NotFast

    One of neighbors has or had one of these. I haven’t seen it in awhile, but always wanted to snap a few pictures of it or talk to the owner (a Volvo-phile, as he has at least one more in his garage).

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    Nobody does seats like the Swedes. My only experience is brief sits during auto shows, so I’m sure someone with some real experience might say otherwise. But sitting in a Volvo or SAAB, I always felt like “Yes, this is what seats should feel like”

    I would totally grab those seats if I could! I always liked those wheels on Volvo cars from the 80’s. Interior is ugly, but the body looks good no matter how long it sat.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      SAAB seats where quite good, they did however had a tendency not to be pointed in the direction of travel. A friend of my sister (and daughter of my high school physics teacher, a man that handed back test in the order of number of correct answers, snickering at the beginning when he was handing out tests with poor results) worked at Volvo designing seats, she must have been quite good at it.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      I’ve sat in a 2000’s era Jag, an ’00 Benz, a several 80’s luxury GMs, and none of them compared to the Volvos I’ve been in.

      I even sat in a 300k Volvo once, it was still pretty comfy and looked fine on the outside, just idled badly.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        80s GM had some comfy real leather seats… park aves had pillow topped seats which were common and you could get pillow topped seat in Fleetwood FWD, and I believe Brougham. Deville was eh, and Seville/Eldo were decent. I almost bought a 740 wagon/leather seats I wasn’t very impressed. My 240s cloth seats are pretty comfy though.

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        My wife’s daily driver is a 2005 XC70 with 316,xxx on the clock. Seats are a little ratty but they still feel good, aside from fogged headlights she still looks good and no bad idle here, will need a ball joint in the near future.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        Well that was a proper Volvo I suspect, 16 liter engine or some paupers power option?

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        At 28: I never sat in the Caddys but I did sit in a Toronado, Impala, and a Riviera. I liked the Riviera and the Toronado but the Impala was cramped, brown all over, and cheaply done up on the inside.

        The Volvos that I tried out were both 240 sedans, I’ve yet to try the wagons leather seats.

        I do recall riding in a 760 (maybe 960) turbo charged sedan when I was younger, the driving position wasn’t as good at the 240 (you were lower to the floor) and the seats seemed less supportive, it felt more “American” as the inside was lower and wider.

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        I’ll probably get flamed for this but do you which car I’ve found to be nearly identical to my old 89′ 240 Wagon in terms of seating position? My 2012 Nissan Cube, seats aren’t as comfortable but the driving position is nearly the same. Yes, the newer Volvos are much closer to the floor, I feel like my ass is going to hit the asphalt in the S60

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        AAAAAH 300k miles, I thought you meant 300k dollars. In the later case it would have been a Truck/Tractor. I’ve ridden in plenty of 300k miles Volvos, even more Merc-Benzes and a few BMWs and Audis, all taxis all in decent shape.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        At TP: I’m not the biggest Cube buff, but if it has a seating position is similar to a 240 wagon than I congratulate Nissan for getting that part right.

        I never understood why newer sedans have lower seating positions, perhaps a sly method of encouraging Crossover sales?

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        At 75: The Cube isn’t that bad unless you happen to like to drive which I do. My wife became infatuated with it and when her 01 V70 needed a $1500 AC repair we dumped it, I indulged her and bought her a 2012 Cube SL with all the trimmings. Fast forward 6 months, the fling is over and she wants her Volvo back…

        Found her a minty 05 XC70 with a ton miles for next to nothing. I took the Cube as my daily. My S60 is now sitting in my yard with a for sale sign on it.

        Looking back I think it was a ploy to get me out of the S60 so I wouldn’t be able to “Drive like a maniac” which you really can’t in a Cube at least not on the highway which is nearly all of my driving.

        Moral of the story – Don’t indulge your wife when it comes to cars.

        I don’t see the point of crossovers period. Get a station wagon with AWD if you need one but these abortions like the Crosstour? Even the Pathfinder redesign… Good lord they’re ugly and this coming from someone who’s basically driving a jacked up, boxy Versa…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @Ryoku75

        The 760 was essentially a turbo 740 IIRC, and yes my impressions of the 740 seats were also designed for American tastes vs the 240. The 700 series Volvo was originally designed as an executive car intended for direct competition with Mercedes S-class, BMW’s 7 series, and to a lesser extent Cadillac/Lincoln.

        @tpepin

        That is an important lesson indeed sir. On another note my one and only experience with the Cube was in 2010, the biggest thing I took away from it was the car sounded like a fricking Jetsons car when it was decelerating, have you noticed this behavior?

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          The 760 was the release version of the 700 series, and the 60 meant PRV6 was standard. It had higher trim than the 740 and was eventually offered with the turbo 4 cylinder. The 740 Turbo was the one with the blacked out trim that featured in most of their advertising in the later ’80s. I don’t think even Volvo held delusions of S-class competition, but their 760 was an attempt at competing with low end 5-series and W123s.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I remember reading somewhere that the 700 was largely meant to appeal to Americans, I think they were fine cars but at the same time if I buy European I’d like a bit of European taste to go with it.

          It was certainly more American than the weird downsized Rivieras and what not that GM pumped out in ’86.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            The US was bound to be an important market for such a large car, but it was received well by some European observers too. It was a conservative design that had the misfortune of arriving on the scene almost simultaneously with the Audi 100 MK2, which made it seem particularly backwards with its aerodynamic styling and efficiency.

      • 0 avatar
        tpepin

        @28 Yes my Cube has a distinct “futuristic” whine when decelerating, you start to hear it below 15-20mph, Nissan actually points this out in their sales material; I recall reading something about “the CVT doesn’t sound like regular transmission it sounds high-tech” or something to that effect. I’ve gotten used to it and don’t “hear” it anymore, of course I’ve gotten used the Cube as whole now. I just set the cruise, turn up the radio to drown out the wind noise and sip my coffee while the Washing Machine and I lazily make our way to my office…

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    My Uncle – by marriage to my paternal aunt – had one of these with really low miles, red with brown interior, always kept in a garage, he sold it to my paternal uncle who immediately flipped it with a healthy profit (this was about a year ago) somewhat of a dick move I think. I must say it is one of very few Volvos I’ve felt an attraction to, when the first uncle had it it did pale in comparison with the original blue Audi S6 V8 plus Avant (C4 body) that was next to the Volvo in the garage, the Audi does remain in the garage. For a guy that’s no terrible into cars it’s quite impressive of him to get one of 8500 Volvo 780s built by Bertone and one of 950 Audis that where basically built just one year and was the first car built by Quattro GmbH.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I worked in a Volvo dealer service lane for 7 years and had seen my fair share of 780’s and even the MUCH rarer 262 Bertone’s…. but I have NEVER seen that little box on the steering column cover. What is that?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      You’ve probably forgotten more about Volvos than I’ll ever know, but doesn’t look OEM to me, has to aftermarket (old aftermarket, modern radios have remotes). I can’t see Swedes naming a dash accessory “SS 200″.

      EDIT: Its a radar detector, look at the center button.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        So it is! I wonder what the switch on the far right says.

        Gotta love the 80’s.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Looking back fondly now at the 80s, cars were more affordable and less ugly on average, gas was cheap, you could get an honest station wagon as the CUV did not exist, inflation was relatively in check, the country wasn’t in bankruptcy, and Communism had yet to migrate to the USA. Those were the days.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          “Communism had yet to migrate to the USA.”

          Okay, I’ll bite Mr. 1985, how is the US more communist today in 2013 than it was in the 1980s. Please be very specific.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            I’ll answer that:

            1985 – Our president was Ronald Reagan; who advocated a smaller, limited government, tax cuts and the “Star Wars” missile defence strategy, helped bring down the former Soviet Union, and fuel the movement of Eastern Europe from the former Warsaw Pact to NATO. His greatest controversy was the Iran-Contra scandel; which was intended in part to bring down the communists in South America.

            2013 – Our president is Barrack Obama; who bows and blows wet kisses towards every tyrant and despot out there, while insisting on redistributing wealth, one new social program after another, one “progressive” tax increase after another, and a gradual disarnment of all citizens. Among his many scandels is his over-reach of executive powers through the appointment of “czars” and executive orders.

            I rest my case.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Yeah, but of course, that’s a ridiculous answer. Reagan’s proposals raised taxes almost as much as he cut taxes. Reagan’s plan increased the deficit on a percentage basis far more. Reagan’s tax code was no less progressive and had higher capital gains taxes because they were even with income tax, as it should be. It was Tip O’Neill who agreed to cut social security benefits.

            You also can’t name any new social programs, much less a series of them — you made that part up. There is no *actual* disarmament of anybody — that’s a figment of your imagination.

            Nice myths though. It’s hard to take anyone of any part of the spectrum who makes political comments on this site seriously, no matter what they believe — the points are just too poorly argued. Trying to blame *any* president for things that Congress has control over is silly, for one thing.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            “Among his many scandels is his over-reach of executive powers through the appointment of “czars” and executive orders.”

            You added this by editing your original post. Of course, it’s also absolute non-sense. For example, many presidents have had a drug “czar”, and it’s only a title given to someone to indicate that they are the head of that type of policy. It gives them no additional executive power than the constitution already allows the president to delegate.

            Executive orders have also been used by many presidents, and were more frequently used by Clinton, Bush II, and Bush I than Obama (didn’t see you complaining then?). In fact, Obama issued them at the slowest rate since Grover Cleveland:

            nymag dot com/daily/intelligencer/2013/01/obama-executive-orders-guns.html

            It would be better if you learned how to use a fact, rather than simply repeating a false talking point.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        At 28: Back in the 80’s cars didn’t have touchscreens to keep your eyes off that train up ahead, people didn’t text while driving either.

        Funny thing is, Volvo intentionally made their interiors both easy to use and boring so that drivers would pay attention to the road ahead, as opposed to adjusting the colors of their guages, tweeting LOLcats, watching an economy light…

    • 0 avatar
      segfault

      It says something about audio, and something about radar, so I’m guessing it’s either an aftermarket audio component or an aftermarket built-in radar detector.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      My memories of the 1980s is that while everyone else emulated the aero look of Ford and Audi; Volvos remained resolutely square. They had an excellent reputation at the time for being solid and safe cars; no doubt the squared off appearance only reinforced that impression. But, it also made them look outdated by comparison; they looked like “the box the 5000s came in.” Though, like a few things I have owned; the box held up better than “product inside.”

      Another impression of the aero era was how some luxury builders like Rolls Royce and Caddilac struggled to fit their corporate ideal of what a car should look like into a jellybean car shape. The results were not always pretty.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Whats funny is that most people didn’t like the jellybean movement, when most people saw the new Caprices and Vics they compared them to Jaguars XJs and Mazdas.

      • 0 avatar
        jhefner

        “Whats funny is that most people didn’t like the jellybean movement, when most people saw the new Caprices and Vics they compared them to Jaguars XJs and Mazdas.”

        Really??? I was a college student studying Mechanical Engineering and lapping up issues of Aviation Week and Space Technology, Popular Science, Car and Driver, and Car (UK) magazine. While I agree that not everyone liked the jellybean movement, I think “most people” is a bit of a stretch, or it would not have taken off after the success of the Taurus and Audi 5000s. (Maybe with the exception of older buyers of larger American luxury cars.) Nor can I recall or even fathom the camparison between the Caprice and Vics of the day and the XJ and Mazadas.

        The movement added “Cd” to the automotive lexicon, along with horsepower, torque, weight and physical dimensions. It certainly peaked in the latter half of the 1990s with cars like the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus and the 1995-1999 Oldsmobile Aurora; cars grew plumper and then more creased after that; with a very slight increase in Cd in most cases. (The 1985-1995 Taurus had a Cd of 0.32, the 1996-1999 Taurus was 0.30, while today’s Taurus is 0.33.)

        Personally, they replaced the cars of the 1950s as my favorites; even thought the mechanicals under that rounded sheet metal often left a lot to be desired. It was very clean and very organic looking; the Audi 5000s sedan was and still is my favorite. The first Audi 5000s I saw looked like a space ship among the crease-and-tuck cars surrounding it in the drive-through line at Taco Bell.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        “or it would not have taken off after the success of the Taurus and Audi 5000s”

        A styling trend in the automotive world isn’t always popular with regular people, look at the tiny windows and huge stylized grilles on modern cars for an example, I hear people complain about them all the time.

        Yes jellybeans reduced drag and wind-noise, it movement also reduced trunk openings and engine bay space while making everything look identical.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          “Yes jellybeans reduced drag and wind-noise, it movement also reduced trunk openings and engine bay space while making everything look identical.”

          Fully agree about the engine bay space, as the nose had to be made as small as possible; but not the trunk. The early jellybean cars like the Taurus and the 5000s had adequately large trunk lids AND trunk space. The cab forward design put forth by Chrysler, which maximized the cabin space between the wheels, did not help; but it was latest trend towards the wedge shape that caused the trunk lid to shrink to the point they might as well make it a hatchback; and the gun slit windows came from new federal rollover standards. (The bulging sides of the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus came from the federally mandated side collision beams in the doors.)

          I think conservatism on the part of designers is more to blame than aerodynamics. It could be difficult to tell say a 1974 Plymouth Fury, Chevy Impala, or Ford LTD apart as well when looking at them from the side; you had to see the grill or tail lights to know for sure which one it was. On the other hand, the various generations of Ford Taurus reflected the styling trends of their day, and a 1985 Taurus looks little like a 1996 Taurus which in turn doesn’t look at all like a 2010 Taurus; but all three have fairly similiar drag coefficients.

          FInally, the 1996-1999 Taurus proved that people WILL reject your car if they don’t like it’s styling; the overall shape combined with all those ovals was too much for many buyers.

          (Yes, too much Taurus talk; but it’s what I know best.)

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            “it could be difficult to tell say a 1974 Plymouth Fury, Chevy Impala, or Ford LTD apart as well when looking at them from the side”

            Better comparison, put a ’74 Honda Civic, ’74 Toyota Corolla, a ’74 Lincoln, and a ’74 Volvo 244 next to one another and tell me how similar they are. Now compare their modern equivalents.

            I do agree that conservative stylists aren’t helping things, at the same time I still feel that almost everything of the 90’s looked some form of fish except for exotics.

          • 0 avatar
            jhefner

            “Better comparison, put a ’74 Honda Civic, ’74 Toyota Corolla, a ’74 Lincoln, and a ’74 Volvo 244 next to one another and tell me how similar they are. Now compare their modern equivalents.”

            Yes, aerodynamics play a role in that, but so does the ever shrinking sizes of large cars, while the compact segment becomes bloated and huge. Who would have ever imagined you could compare a Lincoln to a Civic size-wise in the first place! That is more of a function of CAFE standards; of which areodynamics is just part of the solution to meeting the standards, and safety standards.

            What CJinSD said. If your assertion about the buying public and jellybean cars was true; Volvo sales should have taken off when the competition went aero; instead, they slumped; so even Volvo was forced to eventually go aero. By the mid-1980s; anything that wasn’t aero looked outdated; everyone is entitled to their opinion about how aero cars looked.

            (Aero cars also fit well into the decade that brought us the Space Shuttle, Star Wars, the Star Trek movies, Robocop, and Blade Runner.)

            PPS: and at least they were HAPPY fish. One of the Ford clays for the 1996 Taurus had today’s angry looking narrow headlights and tiny, almost LCD tail lights; but it was rejected; and we got the “catfish” Taurus instead.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Volvo sales didn’t necessarily slump in the 80’s, Volvo was going to stop making the 240 around then but decided to keep it around due to popular demand. Volvos stayed boxy well into the late 90’s.

          I honestly don’t know why you keep bringing up Taurus’s, I have no positive comments to speak on them but more importantly they’re irrelevant to the discussion, you should save your Taurus trivia for the right article.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I went through the Taco Bell drive thru many times in my 5000S. But not in the 80s!

  • avatar
    lancerfixer

    I’ve always liked these (my first Volvo was its four door cousin, the much more mundane 740.) This one likely died as a result of the PRV V-6 under the hood- the B230FT-powered 780s are generally more collectible.

    There’s an eccentric older guy running around here (Cedar Rapids) with an absolutely MINT 780. Seriously, it looks like it rolled off the floor last week. He won’t entertain offers to sell…I’ve tried.

  • avatar
    tim850csi

    This is probably a stupid question, but for the life of me I can’t understand why all the cars are up on rims? What is the point of this? It would seem to me that rims wouldn’t be a particularly stable platform on which to rest several thousand pounds of steel.

    Anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      Why wouldn’t it be stable? 4 rims hold the entire vehicle up anyway… this way it has 8 holding it.

      The rims are usually welded together. They’re there to allow access to underneath the vehicle… and to allow removal of the equipped wheels and associated suspension components.

      Basically, its to allow you to get to all parts of the vehicle for pickin’.

    • 0 avatar
      modelt1918

      I don’t know but,that is the way they have always done it. Cruising through junk yards with my dad back in the 50’s. Every car had rims holding them up.Like you,I always thought they looked unstable.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      It’s actually quite stable.
      The two in the front usually are placed at the frame rails, where the rail kind of locks into the drop center of the wheel. Then they put one in the back under the spare tire well in most cases. The well deforms easily under the weight of the car and locks that one in place.

      If you were to use jack stands instead of these welded rims, it would be much worse, especially on the gravel.

      I’ve been to yards where they just have cars sitting there wheel-less, or have another stacked on top. That just invites people to kill themselves and makes most parts inaccessible.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Joshua loved his Bertone.

    It’s something he quietly thought as he cruised I-70 with his pals. Eric was in the passenger seat, just contently admiring the scenes outside. Ben was in the back seat as usual, looking like he always did back there. He appeared as if he had just been shot out of his cannon and successfully landed in the air cushion, complete with the accomplished grin on his face. On the radio was that new jam by M.I.A. Josh cranked the volume. For he too, was a bonifide hustler making his name. The boys all un-holstered their finger guns for the chorus….

    ALL I WANNA DO IS BOOM BOOM BOOM
    KA-CHING
    AND TAKE THE MONEY

    God, what a great car.
    The PRV V6 was the ire of many fanboys on the Volvo forums, but Josh was hearing none of that right now. It was smoothly droning under the hood while making yet another trouble-free trip to Vail. For a hand-me-down car from parents, this must be the end all, be all. They even tried to persuade him to swap out the “Old” Volvo with their 2003 Benz, but he would have none of it. There was just something about the Bertone. He even had to spend his own money to keep it on the road. The parental units were unwilling to shell out $2300 to replace those Nivomats.

    The snow was really coming down now. Fortunately, they were almost to the condo. As good as the Volvo was, he would have taken the Escalade if he knew it was going to be this bad. The boys grabbed their gear and went inside.

    After having one of the best ski trips ever, the boys lethargically brushed the snow off the Bertone and saddled up in it’s soft leather. They made a quick pit stop at the Starbucks to help quell some hangover symptoms. Eric put his hands in front of the vents now that the PRV was putting out some warmth. Josh hit the on-ramp and accelerated….that’s when the bucking began.
    “What the hell was that?!” Eric exclaimed.

    “DUDE. I have NOTHING.” Josh answered while pumping the gas pedal.

    He looked at Ben in the back. Normally cheerful, Ben’s face now wore a worried expression.

    He gingerly caressed the gas pedal up the on ramp. The Volvo was moving, but just barely, while emitting a muffled “POP…POP..P…POP” sound from under the hood. He pulled off to the shoulder and the relieved chariot stalled. They opened the hood and stared. Eric prodded at stuff. Ben felt components with his hand. Joshua remembered a National Geographic show he watched long ago about an isolated tribe. The tribesmen poked and prodded at the cameras, not knowing what to think. As he stood there with his cell phone to his ear, he imagined his pals in grass skirts and war paint as they prodded the V6. He shook his head. He described the problem over the phone to the Volvo service manager. Joshua brushed aside the repeated attempts to get penciled in for the car to get looked at. He prodded the service guy for some wisdom, ANYTHING, to improve their situation. He could barely hear over the sound of passing trucks as the service scribe asked him “Well…does it do it only when it’s hot?”. They had been sitting there on the snowy shoulder for awhile. Josh tried the key again, and the car fired up and ran normally. He thanked the guy and promptly hung up. After 10 more miles of driving, the bucking started again. Josh then realized that the problem was not just “a thing”. Something was really wrong with the car. “This sucks”, he exclaimed. The boys sat there on the shoulder for a few minutes. “Try it now”, said Ben. The PRV fired to life once again, and morale was instantly improved as they accelerated back into traffic.

    After 5 more unplanned stops, Josh had a new theory on how to drive his car. He quickly learned how to plan ahead and get to work on time. It would only take 1 carefully timed stop at Starbucks on the way, to enjoy a coffee and let the Bertone cool in the parking lot. He thought of the Nivomats he had purchased awhile back, how expensive it was, and that was just the shocks. This was THE ENGINE. He called up his parents. He plotted the location of the nearest Volvo dealer. Well within the radius before breakdown.

    Joshua felt somewhat sad behind the wheel of his new XC90 as he pulled out of the dealer.
    “They’ll fix it, I’m sure.”

  • avatar
    lon888

    Now if you could just find a 262 Bertone Coupe in a junkyard. I really loved those cars with cut down roofs.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Call me square, but Volvos look best with 4-doors to me, the regular coupes are fine but the lowered-roof models always looked off to me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m not a huge fan of the Bertone’s looks, but the 242 is/was a pretty sharp brick, I assume this is what you mean.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        The 242 was just a standard coupe of the range, that one looked pretty cool in black.

        I find it interesting how Volvo discontinued it far before their iconic wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I read a statistic that during the 240 run, 1/3 of all units sold were wagons. When the coupes were available the ratio was probably 1/10 or 2/10 of coupes to sedans. Volvos of the period last a very long time and I only recall ever seeing one coupe in person.

  • avatar
    rpm1200

    That Volvo font is called “Aero” (google it!). IIRC Pontiac also used it for their advertising in the early 90s.

  • avatar
    Toad

    I remember two of these sitting for a couple of years at the local Volvo dealer back when they were new. Great looking cars, but stickered at right around $40k which was a LOT of money for a car 25+ years ago.

    I think there were a lot of people like me who thought they were nice cars, but not $40k nice.

  • avatar
    Hobie-wan

    Man, I’d have snagged the Bertone B logos.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I think the flat roof has hit MINI of late. 80’s Volvo Brougham. The PRV 6 was bad? Can’t be any more primitive than the 164 formula of adding 1/2 block and few inches to the hood. The Renault 30 and Peugeot 604 debuted with such fanfare at the time. Turns out PRV Couldn’t match the Germans or the best of GM?

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    How timely this junkyard find is….. we just hired a girl at my work who drives one of these. I did a double take on it because while it did have that familiar Volvo “brick” look, it looked a little different and then I saw that little Bertone logo.

    That went out the window when I saw the driver…. made me forget about the car completely, she is, ah rather attractive to be nice about it.

    Murilee, I’ve got to ask and I can’t be the only one who saw it, but what’s up with the S30 Datsun 240Z next to it? The tail lights definately show it as being a 240Z, not a 260 or 280. That makes me sad as I want one to turn it into the Wangan Midnight ‘Akuma No Zeto”….

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    What a coincidence. Today I happen to receive my April copy of Automobile magazine in the mail the monthly Collectable Classic is the 87-91 Volvo 780 Bertone. They list the value today as $3500-7K. They came with with the turbo-4 or the PRV V6 and no body panels were interchangeable with the 760.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    Ahh the memories … my very first Volvo dealer convention in the fall of 1986. A black tie cocktail reception, poolside at the Boca Beach Club. VCNA had artfully arranged several 780s around the pool deck, but the real highlight of the evening was meeting the man himself, Nuccio Bertone.

    Down to earth: back home in my little university town Volvo store we managed to sell exactly one of them over the four model years that they were offered. It was a metallic nutmeg brown, with the same taupe/black interior as the one above.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    I had a neighbor about a decade ago who had a 780 weekend driver and two 780 parts cars. Eventually he just had three parts cars, or maybe he hoped to revive one of them at some point. They’re long gone now, and I doubt any of the neighbors in that part of La Jolla appreciated them being there in the first place. Other than the rear suspension, I thought mechanically these were made out of pretty standard 760 or 960 stuff. I wonder why he needed such a stout supply of cosmetic or body parts instead of parting out a more common sedan.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    As an Internet Volvo Expert, you could sell those rims and any black interior bits in good shape for a pretty penny. I mean, not that you’d necessarily find a buyer /quickly/, but they sell for good money.

    Have we seen one of these in LeMons? I’ve little doubt that a redblock-equipped car could do well, since 7/9-series cars tend to, and a PRV version even has a good shot.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      Since you’re the expert, did these have self leveling rear suspension? I’m asking because two of my neighbor’s 780s looked like they were resting on their rear bump stops.

      • 0 avatar
        turbobrick

        Yes, that’s a pair of Nivomat self leveling shocks in the back there and chances are the bump stops have turned into dust as well. They’re $300 a piece from online dealers so I was very happy to find a reasonably fresh pair for $18 total from a gently wrecked 960.

  • avatar
    RatherhaveaBuick

    This is sad, I think those cars are strange but beautiful.

    Also, Volvo still uses that font, my mothers S60 has it all over. There is something to be said for a company using the same lettering in their cars and ads for such a long time. I’d recognize that font anywhere. Brand recognition!

  • avatar

    I just checked the Junkyarders Guide to the Galaxy handbook and you are required by oath to go back and get those rear seats!

  • avatar
    Cheetah Stunt

    Oh, how I loved this car. As an irrational Volvo nut, having owned nearly every permutation of the ‘Brick’ at one time or another, this is the one I most regret selling. Mine was a white ’89 with a beige leather interior, the b230ft with Turbo+, and did not have a single cosmetic or mechanical flaw except for a little crack in the timing belt cover. I never owned a car that was smoother, more comfortable, or (at least in my Brickstruck eyes) classier. Not to mention dead reliable.

    In mortal desperation for cash I listed it on craigslist dirt cheap, and the eventual buyer was a Lebanese fellow from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who took a one-way flight to my home on Long Island to pick it up and drive it back.

    The moral of the story: stay off drugs!

  • avatar
    Moparman426W

    Like the GM billboard adds stated a couple of years back, “they don’t write songs about Volvos.”

  • avatar

    When in the far reaches of Northern Sweden, you saw these driven by the bank manager, and that was about the sole extent of its market segment.


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