By on April 15, 2014

08 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOnly 6,622 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupes were built during the Italo-Swedish machine’s 1978-1981 production run, and I’ve found two of them in California self-serve wrecking yards during the last year. We saw this silver ’79 (actually, all ’78 and ’79 262Cs were painted in Mystic Silver) last summer, and now there’s today’s find: a gold ’80. These cars were weird-looking and something of a puzzling marketing move by Volvo, but you’d think that their rarity would give them sufficient value to keep the survivors out of The Crusher‘s jaws. Nope!
02 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAssembled in Italy!
06 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 262C-specific glass and trim pieces have been pulled, and there’s plenty of typical Northern California upper-body rust in places where weatherstripping failure can let water in. The lower body panels are good and solid.
05 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWe can assume that some project 262C will benefit from these parts.
07 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIf I owned one of these cars, I’d ditch the unreliable Peugeot-Renault-Volvo V6 and replace it with a good old B230 (or something more interesting). In the case of this car, though, someone has grabbed the PRV.
13 - 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinStill a few pieces worth taking left on this car. Let’s hope they get pulled before the car gets crushed.

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51 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1980 Volvo 262C Bertone Coupe...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Timely, considering Bertone has just announced they’ll be going through bankruptcy proceedings.

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      … +1 ! And yeah .. the Bertone Volvo is definitely one of my very guilty pleasures . Always had a soft spot for them . Never bought one because the reliability and dependability was awful

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Arguably, that PRV engine is also [part of] what killed DMC.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Is that the same God awful motor (3.0, I believe?) which left a terrible taste in the mouths of Eagle Premier/Dodge Monaco owners?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You know, I think it was (but maybe a 2.8 or 3.2). I liked that model Premier/Monaco. Thought it was a very nice large car design. Put me in mind of the Mazda 929 as well. The Monaco was ahead of its time.

        Edit: 2.85L V6

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          Notoriously unreliable.

          Agreed though. Good lookin’ car for the time.

        • 0 avatar
          Pebble

          As a former Eagle Premier owner, I can say it was nice enough, but it was NOT a “large car,” rather a compact with a 3.0 liter Six.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It is 192.8″ long. It had a 2.8L.

            The length is almost exactly the same as a Mazda 929, which is certainly not a compact.

          • 0 avatar
            Pebble

            The Premier was basically the same size as a Ford Taurus of the same era–not large. Crown Vic and Buick Roadmaster are large cars. Not to take anything away from the Premier or Taurus, but they really don’t compete with full sizers.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Just LOOK at all the things it ruined.

        Alpine A310 (October 1976)
        Alpine A610 (1991)
        Alpine GT/GTA (1984)
        Citroën XM (1989)
        DeLorean DMC-12 (1981–1983)
        Dodge Monaco (1990–1992)
        Eagle Premier (1988–1992)
        Helem V6
        Lancia Thema (1984-1992)
        Peugeot 504 coupé/cabriolet (1974/1975)
        Peugeot 505 (July 1986)
        Peugeot 604 (March 1975)
        Peugeot 605 (1990)
        Renault 25 (1984)
        Renault 30 (March 1975)
        Renault Espace
        Renault Laguna
        Renault Safrane
        Talbot Tagora (1980)
        UMM Alter II (90’s)
        Venturi (all models)
        Volvo 242GLT/6/244GLT/6/245GLT/6c/262/262C/264/265
        Volvo 760 GLE (February 1982)
        Volvo 780 (1985)
        Volvo 960 (rare 1991 models)

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          The 505??

          Nooooooo!

          Oh well. Scratch that off the list.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s a nice looking Familiale you got there.

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e4/Peugeot_505_Turbo_Familiale_1991.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          NoGoYo

          I’ve never understood why the DeLorean got a French V6…even a smoggy 305 would have been better.

        • 0 avatar
          Jesse

          It definitely didn’t kill the 242/4/5GLT as those all had redblocks.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            I think he was more citing that since the PRV was available in the 244/245 that it “ruined” them when so equiped.

          • 0 avatar
            Jesse

            @CoastieLenn,

            I’m being a bit pedantic, but the 260s had the PRV. The 240s never had a PRV.

            Since he listed a very specific Volvo 240 model, the GLT, and also listed the 260s, I thought I’d clarify a bit.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          The Peugeot version of the engine was excellent. It did not suffer from the issues that the Volvo version had. Just from the general inability of American “mechanics” back in the day to deal with anything more complex than an all-iron Chevy V8. An all-aluminum wet-liner (French!!) v6 might as well have been a warp drive to the average Joe at the corner gas station.

          No Volvo with a “4” in the middle of it’s model number ever had one. The Renault Alpines with the turbo version are still considered 911-killers and are quite sought after.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Related, but not the same. The motor was a joint venture between Peugeot, Renault, and Volvo (hence PRV. But ultimately only the block was shared between the three makes. Each had their own head design. Volvo’s original head for the 2.7L version had horrible oiling issues causing rapid cam wear. The Renault and Peugeot versions did not have these issues. In fact the Peugeot version, which actually had balance shafts in the heads is a real gem of an engine. The only real problem with the Renault and Peugeot versions is the same as every other complex all-aluminum engine of that era – they don’t suffer neglect AT ALL. Overheat it once, and it is done. Don’t change the coolant regularly? Done. The early ones came with some pretty awful carbs too on the French versions. I believe the biggest issue with the 3.0l Renault version was head gasket and cylinder liner gasket issues – 3.0L stretched it a little too far evidently.

        Even the Volvo version was pretty well sorted out by the time the 2.8L version came out in the mid-late 80s, but by then the damage was done and the turbos were faster anyway. I believe DMC did use the early 2.8L Volvo version. So no major issues other than not nearly enough power to go with the looks.

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      It’s also one thing that made the ‘Back to the future’ films exciting. Imagine how boring it would be to see an actually fast car try it’s best to reach 88 mph…

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      CoreyDL – What killed off DMC was the fact that much like Elon Musk , John Z DeLorean was a low life , lying two bit con artist scum who cut corners in every possible way that he could : from design – to engineering – to manufacturing – to materials : right on down to customer sales and service . Oh this engine may of helped things along just a tad …. but in reality DMC’s failure all came down to the man himself .

      Oh … and btw … Johnny Z’s little year ’round Peruvian blizzards habit didn’t help much either : seeing as how most of the development funds and subsidies from Ireland were going straight up his nose

      That … and the fact that the car was a pos from the get go . A good looking pos [ thanks to GG and ITAL Design ] mind you . But a pos never the less

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        While I’m not Musk’s biggest fan, I see no evidence that the Tesla S suffers from corner-cutting.

        Even people who were not sanguine about its success (myself included) seem to have universally praised the S’s build quality and interior.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The interior was the biggest let down for me with the Model S. It was sparse with an especially uncomfortable back seat. It’s lacking many features of other cars at it’s price point and far below that.

          It’s pretty clear the bulk of the value equation of that car is the electric drivetrain and some flashy tech in the dash.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        He didn’t HAVE a coke habit, and he was acquitted of those charges due to quite a lot of entrapment. As usual, you spout off rubbish with little connection to reality to try and make your incoherent points stick.

        • 0 avatar
          ellomdian

          It’s pretty much taken as fact at this point that the DMC-12 was DOA because people were promised an expensive super-car, and the production drivetrain simply couldn’t cash the cheques the body was writing.

          Everything else is just (admittedly fascinating) window dressing at this point.

        • 0 avatar
          Hillman

          I always wondered why there was that much entrapment? I never understood why someone would go through that much effort to frame John.

  • avatar
    anti121hero

    A very clean example pops up often on the local craigslist. I’ve always wanted to make a (pretend) offer just so I could marvel at one of these in person

  • avatar
    zbnutcase

    There is a beautiful silver one around here I see on occasion, and it has a 5.0L Ford/T-5 swap in it. SWEET ride it is!

    • 0 avatar
      gtrslngr

      Now that sounds absolutely brilliant . Like the Volvo wagons David Letterman and Paul Newman had built for them only hopefully better executed [ see comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com for the Letterman episode and then do a search on Newman\'s Turbo Ford V8 powered Volvo wagon beast ]

      Hmmmn …So lets see now .. First .. find one of these who’s bones are still intact … dredge up a well loved Ford 5.0 .. get my friends shop to mate the two … perhaps a slight upgrade on the suspension and brakes . CD player .

      Yup ! Done right : sounds like a potential winner to me . Problem being finding a Bertone Volvo who’s bones still are any good

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        The Paul Newman wagon was on Chasing Classic Cars this past season.

        • 0 avatar
          gtrslngr

          Even in its somewhat wonkilly engineered state [ the car has a ton of problems as does Letterman\'s ] .. the Newman/Letterman wagons are a genuine hoot and a half .

          Theres simply something inheritantly evil in a very fun way than can be imagined about a Turbo’d V8 powered Volvo Wagon that still looks like a Soccer Mom mobile from the outside .. yet goes like h*ll when the pedals pushed down

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I worked for a Volvo dealer in Richmond, VA for nearly 10 years until 2008.

    Back then (2005-2008 range), a NEW set of door panels (they liked to delaminate) cost $2200. That’s right… $1100 each… for door panels… for a 20+ year old car.

    Also, we had a few of these come thru on occasion. One of the owners had the common sense to swap in the B230FT, the rest still lumbered along with the PRV.

    • 0 avatar
      ArBee

      CoastieLenn, I worked at the same dealership when these beasts were being loosed on the world (late Seventies). We knew even then that this saga was not going to end well, because they kept returning for any number of ailments.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        Completely non-sarcastic:

        “I worked at the same dealership…”

        The same one I did (the only one in Richmond)?

        • 0 avatar
          ArBee

          Yup. That was when the firm was in their old building on the Boulevard. As you probably know, they started as a Packard dealer in 1924, and still maintained a good stock of Packard glass and body parts. When I was there, they also handled Fiat and Lancia, and did a booming shop trade with expensive English cars, particularly Jaguars.

          • 0 avatar
            CoastieLenn

            Wow! Small world!

            I’d be willing to bet that you’d still know of three or four of the technicians that work there to this day.

            While retaining some form of anonymity:
            Flemming
            Nuckols
            Raebuck
            etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Syke

            And they’re still going reasonably strong from the looks of it. Drive past there on occasionally on my way to work (Honda House – motorcycles) when I knock off at the Glenside exit to gas up at Sheetz.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Cross between a staid reliable Volvo and a late 70s pimpmobile. I never understood the car either. Maybe Volvo’s attempt to tap into the “personal luxury coupe” thing that was red hot at the time?

  • avatar
    JimC2

    The PRV V6 wasn’t a *bad* engine, when provided frequent oil changes- the cams and lifters really really needed good, clean oil. By comparison, in the OHC Volvo red block engines, the lifters each had their own oil bath and so each cam lobe would be covered in oil pretty much an instant after you began cranking the engine.

    The PRV V6 started out on the drawing board as a V8 but the fuel crisis changed all that. One notable feature of the engine was a particularly strong bottom end. Anyway… this family of engines ended up as a footnote in automotive history. Interesting if you’re an auto history nerd, but in the end just a footnote.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Assembled in Italy!”

    Maybe that’s why the tag is mounted crooked?

  • avatar
    Battles

    I love the squint metal tag that proudly says, and proves, that the car was assembled in Italy.

  • avatar
    BMWnut

    Is tha a W124 wagon standing next to the Bertone? Any chance of that being featured in an upcoming Junkyard find? The little that is visible seems to be in good condition. Far more interesting than anything powered by PRV, me thinks.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      What’s all that interesting about a W124 wagon?

      They’re not rare (like the 262C), and they’re not really hitting the yards in large quantities yet (being relatively new and being from before Mercedes’ Great Quality Dropoff).

      Maybe if it was the ’87 diesel, if only because that was the only year of import, but even then…

  • avatar
    doug-g

    https://scontent-a-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1.0-9/1947420_10152074429324426_1337462794_n.jpg

    Klassy U-Pick yard compliments of Charles Phoenix – my friends’ new BFF.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Something about the roofline… or maybe the lack of roofline, rather- never quite looked right to me on the Bertone.

    Even the name is ugly. “Bertone”. Sounds like a nasty as$ pasta.

    I didn’t know this model was PRV equipped until now. Hell, that’s just icing on the cake.

    This is undoubtedly the red-headed stepchild… with freckles… of the red-blocked unbreakable Volvos.

    Although even the unbreakable Volvos had relatively fun wiring issues that no one ever seems to discuss. Let’s not discuss the chewing up and spitting out of motor mounts.

  • avatar
    jdmcomp

    It wasn’t just the engine, but also the ever failing wiring, the lack of dealer backup and the ever rising price of anything with “it rolls” labeling. My dealer managed to F-up my 740 wagon to the point it has the engine rebuilt and the a/c rebuilt under warranty. Sorry, but the whole experience by the mid 80s was not the ever enduring tractor engined Volvos we had loved so much. To this day, I will not consider a Volvo. And I own a Jag!!!!!

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    I always had a soft spot for these as well as the later 780. Maybe some engineer at Volvo was taken by American hot rods with chopped roofs and decided to take a base model 242 and do a chop top. The folks at Bertone liked it and decided to build it.

  • avatar
    Garak

    It’s sad to see 200-series Volvos go, they were a constant part of my childhood and early driving days. Boring cars for boring people, reliable and safe (in their day) – but capable of RWD land barge action in the winter. I put one in a ditch and another in a snow pile, as laws of physics proved to be greater than my driving skills.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Stoic meets Gucci with garlic underpinnings. P1800 wears the halo here… And you know hey made big song & dance at PRV debut.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Stoic meets Gucci with garlic underpinnings. P1800 wears the halo here… And you know they made big song & dance at PRV debut.

  • avatar
    Sjalabais

    Honestly, it is a huge pity that these cars disappear. They’re neither particularly pretty, nor especially good, but so interesting! What a blend…and as you say: “The lower body panels are good and solid” – the Volvo bit is solid. Surprise.

    In Europe, good 262C’s go for 10-14000€. They are a very popular import item, that is export to you guys in the US then. 2/3 of the 262C Bertone I see for sale are US-imports, like this one from Kansas, now offered for a nice and round 10000$:
    http://www.finn.no/finn/car/used/object?finnkode=47626305


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