Junkyard Find: 1969 Volvo 145 Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

I see more Volvo Amazons in junkyards (and on the street) than I do 140s, probably because the Amazon was built for 15 years versus the 140’s eight. Both cars got the pushrod version of Volvo’s sturdy— in fact, tractor-grade sturdy— B engine and were unusually safe for their times. Both were typically bought by owners who planned on keeping the cars for many decades. Still, there comes a day when a 43-year-old station wagon just isn’t worth maintaining. Here’s a ’69 wagon I found at a junkyard near my house.

The Volvo 240 evolved out of the 140 and was pretty much the same car from about the windshield rearward. You can really see the resemblance between the 245 and 145 wagons from this view.

This proud engine identification lettering looks serious.

I always think of my free ’68 Volvo 144 when I see the “thermometer” speedo on one of these things.

Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • -Nate -Nate on Sep 16, 2012

    That's sad ~ this car is obviously in VGC and mechanical repairs are cheap and dead simple for any real Mechanic (Daler 'Mechanics" are mostly parts changer kiddies) . This series didn't have the BOSCH D-Jetronic fuel injection , it had the world's _only_ true variable venturi carbys : S.U. , maybe HS-4's . I had a 1970 144S sedan , bought it at the police auction for $130 after the lady owner went to jail for DUI , tuned it sharply and ran it hard with zero problems apart from the worn out engine's constant oil burning . They were farily slow , especially up hill but once rolling , or blasting down canyons or twisty mountain roads , it cornered like is was on rails ~ I surprised many ' Sports Cars ' going down hill . Sadly , few Mechanics seem to grasp how to properly tune or repair these simple , durable rigs as they were in fact , bulletproof . -Nate

  • Pl Pl on Nov 23, 2012

    Anyone know where this junkyard is located? I have a 1970 145 and would like that roof rack, as well as the rear tailgate. Anyway, I looked for ages for a mechanic in SoCal that would be willing to work on my engine (head was cracked). Finally, found someone to weld on the head, and replace the Stromberg carbs. Runs like a champ now. The 1970 would have been the last year to have those door handles and the front grille without the trademark Volvo slash. Seems like a shame that something like this would be just sitting around waiting for time to take its toll.

  • VoGhost Love this collective clutching of pearls over a vehicle name not a single commenter will ever see, drive or buy.
  • 28-Cars-Later "Here's why" edition_cnn_com/2018/06/13/health/falling-iq-scores-study-intl/index.html
  • 28-Cars-Later Seriously, $85. GM Delta I is burning hot garbage to the point where the 1990 Saturn Z-body is leagues better. My mother inherited an '07 Ion with 30Kish otc which was destroyed in 2014 by a tipsy driver with a suspended license (driver's license enforcement is a joke in Pennsyltucky). Insurance paid out $6,400 when it was only worth about $5,800 IIRC, but sure 10 year later the "hipo" Delta I can fetch how much?
  • Buickman styling does not overcome powertrain, follow the money. labor/materials.
  • VoGhost It's funny, until CDK raises their prices to cover the cost. And then the stealerships do even more stealing because they're certainly not taking the hit - why do you think they make all those political donations? So who pays in the end?