By on July 11, 2012

After seeing this 1969 Volvo 145 wagon a couple of weeks back, I figured I wouldn’t be seeing any more 140s for quite a while. Not so!
It’s a not-completely-rusty 44-year-old Swede with four-on-the-floor and a clean-looking engine. You’d think that 140 coupes would be worth something, but this one couldn’t find anyone to save it from The Crusher.
Once again, the “thermometer” speedo reminds me of my ’68 Volvo 144.
Those SU carbs look to be in good shape. In fact, the entire B18 engine looks good.
Perhaps it will yield some of its parts for surviving 140s before being shredded and shipped to a Chinese steel plant.

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21 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1968 Volvo 142...”

  • avatar

    My first car – I loved that little bastard! I especially love the alarm you can slide into place on the thermometer style speedo that dings when exceeded in a semi “you win a prize” sort of way. god speed little doodle…

  • avatar

    When I was younger, this kind of styling was all around me in Fiats, Ladas, Renaults, Fords, Opels, even BMWs and Mercedeses etc. I thought they looked hideous. Now, that i’m older, I start looking back on the cars and really love their simple, straightforward lines. Wonder if this clean style will ever come back?

    Beautiful little sedans,

  • avatar

    What could’ve gone wrong with this one?

    Value wise older Volvos aren’t as high as you’d think, atleast the plain looking models (even though their the best made).

  • avatar

    This must have been a fairly new acquisition for the junk yard. The fuel filter and white zip ties on the fuel lines look relatively new. I’m surprised some MGB owner hasn’t snapped up the SU’s yet. Strange that the rear seats are brown and the front one’s are black. The 240 series Volvos were great cars – too bad this one isn’t going to be restored.

  • avatar

    Thank you Murilee for all of the great trips down memory lane.

    I owned this exact same car in the early 1980’s when I was a grad student – same colors, same air filters, same in-line fuel filter, even the same screw in the headlight switch (scary, it makes me wonder if this might actually be that very car). It was a fantastic car that reliably shlepped me through a couple of years of grad school in upstate New York, and took me on many long runs back and forth to Indiana and Kentucky to see my (at the time) girlfriend.

    The 142 had a basic solidity and honesty that has been missing from cars for a long time. It felt rock-solid, the proverbial ‘hewn from a solid billet of steel’ feeling. It was comfortable, 16 hour highway runs were no problem in the car (amazing considering how little I paid for it). It was straightforward and simple to work on (SU’s weren’t as bad as many people think, you just had to finese them from time to time), in some ways even easier to fix than the air-cooled VW’s of the time. It wasn’t a “sports” car by any stretch of the imagination, but it did have ‘sprightly’ handling (for the times), and with the ‘four on the floor’, it was fun to drive.

    All in all, it was a very satisfying car. I don’t think anything built in recent times captures the essence of everything the 142 offered. I miss it, and would love to have one as a daily driver.

  • avatar

    this would be a great daily driver, just some updated brake and steering components, suspension pieces and maybe a turbo swap. ronal wheels, leave the exterior almost exactly as-is. how sad to see these things on death row.

  • avatar

    For months I’ve had a strange longing for a vintage 145 wagon. 4-speed. In Orange. With black & white Swedish plaid seats. (sigh) Maybe someday…

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Replace that left eye and tidy up the interior and it’s a family hauler for some third world family.

  • avatar

    My brother had one exactly like this one. He always said it was well built car. We dove down to Historic races in Laguna Seca and it would over heat. I showed him that if you turn on the heater it would cool down a little and keep you going. Of course in August it gets your passengers might grumpy. Great weekend, Lotus was the marquee and we stayed at a nice house overlooking the ocean. Volvo kept on rolling.

  • avatar

    Looks pretty straight. Title must stink worse than a jar of Surströmming. Or the owner just had enough and all prospective buyers were on the wrong coast.

  • avatar

    That interior has had it! No wonder it’s on death row. Seems uncharacteristic of a Swede to have such a trashed cabin.

  • avatar

    Actually, right now you can buy this beauty in Toronto Area:
    1980 Volvo 240 Coupe 100% Orginal
    46 000 km
    Manual tranny
    Claimed to have 0 rust.

  • avatar

    Tow that over to Ithaca, park it in front of the Greenstar Co-op downtown, put a “FOR SALE $2,000” sign in the window with your phone number, and wait a few minutes for off-the-hook ringing.

  • avatar
    Rollo Grande

    Ahh that’s a shame. A high school kid could have this spiffed up nicely and cruising in a couple of weekends. Or you could LeMons it, vintage rally car, something. Bet it drove there, the keys are even on the dash.

    I almost bought one of these as my second-ever car back in 1989. It was a red car repainted green which gave it a Christmasy look when the doors or trunk were open. The owner was an airline pilot and anal about the maintenance, which was a plus, and it had some kind of homemade choke system he had rigged up. As an 18 year old idiot I decided the car didn’t have enough power for me. I told my mom (the seller was her friend) that I “wasn’t a Volvo kind of guy” which she still kids me about.

    Ended up buying a beater 1970 Skylark from a cute girl for $250 and a half-case of Coors. (Curious about what driving a Stage 1 or GS is like because that creaky old grandma-grade 350-2 barrel was fast as hell.) The Skylark was sketchy but I loved it, right up to the moment I wiped out on some wet leaves being a jackass. The bald snow tires didn’t help. Sliding backwards, I hit a tree dead-center of the rear bumper, and that ole yellow car now looked like a fortune cookie. Didn’t even stall out, and I drove straight home and parked strategically so my folks wouldn’t notice right away. That didn’t work either. Next day, in one of those father-son, you-could-have-been-killed, life-lesson moments me and Dad drove straight to the junkyard. They gave me 50 bucks. As we left, the yard guys were doing mad donuts in the dirt lot with my baby. I noticed it had a Posi rear.

    Anyway, the Volvo. Always wondered what my summer would have been like had I bought that car instead.

  • avatar

    I love the simplicity of the car. No PCM, no computers of any kind. Doesn’t have 16 air bags or ESC or ABS. Just doors and a steering wheel and carburetors.

  • avatar

    One little correction, Murilee: most of that shredded steel is going to U.S. recyclers who produce more steel than the primary producers, not China. Bertel will correct me, but I believe MOST steel made in China is primary steel, made from ore, not scrap. Japan used to be the primary destination for scrap steel, but China never took over that business – unlike Japan, China has large iron ore deposits, and prefers to augment it by buying high grade ore from places like Brazil. That Volvo is more likely to be turned into a Kenmore washer or dryer.

  • avatar

    I need those fenders for my car… So badly.

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