By on May 17, 2013

 

 Volvo Limo 2

So much is going on in the automotive world. Unfunded mandates by government for fuel efficiency, electronic safety systems, pedestrian safety and so on. The whole rising gas prices thing etc. etc.

I’ve found something that trumps all of those non-issues. A few weeks ago, I was driving along the Long Island Expressway, mindlessly commuting to work, when I stumbled upon this chewing up the miles eastbound.

This is a stretched 1990’s Volvo that was weaving in and out of traffic, and finally. it went into the HOV lane.

Volvo Limo1

Yes, a stretched 1990s Volvo.  The thing…err…car had genuine New York State Livery plates, and was moving at a decent clip. Let me get this straight. Somebody saw a mid-90’s Volvo…and said to themselves “Yes…I want to stretch it. Add more sheet metal!” It’s madness. Pure madness!

I am writing because I am genuinely curious. Can somebody tell me first, where did this car come from?  Second, why does it exist?  Third, are there any more stretched Volvos out there? Most importantly, why would anyone ever stretch a Volvo in the first place? Do the swells in the back value safety that much that a Town Car doesn’t suffice? Do they like the cool atmosphere of Swedish decadence?

What are the weirdest stretch limos you’ve seen? Are they are perfectly lackluster as this one? Please comment below and help solve this very important mystery.

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39 Comments on “Help Solve the Mystery of the Stretched Volvo on Long Island...”


  • avatar
    thirty-three

    In high school, one of my friend’s parents had a Volvo like this (not stretched). I remember sitting in the back and having my head touch the roof. That was remarkable considering that I’m only 5’4″.

    So why on earth would anyone turn a car like this into a limo?

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      As a 240 owner I never understood why later Volvos were a bit less roomy as far as headroom went, I can sit in he back or front of my 240 with room to spare for a hat, not so much with the 700-900 I sat in.

  • avatar
    brickgeek

    I know that Volvo was producing a long wheelbase ‘S80L’ for the Chinese domestic market. These would be used by upper class folk with a driver.

    I have seen a couple of 940/960 series limos for sale in the US in the past. I suspect they were imported from Europe. I have seen Volvo ambulances and hearses from that side of the pond as well.

    • 0 avatar
      jconli1

      Volvo “Executive” and “Royal” versions were actual company models, and not aftermarket conversions.

      Not sure I’d the YouTube link goes through, but check out youtube.com/watch?v=iIwQ8W_1IbY

    • 0 avatar
      racer193

      The 960 l was called the royale and IIRC they where avaliable here in Canada though not many sold.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      I believe a stable of stretched 740s were the very last state limousines of East Germany, so, while strange to North American eyes, this sort of thing is certainly not unknown.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        Back in the late ’80’s, I happened to see a stretched 7-series Volvo. It had both a back seat and rear-facing middle seats. A real limo. It was a dark grey. Never saw another one like it. I always thought it was awesome.

  • avatar
    rolladan

    http://i215.photobucket.com/albums/cc25/celicamadnest/mr4.jpg
    Mr2 limo

  • avatar
    thornmark

    http://www.autotraderstatic.com/cms/img/images_82029.jpg?v=3.58.246367

  • avatar
    Charles T

    Here in Boston there was a black Volvo S80 stretch limousine, done in the 6-door style that you’d see applied to the last-gen Cadillac Fleetwood Brougham. Every time I saw it, it was parked in front of the Boston University School of Business.I say “there was” because I haven’t been there in a while and cannot confirm its continued existence on the roads.

  • avatar
    James2

    Jeremy Clarkson was here…

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Could be a 960, but if I were to guess I would say 97-98 S90. This car may have been imported as a grey for a diplomat and is still in use by said diplomat or perhaps a private party. I can’t see a limo company dealing with it, repair/parts costs would put a wrench in its profitability. Volvo in Europe did coachworks conversion with the 900 series for Hearse, Ambulance, and I suppose Limousines right until the end of the platform. Would be very interested to know how its titled, either as a S90 sedan (which would explain how it could be registered by anyone other than diplomats), or something else.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    Volvo has done limos in the past, when I did European delivery on a V70R we got picked up in a stretched S80. Logically the platform lends itself to stretching as easily as anything else, but I haven’t seen too many on offer in the USA.

  • avatar
    JasonH

    Same car? http://bangshift.com/blog/roadside-find-rule-the-roads-like-a-scandinavian-pimp-in-this-volvo-limo.html

  • avatar
    menjo

    Those are build by Nillson
    http://www.nilsson.se/en/the-cars/nilsson-limousine/overview/

  • avatar
    dthawk

    I live in CT and grew up in Volvo wagons (go figure). There is a Volvo dealership in Westport, CT that has had this exact stretched car for years- I’m pretty sure it’s a 960. I always assumed they used it as a courtesy car or to pick up/drop off customers.

  • avatar
    Tuce

    Those stretched Volvos were used for the transportation of the United Nations Secretary-General back in the late ’80s/early ’90s.

  • avatar
    Eric

    I remember that there was on in Minneapolis back when I lived there, in the 90’s. I think it was owned by Borton Volvo, where my Dad bought a 1986 760 Turbo. Fun car. To bad it exploded into a rustball in 1995ish.

    I did just see a wacky limo. It’s a stretched Land Cruiser, and is parked at Slee Off Road in Golden CO.

  • avatar

    I saw many many years ago, when this car was just a hand full of years old (12+ or so years ago), that one was for sale in The Dupont Registry. The ad was burned into my memory, I even remember how much it cost, I loved it that much haha. As far as the ad said, it was a factory thing. One of 5 or 6. It looked just like that one, just a different colour. It didn’t say why it was built or for whom, just that it was factory. That’s honestly about as much light as I can shed on it, that this looks identical to a factory built limousine that I saw for sale once with an organization who would fact check that kind of stuff.

  • avatar
    carsRneat

    Beyer Volvo in Alexandria VA has used a stretched Volvo for years as a shuttle to and from the Metro subway stop. It looks very similar to the Volvo pictured.

    • 0 avatar
      7402

      I rode in Beyer Volvo’s limo a couple of times. I think it was a 960–the driver gave me the story that it had belonged to the Swedish Embassy as the ambassador’s car. Beyer bought it used from them.

      This is the same Beyer Volvo that sold the local City of Falls Church Volvo 740s for police cars back in the day.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    There are a number of these floating around the States. A limo company here in Portland Maine had a couple, but they were more in the “extended sedan” rather than super-stretch limo version. Stretched maybe a foot? I have seen one just like in the picture in Boston, and an ad for one in Denver. They are out there.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    It wasn’t a stretch limo, really, but I guy I know had a six door Oldsmobile, vintage 70s or 80s. It had 3 rows of bench seats and looked almost the same as the nornal four door sedans of the same vintage, just with the extra doors slipped in. Seeing it always gave you that odd ‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ feeling until the extra doors registered. He said that it wasn’t a customization, it came from the factory that way.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      That’s a “Funeral car”. I drove one occasionally, I worked for the local Funeral Home in High School. My best friend’s mother owned the business. Six doors, both back seats face forward for carrying the family to the cemetery behind the hearse. The one I drove was a Cadillac though.

  • avatar
    david42

    Hard to tell the color from the pic, but if it’s a very dark blue, then it’s a dead ringer for one that used to be in the Boston area. (A 4-door 960 limo with the stretch between the doors.)

    I heard (can’t remember when or from whom) that a local dealer used it as a courtesy shuttle. Who knows where it came from before that.

    I haven’t seen it around Boston for a long time, so perhaps it migrated down to NYC.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Ill keep an eye out for it…funny when you commute on the same route for a few years you begin to recognize vehicles…

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    Stretch Volvos were the ultimate transport for limousine liberals back in the 80s. I don’t know about later models but in the mid 80s stretched Volvo 740s were fairly common in New York City.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    I remember seeing a couple of IIRC late eighties Toyota Cressida limos in the Houston area a number of years back . Unsure if they were JDM or stretched in the U.S.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Likely done in the US – much, much easier than trying to import one. Especially back then.

      Regardless, not as weird as some would think. I remember a few Gen I Accord 4 doors being stretched in ’79 or ’80. Done for a local Honda dealer for resale, I don’t remember how many units he moved.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    A stretched Volvo is not exactly unique, but i live in Sweden.

    http://www.google.se/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/69/Blue_Volvo_S80_TS_stretch_Stockholm.jpg&imgrefurl=http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_Volvo_S80_TS_stretch_Stockholm.jpg&h=1609&w=2860&sz=646&tbnid=xGElpfPZwD7TIM:&tbnh=68&tbnw=120&zoom=1&usg=__JXKEPKHfWUjilfF0kVNGg4UZ57M=&docid=Z72JKzV_FRrP8M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dXqXUaKCGIrZ4ASouYCwBQ&ved=0CC8Q9QEwAQ&dur=1952

  • avatar
    Toshi

    I saw a mildly B-pillar-stretched Lincoln MKZ Hybrid on the LIE this year.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Sweedish Ambassador to the UN has a girlfriend on Long Island?

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