Junkyard Find: 1975 Volvo 245 DL

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

In a Northern California self-service wrecking yard not far from the one in which I found the Volvo 262C Bertone Coupe, I found an example of a first-year Volvo 240 wagon. The 240 didn’t change much during its near-two-decade run, but the very early ones stand out in this setting.

If you want to do a lot of engine modifications in a California-registered car, the easiest way is to use a 1975 or earlier model. That makes this year 240 the only one in which Golden State Volvo freaks can, say, swap in the powerful L6 out of the S80 T6 without getting the OK from the smog referees. This was the logic behind the rescue of this ’75 coupe a few years back (as far as I know, it is still awaiting its Ford 302 swap).

That wasn’t enough to save this one, of course. Look, only 99,224 miles on the clock!

The interior is pretty beat, so I’m guessing this is a case of either a busted odometer or a car that did 1,099,224 miles.

As I’ve pointed out before, San Francisco Bay Area junkyards always have plenty of Volvo 240s. The early 1975-80 ones have become quite rare in recent years; I suspect that we’ll be seeing the late-80s 240s for another decade at least.

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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  • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 10, 2013

    Is this the one with the flat grill and the rather enormous "bug-eye" headlights? Always thought those Volvos looked absurd compared to the later square headlight models.

    • See 1 previous
    • NoGoYo NoGoYo on Jun 11, 2013

      @Ashy Larry No, this was two large single headlights. Which looks more buggy to me. But I'm used to square headlight 80s Volvos.

  • Nickb Nickb on Dec 26, 2013

    I still drive my 1975 245dl nearly every day. I replaced the bosch injection system with a weber card do to not being able to find a fuel regulator. It has the four speed m40 (no od) tranny there isn't Any problem with power and though its running at 4000 at 75 it doesnt seem to care if it did it would have died years ago. Its virtually rust free and with a couple of pumps fires right up even on the coldest Minnesota winter nights. This little gem has never let me down and even with my cars made this millennium I still consider it to be my most reliable proven vehicle. It has the b20 and a faded orange original paint job and Brown vinyl interior (dl was the base) deluxe model. Besides the fuel injection these things have a plentuful supply of cheap parts and require very little to keep running mine only has 370,000 miles On it.

  • GregLocock Not interested at all. Apparently I've got Apple car play but I've never used it in 3 years. The built in nav is ok.
  • Corey Lewis Probably worth about what they're asking, given its condition. The color combo isn't a desirable one, they look sharper in non-beige shades. Like two-tone green, maroon, navy, or gray. The end of the time when MB built its cars properly. No shame in turning up in a clean W126, they'll always command respect.
  • Lou_BC Another way to look at this is the upgrading of hardware and software. ...............The average length of car ownership is 10 - 12 years ....................The average lifetime ownership of a cell phone is 2.5 years. ................................................................... My phone will remain up to date, my vehicle won't. Especially if you buy a new "end of run" model.
  • TheEndlessEnigma "...we could be seeing a foundational shift in how Americans and car buyers see Stellantis products." yeah, I view Stellantis products as being off the cross-shop list. Stellantis is doing an excellent job of killing the Chrysler and Dodge brands and turning Jeep into something it isn't.
  • 2manyvettes 495 hp in a base C8 is more than enough. 800+ hp in a ZR1 is not worth the extra $60k (plus dealer markups). Unless the buyer is going for bragging rights. I remember when the C7 Grand Sport came out, and a reviewer got his hands on one and put it on the track at Lime Rock. His conclusion? Save yourself $15k and skip the Z06 and get a Grand Sport.