Junkyard Find: 1975 Volvo 245 DL

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1975 volvo 245 dl

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.

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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.

  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Ed That has to be a joke.
  • SCE to AUX One data point: my rental '23 Model 3 had good build quality, but still not as good as my Hyundais.Test mule aside, perhaps the build quality of the CT will be good in 2027.