Junkyard Find: 1971 Volvo 144 S

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1971 volvo 144 s

While Volvo 240s continue to be crushed in alarming quantities, I also see quite a few Volvo 140s during my wrecking-yard trips. Prior to today, we’d seen this ’68 142, this ’69 145, this ’71 144 and this ’71 142, and now another non-rusty, solid-looking 140 is going to be eaten by The Crusher.

Years before American and Japanese car companies went to six-digit odometers, Volvo had enough optimism to go past 99,999 miles on theirs. This car averaged just over 3,000 miles per year during its life.

The 140 was very advanced for its day, with four-wheel disc brakes as standard equipment.

Some might say that a pushrod engine with SU carburetors wasn’t so advanced, but the B18 got the job done.

The combination of a rear defroster and a manual choke is one you don’t see every day.

Sometimes I miss my hooptie 144, but not quite enough to try to rescue a car like today’s Junkyard Find. Still, a 142 with 16-valve B230 engine might be fun.

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  • TAP TAP on Jan 06, 2014

    My '70 142S(bought new),would simply stop if a couple hundred miles over the tune-up interval. Needed a valve job! at 24K Camshaft @ 60K Water pump, alternator and every other non-drivetrain part needed well before 100k. Always saw dealer service, too. The seats, vault-like solidity and gutsy performance(w/stick) sucked me in.

  • Guy922 Guy922 on Feb 04, 2014

    Looks modern enough that I would be down to drive it today! Always had a soft spot for Volvo's though....

  • Tassos ask me if I care.
  • ToolGuy • Nice vehicle, reasonable price, good writeup. I like your ALL CAPS. 🙂"my mid-trim EX tester is saddled with dummy buttons for a function that’s not there"• If you press the Dummy button, does a narcissist show up spouting grandiose comments? Lol.
  • MaintenanceCosts These are everywhere around here. I'm not sure the extra power over a CR-V hybrid is worth the fragile interior materials and the Kia dealership experience.
  • MaintenanceCosts It's such a shame about the unusable ergonomics. I kind of like the looks of this Camaro and by all accounts it's the best-driving of the current generation of ponycars. A manual 2SS would be a really fun toy if only I could see out of it enough to drive safely.
  • ToolGuy Gut feel: It won't sell all that well as a new vehicle, but will be wildly popular in the used market 12.5 years from now.(See FJ Cruiser)