Junkyard Find: 1977 Volvo 242

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1977 volvo 242

In California, Volvo 240 s are going to the crusher in huge numbers as the traditional Volvo-buying demographic transitions to the Prius. This has been going on for at least a decade, and every wrecking yard in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas has at least ten 240s in stock these days. Here in Colorado, the pace is slower but I still see a fair number of 240s ( and 140s) in Denver-area yards. Today’s find is an early example of the breed, very straight and completely rust-free. Despite what fanatical 240 worshipers say, the 240 two-doors just aren’t valuable enough to be worth saving once they get a little tired.

I once believed that these “Lambda Sond” emblems indicated the presence of a more powerful engine, ideally suited for bombing through logging roads above the Arctic Circle. Unfortunately, all this means is that there’s an oxygen-sensor-based feedback fuel-injection system in the car. Admittedly, this was unusual in 1977, but still not very exciting.

Because of American headlight regulations of the era, these hideous single-round-lamp abominations were installed in the first few model years of US-market 240s. By the late 1970s, these cars had better-looking quad-rectangle headlight rigs.

While the wiring in these cars sometimes crapped out, the good old B engines held together for decades.

This one even came with air conditioning, which was serious luxury for 1977 Volvo buyers.

This must be one of the very first “My Kid Is An Honor Student” bumper stickers, judging from its condition.

The 240 Jihad is going to hate this: 56,518 miles on the clock! This car probably spent decades in storage before getting junked.

The presence of keys means that it was most likely sold to the wrecking yard by an auction house that got the car as a trade-in or from an insurance company.

I’ll bet factory AM/FM radios for these things are very rare, but not at all sought-after.

Here’s a nice collection of Volvo 240 ads from around the world.

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4 of 60 comments
  • -Nate -Nate on Jul 06, 2014

    What a shame . I surprised these are no longer wanted , I remember them new , like tanks with bio-degradable F.I. sub harnesses they were . -Nate

  • Calico Jack Calico Jack on Jul 07, 2014

    The 240 series was an amazingly good car. Not fast, mind you, if that's your highest priority. But thoroughly superior in so many other ways. If I lived in an area of the country where the junkyards had interesting cars (nothing but battered old Fords and Chevys in my neck of the woods)I'd cruise junkyards looking to pick up project cars like this 242. Man, what I wouldn't give for a 1993 Classic Edition wagon.

    • See 1 previous
    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Jul 15, 2014

      @Advance_92 Really? I have an MY93 sedan, although it was built 12/92, and had the timing belt done when I bought it. This is an interesting bit of info you provide.

  • MaintenanceCosts Nice color combo. Worth noting that this is not a conventional automatic but an automated manual, which gets you all the roughness of a real manual with none of the fun. Also not sure why everyone loves the V10 so much; it sounds more UPS truck than performance car except at the extreme high end of the tach. Having said that the E60's looks have aged VERY well; the car looks nicer now than it did when it was new.
  • Kcflyer just happy it's not black, white or silver. hooray for color choice
  • Matt Posky I paid a little under $300 bucks per month to park in Queens and was told by everyone else with a car that it was a great deal. Parking in Manhattan is typically far more expensive to rent and often involves waiting 20 minutes while someone fetches your car. Unless it was a secure garage where you yourself have 24 hour access directly to the vehicle, and it was less than a block away, there is no scenario in which I would actually purchase a parking spot in Manhattan.
  • Jeff S VoGhost--He is a Russian troll.
  • GrumpyOldMan The weather protection of a motorcycle plus the bulk of a car.