Junkyard Find: 1972 Volvo 145 Station Wagon

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

If you listen to those who claim to love the Volvo 140, every example of the breed is extremely valuable and must be saved… and yet there’s a greater disparity between the Talking The Talk Quotient (TTTQ) and the Walking The Walk Quotient (WTWQ) seen among self-proclaimed Volvo fanatics than found among aficionados of any other marque. Yes, the TTTQ:WTWQ value approaches something like 100:1 when it comes to the poor old Volvo 140, a car whose basic design lived on well into the 1990s (in the form of the 140-descendent 240), and so almost none of these cars get rescued when they get down-at-the-heels (and the same goes for 240s). Here’s a San Francisco Bay Area 145 that shows signs of being well-cared-for during its first 15 years and then forgotten in a side yard for the following quarter-century.

In this series so far, we’ve seen quite a few 140s, including this ’68 142, this ’69 145, this ’71 144, and this ’71 142. (plus there’s this bonus 164, which was based on the 140).

This car was full of registration receipts, smog-check certificates, and other stuff dating from the middle 1970s to the late 1980s. I didn’t find anything newer than that, so odds are that the car broke and then sat outdoors for decades.

It appears that the car’s owner did a lot of camping and outdoor-type activities. Most of the maps date from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Now that’s what your organized Volvo owner does!

You need to know what the weather is like when you’re heading to Mt. Lassen, and so you need this Radio Shack weather-band radio that transmits through the car’s AM radio.

Four-wheel disc brakes were extremely rare on US-market vehicles when the first 140s appeared for the 1967 model year, and even front disc brakes weren’t universal as late as the early 1970s.

Planning makes your camping trip go better!

I thought I’d removed all the identifying stuff in the photos, but couple of readers were able to figure out the car’s former address (from a photograph of registration paperwork that I’d missed) and find it on Google Street View. I’ve removed that photograph (don’t want enraged Volvo fanatics tracking down the former owner), but have now added a photo of the car before it got towed away— MM.











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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  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Mar 06, 2015

    You ain't kidding about Volvo owners being tightwads, whenever I look at used examples (used RWD examples at that) they tend to have interior issues, buggy ABS systems, broken gauges, broken exterior trim, missing hubcaps... But heres the thing, the vast majority of this stuff is easy to fix and fairly cheap. Got a broken odometer? Spend and hour and $20, replace the gear, done! Almost no Volvo owner seems to know about this though. You don't get to a million miles without a little wrench work and investing.

  • Japanese Buick Japanese Buick on Mar 07, 2015

    With the article and comments combined, this is the best junkyard find yet

  • Craiger I love the people who call Musk an imbecile. As if they could even get an interview for a job at one of his companies.
  • Lou_BC I'm waiting for Tesla to make a pickup!
  • Lou_BC Autograph? Turn Up the Radio?
  • Oberkanone Were these available with diesel?At $3700 this Volvo presents nicer than other vehicles I see at this asking price.
  • V16 Lobbyists, not a Senator from Missouri are the real power brokers in Washington.Money, the mother's milk of politics dictate every outcome.
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