Digestible Collectible: 1983 Volvo 240 GLT Turbo

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 1983 volvo 240 glt turbo

It seems we have a theme this week on the Digestible Collectible/Crapwagon Outtake beat. IT’S SWEDEN WEEK! Throw back some akvavit, heat up some meatballs, plug in an ABBA 8-track, and let’s look at another sweet Scandinavian hotrod of the ’80s.

No, I really didn’t plan this. I don’t think I can come up with another Swedish car for Friday anyhow, unless someone can find me a barn-find Koenigsegg, or perhaps a couple BILLY bookcases powered by a Husqvarna chainsaw engine. I have been looking for a clean Volvo wagon to feature for some time, as I have occasional fond memories of the 745 I briefly owned before my wife attempted to set a Great Lakes record in the conrod toss.

If you’re keeping score at home, that’s two of my cars my dearest has obliterated via external combustion.

To be fair, my Volvo was a $300 Craigslist find. This 1983 Volvo 240 GLT Turbo, on the other hand, looks to have been well cared for. The paintwork looks perfect, the panels are straight, and without a hint of rot. The interior looks pristine, though the plastics have all faded to different shades of beige and/or yellow, while the white leather looks new. I suppose that’s to be expected after thirty-plus years. Oh, and those seats. Volvo makes some of the best seats in the automotive world. I’d considered pulling the driver seat out for a desk chair when I got rid of my heap.

The big attraction, of course, is the turbo four cylinder paired with the four-speed (plus overdrive) gearbox. While certainly not fast, the extra power made the wagon a bit more fun in the twisties. A price of $8500 might be a bit steep, but as the car’s offered by a new-car dealer in San Francisco, I’d imagine there is a good bit of room for negotiation.

See if they’ll throw in some ABBA 8-tracks for the installed factory deck.

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  • Funky Funky on Nov 12, 2015

    I had, briefly, a 1982 sedan (or maybe it was a 1983 or 1981 or 1980...that was a long time ago) with a 4 speed manual (I don't recall that it had an overdrive button...but it might have had one). I definitely recall that is was painted orange and that it had a tan/brown interior. It did not have a turbo charged engine. I do recall, out of necessity (not because I am particularly inclined) performing some repairs, myself, to the vehicle. It made a lasting impression on me because, over the years, I have bought (new) several (or maybe I could/should say many) Volvos. The appeal of these (and, perhaps this also applies to modern Volvos) to someone like myself, is difficult to explain. My 1982 sedan was not, as I recall, super reliable, nor did it have a long lasting interior, nor did many of the dashboard switches properly work, and I don't recall that the engine always started on the first try. It was, however, safer than most (or all) other cars being manufactured at that time. And, it looked good (to my tastes, anyway). Just for fun, I occasionally look for good examples (to possibly purchase) of 1974 through 1993 Volvos and maybe someday I will find a good "collectable" example. In the meantime, I have my modern Volvos to enjoy.

  • Harwester Harwester on Oct 07, 2021

    Thank you so much for this post.

  • Dusterdude @El scotto , I'm aware of the history, I have been in the "working world" for close to 40 years with many of them being in automotive. We have to look at situation in the "big picture". Did UAW make concessions in past ? - yes. Do they deserve an increase now ? -yes . Is their pay increase reasonable given their current compensation package ? Not at all ! By the way - are the automotive CEO's overpaid - definitely! (That is the case in many industries, and a separate topic). As the auto industry slowly but surely moves to EV's , the "big 3" will need to be producing top quality competitive vehicles or they will not survive.
  • Art_Vandelay “We skipped it because we didn’t think anyone would want to steal these things”-Hyundai
  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.