Junkyard Find: 1968 Volvo 140 Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1968 volvo 140 sedan

How is it that there are still sufficient Volvo 140 s left, more than 40 years after production of the original Swedish brick ceased, that you’ll still find plenty of them in American wrecking yards? Not in the quantities you’ll find of their 240 descendants, of course, but anybody driving a 140 today should have no problem getting parts.

I don’t photograph every 140 that I encounter in the junkyard, but I shoot enough that we have a pretty good selection of scrapped Swedes. In this series prior to today, we have seen this ’68 142, this ’68 144, this ’69 145, this ’71 144, this ’71 142, this ’72 145 wagon (plus this 140-based Volvo 164).

I found this 144 in a San Francisco Bay Area self-service wrecking yard, but it spent some time in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

Not many US-market cars had four-wheel disc brakes in 1968. In fact, even front discs were considered fairly sporty back then.

I can’t recall ever seeing another Volvo 140 with a vinyl roof. In California, where the sun is harsh, the smog is corrosive, and the winters are rainy, vinyl roofs on cars of this era tend to cause rust problems.

The rust under the vinyl appears to be the stuff of nightmares.

The car was quite rough all over by the time its final owner decided to give up.

Air conditioning! Such luxury!

Here’s a pretty good selection of Volvo 140 ads from around the world.

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  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Mar 30, 2016

    Late '60's to mid 70's, I always remember Volvos, Darts and Valiants as the automobile of choice for teachers.

    • 05lgt 05lgt on Mar 30, 2016

      My mom, who was a high school teacher in 69, bought a 69 Valiant in 77. Slant six, bench seats... awesome car for me to learn to drive in. OK, new lottery fantasy; I'll build a stupid fast restomod Valiant.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Mar 30, 2016

    so much boxy goodness. Is anyone so far ahead of the competition now? I guess if the market goes that way, the Leaf or Prius or Model S may look this good in hindsight. Crumple zones, disk brakes and longevity in the 60's.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.