Original Paint!

1976 Volvo 245 Wagon

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The brick-shaped 200 series Volvo needs no lenghty introduction.

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Supremely safe, exceptionally thrifty, utterly simple, and -- most importantly -- built to last decades, a 200-series Volvo will still motor along happily long after its 21st Century, electronics-laden hybrid successors have been relegated to the scrap heap. Ingvar Kamprad, the self-made billionaire founder of Ikea, drove his Volvo 240 for 21 years until his passing. Not because he couldn't afford a new car, but because Volvo has yet to build a better car.

In wagon configuration -- called a "245" because it has 5 doors -- the brick's utilitarian value goes through the roof. The rear seatback folds forward to fit 4x8 plywood sheets with ease. In fact, the cargo space dwarfs that of any modern SUV!
Naturally, this great, timeless design has seamlessly morphed from being just a safe, used car for teenage drivers to beloved collectible.

Finding a 240-series Volvo that has not been used up thoroughly by its enthusiastic owners is rare, though many of these sturdy automobiles have logged upwards of 250,000 or even 300,000 miles and still keep going!
The 1976 Volvo 245 presented here is a low-mileage, heirloom quality specimen. Forty-three years old, it remains virtually all original, including all of its factory-applied paint!

If the 240-series Volvo has one weakness, it would be its vulnerability to the dreaded demon rust. Sure, East Coast Volvos ran as good as their Southwestern brethren but were all too often relegated to the big Volvo junkyard in the sky by out-of-control corrosion woes.
A Southern California car from new, VIN* VC245245E1114453* never had any rust, nor has it ever been involved in as much as a fender bender.

This father-daughter-owned car was bought new at HUGHES, Santa Barbara's Pontiac-Volvo dealer, on January 18, 1977 and cherished for 23 years by David, a retired school teacher from Montecito. It was willed to his daughter June in the year 2000 and she has owned it ever since, adding very few miles to the odometer.
On average, the Station Wagon was driven just 4,000 miles annually, which truly makes it a low-mileage example in the world of 240-Series Volvos!
A plethora of original documents accompanies the car.

The original owner's manual and the warranty & maintenance records book are still in their blue vinyl pouch, the original VOLVO sales brochure is present along with a HAYNES repair manual. Additionally, a couple of dozen maintenance records totalling $4,410.72 from June's two decades behind the wheel enlighten us as to the miles travelled and the services performed.

Still registered to its six-digit, blue-and-yellow California license plate from 1976 -- even the original selling dealer's license plate frame is present! -- the car is toothbrush clean, fully sorted, and ready to be driven around the world, if so desired.

Let's inspect this amazing Volvo now in more detail, starting up front, under the hood.

Volvo's B21F (2,127cc) "Red Block" inline 4-cylinder engine has gained a well-deserved reputation of being nearly indestructible. It derives from the Volvo B36 V8 truck engine, so there's plenty of metal around the cylinders! The cast iron block features a five-bearing crankshaft and a belt-driven overhead camshaft, fuel being sipped via a reliable German BOSCH K-Jetronic fuel injection.

The engine is as healthy as the proverbial ox. There are no untoward noises, no fluid leaks, nor is there any smoke -- not even at startup. Power steering and four wheel power disc brakes operate perfectly with absolute quietness. There's no indication whatsoever that this motor will need anything but regular service to keep running perfectly for many years to come.

The B21F engine is coupled to the highly desirable Volvo M46 4-speed manual transmission featuring the electric Laycock overdrive unit, which works flawlessly.
Note: zero fluid leaks.

The 245 wagon provides driver and passengers with visibility that is unmatched in the automotive realm. No guesswork is needed when parking this Volvo.

Devoid of corrosion or accident damage, Volvo's coachwork presents itself clean and smooth. Doors, tailgate and hood all open and close with precision, shut lines are perfect.

Pristine door bottoms.

Volvo's original, Sahara Beige paint has survived 43 years astonishingly well. Sure, there are a few small nicks, chips and assorted signs of age, but the factory finish is still smooth and glossy. Best of all, only this -- irreplaceable -- originality can give you the peace of mind that the car has never been damaged or rusty.

Original, painted steel wheels with poverty caps wear correctly sized 195/70R14 radial tires, installed less than 2,000 miles ago.

Moving on to the interior, we marvel at the car's unblemished, original headliner. Dome light works, too!

Befitting a vehicle that was always loved and garaged when not in use, Volvo's utilitarian dash remains free of hairline splits and cracks. There's very little wear on the steering wheel.

Often referred to as "the most comfortable seats ever put in a passenger car," the front bucket seats look inviting. Hard-wearing, brown leatherette is in fine, undamaged condition throughout.

Plenty of space for three adults on the rear bench.

This 245DL features the early, smaller taillights. Rear wiper was standard, even back then.

Open wide! Cargo space looks huuuge.
Rear hatch struts have just been replaced.

Practical "smuggler's box" below the brown felt trunk mat.

Lots of originality, down to small details like the washer bottle or the unused, thin whitewall spare tire.
Again, notice absence of corrosion.

Volvo's untouched undercarriage speaks volumes about the easy SoCal life the car has always led. There's no rust or damage, no haphazardly applied undercoating; just solid metal under a thin coat of dust. Priceless!

Pristine floors.

More details of a reference-quality Volvo.

Thursday, May 9th was another nice and sunny day here in our quaint California paradise and we were happy to take June's pride and joy out for a test drive and photo session.

The vintage Volvo starts on the button. It idles, runs, drives, shifts, handles, and stops like the low-mileage car it is, without fault.

Driving the 245DL is a delight. 98 lively horses enable the car to be a valid pariticpant in todays, traffic, even on the freeway, where the optional overdrive is a great convenience.

Overdrive works flawlessly. It reduces rpm in top gear by about 500, making for relaxed Interstate cruising.

Returning home, we are in love with this fun and frugal "Estate" as Volvo's ad men called it, back then.

Almost unbelievable, this Volvo Wagon from 1976 is a classic car that can do everything your modern conveyance does -- and more. It possesses that intangible quality that makes us smile anytime we use it. Owning a car that was not meant to be a throw-away object is pretty special and this 245DL, with its great originality, good looks, easy serviceability even today, and single family Southern California provenance, fits the bill perfectly.
One thing's certain, you won't find another one like it for a long time, if ever.


You are most welcome to inspect this fine automobile at our location in Ventura, by appointment, or have someone inspect it for you.
Please, direct all inquiries to bill@californiaclassix.com or call us at 805-653-5551.