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A Grand Monday: Volvo 240 GLT

Published 13 March 2017

The archetypal antique dealer's special is a cult car these days. Once a bargain banger that was useful for lugging loads, from grandfather clocks to Welsh dressers, the 240 estate is now regarded as an icon of its era - and quite a collectable one at that. 

Sure, they're fairly clunky to drive. They're not quick, they're not to be cornered quickly and they're hardly elegant, but there's a charm about the 240 estate that goes way beyond any of that 'road tester' nonsense. These are cars with practicality, solidity and dependability in spades, with a level of build quality that suggests even nuclear armageddon would be shrugged off as a minor inconvenience.

The 240, then, is the comic book super hero of cars. Geeky, but so cultish that it's achingly cool. 

As a result, prices of 240 wagons have gone through the roof of late, and we're not convinced that the vendor of this example is fully aware of what he's selling. Offered with just a couple of weeks' MoT remaining for a miserly £500 (or, indeed, near offer), this top-spec, leather-upholstered GLT example is far from perfect. But it's also far from the going rate for a 240 GLT...

Volvo 240 GLT (2)

An online look at the MoT history shows that the car failed its test at the start of the month, but on nothing major. The owner admits to not wanting to spend the £500 or so quoted by his garage to get the car through an MoT, but anyone handy with the spanners will only have to invest in a couple of suspension bushes and a centre exhaust pipe to get the old Volvo road legal again. There's no welding needed, nor any major work on the steering, tyres or emissions.

For a presentable 240 GLT in estate flavour, that's a veritable bargain. But wait... there's even more to this one. It has the rare fold-up seven seat option, making it the perfect classic alternative to a tedious modern MPV. 

Sure, it has a few scruffy bits. Some rust around the tailgate lip, a split in one seat seam and a broom handle in lieu of working tailgate struts (they all do that, sir), but it's worth way more than the asking price in parts alone. What a bargain...


Bilboman    on 14 March 2017

Some great Volvo stories here from one who knows (a police driver):

Peter McGuire    on 15 March 2017

Wow, a car that actually has decent rear visibility, unlike the blobby SUV's of today.

mart37    on 15 March 2017

I was given a 1991 240 estate a few years ago in America. The owner couldn't start it! (it was a broken serpentine belt). Anyway I took the head off and gave it top end overhaul. I was amazed that the valves were hardly worn, 'just needing a quick lick with fine paste. The bores were like new, I could still see the honeing marks, and there was no 'lip at the top of the bore. This was on a engine with 249,000 miles on the clock! I fitted a new water pump, valve springs, and gently 'ported the inlets and cleaned up the combustion chambers to a mirror finish.. The other thing I had to replace were the door side pockets A guy came up to S.F. from L.A, to buy it when I came back to this multi cultural country!

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