10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Own A Volvo 240

10 Reasons Why Every Gearhead Should Own A Volvo 240

At the first mention of a safe, family-friendly car, most people would presume that the conversation was geared towards discussing Volvo. The Swedish manufacturer and brand name has become synonymous with vehicle safety. Often considered to be the best mode of transport for boring people, Volvo has garnered a reputation for creating bland cars that are viewed simply as reliable tools more than exciting methods of transport. This image though is one of the reasons that fans of Volvo stick with the brand, it’s an incorrect perception that they love to prove wrong, especially when you consider that David Bowie once owned a rare Volvo 262C.

There are a plethora of cool classic Volvo’s that deserve more recognition sitting within their back catalog, but it has to be the slab-sided 240 that has now elevated itself to once thought never reachable levels of coolness. A great chunk of four-wheeled metal that looks like it was designed by a three-year-old child using their favorite crayon, the Volvo 240 is a car that gives a naughty salute to the very notion of aerodynamics.

Still considered by those in the know to be something of a hidden gem and an affordable classic car that not only offers up a big slice of period Swedish chic but also huge potential for modification, here are 10 reasons why every gearhead should own a Volvo 240.

10 Seriously, A Volvo 240?


It may have once been the transport of choice for middle-aged parents looking to ferry their children to school in safety or for those who simply needed a car yet were too boring to actually care about what they drove, but things have really changed.


Having sunk to being so uncool that it is now refreshingly cool, the Volvo 240 is a style icon, a boxy fashion statement made by those who appreciate its heritage, build quality, and many hidden qualities whilst wanting to prove that they stand apart from the crowd.

Related: Everything You Should Know About The Lexus IS 500 F Sport

9 Once A Laughable Ride Now A Cool Classic


Stepping away from its own beige shadow, the Volvo 240 has grown its own sub-culture from cult following to draw in much more mainstream appeal. Whether it be a coupe, sedan, or easily spotted wagon, the Volvo 240 is the epitome of retro-chic in all of its forms.

242 coupe water

No longer will a Volvo 240 driver be the butt of so many jokes relating to how boring or unadventurous they are presumed to be, as those in the know will recognize that a modern Volvo 240 driver is a classic vehicle connoisseur.

8 Robust And Ultra-Reliable


Like the majority of Volvo’s period offerings, the 240 is an overly-engineered masterpiece that will outlast most modern offerings with its main selling virtues being space, strength, safety, and reliability – points that over the years it has proudly proven to be true.


Being the first manufacturer to fit 999,999 mph odometers to its cars, Volvo was underlining its vehicle’s potential for longevity, and thanks to many galvanized parts, excellent build quality, and almost bomb-proof mechanicals, the 240 continues to spin those digits.

7 Excellent Factory Specifications


Fresh from the factory, even the base specification cars came well-equipped for their release year, fitted with big comfortable seats, heated wash/wipe on wagons, excellent levels of fit and finish plus stacks of passenger space.

240 rear leather

Those looking for luxury higher specification cars could turn their attention to units trimmed in opulent comfortable leathers with thick quality carpets, uprated stereo systems, and a choice of performance engines that ranged from a lusty V6 to an Intercooler-fed turbocharged unit.

Related: These 2022 Models Desperately Need A Redesign

6 A Modifiers Blank Canvas


Offering a big blank canvas with a solid, reliable base, the Volvo 240 has attracted the attention of keen modifiers who appreciate the car’s superior underlying qualities, and ability to take far more power than it was ever intended to.

240 estate offroader

Whatever the vision for the project or purpose of the finished car the Volvo 240 can be modified and equipped to cope, a strong third-party parts network and the plentiful amount of spares means that dreams can swiftly become a reality.

5 It’ll Happily Take An Engine Swap


If the wide selection of standard fit engines on offer doesn’t exactly tickle your pickle, then there are almost an unlimited number of options available to those looking to translate a heart into the beast, with finances being the only limiting factor.


A quick search through the internet will bring up examples of modified engine bays that house monster V8’s that make massive power, more modern turbocharged Volvo 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged units, or even the occasional electric power train.

4 Basis For A Super Sleeper


With so much potential for adding or extracting more horsepower, the Volvo 240 can form the basis for a wonderfully plain-looking sleeper that will upset many a performance car and drop quite a few jaws when the taps are fully opened.


Having lived with its own staid image for so long, most motorists would simply take the Volvo 240 for an underpowered classic, a boxy boring vehicle presumably devoid of any style and not a tire-smoking, fuel-guzzling monster hiding in plain sight.

Related: Ferrari Enzo Supercar Crashes In Netherlands

3 The Coupe Is Simply Gorgeous


An understated design that has improved with every passing year the Volvo Coupe, a rare addition to any garage, is a car that simply oozes period cool and just begs to not only be shown off at motor shows but as a much loved and reliable daily driver.

Volvo 242 GT 2 door cover image 1979

The highly coveted 242 GT came with tasty extras like gas-pressurized shocks, vented disc brakes, unique front fenders, bespoke interior with specially designed dashboard, and a Mystic silver paint finish to signify that it was something special.

2 They Make Excellent Race Cars


Having made quite a stir within motorsport during its debut years and subsequently building a solid reputation as ‘The Flying Brick’ the Volvo 240, despite not being particularly agile, was potently quick in a straight line, constantly hitting 162mph during events.


Even after its demise as a production model, the Volvo 240 has been the weapon of choice for many privateers as teams praise the car’s reliability, tuning potential, and ability to soak up event damage or wear that would usually end in retirement.

Related: Here’s What We Love About Mazda RX7 FD

1 Dump That SUV Or Crossover And Just Be Different

blue sedan 240

In a world that has become obsessed with riding high in obnoxiously designed Sports Utility Vehicles or crossovers, picking up an old Volvo 240 may result in a loss of in-built vehicle toys like self-parking or digital dash but no actual no loss of functionality.


In fact, reverting to a classic like the mighty Volvo 240 will actually enrich a drivers’ life as they experience more interior light from the acres of glass on offer, as they enjoy the simplicity of simply driving a car that was designed just to be driven.

10 Of The Best European Car Manufacturers

Some of the best car manufacturers in the world are found in Europe. Here are 10 that produce exceptional vehicles.

Read Next

About The Author