1988 Volvo 240 GL Estate
Ex-Japan; only 52,700 kms indicated (33k miles); two owners; automatic gearbox; heated seats; exceptionally well-preserved example of this classic Swedish load lugger; concours potential with only minor tidying perhaps?
The epitome of Swedish solidity, the Volvo 240 was built like a tank, styled like a brick and safe as Fort Knox. Capable of intergalactic mileages with minimal maintenance, it appealed to the affluent middle class family with 2.3 kids, a dog and a holiday cottage in Norfolk. Over 2.8m were sold worldwide from 1974 to 1993 and most owners hung onto them for years, much like the family Labrador.
Most sensible of all was the 245 estate version which boasted the power of over 100 plodding cart horses from its fuel-injected 2,127cc four-cylinder engine along with beefed up suspension and thick rubber bumpers front and rear. Loved by antique dealers and caravan owners alike, it had a wonderfully comfortable interior with plush armchairs, lashings of sculptured rubber and a heater that could power a sauna. All very Swedish. The 240 even enjoyed some sporting success, winning the 1985 European Touring Car Championship with the aid of a turbo and improbable amounts of boost.
This Volvo Estate was sold new in Japan in December 1988 and is a RHD automatic model fitted with a catalytic converter and an air purifier which lives in the right hand cubby hole in the boot. While our Japanese is admittedly not that good, it would appear from documents on file that the car had just one Tokyo owner, Fujimoto Yuko, who took the Volvo with her when she moved to Italy in 2002, our vendor acquiring it from her in 2017 and bringing it back to the UK earlier this year.
It is showing only 52,700 kms on the clock (33k miles) which is believed correct and is perhaps backed up by the service records on file but alas our Japanese is not quite good enough to confirm that. The overall condition of the car and the way it drives would certainly lend credence to the low mileage – the blue cloth interior is virtually unmarked although the vendor points out that the storage bin on the driver’s door is missing, as is the lid on the centre console.
The vendor summarises the car as follows: "Bodywork remarkably corrosion-free. Generally very good original paint with little evidence of repairs. Some dents on top of front wings consistent with something falling on it in a garage at home. The near side bonnet hinge has partially seized (a common problem with these cars) so the trailing edge of the bonnet does not quite line up with the scuttle panel on that side. The struts on the rear hatch are weak. The headlamp reflectors are tarnished and the high-level brake light needs reattaching to rear screen. Good tyres all round. Recent new windscreen, battery, fuel pump and fuel filter. The history file includes all the original handbooks (in Japanese) plus instructions for the air purifier which also comes with a new spare filter."
Supplied with an MOT until April 2021, it certainly looks like an unusually smart and well-cared-for example, starting promptly and running nicely as we moved it around for these photos. With attention to the minor defects mentioned above, it would make an ideal concours candidate but is equally ready to be put to work as a faithful family hack. Given the build quality of Volvos from this era, it will doubtless keep on tanking on long after we have all shuffled off.
For more information contact James on 07970 309907 or email [email protected]
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