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Old 08-27-2005, 05:01   #1 (permalink)
robert.st-louis@ec.gc.ca
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(Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)

I recently purchased my first Volvo, a 92 240 wagon. I love it, it's
clean inside and out, not much rust, higher than average mileage but
well maintained and in good operating condition. I was looking for a
roomy winter car and think I got that and a whole lot more. There are
so many qualities that go with a 240 Volvo wagon, that all of you know
(safety, solid engineering, ergonomic comfort, spacious cargo, durable
drivetrain, etc.). I have read some people say that they thought the
240 was possibly the best car that Volvo ever built.

Oddly enough, I also own a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240, a diesel sedan. It
shares many of the qualities of the Volvo listed above (except cargo
space obviously). Both fine cars, that in good condition and with
proper care and maintenance, could potentially last another 10 years
(maybe more with the Benz, as I don't drive it in the winter).

Now the reality is that I didn't pay much for my Volvo, and I see many
others of that vintage selling for very low dollars locally. Mind you,
many of them are probably rusted through so are not worth much, but
some look like very nice specimen. So I am asking myself: if these
vehicles are so well built, so durable, possess all those qualities,
why aren't there more people seeking them out (thereby increasing used
prices by supply and demand)?

I have come across a few people who had bought solid old Volvos as
first car for their kids, only to have the kids say "I don't want to
drive in that ugly thing!", and the parent is forced to sell. So looks
are part of it, the 240 (especially) has outdated lines (some would
call that "classic"). Plus they are getting older, and a lot of people
won't touch a used car that's more than 3-4 years old. I have a
feeling that ignorance is probably mostly to blame for people shunning
older Volvos. I can't help thinking that maybe, like in other aspects
of our society, there is a kind of "dumming down" of the population
mainstream. People generally don't care what's under the hood of a car
anymore, and the vast majority never look under there. NO interest in
how the vehicle is designed, except that it have a good stereo and go
like the wind when they step on the gas. Longevity, cost of ownership
(most people go for expensive leases now!), seems secondary in most
people's mind to color, looks, sex appeal, whatever.

Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...

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Old 08-27-2005, 08:01   #2 (permalink)
Howard Nelson
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)


<robert.st-louis@ec.gc.ca> wrote in message
news:1125140289.498439.294970@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> I recently purchased my first Volvo, a 92 240 wagon. I love it, it's
> clean inside and out, not much rust, higher than average mileage but
> well maintained and in good operating condition. I was looking for a
> roomy winter car and think I got that and a whole lot more. There are
> so many qualities that go with a 240 Volvo wagon, that all of you know
> (safety, solid engineering, ergonomic comfort, spacious cargo, durable
> drivetrain, etc.). I have read some people say that they thought the
> 240 was possibly the best car that Volvo ever built.
>
> Oddly enough, I also own a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240, a diesel sedan. It
> shares many of the qualities of the Volvo listed above (except cargo
> space obviously). Both fine cars, that in good condition and with
> proper care and maintenance, could potentially last another 10 years
> (maybe more with the Benz, as I don't drive it in the winter).
>
> Now the reality is that I didn't pay much for my Volvo, and I see many
> others of that vintage selling for very low dollars locally. Mind you,
> many of them are probably rusted through so are not worth much, but
> some look like very nice specimen. So I am asking myself: if these
> vehicles are so well built, so durable, possess all those qualities,
> why aren't there more people seeking them out (thereby increasing used
> prices by supply and demand)?
>
> I have come across a few people who had bought solid old Volvos as
> first car for their kids, only to have the kids say "I don't want to
> drive in that ugly thing!", and the parent is forced to sell. So looks
> are part of it, the 240 (especially) has outdated lines (some would
> call that "classic"). Plus they are getting older, and a lot of people
> won't touch a used car that's more than 3-4 years old. I have a
> feeling that ignorance is probably mostly to blame for people shunning
> older Volvos. I can't help thinking that maybe, like in other aspects
> of our society, there is a kind of "dumming down" of the population
> mainstream. People generally don't care what's under the hood of a car
> anymore, and the vast majority never look under there. NO interest in
> how the vehicle is designed, except that it have a good stereo and go
> like the wind when they step on the gas. Longevity, cost of ownership
> (most people go for expensive leases now!), seems secondary in most
> people's mind to color, looks, sex appeal, whatever.
>
> Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
> favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
> cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
> why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
> or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
> safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
> Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...
>

Must be where you live. In northern California a decent 240 is very
difficult to find and much sought after.

Howard.


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Old 08-27-2005, 10:01   #3 (permalink)
Randy G.
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)

"Howard Nelson" <htnelsonvip@pacbell.net> wrote:

>> I have come across a few people who had bought solid old Volvos as
>> first car for their kids, only to have the kids say "I don't want to
>> drive in that ugly thing!", and the parent is forced to sell.
>>

How much can you get for a used kid? Maybe they could trade it for
another Volvo!

>>So looks
>> are part of it, the 240 (especially) has outdated lines (some would
>> call that "classic"). Plus they are getting older, and a lot of people
>> won't touch a used car that's more than 3-4 years old.

>

And that's a big part of why they can be had for reasonable prices. I
would rather have a 20 year old Volvo than a five year old Ford
Taurus. Like cardboard interiors? Get a GM product!


>> I have a
>> feeling that ignorance is probably mostly to blame for people shunning
>> older Volvos.

>

Do you ride a motorcycle? You would say that it isn't ignoarance- it's
stupidity!



>> I can't help thinking that maybe, like in other aspects
>> of our society, there is a kind of "dumming down" of the population
>> mainstream.

>

<sarcasm> Ya... Americans have always been so educated and wise when
it comes to motor vehicles in general. That's why Harley outsells BMW
and Ducati. </sarcasm>


>> People generally don't care what's under the hood of a car
>> anymore, and the vast majority never look under there. NO interest in
>> how the vehicle is designed, except that it have a good stereo and go
>> like the wind when they step on the gas. Longevity, cost of ownership
>> (most people go for expensive leases now!), seems secondary in most
>> people's mind to color, looks, sex appeal, whatever.
>>

It's pretty much the same reasons why the divorce rate is over 50%-
people are more interested in how it looks, how fast it goes from 0 to
bedroom, and what it is worth than what's inside or how long it will
last.


>> Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
>> favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
>> cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
>> why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
>> or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
>> safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
>> Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...
>>

>Must be where you live. In northern California a decent 240 is very
>difficult to find and much sought after.
>


I second that. I looked for quite some time for:
-240
-wagon
-light color
-stick
The car I got was not in the condition that the owner nor the shop
said it was, but it is solid, rust-free from what I can tell, and has
a pretty good drive train (good, strong motor with very low oil
consumption).

__ __
Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
\__/olvos
'90 245 Estate - '93 965 Estate
"Shelby" & "Kate"

1948 Chrysler and parts car - for sale
1983 Chevy Blazer 4wd - for sale
1974 Ford Pickup 4wd - garbage hauler
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Old 08-27-2005, 11:02   #4 (permalink)
Steve
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)


"Randy G." <frcn@DESPAMMOcncnet.com> wrote in message
news:ku41h15qp5jtoit4ma2jr0dj75ualtt6hq@4ax.com...
> "Howard Nelson" <htnelsonvip@pacbell.net> wrote:
>
> >> I have come across a few people who had bought solid old Volvos as
> >> first car for their kids, only to have the kids say "I don't want to
> >> drive in that ugly thing!", and the parent is forced to sell.
> >>

> How much can you get for a used kid? Maybe they could trade it for
> another Volvo!
>
> >>So looks
> >> are part of it, the 240 (especially) has outdated lines (some would
> >> call that "classic"). Plus they are getting older, and a lot of people
> >> won't touch a used car that's more than 3-4 years old.

> >

> And that's a big part of why they can be had for reasonable prices. I
> would rather have a 20 year old Volvo than a five year old Ford
> Taurus. Like cardboard interiors? Get a GM product!
>
>
> >> I have a
> >> feeling that ignorance is probably mostly to blame for people shunning
> >> older Volvos.

> >

> Do you ride a motorcycle? You would say that it isn't ignoarance- it's
> stupidity!
>
>
>
> >> I can't help thinking that maybe, like in other aspects
> >> of our society, there is a kind of "dumming down" of the population
> >> mainstream.

> >

> <sarcasm> Ya... Americans have always been so educated and wise when
> it comes to motor vehicles in general. That's why Harley outsells BMW
> and Ducati. </sarcasm>


I agree with you in toto up to here, however there is a tipping point about
Harleys--they have just such a powerful aura such a rep, even though a Gold
Wing or a BMW would make more sense for all the reasons I just bought a '94
940 turbo with 170 on it for $2000, there is just this special pull that is
based upon so many cultural things that will most likely have me and my wife
(advice from other Harley biker girls to here outside a biker bar we went to
hang out at "make sure he buys you a seat with armrests BEFORE you ever get
on it, hun") in the next years.

There is a Yami--the FJR1300 that does look good however. OTOH many
Americans are fat, me and my wife included, and Harley and to a lesser
extent, Honda have made their machine fit us as we are rather then as we
were when we first wanted a bad ass bike and went to college, bought a
house, got married etc...

>
> >> People generally don't care what's under the hood of a car
> >> anymore, and the vast majority never look under there. NO interest in
> >> how the vehicle is designed, except that it have a good stereo and go
> >> like the wind when they step on the gas. Longevity, cost of ownership
> >> (most people go for expensive leases now!), seems secondary in most
> >> people's mind to color, looks, sex appeal, whatever.
> >>

> It's pretty much the same reasons why the divorce rate is over 50%-
> people are more interested in how it looks, how fast it goes from 0 to
> bedroom, and what it is worth than what's inside or how long it will
> last.
>
>
> >> Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
> >> favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
> >> cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
> >> why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
> >> or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
> >> safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
> >> Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...


LOL I have been laughed at time and time again when I suggest an old Volvo,
BMW, or MB to folks--I also am partial to well maintained 4 cyl Hondas, and
quite frankly I think american iron like the new Malibu or the all time up
side down mobile, the Dodge stratus/Chrysler sebring (~$10k 2 yrs old
wholesale) are also quite good alternatives, however the neon and kia
whatever will always sell to people who believe new is good and old is bad.



> >>

> >Must be where you live. In northern California a decent 240 is very
> >difficult to find and much sought after.
> >

>
> I second that. I looked for quite some time for:
> -240
> -wagon
> -light color
> -stick
> The car I got was not in the condition that the owner nor the shop
> said it was, but it is solid, rust-free from what I can tell, and has
> a pretty good drive train (good, strong motor with very low oil
> consumption).
>
> __ __
> Randy & \ \/ /alerie's
> \__/olvos
> '90 245 Estate - '93 965 Estate
> "Shelby" & "Kate"
>
> 1948 Chrysler and parts car - for sale
> 1983 Chevy Blazer 4wd - for sale
> 1974 Ford Pickup 4wd - garbage hauler



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Old 08-27-2005, 12:01   #5 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Posts: n/a
Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)

>
> Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
> favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
> cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
> why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
> or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
> safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
> Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...
>



Just as you said, most people are ignorant and don't care at all what's
under the skin, they want a car that's "cool" and looks like a flashy
plastic toy. That said, there's plenty of people out there who got a Volvo
thinking it was ugly and then it grew on them as they got to know it. I've
converted a few people myself. 240s are not flashy but they're solid well
designed cars that will last a long time and personally I love the clean
functional look, built to work and built to last.


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Old 08-27-2005, 21:01   #6 (permalink)
jg
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)


<robert.st-louis@ec.gc.ca> wrote in message
news:1125140289.498439.294970@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
....................>
> Oh well, I suppose this ignorance is a blessing for those of us who
> favour older cars like Volvos, because it ensures plentiful supply of
> cheap cars and parts. However, something nags at me, to try to explain
> why someone would rather buy a 4 year old Dodge Neon or Chevy Cavalier
> or Kia (or choose your favorite piece of cr*p car), rather than a
> safer, better designed, and probably longer-lived older vehicle like a
> Volvo or Mercedes... It's a mystery to me...
>

I quite agree, but OTOH bits like pedal rubbers, hoses... can be expensive
and there is not the ready supply of recon radiators, motors etc when they
finally do pack up. It can get to the point where you throw away a great
body (I've seen many in yards) because it will cost much more to fix the
motor than a more common younger piece of crap. And being relatively rare,
most don't know that much about them. While they are a great buy as an old
car, I wouldn't pay a lot for one.


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Old 08-28-2005, 00:01   #7 (permalink)
James Sweet
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)


> >

> I quite agree, but OTOH bits like pedal rubbers, hoses... can be expensive
> and there is not the ready supply of recon radiators, motors etc when they
> finally do pack up. It can get to the point where you throw away a great
> body (I've seen many in yards) because it will cost much more to fix the
> motor than a more common younger piece of crap. And being relatively rare,
> most don't know that much about them. While they are a great buy as an old
> car, I wouldn't pay a lot for one.
>
>



Huh? Good used motors are easy to come by, they're a dime a dozen since they
hardly ever fail. Radiators and other parts are easy to find too.


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Old 08-28-2005, 03:01   #8 (permalink)
jg
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)


"James Sweet" <jamessweet@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:HNcQe.7798$um2.4068@trnddc03...
>
> > >

> > I quite agree, but OTOH bits like pedal rubbers, hoses... can be

expensive
> > and there is not the ready supply of recon radiators, motors etc when

they
> > finally do pack up. It can get to the point where you throw away a great
> > body (I've seen many in yards) because it will cost much more to fix the
> > motor than a more common younger piece of crap. And being relatively

rare,
> > most don't know that much about them. While they are a great buy as an

old
> > car, I wouldn't pay a lot for one.
> >

> Huh? Good used motors are easy to come by, they're a dime a dozen since

they
> hardly ever fail. Radiators and other parts are easy to find too.
>

Volvo motors may last a long time, but in my experience the bodies last even
longer in comparison to many other cars. But it doesn't seem to make sense
that something which hardly fails would be a dime a dozen, specially when
cheaper cars outnumber them many many times. Wouldn't ppl keep them until
they do fail? It's got to be easier and cheaper to buy recon, after market
and used parts for something which there are hundreds more of... and which
fail more often?


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Old 08-28-2005, 04:01   #9 (permalink)
Michael Cerkowski
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)

Speaking as a 240 owner, I'd say the low market value in many
areas comes down to these issues:

* Fuel economy. It's hard to find a four cylinder car that gets
less than 25 MPG, but you have to work to get a 240 automatic UP
to that figure. Our Camry weighs the same, has the same size
engine, automatic trans, and gets from 4 to 10 MPG more when driven
exactly the same way as the 240. That's *average*, not highway MPG.

* Reliability. This isn't what it sounds like, as 240s are no
more likely to break down than any other car of the same age.
What they ARE likely to do, however, is require very regular
preventative repairs (plastic radiator replacement, flame trap
service, throttle body cleaning, etc) that Japanese cars need
much less often. We've had the 240 for 6 years, and it's been
worked on at least as much as much as my 20 year old Civic Si.
Our '95 Camry, while not perfect, is a fuel-thrifty, reliable
*dream* in comparison.

* Glitches. Closely related to reliabilty, but not things that
disable, or threaten to disable, the car. The radios fail, the
seat heaters fail, the fan motors fail, the hood latches fail,
the tailights fill with water, etc.

* Age. They stopped making them in '93. I'd think twice about
buying a '93 *anything* in 2005, and most 240s are much older
than the '93's, not to mention less sophisticated.

So in short, the 240 is a tank. Like a tank it is rugged,
long-lived, great in a crash, bad on fuel, requires regular
(virtually monthly) maintainance, is fun to drive but not Sporty,
and isn't the best car for the typical, non-shade-tree-mechanic
driver. It's a niche car, with a devoted following.
--







http://freevision.org/michael/index.html
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Old 08-28-2005, 08:01   #10 (permalink)
Michael Pardee
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Re: (Lack of) appeal of older Volvos (240)

"Michael Cerkowski" <mjc1@albany.net> wrote in message
news:43119B91.2CF0@albany.net...
> Speaking as a 240 owner, I'd say the low market value in many
> areas comes down to these issues:
>
> * Fuel economy. It's hard to find a four cylinder car that gets
> less than 25 MPG, but you have to work to get a 240 automatic UP
> to that figure. Our Camry weighs the same, has the same size
> engine, automatic trans, and gets from 4 to 10 MPG more when driven
> exactly the same way as the 240. That's *average*, not highway MPG.
>
> * Reliability. This isn't what it sounds like, as 240s are no
> more likely to break down than any other car of the same age.
> What they ARE likely to do, however, is require very regular
> preventative repairs (plastic radiator replacement, flame trap
> service, throttle body cleaning, etc) that Japanese cars need
> much less often. We've had the 240 for 6 years, and it's been
> worked on at least as much as much as my 20 year old Civic Si.
> Our '95 Camry, while not perfect, is a fuel-thrifty, reliable
> *dream* in comparison.
>
> * Glitches. Closely related to reliabilty, but not things that
> disable, or threaten to disable, the car. The radios fail, the
> seat heaters fail, the fan motors fail, the hood latches fail,
> the tailights fill with water, etc.
>
> * Age. They stopped making them in '93. I'd think twice about
> buying a '93 *anything* in 2005, and most 240s are much older
> than the '93's, not to mention less sophisticated.
>
> So in short, the 240 is a tank. Like a tank it is rugged,
> long-lived, great in a crash, bad on fuel, requires regular
> (virtually monthly) maintainance, is fun to drive but not Sporty,
> and isn't the best car for the typical, non-shade-tree-mechanic
> driver. It's a niche car, with a devoted following.
> --
>

I agree with all those points, Michael, and would add that Volvo's
reputation for ruggedness has diminished in the last decade with the advent
of the FWD/AWD cars. While the older models shouldn't be affected by that
new perception, they are.

Toyotas and Hondas are the new holders of the "reliable" reputation, and as
with the older Volvos they can be expected to last 200-300K miles. Honda is
losing ground recently because of the automatic transmission problems with
the 6 cylinder engines. Toyota has been the stodgy marque anyway, more in
line with the Volvo tradition. When you factor in at least the perception of
better fuel economy (although 6 cylinder Accords are in the same economy
league as later 240s) Volvo is just not as attractive.

Mike


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