The prices for large V olvo are in the basement. Regardless of whether it is a station wagon, sedan, petrol or diesel. Regardless of whether it is a 740 or 760. A 740 GL naturally aspirated diesel sedan, in white, without extras, would be virtually unsaleable. Even Made in Sweden instead of Made in Belgium is hardly rewarded. Fine dust hysteria and Eastern European import embargoes are causing prices to crumble. Real Volvo youngtimer lovers only buy pieces of cream in the best condition. At the same time, the great Volvo, by virtue of its indestructible authority, looks very good at a mild depletion.
Usable Volvo station wagons are available for less than 1,000 euros
There are usable four-cylinder (740) and in-line six-cylinder models (760) for less than 1,000 euros - ready to drive, presentable, TÜV -approved, but around 20 years old and rarely less than 200,000 kilometers on the counter of the large, high-contrast labeled speedometer. Reason enough to go with the red number, six Mobile.de printouts and a few hundred euros down payment in your pocket, preferably with the large-capacity station wagon in your sights. '2,200 liter capacity' praises the beautifully designed Volvo brochure from 1988, which serves as a stimulus the evening before.
Because the potential test buyer in the self-experiment has never had such a rear-heavy loadmaster, although a clearing out of house and Court is pending. That would be a good excuse. Women are supposed to love Volvo station wagons because they flatter their nest building instinct. They are long-term cars, these cool and angular boxes from the north. For more than 25 years they have confidently defied all short-lived designer fashion. A sculptor, Jan Wilsgaard, Volvo's chief designer by the way, once modeled them out of plasticine. Hopefully his professional authority will silence critics forever. A Volvo 740 or a Volvo 760 is a sculpture of the right angle, so to speak. Haven't we, his admirers, always suspected it?
Well vaccinated against rust
The aerodynamic wave only touched the front of the Volvo 700 for a short time, its elaborately guided rear axle remained rigid, at least in the station wagons. That's exactly where the drive is located, and that's where it belongs. The rust protection has always been exemplary. Very early 760 GLE only- The brown plague has attacked sedans. The Volvo 740 and 760 from 1985 onwards are well vaccinated thanks to hot-dip galvanized sheet metal and lavish cavity sealing below the belt line. The outer skin of the steeply falling combi tailgate is even made of aluminum. Rust on jack supports, wheel arches, tailgates or sills? In the 124er Mercedes completely normal, in the big, clear Volvo completely nil.
The Volvo engines? All robust and extremely durable, even the vilified European V6, good for half a million kilometers, but above all the leisurely, stoically rattling OHC gasoline engine without turbo. The same applies to the sedate V.A.G suction diesel with 82 PS from the LT. Ironically, the six-cylinder turbodiesel from the VW kit catches it much earlier, with or without a charge air cooler. The charged swirl chamber compression-ignition engines with high specific power die in the station wagon because they are chased behind with 1,800 kilos. Nevertheless, large Volvo offers far better chances to grow old with dignity than a Fiat Croma, a Mazda 626 or a Peugeot 406.
The candidates - from 400 to 4,000 euros
With This wishful thinking goes to the candidates. Number one, a silver Volvo 740 GL station wagon, is in the northwest of Stuttgart, nothing exciting from the paper form. Simple equipment, a petrol engine with Euro 2 standard and without a trailer hitch, 1,490 euros. Master Denis runs a used car dealership including an Auto Fit workshop, everything looks neat, serious. A decent presentation. Denis is friendly, yes, obliging, pushes the key into my hand. 'Just drive,' he says, 'half an hour is enough? But please fill up a few liters beforehand.'
The silver-colored Volvo also pleases at second glance - 218,000 kilometers, many customer services, three previous owners. And the service folder contains all the factory documents, the car looks clean but sober. Even after warming up, the idling is still somewhat irregular and the roof lining made of white PVC has been glued in again, spoil the spontaneous joy of the car. Otherwise you will feel good behind the steep Volvo steering wheel and in these spacious, uniquely comfortable front seats. The toothed belt four-cylinder with light metal cross-flow head rattles throatily under the long hood. He was never particularly cultivated, was never particularly economical, which we gladly forgive him because of other virtues. It is typical and has charisma like the rest of the car. The real five-speed gearbox shifts smoothly and precisely, very Volvo-like and so characteristic of conventionally powered cars. Granted, you miss the quirky overdrive button in this Volvo 740. On the other hand, there is the toggle below that releases reverse gear when pulled.
Ten liters later, it is a bit nimble on winding narrow country roads in the Strohgäu. There is never an exciting driving experience in the Volvo 740 GL, rather a satisfied one. Now one would wish for rain anda brisk wind that blows the leaves on the road. The worse the weather, the greater the driving pleasure. Such a big Volvo is like a Barbour jacket that envelops you comfortably.
Candidate number 2: Fine velor and almost ten circumnavigations of the world for 890 euros
Candidate number two is significantly more luxurious. It's a Volvo 760 GLE turbodiesel intercooler - 116 hp, equipped with magnificent fine velor. The car has already run more than 400,000 kilometers, but apart from the missing hubcaps and a graze in the passenger door, it is in a very decent condition. As usual, no trace of rust, but the trailer hitch and many small blemishes - like the sagging headliner - spoil the picture. Mesut Torun explains the fully equipped 890 euro Volvo to us with disarming openness. He addresses every defect: 'Now during the test drive you can feel the play in the cardan shaft, the defective Hardy washer. It gives off light knocks when the load changes.'
This later Volvo 760 unfortunately already has the softened front, but the modern rear independent suspension on longitudinal and wishbones à la multi-link axle. The combination rigid axle with Watt linkage and double trailing arms is by no means a technical primitive solution. The noble velor is full of color and fluffy like new, the turbodiesel at the front grabs a lot and enchants the affectionate connoisseur with lulling noise. It has even more independence in its rustic nature than the Volvo four-cylinder. After the start he wakes up gruffly and with an ashamed, fleeing trail of black smoke. Then he whispers very well. Apparently he was always treated well - he is still in good shape, no blue smoke and no rattling.
Volvo 740 GL for 499 euros
Alexander from Hechingen wears a fashionable, squeaky clean sports dress including a base cap. He's not very talkative. A 499 euro car that drives and also looks very good is self-explanatory. After a short jump start, the black Volvo 740 GL sedan starts immediately. For me it is a bit too shadowy, but the original hubcaps and the automatic are impressive, three-speed with overdrive and typical Volvo selector lever with a pawl embedded in the knob. At the gas station in the shopping center, a few liters of fuel gurgled into the 60-liter tank with the engine running. 'If you re-do the front brakes and set the handbrake, you will get MOT,' explains Alexander from the passenger seat with a Russian accent. The Volvo 740 GL is pleasant to drive, the three-speed automatic with overdrive shifts smoothly and correctly, the car wins with every kilometer and makes it onto my shortlist. He also has no environmental problem.
Upper price range - 760 GLE Turbo Plus
The green four in the windshieldalso distinguishes our next object. At 3,950 euros it costs a whole lot more, looks impressive even on paper and also has a real Volvo engine, not one from Volkswagen and not a six-cylinder from France. Friedrich Denzinger insists on presenting the rare Volvo 760 GLE Turbo Plus with the bonnet open in front of his glass dealership. He loves old Volvo cars, has been a dealer since 1973, there is a 264 TE, some 144 and even the adopted child DAF 66 Coupé cavorting on the company premises. Denzinger is a Volvo veteran, a typical Swabian, straight forward and straightforward. 'The 760 GLE Turbo Intercooler is not cheap, but good, no rust, third-hand service history, all documents, TÜV and AU new. A car that I can sell with a clear conscience despite its age,' explains the man with the Leather hat.
This assessment was confirmed on the test drive of the Volvo 760. Clean idling, spontaneous response, the gearshift, this time again four-speed with overdrive, exemplary. Despite the 190 hp, a rather mild onset of the turbocharger, which acts less as a potency drug, but rather as a torque booster in the lower speed range, similar to the charged diesels. Is there anything to complain about with this Volvo? Yes, I confess meekly: 'The velor on the front seats shows a light veil of dirt.'
King of kilometers for 399 euros
Change of scenery to the Fellbach industrial area with its multi-cultural gravel square colony of export-oriented used car dealers. Ali Zein has already started the dark blue Volvo 740 GLE turbodiesel and let it warm up a little. The station wagon with an unmistakable patina is complete and ready to drive for 399 euros. A whole gallery of motorway vignettes is stuck to the windshield of the Volvo, matching the 412,000 kilometers on the speedometer. Ali insists on the replacement engine and the new gearbox: 'Made by a specialist workshop for 240,000'.
Inside the station wagon is pretty worn, the front seats in the rare GLE - typical pinstripe velor look worn, the padded one Headlining hangs down like a broken sail and has scattered its foam crumbs in the interior. But the sad Volvo suddenly seems very lively, he willingly takes up the gas, accelerates noticeably with gentle turbo use, brakes and steers passably. Even the circuit works precisely. Even the overdrive reacts. Poor dogs like this rare Volvo 740 GLE talk to me, that's the danger. I drive up and down the road with the many haulage companies in high spirits more often than I would have to for the photographer. With this wounded elk - originally made in Sweden, not in Belgium - the down payment from your pocket would even be enough as the purchase price, and the red number could stay with it.
As good as new Volvo 760 GLE turbodiesel for 900 euros
Ali isdisappointed when I think about it again. Because for almost 500 euros more there is a presentable Volvo 760 GLE turbodiesel as a station wagon 40 kilometers south in Pfullingen. Fans simply say 765. A 90s with a late soft face, but in a classy dark blue that glows seductively in the sun. The plush interior also looks almost like new, only two previous owners, the customer service folder complete. The maintenance booklet was almost fully stamped, a new cylinder head was installed at 229,000 kilometers. Even the winter wheels in the cargo hold have the original hubcaps, which reinforces the impression of the sheltered family station wagon from the double garage.
Mr Tosyali from the Autozentrum Pfullingen briefly bridges the super-clean diesel block, which rattles loudly back into it after a short pre-glow period Life reports. Despite its astronomical 319 thousand, the Volvo 760 feels spirited, the loader provides additional thrust, the test drive takes longer than promised. I feel it's getting really serious now. Because Volvo reports are still going on on this sunny Friday afternoon, we return the station wagon after an hour of happy cruising. I don't have the guts to pay a deposit. I'm not ready until Monday to go to Pfullingen early in the morning. But the Volvo 760 GLE turbodiesel is no longer in the same place, the sales sign is upside down on the passenger seat.