Last post on Dec 07, 2010 at 2:14 PM
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Chevrolet, Ford, Classic Cars
#262 of 265 Re: Volvo 740/940 [lemko]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Dec 07, 2010 (11:32 am)
In those days the small block kind of sucked---it was strangled by emissions. The Lotus Esprit Turbo motor would have been the ticket. The car would have been no more reliable, but way faster. Actually he was just a little too early for the Buick V-6 turbo that eventually got pumped up and put in the GNX.
#263 of 265 Re: Volvo 740/940 [lemko]
Dec 07, 2010 (12:32 pm)
In addition to shifty's points, the Chevy engine was too mass market. Also, as an ex-GMer who had been spurned for the top job, he might have wanted to avoid sourcing his revolutionary car's engine from GM.
#264 of 265 Re: Volvo 740/940 [Mr_Shiftright]
Dec 07, 2010 (1:59 pm)
Shifty, I have to ask. You said the 544 was great fun to drive and almost indestructible. By the time of the 740, you characterize them as no fun and expensive to maintain. At what point do you think they went wrong? Or was it a slow but steady descent? For instance, my father had a 122 that I enjoyed (of course I was young) and I had a 142 that wasn't bad (although much less quick). I even owned a 164 for a while and enjoyed the comfort, but it wasn't exactly 'tossable'. However, my sister went the way of a 244 and I have to put it in the same category that you put the 740. Any thoughts on Volvo's unfortunate path?
#265 of 265 Re: Volvo 740/940 [bhill2]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Dec 07, 2010 (2:14 pm)
Well that's an interesting question because their sister company Saab starting getting even more interesting as Volvo got duller and duller.
I guess the answer lies in Volvo's determination to appeal to the American car buyer---the type that would not buy a VW or Fiat or Peugeot or quirky (at that time) Saab.
You can see the transition in about 1968. Gone was the Volvo 123GT with no real equivalent "sport sedan" in the 140 series. The P1800 sports car was an odd duck, having the same exact engine as the sedan and a rather porky little thing to boot, with truck-like steering.
The later P1800E sport wagon was a step in the direction of redemption, but too little, too late IMO.
Now and then Volvo gives a reluctant nod to sporty driving, and really, they have gotten better over the years, but behind all that posturing is still a Swedish Ford.