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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am dealing now with a car restorer close to my home in a suburb of Chicago. He wants to first fix my ignition lock. He obtained an assembly from California for 270 dollars that he says is
very rare because of the car model being an automatic trans with the selector on the steering column. The part he received turned out to be for a floor shift version, but he says he can adapt
it to my car with an additional bracket for an added cost. The California supplier said he could provide the column mount version for 600 dollars. Seems both prices are over priced.

The restorer is telling me my car is unique and could sell for 30K if it is restored. What he thinks makes it valuable is the rareness of the automatic transmission and it being a 4 door model.
My limited searching on the web shows me comparable cars to mine selling for as little as 1.5K and possibly in better shape than mine. Is this restorer correct in his estimate? I would have
to invest over one thousand just for sheet metal and more for labor. The interior needs rework like a new dash board. The gear select indicator and the gas gauge need fixing. The car should
be repainted. All this adds up to a big investment that may only pay back if the restorer is correct about the value of this car. Again, should I continue to fix this car, or sell it as is, or break
it down for parts? The engine alone has only 60K of mileage and the dual Weber carbs are supposed to be special for more power output.
 

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If you're restoring the car for profit, then I'd advise against it unless you are a seasoned pro. It is nearly impossible to net anything on such a prospect.

If you love the car, then consider the depth of your love versus the cost of the restoration, and your timeframe. You can pay anything you like, from nearly zero to many tens of thousands. It's entirely your choice. Having someone do it for you will certainly move the needle to the right side of that scale.

A 144 with an automatic is by no means a rare beast. But, tell us more about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Should I restore this 444?

If you're restoring the car for profit, then I'd advise against it unless you are a seasoned pro. It is nearly impossible to net anything on such a prospect.

If you love the car, then consider the depth of your love versus the cost of the restoration, and your timeframe. You can pay anything you like, from nearly zero to many tens of thousands. It's entirely your choice. Having someone do it for you will certainly move the needle to the right side of that scale.

A 144 with an automatic is by no means a rare beast. But, tell us more about it.
Not sure what else I can tell you. This restorer may have been spinning me a yarn about how rare this car is. He mentioned the automatic trans, the four door, and the beefy engine that could possibly be
refitted for air conditioning. He works a Volvo parts store in Bensenville, IL. He is restoring two 144 cars for his own use, but is referring me to someone else to do the body work. His estimate of my restored
car being worth 30K seems way out of line. The problem remaining is the ignition switch assembly that a vendor in California is asking 600 dollars for it. That's just for starters. I could wind up spending
thousands of dollars restoring this car and not recouping a fraction of it. I think I could do a less than perfect restore for a lot less if I just fix some mechanical problems and do some body restoration.
 

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Well for starters what year is it, and what kind of condition is it in structurally? Picture? Shifter on the column, hmm, early?

Webers were a popular upgrade for the older models, replacing the stock Strombergs. Can't say I've seen them often on a 4-door automatic. But a really sweet early example might have some potential for restoration value.

Ignition switches are not easy to find but again it totally depends on the year.

I agree with you on being skeptical. Especially if the reasons include "beefy engine" and "refitted for air conditioning". But it could be a good car, maybe even sold as-is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is a 1969 Volvo 144. The car has some structural problems, although I did some replacement of floor panels under the front seats. It needs more work.
The shifter is on the steering column which makes obtaining a replacement ignition lock for an automatic shift very difficult and expensive. I have enclosed
three photos of the car.
 

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I'm sure others will chime in, but I say no, don't spend high dollars restoring it, and definitely don't expect $30k.

Some observations
- Classic 1969, which is to say it's neither early nor late model for the 140.
- The carbs are just visible in the second picture, and they are stock, not Webers.
- Repaired floors are not surprising, but unless done right, they can be iffy.
- The interior is kind of tattered, seats and dash obviously need attention, so I will guess door panels and rear seat do too.
- An unmolested survivor can still be a good find!
 

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Most automotive restoration is irrational - its a hobby! As noted, if you like the car and want to do it, go ahead. That said, if you have some expectation as to recovering a significant portion of your restoration cost, that is likely not going to happen and you should move on. Volvo 140s generally do not command high prices, even for really nice cars.

The automatic may be less common than the M40 or M41 versions, it is also probably viewed as being less desirable than the M40 and M41 versions because of the performance disadvantage. In general, there is nothing particularly special about your car based upon what you have stated. I think your restoration dude is spinning you a line and is probably someone you should avoid!
 

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Your gut feel that the parts are overpriced is correct. It's probably worth restoring but it's not worth paying someone else $300-$600 for each part needed to restore it. Otherwise you'll end up with a car like my 122, with $15k spent on it in all the wrong places. When I bought it, it still needed a carb rebuild, fuel pump rebuild, clutch and slave cylinders, rust repair, and upholstery. A previous owner paid out things like $300 for a battery replacement, $1200 for exhaust installation, and $200 multiple times to replace the timing gears. He also paid a shop to put in a terribly worn out used transmission.

$30k? He's peeing on your leg and telling you it's raining. The most desirable vintage Volvo, the 1800 (S, E, or ES), rarely sells for that much, even with a show quality restoration. A few have sold for more than that recently but they were original undriven cars.

Rare does not automatically equal valuable. The 4 door automatic was the lowest powered, least desirable model made. It's the mom car.

Just trying to be honest and realistic. This car will never be worth more than $10k, (ok maybe $15k) and that's with very good restoration. If you can't source cheaper parts and do the work yourself then it's going to cost you much more than the car will ever be worth. Sometimes that's okay. I've spent about $12k on my 122 and if I got lucky I could sell it for about $5000 in the condition it's in right now. I have no illusions about dollars spent coming back to me, it's a hobby and it's for the love of the car.

But them hyping up the value of the car due to rarity is nonsense. For example, you'd be much better off spending the $600 on a manual transmission swap than a column shifter mount. The automatics in these cars were nothing to get excited about. Really the only reason to keep one of these cars automatic is if you have a bad knee or something and can't drive stick.

Trust your intuition, your plan is smart - do inexpensive repairs and do as much as you can yourself. If the car runs well and you really love it, consider spending more money, but shop around for good deals, and don't be shy about asking this forum for help.
 

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One more version of what has already been said, all of them with consideration for sherwin. The moderator mentioned in his observations about the carbs, take a minute and go look at them, on those dome shaped covers it says Stromberg on each, now read again what Lloyd mentioned about your leg getting wet..... Take into account what 142Guy has said about "most automotive restoration is irrational", if you genuinely love the car we all "get it" or wouldn't be hear responding to your question. We are all in the same boat as you, I have a 71 142s that will never recoup what's been invested but I really like/love the car....Again what Lloyd said "your plan is smart" do what you can and have someone (other than your urinating resto person) do or advise you on the rest as time and $ allow. This forum has a lot of knowledge and some really great folks within its ranks. You've started the ball rolling, keep us in the loop
 

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worth $30k?!??!?....I think we all wish that!. There is a perfect, white 1970 144 Automatic on ebay right now with 3 days of bidding left. And by perfect, I mean, 52K miles, original interior and paint...not a scratch on the chrome. Nicest I've seen...and current bid is only $5300.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Need some verification of the part received by Swedish Car Parts of Bensenville, IL

The parts guy in Bensenville was dragging out this part purchase. First he talked about a restocking fee. Then he said the junk yard in California would not take the part back. He offered to adapt this incorrect part to my car by machining a special bracket. I decided to pull the plug on this and asked for my money back. He would not do this and sent me the part. This guy claimed he was the Volvo expert and would definitely get me the correct part, but he screwed up. Now, he has stuck me with the wrong part. I would like to identify exactly what he sent me. I am enclosing 3 photos of it. It is a Volvo Part number 677085 with an additional identifier of 'Neiman 125' stamped on it. I would like to know if this part is for a Volvo 144 column mounted ignition lock.
 

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Its the correct part # for a 144 up to chassis # 89799, with a standard transmission. There is a completely different part for the 140 with the automatic transmission with the column shift. I don't think there is any way that it is going to work with an automatic.

If getting a refund is going to be a hassle and it came with the keys for the lock (if it didn't come with the keys its pretty much a useless paperweight), hang on to it. There was another member on this forum who was looking for a replacement lock for a standard transmission column.
 

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If you paid with a credit card it should be easy enough to do a chargeback. That's nonsense, "I got you the wrong part but take it anyway so I can get paid".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
wrong ignition lock

Thanks for the reply 142 guy.

He sent me the wrong part, but at least it came with 2 keys. I would like to sell this part, if anyone is interested.

I can't believe anything the seller told me, but he said he could adapt the part to my car with some kind of customized plate. Sounds like another fairy tale.
 

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Thanks for the reply 142 guy.

He sent me the wrong part, but at least it came with 2 keys. I would like to sell this part, if anyone is interested.

I can't believe anything the seller told me, but he said he could adapt the part to my car with some kind of customized plate. Sounds like another fairy tale.
Check out this thread:

http://forums.swedespeed.com/showthread.php?217865-No-start-on-142!

You could try a private message to member brandom and see if he is still looking for a replacement steering column lock. Just a heads up, $270 is probably not in the cards.

With respect to adapting the part, I am sure that with enough time and effort you can do just about anything. However, the result might not be very pretty or reliable. For the cost of $600 you could probably remove the lock cylinder on the steering wheel and go to a keyless entry system with push button starting for security.
 

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Hi Sherwin, and hello to all. I have been absent for a BIG while. I have a fully restored 1974 Volvo 142, I changed it over from an automatic to a M41 manual transmission with overdrive.

I have an extra ignition lock for the 140 with NEW VOLVO keys. Reason I changed it in mine was because I thought it had an issue with starting the car, and all it turned out to be a wire that came unloose and we could tell because we were confusing the tachometer wire for it.

So the donor car's ignition lock is in my car now with new OEM keys and I have this spare ignition lock with keys for you. All I want is what I paid to changeover which was $40 plus the shipping. Keys were $14 each cut. But I'm throwing them in as well.




Just shoot me a private message and we can work it out.

I also have a bit of parts leftover, including a rebuilt automatic transmission, pedals and all, and an engine. Some other parts from the donor car, so just ask.
 

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Where did you get the OEM keys? I want to get some copies made for my car; however, the locksmith just has some plain Jane blanks.
 

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That switch is unfortunately not compatible with a '69. The whole dash was redesigned in '73 along with a floor shifter.
 
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