SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
140s have become very rare, especially ones in good condition. I got to thinking about the numbers, and how they compare to P1800s which seem plentiful.

A week or two ago I was at a local meet where a couple dozen cars showed up. I didn't do an exact count, but there were about 10 P1800s. There also was a strong turnout of 140s with 3 showing up. This seems pretty typical to me, in fact P1800s typically outnumber the 140s by even more.

Across all production, there were about 1.2M 140s built, and about 49,000 P1800s built. Looking at how many cars turn up at meets per million cars made is very interesting. The 10 P1800s represents 204 cars per million built. On the other hand, the 3 140s represent 2.5 cars per million built. That suggests that surviving 140s are 80 times more rare than P1800s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Twistedtree,
Here's my take:
One of the reasons for 140's being so rare is obviously rust. The other is that they were utilitarian family cars, whereas the 1800's were more of a specialty car. Also, you could get a more modern 240, with rack & pion steering, MacPherson struts, and a slightly more powerful overhead cam engine.
Another big thing is that they were used to donate their B20's to older 1800's and 120's.
At least that's why I think our 140's are so rare. On top of the "stepchild" tag, I have the "son of a stepchild", a 1973. Closer to a 242 on the inside, but still a 142 mechanically.
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
109 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I tend to agree. Back in the 70s they were practical cars owned by practical people. As they aged, rusted, and became more expensive to fix than their current value, they were deemed impractical and sent to the scrap yard.

One question on rust. Do you think the 140s were any more prone to rust than any other car of that era? I remember all cars sucking pretty bad when it came to rust. I don't think the Volvos were any worse. Nor any better either.

I agree the P1800s were specialty cars and were loved and pampered from day one, so a very high percentage surviving. The other cars I play with are Mercedes Pagodas, and they too have a pretty high survival rate (same ball park as the P1800s) for the same reasons.

No doubt the 240s were a nice step forward over the 140s. That's what got me to finally sell my '71 142s back in '85. And compared to a modern car, the 240s are stone aged, but still great examples of that era. I actually think a lot of people today don't know what a 140 is, or see one and just assume it's a 240. It's kind of the forgotten Volvo, yet it arguably is the model that made Volvo a household name in the US. The 140 alone doubled Volvo's lifetime sales. In other words, they sold as many 140s in 8 years as their total cumulative sales of all other models since the start of the company. That's pretty significant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Another thing to remember is rare doesn't always equal high value of return.
I have the 66 Buick Wildcat convertible that my uncle bought in Oct. of 1965. It's the Custom series (there were 2 series - Standard & Custom), with factory bucket seats and console. It's a GM B-body, similar to a Chevy Impala or Caprice of the same year.
There were only 2617 of the Custom series convertibles built in 1966. No clue as to how many have survived. When I complete my restoration, for which I haven't really tracked costs, it will be worth may $25k.
A comparable 1966 Chevy would be double the value, yet they made who knows how many more of the Chevy convertibles compared to the Buick. The Chevy is more desirable for many reasons, which drives up the value.
It is also easier to find aftermarket & good NOS parts for the Chevy, because there is a greater market for them. I kid my wife that I wish my uncle had preferred Chevys over the Buicks.
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,614 Posts
It's unfortunate that the 142s were not seen as valuable but they just weren't. Part of it is the quantities, lots of cars = not too special, and the other is the marketing. Good car, not special car. I bought my first 142 in 1990 for $50 with one crumpled fender and hood. The interior was perfect and the rest of the body was straight. I got it painted, drove it for a few years, and sold it for $1200. They just never had much value, even though you could drive them for half a million miles on basic maintenance.

I still think if my car collection ever grows to 4 cars, it'll be a 142 that fills the slot.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top