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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of days ago, I saw a post from someone asking how you could tell if a 240 had leather or vinyl; I think he was trying to tell from eBay photos or something. I cannot find the original post (I got busy and couldn't answer right away), so here's the scoop:<p>240's with leather have vertical pleats accented with a row of buttons on the backrest and another row of buttons on the seat. 240's with vinyl do not have any buttons. If you would like to see a photo of a 240 with leather, the Volvo World site (www.vlvworld.com) has one. Go to the home page, then click on the 240 link, then click on the "Seats, Seat Belts" link. That page shows 240 interiors in tan and black. The black interior is leather.<p>What I don't know is whose leather was used on the 240. Volvo has used Scottish leather from Bridge of Weir since the 740 was introduced, but I don't know who they used before that.<p>Hope this helps...
 

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Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (danemodsandy)

it should also be mentioned that in the later years (90-93) they upgraded big time to a very VERY nice looking leather, that was both thicker and did not have buttons. this is of course going off a few pictures i have seen, and not anything written.<p>hope this helps too. my guess would be that it is european, possibly also english. the only car that i know of with really nice leather is the 262C and the 780. both were hand stitched bertone special edition leathers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (Camyman)

Camy:<p>That thicker, nicer leather is from Bridge of Weir, a Scottish company. Their Website is <A HREF="http://www.bowleather.co.uk" TARGET="_blank">http://www.bowleather.co.uk</A>. You can buy Bridge of Weir leather to restore a Volvo (740 or later) through Bill Hirsch. They do not make the exact leather that was used in the 740 any more, but their current Caledonian leather is supposed to be a good match. BOW's leather is supposed to be as good as it gets, unless you're talking Connolly leather, which may soon become unavailable, since Connolly is in receivership. I think some of the special leathers that BOW is supplying to Volvo today are exclusives (like Atacama), and not available through the aftermarket like other BOW leathers. I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think that's the situation.<p>BOW used to be Lincoln's supplier, back when Lincoln was a true luxury car. The Continental Mark II (1956-1957) had BOW leather, and so did the Marks right after that in 1958, 1959, and 1960. Lincoln has used vinyl-coated leather like most American manufacturers for a long time now. Coated leather does not hold up like the aniline-dyed BOW stuff; conditioners can't get through the vinyl into the leather itself, so it dries and cracks pretty quickly. When I see what passes for leather on most American cars today, I snicker; I can't imagine paying so much for so little.
 

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Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (danemodsandy)

oh really.... thats interesting to know. Connolly (strangely enough also my last name) is infact out of business, however the family (no connection AFAIK) did authorize certain high end employees to use the same process, but they must use a different name or something. its been a while since ive seen the results of the company going under. my question is, why did one of the most respected leather tanners that had been in business for 125 years go out of business?<p>thank you for the link. that may provide valuable in the future ( i plan on purchasing a 700 series as well as a 900 series later in life)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (Camyman)

Camy:<p>I think one of the reasons that Connolly got in trouble was that people today want too much for their money. They want leather, but they're not willing to pay past a certain point. Since Connolly was leather made to the highest possible standard, its product probably just got priced out of today's market.<p>I think it's instructive to remember that many Volvos cost LESS today, in constant dollars, than when the 240 series was in production. Marketplace pressures have made that happen; if Volvo won't produce cars at a price people are willing to pay, the Japanese and Koreans will. Whether today's Volvos are going to be as durable as yesterday's is something only time will tell. They are extremely well-finished cars for the money, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (danemodsandy)

Interestingly, there's a 1987 240 on eBay right now that has a vinyl interior mis-identified as leather:<p><A HREF="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4645064443&sspagename=ADME%3AB%3ASS%3AUS%3A1" TARGET="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors...S%3A1</A><p>Check out the close-up of the back seat area. In the description, it says "exterior and interior are both very clean...back seat is in perfect condition".<p>No comment. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (danemodsandy)

It kills me when they advertise the vinyl seats as leather, or 240 drivers pride themselves as having leather, when in fact it's vinyl - once you own it and sit on it you KNOW it's not leather.<p>Here is the 240 I wanted so bad...auction now over...I didn't get it...but it correctly identifies the interior as leather. It's a 1991, it still has the buttons though (so not the better leather?).<p><A HREF="http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=4641761526&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&rd=1" TARGET="_blank">http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors...&rd=1</A><p>Interesting thread.<p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (dagnelson)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>dagnelson</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">It kills me when they advertise the vinyl seats as leather, or 240 drivers pride themselves as having leather, when in fact it's vinyl - once you own it and sit on it you KNOW it's not leather.<p>Here is the 240 I wanted so bad...auction now over...I didn't get it...but it correctly identifies the interior as leather. It's a 1991, it still has the buttons though (so not the better leather?).<br></TD></TR></TABLE><p>All I can tell you is that Bridge of Weir's site says that they began supplying Volvo with the 740. That could mean that they began supplying Volvo for all its cars when the 740 was introduced in 1982, or BOW could have just supplied leather for the 740 and not 240's (Volvo could already have had a contract with another supplier for the 240, one that was not feasible to break, or something. Who knows?).<p>I'm constantly amazed at how many people are fooled by vinyl. I think it may have something to do with the "pleather" found in some American cars, which is leather, but with a vinyl coating. "Pleather" is cheaper than quality aniline-dyed leather, so Detroit likes it a lot. I think people who only know the leather in American cars think that leather is supposed to feel that way. It isn't.<p>MAN, that is a nice-looking 245 in that eBay ad! Wish you'd been able to get it, if it checked out in a buyer's inspection. As you well know, it would cost that much to put a scruffy 245 back into shape. If the car was as nice as it looks, it was a very sound deal.
 

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Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (danemodsandy)

Yes I totally wanted it. The seller said the only thing that didn't work was the heated seats and who needs them in GA? They took it to the shop twice a year to have everything fixed that needed fixing...it seemed as clean as they come. Still bummed out about it. The only thing that would have topped it would have been a manual tranny ... with a new clutch.<p>And yes, the amount it went for is exactly what I need to put into my 87 to get it up to par.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Which 240's Have Leather? (dagnelson)

Just to let everyone know:<p>I just got an info kit from Bridge of Weir that included samples. Their "Grampian" leather appears to be the closest match to what's found in a 740. Bill Hirsch Auto (www.hirschauto.com) carries BOW leather; click on the "Leather" link at the left of the home page. There is a huge colour selection, and BOW does custom matching, if that should be necessary for some reason (like matching faded or aged leather). Hirsch's price is $400 per hide (50 square feet). Some poking around on the Internet should find other suppliers, as well.
 
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