Junkyard Find: 1970 Volvo 164

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In North America, the Volvo Brick family first appeared with the 140 in the 1968 model year, and noticeably square Swedes remained on sale here until the last of the S90 and V90 (formerly known as 960) in 1998. I managed to find examples of breakage of all these carsincluding oddities such as the 262C and 780 Bertone coupes, but the volvo 164 was difficult; before today Junkyard FindI just documented only one 164. On a recent trip to a snowy region triage between Denver and CheyenneI found another one: this burnt and flattened ’70.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado junkyard, rear view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsVolvo had built luxury sedans before, if you consider a taxi from the late 1930s be a luxury sedan, but the 164 was the first of its kind to be sold on our shores.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado scrapyard, engine - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe 164 was based on the 140with 3 liters a six-cylinder in-line engine achieved by adding two cylinders to the four-cylinder B20. This one made 145 horsepower, 10 less than the 4.1-litre six-cylinder that went in 1970 Chevys.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado junkyard, front view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe 164 has a longer nose than the 140, adorned with this British style gate.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado scrapyard, interior - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe interior of the 164 was much more sumptuous than that of its 140 cousin, but that of this car was destroyed by fire.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado junkyard, radio - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsAt first I thought the fire had started when something electrical cut out behind the dash, as often happens.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado Scrapyard, Emblem - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsBut then I noticed that all the glass had been intentionally broken and the fender badges had been obliterated by bullets. I think this Volvo sat in a field somewhere in rural Colorado (or southeastern Wyoming or western Kansas) when it was bored yahoo killed a case of Four Loko then destroys the car with guns and gasoline.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado Scrapyard, Emblem - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsIt’s a shame, because this car was fully equipped with the option leather upholstery and Borg-Warner automatic transmission.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado Scrapyard, Build Tag - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Carsthe the build tag tells us that the color of the body is Stålblå Metallic and upholstery East has been beige scale.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado junkyard, right rear view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsFrom the back, the 140 connection is more obvious. In reality, a 1993 244 Looks a lot like this car seen from the rear quarter. Why change what works?

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado scrapyard, interior - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsEven if this car hadn’t been so badly vandalized, it probably wouldn’t have deserved a serious restoration. A near-perfect ’71 sold for $9,500 a few years ago, but you would have spent at least as much on upholstery and bodywork to get an intact but worn 164 that good looking. Most Volvo fanatics would rather apply their hard-earned efforts Crown to an Amazon coupe or 1800E.

1970 Volvo 164 in Colorado junkyard, front right view - ©2022 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe 164 was available here from model years 1969 through 1975, which meant that, very briefly, American Volvo buyers saw 164s and 240s side-by-side in showrooms.

A civilized car built for an uncivilized world.

[Images courtesy of the author]

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