Junkyard Gem: 1990 Volvo 740 Station Wagon
1990 was an interesting year for those shopping for rear-wheel-drive Volvo station wagons. Close to the end of that year, customers in Volvo showrooms could choose between three related but very different wagons: the original 240, the new 1991 940, and the in-between 740. Here’s an example of the middle member of the overlapping Volvo wagon family, photographed recently in a Colorado self-service wrecking yard.
The 700 Series Volvo used a lot of the drivetrain of the legendary 200 Series, which itself descended directly from the nearly-as-legendary 140 Series. This gives the 1990 car you see here a respectable helping of mid-1960s Swedish DNA; Volvo squeezed all the value possible out of their original “brick” sedan’s engineering.
Under the hood, the “Red Block” engine used in many of the 240 and 940 cars sold in the United States. In 1990, this engine in the 240 and 740 was rated at 111 horsepower; the turbocharged version made 157hp.
This one is absolutely rust-free, as you might expect from an immigrant from arid New Mexico to nearly-as-dry Colorado.
The original manuals are still here. This usually indicates a well-cared-for car.
While a solid 240 wagon from 1990 might be considered worth keeping on the road, the 740 doesn’t have the same devoted following. This one has an automatic, which (coupled with the lack of a turbocharger) would have discouraged rescue by Volvo fanatics. Next stop: crusher!
Volvo’s advertising during this era tended to focus on two things: safety and value. This one is all about the latter.