Old Volvos are famously reliable. Even on high-mileage examples, the biggest issues you’re likely to come across will be electrical gremlins plus general wear and tear. A blown head gasket is a possibility if the coolant system seems to be still pressurised after the expansion tank cap has been removed. However, do keep an eye on the rear subframe bushes, which can perish with age and cause vibration, random clonks and poor handling.
RICHARD GUNN Special Contributor