Volvo 940

It’s not a true Volvo load-lug­ger with­out a dog guard…

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - RICHARD GUNN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

1994 VOLVO 940 SE

I’ve al­ways been fond of op­tional ex­tras on my clas­sics – of­ten too much so. I’ve fre­quently over­looked press­ing prob­lems that need ur­gent ex­pen­di­ture in favour of buy­ing and fit­ting some rare ac­ces­sory in­stead. Rusty wheel arches on an Austin Al­le­gro? Just screw on some Bri­tish Ley­land-branded Uni­part mud­flaps in­stead. Wor­ry­ing noises from a Saab? Choose a 1980s’ spe­cially-sculp­tured cas­sette holder rack for that odd­lyshaped cen­tre con­sole cubby hole in­stead – be­ing able to carry more ABBA tapes will al­le­vi­ate my con­cerns by drown­ing strange sounds out. I ad­mit, it’s a fail­ing.

I’ve had a Volvo 940 es­tate swiv­el­ling dog guard for a while now, do­nated by a reader of CCW’s grubby-fin­gered fid­dling sis­ter ti­tle, Car Me­chan­ics. How­ever, it had no in­struc­tions. And, be­ing a gen­uine Volvo item, some of the en­gi­neer­ing looked pretty heavy­weight. I sus­pected that there might even be some weld­ing and con­crete re­in­force­ment in­volved. So it re­mained un­fit­ted. I could have gone for one of the uni­ver­sal fit-all guards in­stead, but when I was a kid, the fam­ily Vaux­hall Viva es­tate ended up in a ditch af­ter hit­ting a pot­hole. And I ended up in hos­pi­tal af­ter the generic dog guard burst loose and hit me on the back of the head. From that point on­wards I’ve not re­ally been a fan of them. To be hon­est, it prob­a­bly didn’t do my en­thu­si­asm for the Vaux­hall Viva much good, ei­ther.

Then fel­low CCW con­trib­u­tor Russ Smith – who sold me my 940 – ac­quired an­other ex­am­ple of the last true Volvo, with its of­fi­cial dog guard al­ready in place. For­tu­nately, among its pa­per­work, he found the ‘mon­ter­ingsan­vis­ning till­be­hör, sky­dds­galler’ – Swedish for the IKEAstyle in­stal­la­tion in­struc­tions. Hav­ing fi­nally tired of star­tled English Set­ters shoot­ing into the front at high speed un­der heavy brak­ing – and peo­ple say that mo­bile phones are dis­tract­ing – it seemed the prime op­por­tu­nity to fit the guard.

The in­struc­tions were ac­tu­ally for the 200 se­ries rather than the 900 – but you can rely on Volvo not to change an idea if it’s a good one that works. Af­ter some mi­nor drilling – but no weld­ing or con­crete mix­ing, thank­fully – it all went to­gether seam­lessly. I now have a guard sculp­tured to the 940’s in­te­rior pro­file of the 940 that just hinges up to the roof when not in use.

Hope­fully, that’s the end of as­ton­ished-look­ing low-fly­ing English Set­ters, too. Ta, Russ.

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