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