The Way We Were

Hamp­shire, May 1966

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Front Page -

We bet that Hamp­shire Con­stab­u­lary’s trans­port bosses were drool­ing over this new ar­rival in 1966. Yup, the Volvo 140 se­ries – the car that spawned gen­er­a­tions of boxy es­tates and mo­bilised gen­er­a­tions of Bri­tish an­tique deal­ers in the same way that the Citroën 2CV did French farm­ers – made its de­but.

The 140 had an al­most en­tirely new bodyshell but, even though it used much of the out­go­ing Ama­zon’s driv­e­train, it also in­cor­po­rated disc brakes all round. The cars were also ex­tremely well-built, with crum­ple zones and – from 1967 – rear seat­belts.

Power for the 144 sa­loon came ini­tially from Volvo’s well-proven 1778cc four-cylin­der en­gine, but that was soon re­placed by a 1986cc mo­tor. The enor­mously use­ful 145 es­tate came along in 1967 and sold well word­wide, par­tic­u­larly in the UK and US, es­tab­lish­ing an ex­cel­lent rep­u­ta­tion for longevity.

Though the Volvo 140 was dropped from the range in 1974, the type’s boxy and cav­ernous ba­sic styling was car­ried through to the 240 and thus per­sisted right up un­til 1993, by which time surely ev­ery grand­fa­ther clock to reach the mar­ket in Bri­tain had been car­ried in one at some time. And our friends in Hamp­shire Con­stab­u­lary had signed a lot of or­der forms.

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