1973 VOLVO 144 DE LUXE

EN­GINE 1986cc/4-cyl/OHV POWER 100bhp@5600rpm TORQUE 112lb ft@3500rpm MAX­I­MUM SPEED 106mph 0-60MPH 10.1sec FUEL CON­SUMP­TION 20-24mpg TRANS­MIS­SION RWD, three-speed auto MoT 12 months on sale ODOMETER 236,927 miles

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Classic Car For Sale - Gil­lian Car­moodie

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

This 144 has been around the odometer twice, yet the 1986cc en­gine starts qui­etly and with no ex­haust smoke be­fore set­tling down to a healthy idle. Ac­cel­er­a­tion is smooth and steady and the au­to­matic gear­box changes up and down with­out he­si­ta­tion or jud­der­ing. The brakes and steer­ing are a lit­tle heavy, but the car stops with­out pulling to ei­ther side and track­ing is straight and true. The sus­pen­sion is quiet and com­pli­ant, ab­sorb­ing road im­per­fec­tions beau­ti­fully. This Volvo hasn’t moved in a while, so reg­u­lar use should loosen it up nicely.

BODY­WORK CHECK

There is no rust in the whee­larches or the sills and the un­der­side is in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion. The cream-white paint is un­blem­ished with just a hint of rust break­ing through at the tip of the driver’s side front wing, along­side a small paint chip on the near­side of the boot lid. There’s a slight scratch in the front bumper and mi­nor tar­nish­ing on the ex­haust pipe, but the chrome still gleams and is in gen­er­ally re­spectable EX­TE­RIOR Good paint Rust-free arches/sills IN­TE­RIOR Largely original Mould on sun vi­sors ME­CHAN­I­CALS Strong en­gine Com­pre­hen­sive history con­di­tion. The Si­cur­siv glass is un­marked, but the dry and cracked win­dow rub­bers could do with re­plac­ing.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

The black dash­board dis­plays no signs of fade and the tex­tured steer­ing wheel cover is largely in­tact, with only slight fray­ing ev­i­dent upon close in­spec­tion. The JVC ra­dio/cas­sette player func­tions per­fectly, as do the speedome­ter, clock and water tem­per­a­ture, fuel and oil pres­sure gauges. The bright blue cloth seat ma­te­rial doesn’t look original, but fits in sur­pris­ingly well with the teal leather door cards and car­pet. The boot is clean, dry and free from cor­ro­sion, as is the wind­screen sur­round. The only real let­downs are the grey mould spots on both sun vi­sors, though this could be eas­ily reme­died. The white PVC head­lin­ing is clean and com­plete.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

Lift­ing the bon­net re­veals an aged, but pre­sentable en­gine bay, free from ev­i­dence of fluid seep­age or bodged re­pairs. There are a few paint chips near the bon­net hinges and mi­nor rust­ing on some of the pipes, but all fluid lev­els sit around the max­i­mum mark and the electrics are in good work­ing or­der. A browse through the history file shows that this Volvo has been reg­u­larly serviced and well cared for through­out its life. It also comes with its original owner’s man­ual, war­ranty and ser­vice book­let.

THE CCW VIEW

This 144 has solid body­work, a ro­bust en­gine and strong driv­e­train. Given reg­u­lar care, it should have plenty of life left in it – not bad for a car that’s cov­ered al­most enough miles to reach to the moon!

PROS Original, in­creas­ingly rare, price CONS Mi­nor cos­met­ics, en­gine bay needs tidy­ing

ASK­ING £3950 PRICE

Char­ac­ter­ful in­te­rior has stood the test of time.

En­gine bay is hon­est, rather than a show-win­ner.

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