Last of the old school

1995 Volvo 960 2.9 au­to­matic The Volvo 900 Se­ries were the last of the old­school RWD fly­ing bricks. We’ve al­ready cov­ered ser­vic­ing the four-cylin­der 940, now Richard Gunn guides us through the six-pot 960.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Diy Servicing -

When it comes to au­to­mo­tive longevity, few cars can equal old-school rear-wheel drive Volvos for dura­bil­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity. The no-non­sense line that started with the 240 of 1974 evolved into the 700 Se­ries of 1982-1992, which, in turn, meta­mor­phosed into the 900 mod­els of 1990-1998. Th­ese ended their days rechris­tened the S90 and V90 for the 960 sa­loons and es­tates from 1996.

De­spite the name change, the cars them­selves only dif­fered by a few tweaks. Al­though the six-cylin­der 960s aren’t as com­mon as the four-cylin­der 940s – fewer of th­ese ex­ec­u­tive ma­chines were made and their mod­u­lar en­gines aren’t as re­silient – they still live longer than many of their con­tem­po­raries, es­pe­cially the huge es­tate vari­ants which tend to out­last sa­loons sim­ply be­cause they’re so use­ful. With 204bhp on of­fer from the 2922cc en­gines, they cer­tainly pro­vide speedy trans­port for over­sized fur­ni­ture, dogs and any­thing that needs fer­ry­ing to the lo­cal tip, al­beit while re­turn­ing quite woe­ful mpg fig­ures. Launched in 1991, the 960 de­buted Volvo’s all-alu­minium dou­ble over­head camshaft 24-valve en­gines, known as the ‘White Block.’ Th­ese mod­u­lar en­gines tran­si­tioned into four- and five-cylin­der units for wide­spread use across the Volvo range un­til 2016.

Our 1995 2.9-litre ex­am­ple has more than 150,000 miles and isn’t with­out its is­sues, some of which were un­cov­ered dur­ing our ser­vice.

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