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.
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.