Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Cars That Gained Or Lost Respect With Time

1234568

Comments

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    An elderly lady drive into a local mall today in a nice, clean white Volvo 740, with cream leather interior. and parked a couple of spaces from my car. I took the opportunity to complement her car. She thanked me, and commented that it's old, and her children have been urging her to trade it for a new car.

    Since she appeared to welcome the chance to chat briefly about her car, I learned that her 740 is a 1988 with 170,000 miles. Since this car was very well maintained cosmetically (don't know mechanically, but it was quiet and didn't smoke) I asked if it's been high maintenance, and she responded "no."

    I know very little about Volvo 740s, other than the fact that the V6 that came in some of them was troublesome. How does the 4 cylinder 740/940 compare with the 240, in terms of reliability and durability? Is this woman just lucky?

    Incidentally, I like the styling of the 940 better than the 740. The rear styling from the C-pillar just appeals to me more, in a similar way that I prefer the rear styling of the '53 GM cars over the '52s.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    A few years ago, against my advise, I sold a Volvo S-80 to a young gal that just HAD to have it. Her mother was an employee at our store at the time and I warned her too.

    This gal will no longer speak to me. From what I hear everything failed on that car like a string of firecrackers and she lost thousands of dollars.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    No opinions on the last of the RWD Volvos?

    If the 240 is the Swedish Dodge Dart, then what are the 740 and 940? The Swedish Olds, Buick or Chrysler maybe, in terms of the North American market?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    When I was a kid, I had a couple of PV 544's. Oh, I loved those tough little cars and I wish I could find another one!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    That woman was SOOOOOO lucky I'd go find her and ask her for her favorite lottery numbers.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    I love 544s. It's one of the greatest cars of all time. Simple, tough, fun to drive, reliable as a rock, easy to fix, easy to hot-rod, funky friendly styling. I almost pulled the trigger on one some months back but decided it was just a little too rough for me.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    For a few years, Volvo used a V-6 engine that was a total POS. They were so bad that if one got traded in the Volvo Dealers would wholesale them.

    I know some Peugeots used the same engine.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    Yeah, me too.

    Back in the day, they were the same price as a VW and SO much better of a car.

    I looked at one too a couple of years ago but it was too rusty.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    Wasn't that the same woof-woof engine they put in the Delorean? We all know how great that worked out.

    Sometimes with old cars one has to separate the person's LOVE for the old car, from its actual reliability, when you here anecdotal evidence. Also, you keep a car 20 years, you don't add up what you've spent--it could shock you.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,693
    I've read a few horror stories from 740/940 owners, with the general impression they're money pits. But 3rd hand info...
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    I had forgotten about that. Yes, they were the same engines!

    Delorean must have designed the car than then looked around..." Oh, I'm going to need engines for these"

    Of course Peugeot was there for the rescue.

    At least Tucker found some Helicopter engines that I heard weren't bad!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    The Delorean was supposed to be turbo-charged but the engine deal fell through, so he had to scramble for what was available.

    Tucker converted the helicopter engine from air to water-cooling and also changed camshafts, etc. But apparently it was a sturdy motor. He actually bought the company.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    edited December 2010
    Yep, in his scrambles, he couldn't have picked a worse engine.

    Didn't Howard Hughes have something to do with those Tucker engines?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    I don't think so. "Aircooled Motors", which made the Tucker engine, was formerly owned by Republic Aircraft. The Tucker family held onto the company for a while after Tucker's death. Eventually it was sold and moved to Poland.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    OK, thanks. I don't know why I thought there was a connection.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    Maybe there is---I just never heard about it in the research I've done on Tucker.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    My neighbors had a 1989 740 wagon. They bought it used in 1992, and got rid of it in 1998, with around 90,000 miles on it. It was starting to get expensive towards the end of its life, and every month or so had to back to the Volvo dealer, to the tune of around $1000 per visit. They replaced it with a Subaru Legacy Outback, and have stuck with Subes ever since.

    And for some reason, back then, none of the local mechanics wanted to even look at it, so their only choice was to take it to the Volvo dealer, which was 20-some miles away. Is there anything about a Volvo that's so exotic that your run-of-the-mill mechanic wouldn't want to mess with it?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    That's what I suspected. It also occurred to me that, more likely, she loves her 740 so much, for whatever reason, that she's blind to its weaknesses.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    I thought the 544 was a step up in price from the VW Beetle.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    It's my understanding that Volvo shared that V6 with Peugeot and Renault, and DeLorean purchased the engines for his sportscar from Renault.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    It may have been a couple of hundred dollars more and that was a lot of money in those days.

    Still much more of a car in every way!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    You know, I think it was Renault that made that miserable engine.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    About 500 bucks more, so a tidy sum more in those days. But the 544 was cheaper than the Karmann Ghia, and in that comparison way more car for the money---faster, stronger, warmer and probably more reliable.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • omarmanomarman Posts: 723
    News stories about the Hughes H-4 Hercules "spruce goose" were circulating in the news at about the same time as the Tucker Torpedo - which was ironically called the "tin goose." That may have lead to some confusion as to a Hughes-Tucker connection.

    Also Howard Hughes became interested in helicopters and founded Hughes Helicopters in 1947 and produced the fascinating XH-17 flying crane.

    The XH-17 was originally designed by Kellett Helicopters as a huge ground test platform for a tip jet powered rotor system for the military. Howard bought the rights from Kellet and in 1949 was awarded an Air Force contract to develop the test rig into an actual flying, heavy lift aircraft. It was first flown in 1952 and testing revealed a very limited range and stress/vibration issues with the massive rotor system.

    I've seen the length of the rotors reported variously as 125, 134, or 136 feet long atop the 35-ft tall aircraft which was powered by twin modified GE turbojets. That is one big chopper. :surprise: People who witnessed the XH-17 flying in the 50s and 60s recall the slow turning rotors and distinctive whop-whop sound of the blades.

    Take a look at this "futuristic aircraft" video, you'll see the Hughes XH-17 flying crane at 2:10.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    While I've neither ridden in nor driven a 544, I believe all the positives that shifty and isell say about it. I think what held back sales in the U.S. was that it looked like a shrunken '41-'48 Ford, and was priced like a Ford.

    The 544 could probably give most Fords of its day a good run for their money in acceleration, and handily out corner and out brake its larger American counterpart. However, it clearly lost when measured by the bigger-is-better standard. Volvo also had a small dealer network, but the 544 succeeded in establishing the Volvo brand in the U.S. That was no small feat. It succeeded because it was a good product.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,958
    edited December 2010
    Hughes was a fascinating man. Now our "heroes" don't create amazing aircraft or 300 mph trains---they create "facebook". Whoopie.

    Volvo 544 -- this was really the first credible, rugged Volvo that could run on American roads and survive. The 444 wasn't up to the job, with its 3-main bearing crank and tractor-derived 1600 cc engine. The 544, with the legendary B18 engine, sturdy 4-speed and a suspiciously Chrysler-looking differential, was a virtually indestructible automobile. You had to literally atomize it through rusting to kill it.

    Weaknesses? Fiber timing gear running against steel crank gear---not so good. Also soft camshafts. But they'd run anyway.

    American mechanics didn't "understand" the SU carburetors. I'm not sure why, since they only have three moving parts.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    Was it 500.00 more?

    Can't say "only" 500.00 because that was a whole lot of money then.

    Funny you would mention Karmann Ghia.

    Right now, as I type these words there is a Karmann Ghia parked at a locak school with a For Sale sign on it.

    I had to stop of course. No price on the sign, just a phone number which is never a good sign. I did call and leave a message.

    It's a 1974 Convrtable and walking around it I have to say it's a solid Number 3 car in every respect. Maybe even a lottle better.

    Baby blue, black top.

    What do you think it's worth?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    Those had the smoothest, sweetest shifter and they had a certain sound to them that made me drive sometimes with the radio turned off.

    One night, a buddy who had a black 544 decided to throw an M-80 over a classmates back fence as a prank. By luck, it just happened to land on a glass patio table. I had wondered how it made so much noise?

    The next day at school the story went around. A neighbor told the police that it was some guys in a black 1948 Ford!

    No, we didn't get caught.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,142
    Yeah, sometimes it's hard to remember how different money was back then. For example, in 1969, you could get a stripper Valiant 2-door sedan for as cheap as $2094. I've heard a VW Bug from that era cost around $1600. On the surface, IMO at least, that doesn't sound like a lot of money. but, plug it into an inflation calculator, and that $1600 comes out to $9258 in 2009 dollars (2010 aren't available yet), while that Valiant, in 2009 dollars, comes out to $12,116. Pretty big difference there.

    And, as a comparison, my old '69 Dart GT hardtop MSRP'ed for around $3600 in 1969. Auto, power steering, a/c, vinyl roof, 3-speed wipers, heater, ratio, etc., but still just a 225 \6 and 3-speed Torqueflite That's like $20,831 in 2009 bucks!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,929
    Back in the late sixties there was a local VW dealership. Kendon Motors.

    If you wanted a new VW, you paid full price, picked your color and waited six weeks.

    Of course, they kept a few in stock that had another 1000.00 in dealer installed accessories that you cojuld drive home if you didn't want to wait.
This discussion has been closed.