Manual B30 Box – 1969 Volvo 164

Volvo’s 164, though referred to as the Swedish Rolls Royce in some circles, never really won very much favor in North America. However, a decent number were sold here, and looking through listings for older cars will usually net you a couple. And of those, it’s likely that at least one will have the Boring-Warner BW35 automatic transmission, but if you’re lucky you’ll turn up one with the tough-as-nails M400 manual transmission (a quality it shares with the rear differential). Breathing through dual Zenith-Stromberg carburetors, it was good for a rather meager 130hp, but as you’ll see below, that situation can be improved. Styling-wise, you still get a box, but the front end is arguably the most elegant on a box, with a tall grill and a bumper whose center section drops to the grill’s lower edge. Check out this 1969 Volvo 164 for sale for $3200 in Hampstead, NH.

1969 Volvo 164 right front

The medium blue is a lovely color, and the perfect basis for a subtle Swedish motif. The body and trim all look really good for an east coast car, though it might be missing the diagonal bar from its grill. A small section of the rocker trim spear might also be missing, as is half the windshield trim, and the antenna looks to be a cheap aftermarket piece. Last registered in 2013, the car appears to be stored together with a bunch of older European cars.

1969 Volvo 164 left rear

There’s never a time when mudflaps aren’t cool on a vintage coupe or sedan. The car is said to have solid floors (and to be solid everywhere), and shows 168,000 miles. The VIN number indicates it was produced late in 1969. Later cars received fuel injection and increasingly large bumpers, so among 164s this is certainly a more desirable example.

1969 Volvo 164 interior

The interior looks to be in rather excellent shape for the age, though seat covers could be hiding trouble. Rear seats look good, though may need moisturizing, and door panels look good and haven’t been cut. The dash is free of cracks, and it’s a treat to see a manual shifter. Nothing in the picture hints at old restorations or serious neglect, though it will probably need catch-up maintenance from its 3 years off the road.

1969 Volvo 164 engine

Here’s the B30A with its dual carburetors. A German supplier offers performance upgrades for the 164, including triple Weber 45 carburetors, suspension upgrades, and sports exhaust, which look to transform the car into a true backroads weapon none would suspect – see the video below. However, even if you don’t go all-out with performance upgrades, this should be a trusty old classic with a nice little bump in power and torque.

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One Response to “Manual B30 Box – 1969 Volvo 164”

  1. MountainMan Says:

    Nice find. I had a chance to buy one of these many years ago before I really knew why they were special cars. Instead I ended up with a 1977-78 5 series BWM with a manual transmission. Silver over black as opposed to the reddish Volvo. I sure would like to have one of these now. Very cool car and the manual transmission is a big plus. The price seems fair and with reasonably low miles considering the age it wouldn’t hurt to throw some of those above mentioned go-fast parts at it. M

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