Cool Box – 1979 Volvo 242 GT

Here’s another car that’s become interesting with time. In the 1970s and 1980s, and even the 1990s, Volvo’s 240-series cars were so ubiquitous, they were a cliche of the left-leaning family wagon. In that sense, they were the Subaru Legacy Outback of their time, and you wouldn’t even look twice if you saw one going down the road. And similarly, both are fairly unremarkable to drive, but both do quite well with aftermarket upgrades. And both have at times come with performance upgrades from the factory – witness the Legacy GT or the 240 Turbo. Let’s take a look at an earlier sporting Volvo 240 – this 1979 Volvo 242 GT for sale for $3300 in San Rafael, CA.

1979 Volvo 242 GT left side

Not bad – looks like it has some minor dents from its 37 years of service, but retains all its original details including front spoiler, wheels, stripes, and blackout trim. With mileage stated as 191K, there should be at least another 100K in there, given good care. It’s said to run great too, but you’ll probably do well to expect some oxidation of the metallic paint. Judging by the other car in front of this one, the seller is a Volvo fan, so hopefully knows and has attended to the car’s weaknesses (are there any?).

1979 Volvo 242 GT engine

It’s not clear whether the GT-specific interior is still present, or what condition it’s in, but things look reasonably clean underhood. The 242 GT retained the same engine as regular 240-series Volvos, instead receiving upgrades to gas shocks and thicker anti-roll bars. It’s said to be unmodified, but the seller specifies a 5-speed overdrive transmission, which suggests it is – a 4-speed overdrive was stock. Brakes were discs all around, with the front discs ventilated.

1979 Volvo 242 GT front

So yes, there is oxidation and chipping of the paint, but the cool original grill with built-in fog lights is still there. Whenever a seller lists guide values, especially without citing the source, it suggests unrealistic price expectations. The car’s been on the market for roughly a month, so that might be an indication of what the market thinks – go with cash in hand and see if the seller will knock off a few hundred to see the back of it.

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One Response to “Cool Box – 1979 Volvo 242 GT”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    I had one of these in the 80’s,, it was sort of unremarkable but I had plenty of problems with it, but that more likely the fault of the fella that did my repairs at time

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