With the giant charlie-foxtrot that is the plight of the only new manually-shifted turbodiesel car in North America, what possibilities are there for drivers who still lust after that formula? There’s not much on the new market, and now’s probably not the right time to trawl the market for a used VW TDI. So that leaves earlier used VWs, and European cars of the late 1970s and early 1980s like Peugeots, Mercedes, and the odd Volvo here and there. Sometimes you’ll have to turn to grey-market cars, like this 1984 Volvo 240 DL TurboDiesel for sale for $3100 in Clearview, WA.
So this one seems to check quite a few items on the list of, uh, that category of car enthusiast – manual overdrive transmission, wagon, turbocharged diesel engine, and even rear-wheel-drive for a little extra fun. Equipped with the popular and attractive Virgo wheels, the car is said to be a grey-market example and features flush headlights with wipers, and fender mounted turn indicators. However, aside from the assigned VIN tag shown in another picture, there’s not much to differentiate this car from your average North American 240 (Volvo nuts, put on your anoraks and show us what you know!).
As you can see in this shot, the car also benefits from a lowered suspension and IPD anti-roll bars, so you can make the most of the car’s momentum. The seller also mentions an air compressor and a flat hood as European-market differentiators. The car looks quite decent for a 32-year-old family wagon, and seems to be quite reliable, having just completed a round-trip to San Francisco without problems.
The engine was at some point upgraded to a D24T, and the seller mentions that while this is not a popularly recommended modification among enthusiasts, everything seems to fit properly on this car. Parts could have been carried over from a 740, as the badging and wheels seem like they could be sourced from one. Other improvements and repairs include an intercooler, electronic turbo boost controller for the tractor pull, a remanufactured injection pump, new timing belt, and new battery.
Unfortunately, there’s a long to-do list too, including minor rust and water damage repair, lower ball joints, some kind of repair/modification to the headlights, missing front carpet, leaky window seals, worn tires, right front door handle, at least one leaking rear air shocks, and disconnected compressor power. With only 153,000 indicated miles, the car should have plenty of life left in it, though, and the seller has already purchased many parts. If you’re looking to create some kind of paradox or oxymoron in your garage, perhaps you should consider a combo purchase of this Volvo and today’s earlier Opel GT.