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Hagerty Employee

10 fantastic vintage Volvo ads

Imagine you’re in charge of 20th century Volvo marketing. The key selling points are durability and safety—how in the world, you ask yourself, do you make practicality sexy? Short answer: You don’t. Instead, you build a sensible brand that’s likable.


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New Driver

Volvo made some great machines back in the day...solid, safe and I think some of the vintage coupes are very cool.  Today?  meh...not so much.

Intermediate Driver

The poor mans Mercedes 


These ads got me to buy a new 1972 model164, a top of the line 4door sedan. It cost over $5000 ( a lot in Dec 1971) the warranty on the car was just 6 months. It was the worst car I ever owned: had to be towed in three times in the first year for ignition problems. Over the 5 years I owned it it needed a new main seal, new brakes, a new transmission, the tires fell apart, and the metallic paint went bad. I joked that the reason people kept them so long was that after a year you had so much invested in repairs you could not afford to get rid of it. 


Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, invariably recommended a used Volvo for parents to buy their newly-minted teenage drivers.

Intermediate Driver

Had a '66 122S for 36 years.  Awesome car!

Pit Crew

I had an Amazon before l had a license. My sister was dating David Sanderson, an English rally car driver for England. He took me out to Blue Springs outside Kitchener and taught me how to drive, not drag. Side drifting, down shifting, braking, as much as l could absorb. Later, after a Karmon Ghia phase, l specialized in vintage P1800s. If any one here has one, including ES wagons l still have 1/3 of a garage in Toronto with all kinds of parts. That Simon Templer twisted a child's mind for the better. Love those cars


I have just one vintage (1966) 1800 in Silver Spring, MD.  It was restored years ago, but now needs the rocker panels replaced.  I would also like to have a rear window with defroster strips in it.  And lastly, I need the front two feet of the left front fender because I stupidly ran it into my neighbor's Toyota Rav 4 SUV in our community parking lot making a sloppy turn in the dark.  I've bought stuff from all over the world for it and have paid some big shipping fees, so I know shipping from Toronto wouldn't be cheap, but if you have the window or the fender I'd buy them from you.  Even rocker panels, but they're hard to come by used.  Al Godley-Davis, 443-831-4432


I really liked the ad that showed a night shot of a guy looking in the showroom window at a Volvo dealer.  The caption was "Want a good used Volkswagen - see your Volvo dealer".  Still driving the 1961 P1800 I pulled out of a farm field in 1983.  Took 8 years to rebuild but it still runs like a top and parts are still available.  

Bob, Victoria, Canada


I bought a new 142 Volvo in 1969. When it was T boned and totalled 16 years later I walked away unhurt because the by then rusty body protected the occupants as advertised. I bought an other Volvo, a 245 that I still drive.

Pit Crew

Got out of the Army in 1970 and bought a 142, loved it and wished I still had it, in 1973 bought a 164, compared to the 142 it was all class, leather seats, AC and a sunroof, sold it when my wife wanted a new car, another one I wish I still had.

New Driver

Our family owned many Volvos.  I got a 1968 142 coupe in 1974 from a friend's father who was a mechanic at a Volvo dealership.  My brother bought a 1969 142 a year later.  My father who was a Dodge man bought a 1975 240 and was so impressed with it he bought another 240 for my mother for Christmas that year.  He bought a 1983 245 and my mother's 240 went to my youngest brother.  Dad's 240 was totaled when it was hit by a drunk driver while parked on the side of the road.  All of the doors were fully functional and the passenger compartment was perfectly intact.  Dad drove the 245 for many years before purchasing a 1996 960 wagon.  The 1993 245 went to my sister.  My mom had 1995 940 wagon that I ended up owning.  I put over 250,000 miles on before it rusted out due to the crap CT puts on the roads for ice melt.  I also had a 1987 245 DL that I got when my son was six months old.  He learned to drive on that car at age 16.  It ended up in the junkyard with 317,000 miles on it due to body rot and too many things wrong with it that made it not worth fixing.  Both of my kids owned several Volvos over the years.  We no longer own any Volvos because they went to FWD and were always having issues with the front axles.  Good cars until they went to FWD.  Now they are so expensive none of us can afford them.


 Enjoyed the nostalgia ads.  My wife & I bought a 1967 122S 2 door sedan in May 1967 a month after we got married.   We took good care of it & had it 2 months shy of 30 years with about 250 K miles on it when our son was rear ended sitting at a stop light.  The rear fenders were pushed into the rear wheels.  He bent the fenders out with the tire iron, drove it home, drove it another month until the other driver's insurance company totaled it out.

We had several other 122 sedans in the 1970's and 80's but none as good as our original.  We had a 1984 245 wagon for several years but didn't like it as well as the 122 wagon we bought in 1975 & still drive on sunny days but not in winter salt.   In 1976, I bought a 1968 1800S which I had completely refurbished in 2009 and also still drive on sunny days but not in winter salt..  My daily driver is a 1994 850 sedan with 230K miles; should be good for a few more years.

My wife is after me to sell the 1967 wagon and the 1968 1800S.  I'm probably going to put them on Craig's List after Covid-19 is somewhat under control.  But - if any Hagerty readers are interested, please email me at


I worked with a guy back in 1974 who had a Volvo. He said the only reason they last so long is that you have to work on them all the time.

But then again my brother had one that lasted a long time without a lot of work.


At 17, bought my 1st '65 544 for $15 bucks. It was a neighbors that was rear ended and as Jim Hamel said below of a different model " buckled both rear fenders". It was still drive-able with fender rub on big road bumps.  I ended up spending several years developing it into a Woodie wagon and thus, a passion for the brand. Would probably still have it if it weren't for an uninsured, revoked licensee, slug who ran a red light put a new final twist to the legendary Woodie.

I then bought a mid 80's 244 DL 4 sp w OD.  from an unscrupulous seller who thought he had a bad front main seal.(I believe the beginning era of suspect crankcase ventilation). Removed the 'spark arrestor' that resembled a piece of reused, rolled-up aluminum foil and problem resolved ! Rolled happily down the road for years. Recently I replaced the PCV on our '06 XC70. Same problem -excessive crankcase pressure-  just exponentially more laborious and $. (And, the banjo-bolt from hell).

 We have had two earlier XC70's with great results. With the end of the P2's, we will hold onto this one for awhile longer ( 196k mi).

I sill have a '65 544 awaiting restoration or just liberation from under the tarps.

Cheers !




My personal favorite was A Black Turbo Sedan, Blasting through a garage door, obliterating it...Maybe early 80's Anyone out there remember that commercial?

New Driver

I think my favourite Volvo ad slogan was ‘Drive it like you hate it’, And it was a testament to the durability of the B18 and B20 four cylinder motors. The only way you could really break them was to run them out of oil or something silly like that. The B21 and B23 OHC motors carried on that tradition; they were even more durable. As a Volvo technician for a number of years I found the biggest problem with customers is that they didn’t drive them hard enough and they would ‘carbon up’ between their 6000 mile services. Before every service the vehicle would be treated to a pre-service test drive, usually with the owner on-board, where red-line would be reached in every gear, except fourth, to blow the carbon out of the motor. If you didn’t do this and installed new Bosch plugs and performed an after-tune-up red-line excursion, you would usually foul a brand new pair of plugs and have to replace them again as the Bosch spark plugs didn’t take kindly to cleaning, new or not. The customer’s reaction on the pre-tune-up road test was usually ‘I never rev the car like that!’ To which I would reply that they they should do it it every once in a while just to keep the motor happy and performing.


I have owned, with my late brother, 93 Volvos and still have my second, a 1965 544 Sport which I have for 50 years. My first Volvo, a 1962 544, saved my life in a violent crash in 1969 due to its standard shoulder harnesses. Always a Volvo fan.

New Driver

My first new car was a Sun Yellow 1973 Volvo 1800ES, the tenth from the last one made.  Of all the many cars in my life, it remains the only one I've ever regretted selling.   'Nuff said.