Volvo 145 de Luxe
- Mileage: 81,042
- Year: 1973
- MOT Expiry: TBC
- Exterior Colour: California White
- Interior Colour: Blue Vinyl
- Top speed: TBC
- 0-60mph: TBC
- BHP: 81
- Transmission: 3-Speed Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1985cc
- Engine Configuration: Inline 4
At the end of November 1967, Volvo presented the third variant in what was now developing into a complete car family known as the 140 Series: the Volvo 145.
The Volvo 145 was a 5-door estate with a rear section that had a virtually vertical tailgate. Everybody agreed that this was a safe, comfortable and extremely practical and spacious car. The cargo volume was more than 2 cubic metres and the floor of the cargo area was completely flat. This design of the rear section has since become a well-known characteristic of all Volvo estates. The Volvo 145 quickly became an extremely popular estate and played an increasingly important role within the 140 Series. It was also the first prestige estate car before the likes of Audi, Mercedes and BMW were offering production estate cars.
For the 1969 model year Volvo enlarged the B18 to become the 2-litre B20 and replaced the generator with a more modern alternator. In 1970 a flow-through ventilation system, where vents were added towards the rear of the car (as a grille next to the right side taillight of the 145) and electrically defrosted rear windows, were introduced. The split rear side window on the 145 became one piece which was no longer possible to open.
In 1971 the first of several styling changes were introduced, including a revised black grille which saw the now ubiquitous Volvo diagonal line introduced as well as new wheels. In 1973 the 140 series received a major facelift, with a new plastic grille, new larger indicators and a completely revised tail end. Also, the S designation was dropped and the range consisted of three trim levels: standard, de Luxe, and, Grand Luxe. The interior also had a completely redesigned padded dashboard with a new instrument cluster consisting of dials rather than the strip speedometer previously used, rocker switches replacing the push-pull switches (with the exception of the headlight switch), and vents to direct air towards the person augmenting the defrost and floor vents.
California White paintwork, Dark blue leatherette upholstery, 3-speed automatic transmission, Front seat belts, Laminated front windscreen, Power-assisted disc brakes front and rear, Rear window wash wipe, Dash clock, Padded sun visors, Adjustable head restraints, Flat-folding rear seats, Cigarette lighter, Ash tray, Spare keys, Spare wheel, Immobiliser, Rubber floor mats, Original sales brochure.
Despite dominating the estate car market in the late 60s and early 70s, Volvo 145s are a particularly rare find today. This cossetted 2 owner example is finished in its original colour of California White, the paintwork presenting to an excellent standard with a deep and uniform shine across every panel. Having resided within a large private collection for many years the car has been carefully stored to preserve its excellent rust-free condition and low mileage of just 81k.
Now 48 years old, the 145 has recently been treated to a sympathetic refresh by the current owner (of 16 years). Amazingly well preserved and highly original throughout, the car was not to be restored but simply to be brought back to her former glory while retaining as much originality as possible. Cosmetically this work included a meticulous glass-out repaint to a very high standard. Carried out by a well-respected Aston Martin-approved bodyshop in Surrey – and costing an eye-watering £13k – the finish is superb throughout.
Amazingly the car still retains its original bumpers, body trims, and Volvo-etched windows all round – even the windscreen is original. The underside was fully rust-protected from new, and the car has almost always been garaged. All in all, an unrepeatable example that truly defies its years.
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The deep blue upholstery has really stood the test of time. The original hard-wearing vinyl shows almost no signs of any wear, even to commonly damaged areas such as the driver’s bolster, and the rear bench is like new. Elsewhere, the simple dash and centre console also remain in excellent condition with no cracks or damage to report; the switchgear is still reassuringly solid to operate and in-line with factory specification a radio has never been fitted. Up top, the headlining is perfect, and in the front footwells the original blue carpets are well protected by a set of rubber Volvo mats. Lifting the tailgate reveals the vast boot area, made even more spacious with the rear seats folded completely flat. As can be expected within any used estate car some marking and discolouration to the carpet is visible, however this only evidences the car’s honesty and originality further.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The robust B20A engine starts up first turn of the key and, with a little choke, idles up to temperature without fuss. Despite its modest power output the carburetted four-cylinder engine offers excellent low speed pulling, while the automatic transmission makes driving seemingly effortless.
After a period in storage the car most recently benefits from a detailed mechanical re-commissioning to include removal of the engine and replacement of all gaskets, plugs, filters and oils, stripping and cleaning of the carb, a new starter motor, radiator, alternator, regulator, fuel pump, thermostat, etc. The automatic gearbox fluid has also been changed, and a new exhaust fitted too.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The Volvo sits on its factory 15-inch steels, correctly finished with the original chrome embellishers, all in excellent condition. The wheels are wrapped in a matching set of Toyo tyres, each one with at least 6mm of tread remaining. Brake-wise, the 145 is equipped with discs all round. At the front the car has been treated to all new calipers, discs, pads, and hoses, and at the rear the brakes have been serviced as required. The front and rear suspension components have also been stripped and overhauled as necessary, with new shocks fitted at the rear.
This rare Volvo 145 de Luxe automatic was delivered to its first owner on 30th April 1973. The supplying dealer was Jack Miles Ltd in Salisbury, and amazingly their dealer stickers can still be found in both front door shuts. Over the last 48 years the car has driven just 81k miles in the hands of only two keepers, the current owner having purchased the car for their collection 16 years ago.
The History File is equally impressive. The original Volvo document wallet, owner’s manual and service booklet are all still present, as is the original bill of sale from April 1973, pre-sale quotation from March 1973, original 145 sales brochure, plus numerous other invoices and correspondence from the supplying dealer, Jack Miles Ltd. The original service book is stamped up to 60k miles, with a raft of invoices in the paperwork detailing all further maintenance to date.
Most recently, the current owner has treated the Volvo to a cosmetic refresh and mechanical re-commissioning. Prior to this work being carried out the car was already very well presented, extremely solid and highly original throughout but, at 47 years old, was of course showing some signs of wear and tear. With the goal of returning the car to its former glory the work undertaken included a £13k repaint and £7k overhaul of the engine, suspension, and brakes.
This is certainly the finest 145 we have ever seen here at 4 Star, and with such excellent provenance, low ownership and low mileage it must be one of the best and most original examples available today.
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