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Homepage. This page: An early series Volvo 144 saloon of 1966 - 1971 at a motor show.

Volvo 144 saloon.

When Volvo drew up plans for a replacement to take over from the successful 120 / Amazon series, gone were thoughts of curvy saloons echoing the styling of 1950's American cars, replaced instead by boxy Swedish lines designed with the modern, mid-1960's motorist, in mind. Under the skin though much of the Amazon's running gear remained. Although hardly a thing of great beauty, I've a soft spot for the 140-series Volvos as many family trips during my formative years in the 1970s, were undertaken in dad's bright yellow Volvo 144S saloon, the 'S' signifying the fitment of twin carburettors and some internal tweaks to the engine over the base model.
Dad's car, SNE 57K, was a second-series version of the 144, while the car shown below is a first-series car, introduced in 1966 for the 1967 year, and which continued in this form until the range received a facelift in 1971.
(Please click the thumbnail to view full-size image.)
Volvo 144 saloon car at a show
This LHD example was photographed at a continental motor show, possibly at the model's launch. The Volvo 140-series was produced alongside the Amazon for a number of years, until it took over altogether from the older model. The car would go on to be available as a two-door (142), a four-door (144) and - in 1968 - a five-door estate (145), in basic, De Luxe, or Grand Luxe specification. Under the bonnet, the Amazon's four-cylinder B18 engine provided the power for the first years of production, being replaced by the 2.0 Litre B20 engine in 1969, offering more torque but less of a revvy feel to it.
The 140 would form the basis of the six-cylinder 164 range for 1969, a model most easily identifiable from its four-cylinder cousins by a squarer radiator grille. A high-roof estate known as the Express would also be introduced, although not I think for the UK market.
In 1971 the car would receive its first facelift, becoming the version that I remember us owning. A black and silver grille was fitted, featuring the diagonal Volvo badge, and a re-designed steel road wheel was fitted from thereon. Tweaks, mainly safety-related, were incorporated to this series in 1973, with a further re-vamp of the front end styling making its debut for 1973.
In 1974 the entire 140 range was replaced by the 240/260 series, a new car based around the 140's basic styling that would, via many updates and re-workings, continue to be a presence in Volvo dealerships until the 1990s.
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