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Homepage. This page: Buying and owning a classic 1970s Volvo, an owner's story.

Volvo 164.

The Volvo 164 was put on sale in 1969, as the company's top-of-the-range model. Employing a six-cylinder engine (B30A) based upon the tried-and-tested four-cylinder units that had powered Volvos for many years, it combined a refined powerplant and an automatic gearbox, with the angular lines of the 140 series, its occupants cocooned within a leather-clad interior. Peter dropped me a line in 2013, with the story of his smart maroon, or rather "Wine Red", 164 ... as he now relates.
Maroon Volvo 164

New to the Classic experience.

I had wanted to get into the classic car scene for many years and over the last forty years have owned what people today would call classic cars. Due to my wife's final go-ahead and healthier financial situation I decided to see if I could afford a classic car of some type or other.
My choice of which classic car to buy would have to be focused on cars that had automatic transmission, this was because I had a motorcycle accident in my early twenties which left me disabled with restricted movement in my right leg.
I have driven automatic cars since the accident, and the first auto I bought was a Ford Mk1 Cortina 1500. This was as rare as gold dust in those days. It took me 6 months to find one and had to be bought from Birmingham. I can remember taking it down to Auto Tyres in Shrewsbury and getting four new Pirelli tyres for 25.00 the lot fitted. It held the road like glue and was a very reliable car to own. As my family expanded I graduated onto MkIIs then MkIIIs, and as happens when you start a family the money seemed to get less and less. Unfortunately there was no spare money for such things as classic cars in those days, and my cars came and went. But now that the kids have moved on (well most of them) I had the time and money to be able to look for a classic car.
I asked around at work and found a work colleague who by chance had a Rover P5B, which would have been just the job because it had a 3.5 litre engine and automatic transmission. I thought that my search was over, so off I went to have a look. However having been a mechanical fitter and not a car mechanic I found that this car was way beyond what I could do in the car restoration field. I did not want to spend the amount of money nor the time to bring this car back from the dead. It had been stored in a damp garage for the last ten years which was a pity but I reluctantly had to walk away from it. It would have been what I wanted but was too far gone for me.
So sitting at home one night I was using my computer and my son suggested I look on the internet for classic cars. Five minutes later, having looked at a couple of sites and dismissed most of the cars because of price, the most appealing was a 1972 Volvo 164 auto. What sort of car is this we thought? What does it look like? So replying to the advert the owner sent me a picture. I liked the look of the car right away which was half the way to wanting it. So we arranged to go and see the car which was unfortunately down in North London, about a three hour drive from where we live.
Arriving late morning in North London, there it was looking quite presentable so off we all went for a ride around the busy streets. As the owner drove along he said he could not go far as the petrol was very low. I told him to pull into the next service station and I would fill it up with petrol (big mistake!) as I would be taking it back to Shrewsbury. I stopped putting petrol in when it reached the 50.00 mark. Anyway the deal was done and the papers signed.
Because we hadn't yet converted the car so that I could drive it, my wife had the job of driving it back to Shrewsbury. We congratulated ourselves with a celebration meal on the way back home which was very nice.
We set off back to Shrewsbury and within five minutes of getting onto the M25 we ran into heavy traffic, and I lost contact with my wife and son in this untried classic car. Would it break down? Or would it manage all the way back to Shrewsbury? I kept looking at every broken down car on the motorway. Needless to say the car went very well with no problems whatsoever. My wife thought it drove very well, very smoothly and was very comfortable, no trouble at all.
So the next few months were taken up with mending broken items, replacing worn out parts and just getting the car into some sort of acceptable condition. It did need a few trips to my local garage for the brakes to have new linings fitted and to be modified for left foot operation. We also had to do lots of cleaning and polishing which all adds to the fun of being a classic car owner, and now although there are some jobs that need doing we are well on the way to getting it up to standard.
I can now look forward to many years of classic car ownership with a car that did not cost an arm and a leg and is in reasonable condition, which can be driven anywhere with a certain amount of confidence. I feel I have rescued this car before it disintegrated into an undriveable pile of scrap, which is a good thing because they make good classic cars for people on a budget. Hopefully with lots of loving care and attention it will get close to the great car it once was.
This car can be seen at its own web site: Volvo 164 site (plug-ins required), where all the information about the car can be found as well as the restoration process we had to go through. I do hope some of you will have a look at the web site because being a novice on restoration, any tips or suggestions will be more than welcome.
The Volvo's interior

The Volvo's history to-date.

1972) This car was first registered in 08/05/1972 and was bought by J.W.Coward & Co. Ltd Chelmsford presumably as a company car for a Manager or director
1978) The car was then registered to Stomps Garage, Chelmsford in 1978, which had the same address as the J.W.Coward & Co. so they must have changed the company name.
1988) The car was then brought by Alan John Maydanes, Dunmow, Chelmsford and he had it to 1988.
1988) It was then sold to Stephen Maybanks on the 20/01/1988, he was also in Dunmow.
1996) Mr Maybanks kept the car until 1996 when Mr Peter Mixture brought the car.
1999) The car was sold on the 03/09/99 to Dunlee Ford, Braintree, Essex.
2000) Mr Masters brought the car then and kept it to 01/08/2000 when it was sold to John Desmond Hall of Dagenham, Essex.
2001) Mr Hall then sold the car to Alex Nicolaclu in London on the 30/03/2001.
2001) I bought the car from Alex on the 16/06/01 and we are the current owners.

Thanks for sending the story over Peter, good stuff. I've a feeling that I might have seen this driving near to Shrewsbury a few years ago.
More old-car owners' stories can be found in the Your Classic Cars section of this site, and also on the forum where a number of other Volvo owners reside (forum link).
Other mentions of the 164 at Old Classic Car include a photo of a preserved example seen at Tatton Park, not forgetting this page within the parts classifieds section.

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