Original 1979 Volvo 242 DL Survivor

Price: US $676.00 Item location: Portland, Oregon, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volvo
  • Model: 240
  • SubModel: DL
  • Type: Coupe
  • Trim: DL
  • Year: 1979
  • Mileage: 123,492
  • VIN: VC24245M1157939
  • Color: White
  • Engine size: B21-F 4-cylinder
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Red
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1979 Volvo 240 DL

Original 1979 Volvo 242 DL Survivor


You are bidding on a 1979 Volvo 242 DL located in Portland, Oregon. The Volvo is a desirable 2-door coupe from the ‘flat-hood’ era. This 242 is completely original, it has not been modified, raced, lowered, tinted, etc. etc. I have worked to keep the vehicle original down to the correct steel-cut ignition key. I purchased this car from the estate of a friend’s mother here in Portland OR, and it shows 123,492 miles on the working odometer.

The Volvo 240 is a bit of a cult vehicle, especially here in Portland. I get a lot of ‘thumbs-up’ driving it around town. Also, nearly every part of this car is available new or used online at low cost. While the car is not perfect, it drives fantastic, is reliable, original, and looks great. What follows is probably TMI (too much info), but I want to disclose what I know about the car. I am an old-car enthusiast, and have owned close to 20 different pre-1980 Volvo cars over the years. I’m selling this 242 because I have a new baby on the way and sadly I just don’t have time or space for this car right now.

Additional photos of the car can be found here (all photos taken on 6/12/2016): https://flic.kr/s/aHskAYe6Fu


The Volvo presents well in its original Cascade White factory paint, which is in mostly good condition. There is some fading on the left rear quarter panel, and the driver’s door. That said, white paint is generally very forgiving and is quite presentable in its current condition. Body panels are straight, and panel fit is good. The only exception to this is the driver’s door which I believe is a replacement door. The driver’s door has some light surface rust which is not present anywhere else on the vehicle. There are two small areas (near the right front and rear wheel wells) that have some poorly applied touch-up paint. Bumpers appear straight, and all glass is in great original condition. I believe the front windshield seal has been replaced in the recent past (prior to my ownership). Underneath, the frame looks very clean, straight, rust-free, and original.


Wow, that is a red interior. The original cloth interior is in good condition but has some wear. I had some mediocre sheep skin seat covers which are included and you can see them in some of the photos. The original interior has some fading on the top of the rear seat (which could be dyed back to red if you wanted to). The driver’s seat (which is currently installed on the passenger side) sags a bit in the seat bottom. I’ve purchased and will include a replacement seat spring webbing, but it is not yet installed. The driver’s seat also shows some wear in the vinyl portion as pictured. The passenger seat (which is currently installed on the driver’s side) is in much better condition and is quite comfortable.

Headliner is in great condition with one scratch above the passenger door. I have not tried very hard to remove this scratch, but I suspect it will come out with some elbow grease (it is material deposited on top of the headliner, not scratched into the headliner, if that makes sense).

Door panels are original and in good condition, though the interior driver’s door arm-rest is worn and could use a refresh. The lower door pockets are in great condition, one has been repaired. There is a small crack in the otherwise perfect dash board. Seat belts all work. There was never a radio installed, but the car has door-speaker grills and an antenna if you wanted to install a radio. I did not, because I wanted to keep the car original. Windows roll up and down as they should, doors lock/unlock and open as they should. No odors, no dampness or mildew. Trunk is very clean, and includes some factory tools.

I believe the heater blower motor was replaced in the recent past (by the previous owner) but do not have any documentation of this. Last week, I replaced the headlight switch with a Volvo OEM switch (very nice). All lights work. Odometer and other gauges work as they should. The wiper-washer is installed but does not work, I have not tried to figure out why, but all the equipment is there. Heater works great.


The Volvo 242 is powered by a B21-F which is a nearly indestructible 4-cylinder engine. It is not uncommon to find these engines with more than 300,000 miles on them. It has K-jet fuel injection which is much better than a carburetor, and a 3-speed automatic transmission which is great in traffic. The car drives and handles superbly. It is really fun to drive. It feels solid and safe, stops great with disc brakes. There are nearly no blind spots in the Volvo 242, and the car is nimble. The car always starts even when cold/hot and runs well.

The previous owner was vigilant about oil changes, and the battery looks fairly new as does the driveline carrier bearing. When I got the car earlier this year, I decided to replace a number of parts which I consider ‘deferred maintenance’ items (i.e. parts that should be replaced based only on mileage, not because they were broken). I will include a thick folder full of receipts documenting the replaced parts, but in summary, I have replaced:

  • All fluids (brake fluid, transmission fluid flush, engine oil, rear end oil, coolant, fresh premium gas)
  • All vacuum lines replaced
  • All brake system flexible hoses replaced
  • Passed Oregon DEQ Emission Test with flying colors
  • Professionally installed new muffler and exhaust pipes from the cat-back
  • Fuel injectors have been removed, cleaned, and reinstalled with new seals
  • Front struts, upper strut mounts (OEM), boots replaced
  • New front control arm bushings, new tie-rod ends, new sway bar links
  • Professional steering alignment
  • Rear shocks replaced
  • All 5 wheels (it has a full-sized spare) were powder-coated by Les Schwab
  • 5 brand new tires purchased from Les Schwab (P185/75R-14 All Season Toyo Eclipse) which have approximately 400 miles on them.
  • Remanufactured distributor, new cap, rotor, plug wires, plugs installed
  • Front wheel bearings/seals replaced
  • Flame trap replaced, new hoses installed
  • New radiator, new radiator hoses, new thermostat, new water pump gasket/o-ring (it has an OEM water pump which you do NOT want to replace unless absolutely necessary, they are impossible to find and are far superior to any available replacement)
  • Engine mounts replaced
  • Valve adjustment checked, all within spec., valve cover gasket and half-moons replaced
  • All ceramic fuses replaced with new
  • New air/oil/fuel filters
  • New splash pan
  • New ‘window-scrapers’ installed on driver and passenger side.
  • Compression test had good (120-130) values that were consistent. I don’t have the numbers on hand, but can repeat the test if you ask nice.
  • Many other minor parts replaced as necessary. (e.g. gas cap seal replaced)

While the car has a lot of good points (like that awesome RED interior!), here is a list of known issues for full disclosure. I have been driving the 242 to and from work for several months now, and it runs great, but if I were to keep it I would address the following:

  • There are some imperfections in the paint, mentioned above.
  • Driver’s door trim is missing (but can be found on eBay)
  • There is a slow oil leak from somewhere but it does not seem large enough to worry about. Maybe a few drops every time I leave the garage.
  • The 2-inch long rubber hose in the fuel tank needs to be replaced. I will include the new piece of hose. Normally, you would never know this hose needs to be replaced, but the car ‘hesitates’ when the gas tank falls below one-half tank. Took me a while to figure that one out! I have not had time to replace this hose, I just keep the tank above one-half and there is no problem. Even when the car ‘hesitates’ it is perfectly roadworthy, it is just slightly annoying.
  • The car has a low-speed rattle that I have not been able to track down. I suspect it is an exhaust rattle, or maybe in the rear suspension somewhere? It goes away above 20 mph, and does not affect drivability, but it can be annoying and I thought I should mention it.
  • Windshield washer does not work, I have not tried to figure out why. All the equipment is there.
  • Original driver’s seat (now installed on the passenger side) should have the seat bottom webbing replaced, and maybe recovered (which are available on eBay).


      Car is currently titled to me (Oregon title). The title is clear (no title brands). Oregon tags are good through October 2017. Includes OEM keys and the Owner’s manual along with other original Volvo literature

      I purchased this car as a project from the estate of a friend’s mother who we believe to be the original owner. As far as we can tell, the car has been in Oregon since new. I say that the car is Rust Free with confidence, with the exception of the driver’s door surface scuzz mentioned above

      With the current prices for the Volvo 242 GT going through the roof, here is your chance to own a similar car in original, survivor condition with a reasonable number of miles.

      No reserve auction. $500 deposit due within 24 hours of the auction end, full payment expected within one week. I can work with you to arrange shipping. I can store the car outdoors for a few weeks if necessary. Car is available for viewing and test-drive in Portland, Oregon. For any payment method other than PayPal, I’ll hold the title until your check clears my bank (you take the car). I’ll then mail you the title when the check is clear. This includes cashier’s checks, but it allows you to send a personal check if you want. Local buyers, I can meet at your bank in Portland and complete the transaction there.

      I do not end auctions early, so please don’t ask (and bid with confidence). I have sold several vehicles on eBay over the years, but I am an enthusiast, not a dealer (i.e. this is not my job).

      Thanks for looking, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.