1970 Volvo 164

The 164 was a slightly upscale version of the 140. The 1966-74 140 was Volvo's breakthrough model, selling over 1.2 million units. Then the 164 came along in 1968. It was Volvo's attempt to compete with Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Jaguar. As the numeric designation suggests, it had '6' cylinders instead of the 140's '4'.

Although sharing many parts with the 140, the front end was unique, drawing more inspiration from it's predecessor, the Amazon. It's tasteful looking without being too stodgy. The rest of the body is classic 1960s/70s European sedan, with a high waistline and overall bathtub shape inspired no doubt by the NSU 110, itself inspired by the first generation Corvair. White is a very flattering color, too, giving it a clean, bright, appliance-like vibe that suits the functionalism on display.

The interior is this incredible breath of fresh air from today's claustrophobic, over-designed interiors. The dashboard is essentially a single rectangular strip of faux-wood and simple gauges. The pre-airbag steering wheel is especially charming. It looks good. Part of the beauty of simplicity is that there is simply less to go wrong.

For those who complain the 140 is underpowered, the 240's inline 6-cylinder is the perfect antidote. It's a moderately heavy car, but the engine was able to kick out 160 horsepower to the rear wheels, and it managed to be more efficient than some competitors. This one has the column-mounted 3-speed Borg Warner automatic, but it'll be good for cruising easily with friends.

The seller says this survivor is an original daily driver, has no rust and runs strong. If you're looking for a sweet retro people carrier for short to medium trips, this is a pretty nice piece.

Available here on craigslist for $2,800.

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