Meet Gustav

Meet Gustav

“Gustav” – 1992 Volvo 240 GL

He is a 1992 Volvo 240 GL. I purchased him back in early-March out of the Washington DC area. He has 246,000 miles and is complete. That’s not to say he was in stellar shape when we bought him, but he was complete and had good bones.

A 30-year old car inherently will be a vehicle that requires extra TLC, but Gustav was a bit neglected. While he is a southern state Volvo, which means he hasn’t seen the volume of road salt and tough winters like his more northern cousins, he wasn’t without problems. Lacking the usual rust of the more northern 240’s, they are well known for being nearly indestructible, especially the “red block motor”. Parts are easily available and exhaustive knowledge regarding their continued upkeep is out there.

Fortunately for me, there are still a handful of very knowledgeable service businesses with “old school” mechanics that can work on them, some even specializing in the 240’s.

My history with the Volvo 240 goes back to 1988 when I purchased a brand new 240. It was a nice deep red, and was a beautiful machine. I owned it for a couple of years, and l loved that car. However, not unlike most 20-somethings, the next flashy car passed by and I traded in the 240. A decision I would quietly regret for 30+ years.

Summer 1988 – My first 240

Fast forward to 2022, a pandemic, and some time on my hands that had me looking at pictures of my old car that I still missed. I got to thinking….(my husband would say that’s where the problem starts). And here we are with Gustav.

I immediately dropped it off with one of those old school mechanics who was well versed in the 240. I told him “make an exhaustive punch list”. He did just that. The critical items. We actually knocked all of those items out in one visit (2weeks). New brakes, rotors, bushings, headlights, etc. Still not able to pass a state inspection due to a pesky “SRS” warning light.

Enter mechanic #2. We got that pesky light issue addressed, and another lengthy punch list addressed to include things like the power antenna, new taillights, windshield washer nozzles cleared and aimed, all new dash/console lights (not a single light in the dash worked when purchased), countless bushings from front to back.

Most important to my husband, we woke up the long forgotten air conditioning system. And like a bow on a new gift, we got the much coveted State inspection sticker. He’s legal!

During the short break between mechanics visits, I took a Sunday and washed, clay bar’d, compounded and waxed the old boy. Brought back quite a shine to him. I’m nowhere near finished, but it’s a start.

First layer of dust and oxidation removed.

So, without further ado, meet “Gustav” – a refreshed and ready to go Volvo 240. I think this time around, it’s here to stay.

Second time around