Big, boxy and very spacious the Volvo 240 estate is the perfect practical classic, but could Mike and Elvis get this one back to its best?
Mike was reminiscing about estate cars, so it made sense to get one into the Wheeler Dealers workshop. And when it comes to classic load carriers there’s nothing better than a Volvo. Would this one fit the bill, though?
Owner, Pedro, had used his 1991 240 Torslanda for travelling around Europe and wanted £3000 for it. The test drive went well but problems included bodywork corrosion, a clutch past its best and a cracked dashboard. Not that Mike was put off and he sealed the deal for a bargain £2300.
Elvis had plenty to do, then, and the first job to tackle was the rusty rear wheel-arches. They were in a bad way; full of filler and with rust that had spread into the inner ‘arches, the rotten metal was cut out. New repair sections cost just £36 but the ace mechanic had to fabricate some new sections to complete the job. With careful measuring, cutting and welding the big Volvo would soon be solid again.
In the meantime the poor engine performance was traced to a faulty fuel injector for number one cylinder, so Mike head off to visit United Performance in Shrewsbury. There, the injectors were tested, ultrasonically cleaned and fitted with new seals and once refitted to the engine everything was running smoothly again.
That meant Elvis could get on with addressing the problem Mike had selecting first gear, and that was down to a clutch in need of replacement. It wasn’t a difficult job, and with the gearbox removed – after care had been taken to prevent hydraulic fluid leaking from the slave cylinder, and with the hard-to-reach bellhousing bolts undone – a new unit was soon in place. Costing just £132 this was a repair that didn’t break the bank.
So the Volvo was looking good and running perfectly, which meant one last job to attend to – the cracked dashboard. Elvis was keen to avoid removing the bonded windscreen as it could have been damaged in the process, so a clever approach was called for. The first thing was preparing the cracks so they could be filled with a special adhesive.
Once that had been done a flexible filler was used to fill in the cracks, followed by careful sanding to remove any excess. With the area around the dashboard masked up a coating of paint was sprayed on and the interior was looking good once again.
All that was left was to finish the bodywork repairs by replacing the decals unique to this Torslanda model. Elvis had new ones printed and used a laser measuring device to ensure they were applied in exactly the right place. And with that done the Volvo was finished and ready for a test drive.
It certainly felt good out on the road, and the boys were even able to test its legendary load carrying ability by shifting a sofa! Advertised for £4000, buyer Chris was happy to pay the asking price and he’d bagged himself a brilliant classic estate. A profit of more than £1100 was the icing on the cake.
Mike says: “When I told Elvis I was bringing him back a Volvo estate to the workshop he quickly put on his race overalls, thinking I was bringing back the amazing Volvo 850 T5R driven by Ricard Rydel in the British Touring Car Championship. However, when he saw it was a humble Volvo 240 Torslanda he quickly left the workshop and it took me three hours to find him!
“Amazingly, he thought he contracted Covid and would need a week off, however, after a little convincing and copious amounts of tea, I got him back into the shop to start work on the car. After doing some fantastic fabrication work and getting the mechanicals sorted, I think it’s true that even Elvis has now fallen in love with the brilliant Volvo 240 estate car series.
“It’s a delight that we can bring humble cars like this to the audience on Wheeler Dealers and they can have such an impact globally.”
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