12 June 2017

More than an old car #19: Volvo 240 GLT

Say the words 'safest car' and chances are you might mention Volvo. Volvo has a large presence here, from the everyday models to police cars, and even the PMO's motorcade. Yet, did you know that some of its cars were made right here back in 1979? Local production ended very quickly in 1980 but 500 cars had been produced. The Volvo 240 GLT was one of them.

Volvo was founded in 1927 as a subsidiary of SKF, a Swedish ball-bearings manufacturer. Its name, which is Latin for 'I roll', was supposed to be for a certain type of ball bearing but was later patented for cars. Volvo was first bought over by Ford in 1999, and was later sold to China car manufacturer Geely in 2009. Volvo has always prioritised their reliability and solidity, and it was no surprise when they introduced safety measures which we take for granted: the three-point seat-belt, laminated glass and crumple zones are examples. As a result, it has won people over worldwide.

The 200 Series [of which the 240 GLT was part of] was introduced in 1974 in a number of variations. Initially, the naming was based on the number of doors and the trim level but this was changed in 1983 where all cars were simply called the 240. The 'GLT' in this case stands for "Grand Luxe Touring", which is basically a sporty premium version compared to the basic model. It was equipped with a 2664cc PRV 6-cylinder engine [a collaboration between Peugeot, Renault and Volvo]-- the maximum top speed was 150km/h and its acceleration was 17.5 seconds [0-100km/h]. It was 4.9m long and weighed 1370kg.

When production ended in 1993, more than 2.8 million had been made and it remains popular with enthusiasts and common folk alike. However, it is difficult to find one here despite how numerous it was, no thanks to the COE system. I have only seen a gold-coloured model even though I believe there are more. What attracted me was its boxy shape and how dated it looks, but hopefully the old-school charm can still work its magic on you!


  1. Any idea where I can get a Volvo GL 240 or similar model from now?
    Please reply and contact me if you do thanks!

  2. I’m still looking out for this car model or similar. If anyone can direct me greatly appreciate it!