What vehicle epitomizes the designer? Volvo 240!

I am partial as a Volvo owner, but it strikes me, and a number fo friends in the design community, that macroscopically and microscopically, it is a definitive vehicle in design history, and a greatly underappreciated one. The 200 series was in production for ~25yrs with little overall change. They made a coupe(not enough), a sedan, and the famous wagon, which I am sure many of us grew up in and drove i high school and… The Body is clean, boxy, beautiful! The interior is the same, clean, precise. And the instrumentation is a graphic designer’s dream! Those simple, primary colored, universal insignia, which switch out like lego pieces. Oh yes
they perform well, are safe, last forever, and are so sexy! (even my tan wagon).

So would you agree… What do you all thing. Obviously many designers would prefer to drive something by pinaferina, or bertone (yes there was a 200 series bertone), but realistically, what do you appreciate as a desgner that you could or do drive?


When I think designer I think Miata. How stereotypical is that?

The 200 series was nice. Actually, all Volvo designs up to the 850 were nice. This new Brit they have running the design department has convinced them to move towards BMW, Mercedes. A good move short term, that may lead to long term problems if people forget why they are buying a Volvo over those others.

The graphic design in the 240 were excellent. How Swedish of them. Downsides are they are horrible in the snow, rust like nothing else and aren’t horribly efficient at space utilization. Surprisingly their coefficient of drag is above that of many smaller rounder cars (including my del Sol).

My dream car would be a Citroen SM. I appreciate good engineering, and that car had the most original. It’s a pity that so few noticed.

*on a side note, I saw a documentary where Richard Seymour, partner to the famous Dick Powell, traveled to clients on a Ducati motorcylce in his sports coat.

which was the 200 series? I’m a fan of volvo, although I won’t buy one until I reach the Volvo age. Love the new S40 but they need an AWD, also had a ride in a straight five cylinder 4-door, it sounded amayzing, but I think it had an exhaust leak.

anyways, I like cars for the entire package, and would never buy one based on design. I buy for fun factor, then I usaully end up liking the design, for example: my favorite car I’ve owned was my 89’ MR2 which many would regaurd as being ugly as sin. but it was so simple, and you just can’t beat the driving expereince

what I’m saying is boxy can be beautiful, so long as it’s function is lovable :smiley:

so sexy

Yo, once you try boxy…you never go back. Or at least that is what I have been told. :open_mouth:

you got that right :exclamation:
they’re so nice, I only wish the were refined a little more like ze-german cars, a little tighter

I allwary liked the MR-2 Mk-I when I was in Junior high. It was kind of like the anti-style sports car. And are fun to drive as previously mentioned.

It kind of motivated me to get my Mk-III back in '01:

not as boxy as the 1, but boxier than the 2. What other mid engined car can you get in the US new for under $25k? Nothin.

SQR Volvo 240
What Jesus Drives: A Volvo 240 with 595 horses on the hoof

Id have to disagree with the comment that 240s handle poorly in the snow. I have owned mine for several years and drive it weekly to Northern Vermont and New Hampshire, and in January drove it out to Colorado where I drive it regualrly over the Mountains to Aspen. Driving in the snow is dangerous, no matter what car you drive, 4whl drive only helps in deep snow, it makes driving on slick roads more dangerous. Volvos just dont let your forget that fact. With a good set of snow tires and a level head the 240 (even the wagon) is sweet in the snow! Throught the 70s and 80s volvo used this car in winter rally, and afterall they are swedish cars.

Other notes:
In the 80s the 240turbo outperformed the Porsche 944 in numerous road tests!


But the Spyder is the weakest of the group ( performance ), but the best looking…Royota screwed the pooch and put the wrong motor in it…

Does that make it not apply Copyboy?

Oh, so that’s the 200 series. These cars have a great following, I see them in mags all the time. I’ve never looked into them and don’t fully understand the following, but I’ve never driven the car, and the same could be said about my ugly MR2 love affair.

Yo, how is the spyder treating you? I feel toyota really screwed the pooch by not having a GT-S option with the 2Z-GE (bad-ass) motor. The spyder could have been a competitor against the likes of the S2000 and boxter. They sold the motor to lotus, and now that car rocks, should have been the spyder.

my ultimate car would be a mk1 MR2 with the 2Z-GE and the 6-speed to boot, with some modification, it could out perform the new ellise. But now I’ll have to settle for my mk2 turbo MR2 and all of it’s problems (fast as shyte though, when all is well)


hey, blaster701. stop stealing my lines :angry:

not if you do this: http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/features/0302scc_uscc2_01/


Any car can be made faster with $$. It just depends on the base level of power and performance. The current ( just retired ) MR2 is a good looking car, with good performance. I just think Toyota could have made the stock car stonger by adding the better motor…as support and pointed out by copyboy.

In the end, I drive a truck…and that makes me not cool here.



Hey, the above post was me.

true, but not every car starts with a low weight, engine in the back, great handling, and a cheap ass price, that’s all I’m saying.

They should have put the better motor in it from that start, they also should have put some marketing dollars behind it, it’s still a great little car.

cb- it’s been treating me well for the past 4 years. Been thinking about what to buy next. Can’t decide right now.

I don’t know why I keep thinking of thiss… I know, I can’t explain it, maybe it’s just a phase and will pass:


When it as simple as a different head and tranny…

The Ford-Jag…not bad…

It has to be said however that toyota does not have a great design rep. The old Landcruisers are timeless, and the MR2 was sweet, but I maintain that the back of the newer avalons is reminiscent of a chinese restaurant fascade.

Any one with a Porsche? I test drove a 911sc yesterday, it was sweet.

Its ironic, last week my volvo got smacked by an idiot Colorado Driver, and they called me today to tell me that, while the cosmetic damage was minor, they are going to total it because of tranny damage. I have another wagon back in RI which I figure I can use the money I’ll get to get on the road and put some treats into (I have a rebuilt turbo engine that was supposed to go in the one I am driving now), or put the Mustang 5.0 in!

Doea anyone have anything to say about the past and future of Jaguar?[/img]

“They should have put the better motor in it from that start, they also should have put some marketing dollars behind it, it’s still a great little car.”


what do you mean by this? an MR2 can’t be an MR2 with a front mounted engine. “M” mid-engined “R” rear-drive “2” 2 seater.

How do you deal with the lack of storage in the spyder?

that’s a real downer on the car for me I would need 2 cars if I had one. I can fit a lot of gear in the trunk of my Mk2

the jag!! that’s quite an upgrade, I’d go with an M3 if I was in that range, or geeze, (how much is the Jag, $90-100k) maybe a second hand ferrari, and a jetta for the groceries.


Maybe a VibeGT or Matrix as the grocery getter…at least they have the motor and tranny that should have been in the Spyder!

blaster do you know what the heck you are talking about? I have a matrix as well, that set up rots.

cb- not implying it should have been front engined as well, but thanks for breaking MR down for me, the M is for mid engined but the R actually stands for “Runabout” ( a Japanese thing maybe? - it’s embossed on the ridiculously small trunk storage lid under the hood), the lack of storage is fine, it’s my commuter car.

I’d go used on the Jag BTW.