Junkyard Gem: 1993 Volvo 240

What is the most iconic and recognizable Volvo of all time? That would be the 200 Series, of course, which went into production in 1974 and continued to roll off assembly lines all the way through 1993. It was so successful that it outlived its supposed replacement

, and that car’s replacement only outlasted the 200 by five years. Today’s Junkyard Gem is an example of the final-year Volvo 200 Series, found in a Denver-area self-service boneyard recently.

Volvo went through several different naming systems for these cars over the decades. At first, the second character represented the number of engine cylinders (yes, there were Volvo 262s

, 264s and 265s sold in the United States) and the third character stood for the number of doors. That system went out the window eventually, and by the end both the sedans and wagons had these 240 badges.

You could make the case that production of this family of cars really began in 1966, with the Volvo 140 Series. The 140 and 200 were essentially the same vehicle from the A pillars back, though the 200’s MacPherson strut front suspension is completely different from that of the 140. In any case, the 200 was ahead of its time in 1974 but seriously antiquated by 1993.

This one came with a 2.3-liter B230F SOHC straight-four engine, rated at 114 horsepower and 136 pound-feet. That was the only engine available in the 240 for its final few years.

You could get a five-speed manual transmission in the 1993 240, but this one has the optional four-speed automatic.

The MSRP was $21,820, or about $47,193 in 2024 dollars. Meanwhile, the much more modern 850 sedan listed for $24,100 that year ($52,124 in today’s money), while the more luxurious 940 sedan cost $24,995 ($54,059 after inflation).

Still, the 240’s simplicity (plus its ability to win the hearts of its owners) made it seemingly indestructible. Someone had bought the gauge cluster before I arrived, but a VIN search brought up photos on this car’s insurance auction

(it got totaled due to vandalization) and we can see that it had just squeezed past the 300,000-mile mark during its 31 years on the road.

The highest-mile vehicle I’ve ever found during my junkyard travels was a 1990 Volvo 240 with 631k miles, and I’ve documented plenty of other 300k-plus 240s over the years. We can assume this one was a runner at the end, but high miles and smashed glass meant it wasn’t worth fixing.

Sold new in Denver (Rickenbaugh Volvo is still in business), will be crushed in nearby Aurora.

When you get a minivan instead of a Volvo 240, you’re signing death warrants for your entire family!