Archive for May, 2014

Losing Face

When last we left our motley crew of 164s, they had made the big trip from rural CT to Wrentham, MA. While we had hoped the slightly higher compression B30 in Spitey might be in usable condition, it turned out that the straight-six in Bitey was the only one that spun easily.


Out came the tools and the torch, so we could more easily remove the power plant. As the front suspension crossmember is different from a 140/164 and a 240, we were all a little unfamiliar with the best way to extract it. Trial and error ensued, and before long, Bitey had lost its face.


Something’s not right here…


What else is connected down there that we can’t see? Oh yes, just that one bolt. And then that one crossmember. And then that heater hose…


Once we got the engine completely out, and back up at the garage, we pulled the valve cover off and saw this bit of unfortunate rust:


Nah, I’m sure that won’t be a problem…

Next up: removal of The Burg’s heart and making way for the transplant.


You look so sad, Bitey…


All photographs courtesy of Carrie Capizzano.


Introducing The Burg

Guest post by Tim. 

It all started with an (seemingly) innocuous advert on everyone’s favorite ODV hunting ground, Craigslist.  Listed was a 1974 Volvo 164E with a spun bearing and in need of some other minor repairs. As it happened, this same family had two other cars for sale…

“volvo 164’s from 72 and 73. Rusted out. both 4 speed od fuel injected. 250 each. You figure out how to winch them out. have good 14 inch tires…”


I think “…rusted out…” would be a charitable description, at best. Nevertheless, after venturing into the incredibly rural “Quiet Corner” of Northeastern Connecticut twice to scope out the cars and haggle with the price, we settled on $600 for all three. The only other minor sticking point we were concerned about was the “You figure how to winch them out”. It was only on arrival on the towing day did we finally discover that the two cars that had resided in the upper stone-fenced pasture for the past twenty-five years had successfully been towed down to a flat, hard surface for loading. My joy at not having to convince the flatbed driver to venture up into a muddy field was short lived when the mid-hoist, one of the hydraulic lines burst on the truck.


Since the bed was already in the down position, it would have to be moved back into the transit position anyway, the choice was made to finish winching the blue 164 onto the truck and hope for the best.

Once again fortune smiled upon us, and with only a few minor hydraulic fluid geysers, the first car was ready to roll out. The tow company dispatched a second truck, so after an interminable wait, the second and third cars were secured and ready to roll.

Little did I know that the driver of the second truck didn’t want to waste any time in getting from nowhere CT to Wrentham MA. This meant that my precious Volvo would be going on I84, the Mass Pike and I495. Talk about heart stopping…


The two parts cars were unloaded to their final resting place.


While The Burg landed near the garage, where the heart transplant would take place.


So what did we buy in our quixotic quest for the most unusual of ’70’s Volvos? In the strictest sense of the phrase, we did in fact buy three Old Dead Volvos. First up is the blue ’72 (Spitey), followed by the orange ’72 (Bitey) complete with sunroof. Last but not least is the burgundy ’73, (The Burg). All three are powered by the B30F engine (in US tune worth around 138hp), with a M410 four speed manual transmission (with overdrive). Spitey and Bitey, as the ad noted, were rusted beyond salvage, but potentially both with good engines, and enough spares to make the endeavor worthwhile. As The Burg had been running a year or so prior, one of the ostensibly good engines would be yanked and inserted into its engine bay.

Why even bother with this? The Burg is an incredibly clean machine for its age, with minimal rust and most of it’s interior present. Most of the parts needed to make one good running car are (probably) present, so with minimal outlay I can have a running, somewhat rare vintage Volvo. This of course remains to be seen…

All photographs courtesy of Carrie Capizzano.

New Kid on the (red) Block

Hi folks, it is my pleasure to introduce you to a new contributor, Tim. As you’ll see, he’s gone ahead and jumped right into the deep end. This should provide a lot of fodder for ODV posts. – Jim

Thanks to the graciousness of ODV, I’ve been asked to contribute the saga of my own personal old, dead Volvo. When faced with the harsh reality of major life upheaval, what is a better course of action than buying a non-running 41 year old car?

2014-03-29 11.12.16

Buying three non-running 4 decade old cars, of course.

2014-03-29 11.48.00


And so begins my voyage into the rabbit hole of vintage car ownership.

2014-04-05 11.35.32

Wait, isn’t that a ’59 Studebaker Lark?

All photographs courtesy of Carrie Capizzano.

The mighty gang ground

Of the rusty Volvo 164:


Important late-night snack


Essential for SAAB bodywork