Why so little mention of the Volvo in your columns ? These superb cars, which surely are the epitome of what a sporting-saloon should be, would seem to warrant mention occasionally.
Last August, I bought second-hand, a 1963 B18, which had done 15,000 miles in the hands of one owner. Although 2 1/2 years old, it was virtually like a new car. Now, after seven months and 15,000 miles, I am a complete convert.
The car will genuinely reach 100 m.p.h., accelerate from 0-60 in under 14 sec.., and takes only 12 sec. to accelerate from 50-70 in top gear. All this from an “ordinary” family saloon of 1,780-c.c. engine capacity.
Add to this a genuine 28-29 m.p.g. overall petrol consumption, usually being driven hard, utter reliability, and a feeling of complete indestructibility, and one realises why so many enthusiasts run these cars as everyday and business transport.
The point is that, buying second-hand, one can get all this today for well under £800, and it is also worth noting that service charges are very reasonable, while repair bills should be nonexistent.
The road-holding is completely forgiving, especially with Cinturatos, and after many thousands of miles in Minis, and then a Renault R8, I definitely feel happier in a conventional front engine/rear wheel drive car. You know what to expect.
Other points worth noting—the heating and de-misting system is superb, having been designed for Swedish winters. The seats are very comfortable, and one feels very little fatigue after a long run. The brakes are magnificent, never seem to need adjustment, and are completely free from fade. Built-in safety belts are standard equipment, and there is somewhere to hang them when not in use, a great thing about the car is that everything works, all the time.
I have no connection with Volvo, but I can’t help feeling it would be veryinstructive to take a second-hand three-year model like this to Snetterton, to see what it could achieve in 24 hours, in absolutely standard and unprepared form. After all, a secondhand one won the Safari rally!
Chesham. G.H. Arkell.