The history of the Volvo 240/260 series.
Volvo 200 series - a representative model as well as a classic.
"Functionality is often identical with beauty. One follows the laws of nature and does not make things more complicated than they really are. Functional and reasonable solutions are often the most attractive ones", was the conviction of Jan Wilsgaard, designer at Volvo from 1950 - 1990, who designed Volvo models Amazon/120, 140 and 240 among others.
The Volvo 240 was presented and introduced in August 1974, as a further development of the series 140. The construction and the body showed a certain similarity with the safety test vehicle VESC (Volvo Experimental Safety Vehicle), which had been presented by Volvo some years before.
The car was equipped with shock struts and a toothed steering rack. The engine was a 2.1 litres OHC four-cylinder with a light alloy cylinder head and a V6 for the 260 series. The comfortable equipment and the three point seat belts were standard.
It was however the high passive security bundled with the good handling and reliability which caught world-wide attention. The Volvo 240 (Sedan) was selected in 1976 as standard vehicle for the safety research of the American road safety authority NHTSA. The American specialists were convinced that the Volvo 240 offered the best passenger protection of all vehicles in this category. Thus a crucial signal for the safety requirements of the automobile industry world-wide was set. In 1991 the institute for insurance "Insurance Institute for Highway Safety IIHS" declared in a large study the Volvo 240 Wagon the safest vehicle on the American market.
For the environmental compatibility the Volvo 240 was the first vehicle world-wide to be equipped with a Lambda sensor and catalyst for the US market in 1975.
The Volvo 240 probably received more honours than any other car. " Car of the year", " family vehicle of the year", " safest auto of the year " are only some examples. The Volvo 240 made its reputation as well through competition and rallies. The good handling characteristics - both on mud roads and on bitumen - impressed many drivers.
Almost every third Volvo 240 manufactured was a Wagon. Over the years of production it became world-wide a popular vehicle for families with children.
During the entire production time of 19 years the Volvo 240 had constantly been developed and upgraded. In May 1993 - after 2.8 million produced cars - the last Volvo 240 Classic rolled out of the factory in Gothenburg.