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Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Published on March 17, 2013 by Tycho de Feijter

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Here we have a very beautiful black Volvo 740 GL, seen parked on a taxi stand on a street near my home in Beijing, the very first Volvo 700 I ever met in China. The Volvo 740 was made from 1992 until 1992, it was exported in small quantities to China mostly for government use. This particular vehicle however has diplomatic license plates, indicating it has arrived from abroad via diplomatic channels.

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

The tough Swedish machine was in reasonable condition; paint slightly faded, chrome just shiny enough, strange grey bumpers, and a very weird exhaust pipe. The lights, front and back, covered with a thin layer of see-through film. Not the best 740 in the world so, but who cares?, this car is an icon!

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Square, square & square. No mistake possible, this is a Volvo. The Volvo 700-series was designed by Jan Wislgaard, a Swede of Norwegian descent who was Chief Fesigner at Volvo for an astonishing 40 years, from 1950 to 1990. Wislgaard’s most famous creations are the Volvo Amazon, the Volvo 140, the Volvo 164, the Volvo 240, the Volvo 740/760 and the Volvo 850. The 700-series however is hist masterpiece! The Volvo 740 GL was powered by a 2.0 four-cylinder, good for an just-adequate 140hp. The most powerful engine available in the 740 was the ‘B230ET’ 2.3 liter turbo which had 182hp.

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Interior showing its years, but a good clean-up will do miracles. After market radio. 5-speed manual. 4-speed automatic was available as well. Power went to the rear wheels.

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Sporty alloy a 1990’s original. Standard on the 740 Turbo, optional on the other variants. The sane alloy was also used for the Volvo 240 Turbo.

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

Electric-bicyclist ruining my picture.

Spotted in China: Volvo 740 GL

The Volvo 740, being and icon and being so beautiful, has been very much approved! Wadda car…

3 comments

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  1. Dekki- March 19, 2013 Reply

    Awesome !!

    I learned how to drive in a Volvo 740.
    My dad drove his 740 GL for 15 years until a girl in an Audi A3 rear ended it, and the insurance company was reluctant to put 5000 USD in repairs.
    2 years ago a co worker of mine was about to retire and he wanted to sell his 1988 Volvo 740. It was in very good condition and had only 155000 kms on the clock (barely broken in)and full service history. I simply couldn’t resist it and I bought it from him very cheap. The co worker’s name is Chen, and he was from… You guessed it 😉 There’s is a Volvo 740 GL running about in Sweden with over 1250000km on the odo and it still carries the original drive train from the factory.

  2. PermaPlate- April 9, 2013 Reply

    It seems someone is keeping this classic car in mint condition…

  3. Volvo Freak- November 3, 2013 Reply

    My 1988 Volvo 744 GLE is mint, and everything is original, except the water pump and tires of course, even has the factory wheels. shes got 315000 k’s on her.

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