HomePick of the DayAfter 285,000 miles, this station wagon is a proven performer

After 285,000 miles, this station wagon is a proven performer


Low mileage may be all the rage when vehicles are paraded across the block at collector car auctions. But there’s something to be said for classic cars that have proven themselves through many years and many, many miles of service.

Case in point is the Pick of the Day, a 1978 Volvo 245 DL station wagon offered on ClassicCars.com by its private owner in Laramie, Wyoming.

Right up front, the seller notes that this station wagon has traveled 285,000 miles.

1978 Volvo 245 DL, After 285,000 miles, this station wagon is a proven performer, ClassicCars.com Journal

Nonetheless, the Volvo presents well in the photos that are part of the advertisement, perhaps in part because it was repainted and clear-coated in 2014, has had its suspension components replaced, and rides on 15-inch alloy wheels from a Volvo 740 Turbo, and those wheels got new tires only 650 miles ago. The wagon also has re-upholstered seats and cargo area.

The seller has seven years of service records and points out “some bubbling paint, small chips on body, right rear corner of hood not quite flush with fender, heater valve needs replacing.”

We all should look so good and with so few flaws after 285,000 miles. The seller notes that the engine is original to the car (which likely means it is a 2.1 liter 4-cylinder with 102 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque) and is backed by an automatic transmission.

“Runs great and is in overall excellent mechanical condition,” the seller adds.

So why is this vintage ride for sale?

1978 Volvo 245 DL, After 285,000 miles, this station wagon is a proven performer, ClassicCars.com Journal

“My wife and I decided to upgrade our cars and actually buy something manufactured in the 21st century,” the seller reports, adding that involved buying a 2009 Toyota Venza.

The seller adds that the family had been driving Volvo 240s since 1997.

“While my boys were in high school, we had three 240s – a 1976 245 DL, a 1978 245 DL, and a 1980 244 DL.  My boys drove the ’76, the ’78 was my work car, the ’80 my wife’s work car. 

“When my oldest son attended college, we bought a 1991 Volvo 244 for him to use, which he now has in Ridgecrest, CA, still running great. When my youngest son graduated college, he took the ’76 with him to Houston, TX and it is still running great.”

Modernizing with the Toyota still left four cars, “so we decided we needed to let one of them go. 

“My oldest son has asked for the’80 Volvo when my wife and I retire. That will bring our fleet down to two cars. As you can see, our family loves the 240 series Volvos and have found them to be great cars.”

1978 Volvo 245 DL, After 285,000 miles, this station wagon is a proven performer, ClassicCars.com Journal

To that point, the seller says of the Pick of the Day, “I have driven this car for 12 years, and as far as I know am the third owner.  I had a ’88 740 Turbo wagon which was T-boned, and I needed another car. I found this ’78 for sale and ready to go. As you can see from the photos it has turbo wheels, which came from the ’88 Volvo. 

“Other than the wheels, I have kept it as original as possible.  I have taken impeccable care of all of my Volvos. In turn, they have provided my family with reliability, safety, practicality and it seems, lately, social status. 

“My son’s ’76 Volvo has 450K miles, my wife’s 80 Volvo 300k, and my ’78 Volvo 285K. 

“I have received many compliments on this car, both for its appearance and the way it runs. I have changed the oil religiously every 2,500-3,000 miles. The overall condition of the exterior and interior is just beautiful.  I believe there are still many thousands of miles left in this ’78 245 DL and with tender care and regular maintenance will last many more years.”

The Volvo wagon is for sale for $11,000, which the seller says is the NADA valuation of the car.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


    • I miss the good old days when a car was considered a collector and or classic because it was old and more importantly desirable. Now anyone with a Chevy Citation, Dodge Colt, or Pinto thinks that because they have a car that is 20 years old it’s worth something. I remember when V6 Mustangs were looked at as crap now everything has a chance at being sold for $11,000 I guess. Let me guess the next classic will be a 1985 Plymouth Reliant and it will be listed at $50,000 because it has low mileage. The game has been ruined.

  1. It was so sad to read that his sons had to drive a ’76 Volvo Station Wagon in High School. Although a decent car if you took care of it, I cant imagine anyone paying $11,000 for a ’78 Volvo Wagon with 285.000 miles on it. Just me I guess

  2. I have a 1996 Chevy Silverado C2500 regular cab 5.7 Automatic, (original engine and transmission, no rust) which started out as a California Farm truck, then an Marcellius Oil and Gas service truck, with 352,000 miles on it. I paid $300 for it. I drive it everyday !

  3. Get a grip. What NADA site are you looking at. Junk dealers don’t want the car. Why would anyone keep a car that has such a powerful 100 HP engine. Apparently you are delusional

  4. While correct that the price here is rather high, the commenters so far are missing the high regard for and collectibility of good condition boxy Volvo 240s. People are loving these cars.


      • The ALL CAPS is confusing. Volvo people is not a finite number – the number of people first getting interested in 240s seems to be growing and that is partly because the cars are easy to work on, parts are available and they are very cool! It amazes me how many new movies and series have a Volvo 240 cruising around in the foreground or background.

  5. 245,000, the car is just broken in, my 1988 Volvo 240 is well beyond 300,000 mile, and a Volvo enthusiast who has at least fifty 240’s at his garage , owns a 1988 Volvo 240 wagon with over 600,000 on it! He stated that 300-400,000 miles is common, cast iron blocks go forever


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