KdL Automotive Volvo onderhoud voor youngtimers en klassiekers Middelbeers Brabant

Volvo 144

The Volvo 140 sedan (produced in 1971, known as 144)  I bought in Geleen, in the most southern part of The Netherlands (just next to Nedcar: the old factory where the Volvo 66, 300-, 400 and S40/V40-series were build) was a bit rusty but the floor of the car was as good as new: no rust and in perfect condition. Also the wheel arches were in pretty good condition and the car had a brand new MOT. The 144 (with B20 engine and M40 manual gearbox) drove pretty well and the interior was as brand new (with special original beach-style covers over the seats so the original upholstery was protected).

Volvo 140 142 144 145 240 242 244 beach chair seat covers original interior
Good old 70’s-style Volvo seat covers 

Seems to be a good deal, but it wasn’t: after a bigger inspection and looking at the rusty dew-points the rust at the bodywork was bigger than expected. It appeared that 140-series will rust from the inside of the bodywork (and not the outside like the Amazon). When starting to remove the rust the little holes were getting bigger and bigger, resulting in a 30cm big hole at the sill and upper part of the front fender. What a disappointment! But the car wasn’t good enough for a big welding job (and a total respray) so I repaired it low-cost and painted the car myself in a steel gray color. For the “sleeper”-effect the front bumper and chrome trims were removed and the wheels were painted black. But the car wasn’t really a sleeper: it needed to be lower and that was not where I was looking for. The result was not what I liked but most people loved the paintwork and color and the new looks of the car. I sold the car to someone who I knows from a forum (his father is a trader in classic Volvos) and after a while the car was stripped for parts.

’71 Volvo 144 image gallery

Click on the image for a larger version (will open in a new window/tab).

 Volvo 144 1971 140 142 145 front view white
The Volvo 144 sedan as I bought it. It seems a bit rusty but the floor of the car was in excellent condition
 Volvo 140 144 white rear view
The white paint of the Volvo 144 wasn’t very pretty anymore: it doesn’t shine very well
 Volvo spicer rear axle 144 140 floor panels bottom
The floor of the Volvo 144, and the rear axle (in this case the Spicer type).The bottom of the car is in pretty good condition!
 Volvo 144 transmission M40 support frame bottom floor section 140
The M40 manual gearbox and its support frame. As you can see the Volvo 144 had a oil leakage in the past. But the M40 and M41 gearboxes always sweats some oil
 Volvo 144 140 142 145 rear axle Spicer ENV bottom floor section drivetrain driveshaft
Another view of the Volvo 144’s bottom section. No rust at all!
 Volvo 144 M40 oil leak floor plate rust free
And another view of the floor section
 Volvo 140 144 small hole rust rusty inside
A great example how the Volvo 140-series can rust. The Volvo 140- and 164-series will rust from the inside out. The spot of rust seems not really big, but when you start to strip it…..
 Volvo 144 140-series rust inside out big hole
… it turns out the rust comes from inside. The rust in the front fender of this Volvo 144 is a lot worse than it seems at first sight!
 Volvo 140 240 260 164 rust front window windscreen
Another weak spot of the Volvo 140-, 164, 240 and 260-series: the area around the windscreen. In this case the rust is much worse when the bumpy paint is removed. The rust is caused by the small iron clips which holds the chrome moulding (the trim around the front window) of the car. Fortunately the rust wasn’t as bad as it looks but only on top of the bodywork
 Volvo 144 milometer mileage It’s the original mileage of this Volvo! The outside might be pretty bad, but the interior tells it all: it was in excellent condition!


As you can see the body of the Volvo 144 was in pretty bad condition. But since a complete restoration would be way to expensive (at that moment it was my thirth car and not exactly which I was looking for) I decided to give it a cheap-ass paintjob (with a paint roller) and sell the car when it’s finished. I also needed a lot of rust converter (Brunox) and removed a lot of rust on the doors, front wings, sills and front window area. Here are some pics of the paintjob.


 Volvo 144 painting sleeper ratlook repainting paintjob roller paint
After stripping the car, grinding and putting the first coat of paint
 Volvo 144 paintjob
The used color on my Volvo 144 is steel gray (I didn’t want a matt black paintjob), and it’s a satin paint
 Volvo 144 grill front removed
The front bumper and grille were removed, it looks a bit funny!
 Volvo 140 144 paint roller satin matte finish respray
The paintjob with a roller was pretty neat
 Volvo 144 custom paint without front bumper
I decided to keep the front bumper away to create a “sleeper-look” on my Volvo 144
 Volvo 144 custom look front
But the license plate should be fitted anyway. Installing it on the side isn’t pretty so this was the only option. Without it, it should be much prettier. The Volvo-emblem on the grille was also removed (also on the back and the 144-logos on the side of the car)
 Volvo 144 matt gray grey
Job done! The Volvo 144 and it’s new color!
 Volvo 144 boat paint roller sleeper look
It’s not a real sleeper of course (it has a B20A) and it should be lowered but it’s too much work on a 140 since I wanted to sell it
 Volvo 144 140 gray grey matt satin steel paint
The wheels should also get a paintjob because they aren’t very pretty
 Volvo 140 144 sleeper satin paintjob
The used satin paint is mostly used for boats. It doesn’t look really bad, does it? 🙂


The interior of the Volvo 144 was pretty nice. It has a blue upholstery and the original “beach chair”-style seat covers. On the pictures the covers weren’t installed correctly, and the covers were in excellent condition. I sold the car and forgot to remove the seat covers. Under the covers the cloth of the seats was in showroom-condition.

 Volvo 144 satin gray grey front black steelies
The Volvo 144 with its new look and I sprayed the wheels in a glossy black color
 Volvo 144 ratlook 140
Another view of the car. The 144 definitely needed some lowering springs
 Volvo 144 old type 140 satin paintjob back
All Volvo badges were removed
 Volvo 144 gray grey satin industrial paint
 Volvo 144 floor bottom exhaust mufflers
The bottom of the Volvo 144 was in better condition than the rest of the car
 Volvo 144 bottom exhaust muffler driveshaft floor
The exhaust of the Volvo wasn’t as good as new, but at least the mufflers weren’t bad
 Volvo 144 140-series satin steel gray respray
This gray color could have been used by Volvo in the late 60’s and early 70’s 🙂
 Volvo 144 140 interior original seat covers
The interior was in very good condition. The clock in the middle wasn’t working very well. The beach-style seat covers were the original version of Volvo. Underneath it the seats have blue fabric upholstery
 Volvo 144 140 dash steering wheel
Interior of the Volvo 144
 Volvo 144 140 142 145 dashboard blue upholstery
The dashboard of the Volvo 144 was also in good condition, without any cracks or any signs of dehydration

© Volvotips.com 2012

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