Volvo 164 (1970) – Klokje Rond Classic

Ruud found his dream Volvo and had it inspected

Ruud Pat’s love for Volvo arose when he and his father drove across the fields around Schoonebeek on a tractor from the Swedish brand. The farming business is still there, but Ruud opted for real estate and travels in a Volvo. The long-sought 164 has also been available since 2021.

Life in the countryside is slightly different than in an urban area. This often means that you sit behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle a little earlier than usual or speed across the country roads on an old cross moped. This was also the case with Ruud, who grew up on a farm with older brothers who already had cross cars. “We always had the most fun with all that old stuff. And driving the tractor was the most normal thing in the world for us because we also had to work. One of those tractors was a Volvo, which my father sold years later for reasons that are still unclear.”

As a 14-year-old Volvo tractor fan, I also have an eye for the Volvo 242

He now has a few old Volvo tractors of his own, purely for the hobby. Ruud bought his first car at a young age. He remembers well that he was driving through Gramsbergen with his father and saw a red Volvo 242 there. “I was 14 at the time and had to have that 242. Dad didn’t think it was a problem and a few days later there was another car on our property. I don’t remember what I paid for it, it probably wasn’t much.”

Ruud drove it until he was 30. “When I was 15, I taught my 14-year-old friends to drive my 242. What has always impressed me with all the Volvos I have owned is the indestructible technology. They cannot be broken and if something is wrong, it is easy to repair. That may be different with a modern one, like my current V90. Before that time I always drove 2-series and once a 740.”

Volvo 164 not Ruud’s daily car

For Ruud, the 164 is not his daily car, but it is a Volvo that has been on his wish list for a long time. “My father was a driving road map and I went everywhere with him on Sunday car rides. Such as once in Drijber, where a burgundy red Volvo 164 was parked. I immediately fell in love with this type because of that wonderful nose.”

He also briefly considered an Amazon, but ultimately thought that model was too old, even though Amazons drive ‘quite well’. In addition, the six-cylinder engine appealed to him, so it had to be a 164. He thought the successor, the 264, was a bit less classic. “You shouldn’t be in a hurry with something like this, then you will eventually run into the car of your dreams. Over the years I have occasionally looked at a 164 and every time there was a reason to leave the copy in question. Then I let it rest for a while, partly because I didn’t have time. About three years ago I started looking again and came across this one. Exactly the color I wanted and the type with the large grille and the front bumper with the bend.”

A few years later the straight and then the thick bumpers arrived. Not only the color and the bumper were correct, but also the history. “The first owner owned this Volvo for 38 years, then it went to a student. I am now the fourth owner,” says Ruud. “There was still something to comment on. The interior no longer looked so nice, not bad for leather that is more than fifty years old. The rear brakes seemed out of order, so I didn’t dare drive them home from the south. We agreed on the price quite quickly, and I finally had a 164.” A week later the Volvo came to Schoonebeek on a trailer and shortly afterwards Ruud had the brakes repaired.

164 not yet optimal, but the license plate makes it nice

Another detail that makes this 164 extra nice is the license plate. It was delivered new in the Netherlands in 1970 and still has the old plates, including a weathered MOT sticker on the rear. And while many Volvos from that time were driven up to 2014 as MRB-free classics on LPG, this example was spared from that.

Indeed, the dark green looks great on him, especially in combination with the light interior. That looks like new again; Ruud comes back almost straight from the cladding. Everything radiates originality and what stands out is the automatic lever on the steering column. The counter is almost at 237,000, which partly explains the good condition. However, Dennis Koldwijn from Carrec still has something to say about the engine. “It runs nicely on its own, but you notice that the carburetors need to be better adjusted. Although they look like new, they function better.” We discover a small rust hole at the bottom, but overall it’s okay there.

Ruud: “I had also noticed that the engine is not yet running optimally. Once up to speed it’s fine, but acceleration could be better. I even went to the garage this morning, but I was unable to find the cause so quickly.” Furthermore, it is mostly enjoyable, he explains, and the 164 is everything he expected. He would like to have those tires with white side panels on it, that looks ‘nice and classic’.

Last summer he visited the new Volvo museum and is planning to drive the 164 to Sweden. “It may have taken a while before I found the one,” says Ruud, “but it is in every way the Volvo I dreamed of.”

History: 164 is the more luxurious 144

You can immediately see that the 164 (built from 1968 to 1975) is based on the 144. It is seven centimeters longer and is distinguished in appearance mainly by its distinguished nose. For that front we have to go back to the 1950s, when Volvo had plans to develop a large, luxury car with a V8. Including an impressive grille, which gives the 164 a Rolls-Royce-like appearance. Head of design Jan Wilsgaard used the 144 as a basis and extended the wheelbase by ten centimeters, mainly to accommodate the new engine, the B30, a six-cylinder in-line engine. In the interior, the upholstery is more luxurious than that of the 144 and the rear seat is more shaped like two chairs. In the first year of production, the front still has two small grilles next to the headlights, after which there are spotlights. Leather upholstery and headrests on the front seats will also be standard from then on. Electronic fuel injection is available from model year 1972, the B30E is good for 160 hp. Successor 264 (with V6 from PRV) appeared at the end of 1974 and was built alongside the 164.

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