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Classics for sale: The Volvo 480 everyone forgets

AutoClassics.com logo AutoClassics.com 10/08/2018 Calum Brown
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Volvos are for sensible people. Pillars of the community who prefer cheese to cocaine and enjoy thorough garden-based debauchery.

They wouldn’t want pop-up headlamps, an impractical cabin or aesthetics against-the-grain. They would rather have space for the Afghan hound, Laura Ashley’s latest overpriced couch and the steadfast ability to carry the parish Teasmade.

God forbid, what would the Rotary think if you turned up to the village fête with this Volvo 480 (currently for sale in the Netherlands for €5990) sporting sporty alloy wheels and a wedged bonnet reminiscent of a Triumph TR7 – that thing the local teenager hooned about in back in the day?

a car parked in a parking lot: What does Volvo stand for? For a long time, the Swedes focused on safety. Scandinavian design held a role in the brand’s persona, too, although many read this style as “boxy.” And today, Volvo has its sights set on the future, adopting electrification and steaming toward the development of self-driving cars with zeal. Lost among these many faces of Volvo are those sporty, cool cars it has produced throughout the years. Many of these rides competed in rallies and races, and some were seriously fast road cars, including the outgoing S60 Polestar and, we presume, the upcoming Polestar 1 coupe. To refresh your memory - or introduce the thought of Volvo and performance going together better than pickling and herring - click through and see some of the brand’s hottest cars: Thinking Outside the Box: The Sportiest, Coolest Volvos of All Time

Gallery: Thinking outside the box: The sportiest, coolest Volvos of all time [Car and Driver]


Chances are, they would have believed you’d gone mad; deeply affected by the Go-Go 1990s. However, naysayers and aloof automotive snobs were missing out. Here was all of Volvo’s worshipped safety measures wrapped in a striking, dare we say aesthetically pleasing, shape with a 0-60mph sprint in 9.5 seconds and top speed beyond 120mph. Some claim to have breached 140mph in theirs…

Sadly, the 480 never really found enough of a cult following to survive the folowing two decades in strong numbers. Most were fed into the crusher, lacing the palms of scrap merchants nationwide. A damn shame – just because it was different, contemporary society wrote it off almost immediately.

It’s why finding a good one makes us sit up straight and pay attention. Stuck in a world where Jaguar’s E-type remains the classic car pin-up and everyone seems hell-bent on owning a Porsche 911, it’s refreshing to witness Volvo’s unique brainchild lurking in the classifieds. Especially as the Volvo 480 is now rarer than an honest British politician. 

© Newspress

This example has a state-of-the-art tape deck and radio.

The interior design sports the definition of ‘snazzy’, with bouffant styling amid 1990s plastics and innovation. You’ll be far removed from the problems of modern society after the shortest of journeys behind the bendy steering wheel of this Waif-look throwback.

Does it handle? Not really. It’s far from lighting quick, either. You’ll need paper-thin legs for sitting in the rear and the boot offers a ridiculously small amount of space. Yet who really cares about these things? As a distinct modern classic and conversation starter, this Volvo 480 is second to none. Get a closer look with our classified advert.

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