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Purchasing a 144

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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 17:58   #11
Othen
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That is the exact car I was looking at... Alloa isnt actually too bad for me to view, I'm based in Newcastle at the moment and Edinburgh is 45 minutes on the train. Its dangerously tempting haha!
Okay - if you are happy with that sort of budget then good fortune. The photos look fine, but this is a 50 year old motor car, so caveat emptor!

Let us know if you buy the motor car.

Alan

PS. I really would not want you thinking we had led you into spending your savings on a 144 when you really need an everyday runner. One of my motor cars is a 1963 Amazon, which is a fine thing but I would not attempt to use it as a daily driver (whereas I would have no problems doing that with my 1980 244). That 144 is somewhere in the middle, but I wouldn't want you thinking you could just jump in it and drive from Newcastle to London and back at weekends without a fair degree of planning and preparation. This would be the 1960s driving experience - which is very different from the 1980s one :-).
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 19:07   #12
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Looking at the photos of the car in Alloa it does look in exceptional condition and commensurate with a well cared for low mileage example. The same spec as my old 1455 apart from the S had twin carburetors where that is single and will be quite pedestrian. It also has the rubber floor mats - as mine did - and does make for quite a noisy cabin. My father had a 1971 145S and that had carpets as standard and much , much quieter.

All in all that does look good and would be an ideal enthusiasts weekend car and one that I would buy for nostalgia, but would not want to run it as a daily.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 19:20   #13
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Okay - if you are happy with that sort of budget then good fortune. The photos look fine, but this is a 50 year old motor car, so caveat emptor!

Let us know if you buy the motor car.

Alan

PS. I really would not want you thinking we had led you into spending your savings on a 144 when you really need an everyday runner. One of my motor cars is a 1963 Amazon, which is a fine thing but I would not attempt to use it as a daily driver (whereas I would have no problems doing that with my 1980 244). That 144 is somewhere in the middle, but I wouldn't want you thinking you could just jump in it and drive from Newcastle to London and back at weekends without a fair degree of planning and preparation. This would be the 1960s driving experience - which is very different from the 1980s one :-).
Fully endorse all of the above, Alan.

I also agree that the 144 in question does look a nice example, but we cannot see what is 'under the skin', and it is as you say a 50 year old motor car.

It is also an automatic - BW35, I think - which is a 3 - speed, non-overdrive unit. It will also have the 1986 cc single carb motor, and from experience, that combination struggles to pull the heavy body around with any degree of aplomb.

I speak from having owned several 1-series cars in period, including manual, MOD and auto, carburettor and injection variants. Today, I would naturally favour an auto but - and I appreciate that the pool of available cars has diminished and choice is therefore limited - I would strongly recommend 'Doocey' to look for an MOD, preferably one with twin carbs, if he is seriously considering a 1 - series as a daily driver in today's conditions.

I owned a near identical car to the one advertised in period, except that it was a straight 4 - speed manual (with no OD) which I used as a business tool. Even then, more than 30 years ago, motorway journeys of any length quickly became tedious with the high revs when cruising at 60 - 70 MPH. A slightly later 145 equipped with OD that I also owned was much more civilised in that respect.

No matter how tempting this car might appear, I would advise 'Doocey' to also consider, and if possible drive, similar cars with different configurations to the single carb auto setup of this one.

Regards, John.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 19:47   #14
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Fully endorse all of the above, Alan.

I also agree that the 144 in question does look a nice example, but we cannot see what is 'under the skin', and it is as you say a 50 year old motor car.

It is also an automatic - BW35, I think - which is a 3 - speed, non-overdrive unit. It will also have the 1986 cc single carb motor, and from experience, that combination struggles to pull the heavy body around with any degree of aplomb.

I speak from having owned several 1-series cars in period, including manual, MOD and auto, carburettor and injection variants. Today, I would naturally favour an auto but - and I appreciate that the pool of available cars has diminished and choice is therefore limited - I would strongly recommend 'Doocey' to look for an MOD, preferably one with twin carbs, if he is seriously considering a 1 - series as a daily driver in today's conditions.

I owned a near identical car to the one advertised in period, except that it was a straight 4 - speed manual (with no OD) which I used as a business tool. Even then, more than 30 years ago, motorway journeys of any length quickly became tedious with the high revs when cruising at 60 - 70 MPH. A slightly later 145 equipped with OD that I also owned was much more civilised in that respect.

No matter how tempting this car might appear, I would advise 'Doocey' to also consider, and if possible drive, similar cars with different configurations to the single carb auto setup of this one.

Regards, John.
Mine was also the 4 speed manual. My lasting memory is how noisy it was travelling down the M1 from Northampton to London at the legal limit, or slightly above. It always felt it was screaming out for an overdrive.
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Old Feb 10th, 2022, 20:11   #15
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Fully endorse all of the above, Alan.

I also agree that the 144 in question does look a nice example, but we cannot see what is 'under the skin', and it is as you say a 50 year old motor car.

It is also an automatic - BW35, I think - which is a 3 - speed, non-overdrive unit. It will also have the 1986 cc single carb motor, and from experience, that combination struggles to pull the heavy body around with any degree of aplomb.

I speak from having owned several 1-series cars in period, including manual, MOD and auto, carburettor and injection variants. Today, I would naturally favour an auto but - and I appreciate that the pool of available cars has diminished and choice is therefore limited - I would strongly recommend 'Doocey' to look for an MOD, preferably one with twin carbs, if he is seriously considering a 1 - series as a daily driver in today's conditions.

I owned a near identical car to the one advertised in period, except that it was a straight 4 - speed manual (with no OD) which I used as a business tool. Even then, more than 30 years ago, motorway journeys of any length quickly became tedious with the high revs when cruising at 60 - 70 MPH. A slightly later 145 equipped with OD that I also owned was much more civilised in that respect.

No matter how tempting this car might appear, I would advise 'Doocey' to also consider, and if possible drive, similar cars with different configurations to the single carb auto setup of this one.

Regards, John.
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Mine was also the 4 speed manual. My lasting memory is how noisy it was travelling down the M1 from Northampton to London at the legal limit, or slightly above. It always felt it was screaming out for an overdrive.
We are all strongly in agreement chaps. The motor car in Alloa looks very nice, but it will have serious limitations if the OP tries to use it as an everyday motor car. I really enjoy the 1960s driving and maintenance experience with Great Aunt Maud, but then I have 3 other cars and plenty of covered off-road parking, a garage full of tools and plenty of time (and enthusiasm!).

As you chaps have pointed out, the 144 would be ideal as a third or fourth motor car for an enthusiast, but Id be really concerned if our friend the OP needed a motor car to use regularly around Newcastle, London and all points in between.

I do hope I have not misunderstood the OP, but I cant help thinking he would be happier with a nice 1980s 240 or 1990s 740.

Alan

PS. I have an overdrive unit on GAM - and boy does it need it!
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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 00:10   #16
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PS. I could only see one 144 for sale on eBay:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/133996516...53.m1438.l2649

... it looks like a perfectly good motor car, but it is 5,650, and it is in Alloa, so it would be expensive to view and recover. I think that would be a typical price for a reasonably good runner - so 144s are no longer cheap.
B20 + BW35 + 144 ≠ any sporting affectations. On the up-side, B20 + BW35 + 144 probably means it has not been ridden hard and put away wet. Still, the price does seem a little high for that particular combination.
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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 13:47   #17
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Well, consider me convinced. I'll stick with what I know and look for a 240 or 740 then. Any idea on where I can find some good examples? All I can find on ebay are ones that seem to have driven to the moon and back, or have sills/arches riddled with rust.

I'd probably be broken down somewhere in Scotland cursing myself for buying a 60's car if you guys weren't so helpful, thank you!
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Old Feb 11th, 2022, 14:02   #18
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Haven't been on this forum for ages!!

anyway, Doocey - I was in a similar mindset to you in my late 20's - I had had a 240 a few years previous and then got an auto 144 (single stromberg) and loved it for years.

I never found it particularly different to drive than a modern car to be honest and they are incredibly easy to service.

But they rust like hell and when you look at the fuel gauge and it's on three quarters after what seems like a day or two - it can be quite depressing (and that was when fuel was 40% cheaper)

I'll get it in the neck for saying this - but have you thought about a Mercedes 190 - they have a similar shape and feel, don't rust so much and aren't as thirsty.

Good luck!!

PS - I used my 144 everyday of the year, took it to Scotland, took it to Cornwall, took it into London.....all weathers, parked outside...
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Old Feb 12th, 2022, 07:36   #19
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Well, consider me convinced. I'll stick with what I know and look for a 240 or 740 then. Any idea on where I can find some good examples? All I can find on ebay are ones that seem to have driven to the moon and back, or have sills/arches riddled with rust.

I'd probably be broken down somewhere in Scotland cursing myself for buying a 60's car if you guys weren't so helpful, thank you!
Whilst I do think that would be a sensible conclusion for your circumstances Doocey, why don't you take a trip up to Alloa this weekend to view the 144 and so make sure? You could probably get a train to Stirling and maybe the owner would meet you there - if it is the motor car for you then you will know soon enough.

Whilst a nice 240 or 740 would (we all think) suit you much better, that 144 might just be the one, who knows. As long as you go into this with your eyes open no one here will tell you that you are wrong - indeed the opposite - we would all like to have another enthusiastic historic Volvo owner amongst us.

Regardless of what Billy says, I think you might struggle to run that 144 as a daily driver in your circumstances. It will almost certainly need some bodywork repairs at some time, it will be slow, have very poor fuel consumption, poor brakes (all by modern standards), be unsophisticated and will probably let you down a few times. None of these things matter if one runs it as a second, third or fourth motor car - but they do if it will be a daily driver. On the plus side there would not be any depreciation with the 144 (as long as it is maintained in its current condition - that might be difficult if it was parked on the road), it will be tax and MoT exempt (as will be the earlier 244s though) and it looks like an absolutely charming motor car.

So: get yourself up to Alloa and have a look at that motor car, if you end up driving it back to Newcastle no one here will say you have made a mistake (indeed we will all be impressed). If you do then we'll expect to see you back in these pages regularly.

Good fortune,

Alan

PS. You asked about sourcing 240s, that one Andrew suggested in Enfield looks okay:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/154838253...53.m1431.l2648

... it is a long way from Newcastle, but if you were to be in Potters Bar this week it would be well worth a look at. The motor car will only have a few days worth of MoT left at the end of the eBay auction, and certainly will need a new set of tyres (250) to pass another test. A motor car like that could certainly be driven as a daily driver whilst giving you much of the classic car experience of the 144; if it sold for 2,000 it would be a good buy.
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Old Feb 12th, 2022, 09:17   #20
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Absolutely, Alan. I couldn't have put it better myself. Experience such as you describe can only stem from life. It has to be earned and cannot be bought. It may be shared if one is willing to listen (as 'Doocey' clearly is), but it is otherwise priceless.

Regards, John.
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