Aug 27, 2023

At $4,800, Is This 2004 Volvo S60R A Well

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Volvo has enough miles to show it’s been enjoyed but not too many to imply that said enjoyment is all in the past. Let’s see if we can get past its price tag.

Cover bands never have the same draw as the real deal, and as a result, typically offer more affordable ticket prices. I mean, nobody is going to pay five figures a ticket for “The Taylor Swift Tribute Experience.” A similar situation faced yesterday’s 1988 TEAL Bugatti Type 35. What it was presented to be was a fairly faithful emulation of the Type 35 experience, with some subtle changes for efficiency and safety. At $38,888, it was also a tiny fraction of the cost a real Bugatti would demand. Many of you considered that to be comparing pommes et oranges, which, in the end, resulted in a 78 percent No Dice loss.

Are you a believer in the alliterative phrase “use it or lose it?” That’s the idea that regular exercise — in the actual or figurative sense — will defend against atrophy and waste. I happen to ascribe to that tenant firmly.

Looking at today’s 2004 Volvo S60R, its owners — however many there might have been — are similar advocates. The car has a respectable 154,800 miles on the clock, and based on the look of the bodywork and interior, those miles have been piled on with enthusiasm.

Adding an R to the S60’s badge brings a lot of heat to the mid-sized sedan’s game. Under the hood sits a 296-horsepower edition of Volvo’s 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder, sitting sideways and sporting a stylized “R” on the intake cover. It reaches that dizzying horsepower through the application of a big KKK turbo (that company needs a better name), dual intercoolers, and an aggressive cam profile abetted by variable valve openings on both the intake and exhaust sides. That’s matched with the choice of a six-speed stick or five-cog automatic and standard Haldex AWD.

This car has the automatic, and as such, is limited to 258 lb-ft of torque so as not to blow the gearbox up. The manual gets the full 300 lb-ft. According to the ad, the car has enjoyed some recent — and likely pricey — maintenance work. That includes the timing belt and water pump, along with some refreshing of the front suspension and sway bar links. Additionally, it rides on a set of coilovers and sports IPD strut and torque mounts. The seller says it runs and drives great and still has cold A/C for the hot summer nights about which Neil Diamond warned us.

A couple of common bugaboos on these mills are the PCV system and head gasket failures. The ad notes that both have been confirmed to be in working order. That’s good because both suck to fix.

Visually, the car shows off its heavy weight mileage, although not to extreemes. The bodywork looks good, although there is some curb rash on the stock Pegasus wheels. Countering that, the tires on those alloys are said to offer plenty of tread. The biggest issue with the exterior is the gray trim, which is turning ashy and shows weird ribbing — not for anyone’s pleasure. That’s something this era of Volvos tend to do. The answer is some trim rejuvenator applied regularly.

There’s more at issue in the cabin. That’s where the Gobi leather upholstery shows discoloration and more crazing than an elephant’s backside. At least it all seems intact, and the car appears factory stock with the noted exception of the aforementioned coilovers and strut stiffeners.

The title is reported as clean. However, the car seemingly wears vanity plates that the seller wants to keep, as the ad warns, “MUST BRING YOUR OWN PLATES.” Maybe that’s like a BYOB party? The seller also demands “CASH ONLY CASH ONLY CASH ONLY,” which I take to mean that anything short of a fat stack will be turned away. It doesn’t need to be too fat a stack, however, as the asking price is $4,800.

What’s your take on this S60R and that $4,800 asking? Does that feel like a deal for the car in its presented state? Or, at that price, would you rather lose it than use it?

You decide!

Washington, DC, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Don R. for the hookup!

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