In regard to safety, the 1973 142 represented the introduction of reinforcements welded into the doors for side impact protection. The sales brochure touts a new padded steering wheel designed 'to lessen the change of chest injury in a collision' and shock absorbing bumpers that take an impact at 5 mph without damage to the body metal. 1973 was the first year that all Volvos in the U.S. were built with fuel injection. This engine is a 2.0 liter in-line four cylinder that produces 112 horsepower and 115 ft. lb. of torque. 70,550 of these cars were built worldwide in the 1973 model year. Today, this car serves as a great reminder of how much Volvo has evolved while maintaining a heritage for safety. It also provides a great opportunity to appreciate what Volvo looked and felt like to drive in 1973.
The Volvo 140 Series consisted of the Volvo 142 2-door sedan, the Volvo 144 4-door sedan and the Volvo 145 5-door station wagon. Production began in 1966 and continued through 1974. The Volvo 144 followed the Volvo Amazon with production beginning in the late summer of 1966. It was the first Volvo to use a tri-digit nomenclature, indicating series, number of cylinders and number of doors.
The Volvo 140 Series would have a basic shape that would continue into the 1990s as the 200 Series. It had a squarish profile flanked by a grille insert that was made up of horizontal stripes with vertical dividers. Mounted in on either side of the grille were single headlights. Reclining seats were standard and safety features included safety-rim wheels, built-in head restraint, and energy-absorbing body sections.
The 140 Series featured many of the same drivetrain components as the Amazon, but with several improvements including disc brakes at all four corners. The engine in the 144 was the same as found in the standard Amazon, a 1.8-liter unit offering 118 horsepower. The 144S featured the more powerful B18B from the 123GT and 1800S.
The Volvo 142 followed late in 1967. Production of the Volvo 145 5-door station wagon began in 1968.
For 1969, the Volvo received an enlarged 2-liter engine. Flow-through ventilation system was added in 1970. The split rear side window on the 145 became one piece which was no longer possible to open. Electrically defrosted rear windows were another new feature.
For 1971, the 140 Series received several styling changes, including a revised black grille and new wheels. A Bosch D-Jetronic electronic fuel injection system was added to the engine.
A major facelift followed in 1973. The list of changes included a new plastic grille, new larger indicators and a revised tail end. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2016