Exactly 50 years ago, on August 17, 1966, the Volvo 140 was presented. The debut was spectacular for the time conditions: the new series was unveiled simultaneously in four Scandinavian cities. 400 journalists were present at the main event in Gothenburg, Sweden. This was the new Volvo for a rather simple kind of mid-sized cars.
In June 1960, the former Volvo Chief Gunnar Engellau decided the specification. Sweden was already internationally established thanks to models such as the P120 Amazon at that time. The successor of the Amazon should be the 140. He possessed the same wheelbase, offered much more space for the passengers. And the design was completely different, even though it was created under the same Chief Designer who designed also the Amazon. Only details such as the first two-piece Grill, the vertical tail lamps and the strong shoulder line reminiscent of the Amazon. The 140 had a spacious interiors and large Windows. Clear and clean lines made him the typical representatives of Scandinavian design. New type designations were introduced: the first digit indicated the model number, the second the number of cylinders and the third the number of doors.
On the launch of the four-door 144 followed in the spring of 1967 the two-door sedan 142 to the 1968 model year, and the five-door station wagon, 145. Of the 145 of 145 express derived, which started in late 1969. He served primarily as a commercial transporter with higher roof line from the B-pillar and almost a meter of cargo space height. All 140 models received 100 HP. at the beginning of the 1.8 liter gasoline engine from the Amazon with a 75 HP or (with twin carburettors) To model year 1969 followed by a 2.0 liter gasoline engine with 82 was 1971 142 GT, whose fuel injection engine was equal to 124 HP HP. top model. The six-cylinder model 164, which started in 1968 became popular especially in the United States and Sweden. A 3.0 liter - six-cylinder worked here under a powerful hood with a large barbecue. The wheelbase was ten centimeters longer than at 144.
Security was a top priority at 140 series. The body had first calculated crumple zones front and rear, as well as a rollover cage. In addition, the steering column had a novel breaking point, the dashboard was padded with plastic, the three-point seatbelts were fitted as standard. There were even straps for the back seats. This followed security headrest front and rear, a side impact protection, and even a belt Warner. As the first Volvo car had also a dual circuit braking system with disc brakes front and rear. Two reducing valves prevented blocking the rear wheels to a screeching halt.
When in the summer of 1974 the last Volvo started 140 of the band, 1.251.371 units were built. Thus, the car was the first million-seller of the Swedish brand. In Germany are versechsfachten the new model Volvo approval numbers. Slogans such as "Safety from Sweden steel" contributed to the success. Today only the Volvo 240, who took over in 1974 substantial parts of the 140 and were delivered by the 1993 World's 2.8 million vehicles is even more popular than the 140. (sl)