Volvo 480ES LTD Edition

Oliver Cannon ‘I chose it over something newer to avoid driving something boring ’

volvo 480ES.jpg
  • Year: 1992

  • Mileage: 70,000

  • Acquired: 2018

  • Dream car: Rubystone red Porsche 964 RS


Why did you choose the car? 

I viewed a 480 GT with a friend and decided this would be the perfect ‘everyday’ car for blasting around and out of London. I choose it over something newer and more reliable to avoid driving something boring.

What’s the best bit?

Cheap driving. Parts are generally cheap, but sometimes scarce, it does more than 13mpg and I can drive it hard without becoming a wanton criminal. The added bonus is a friend who owns three and helps with any work. I think it looks cool in a 1980s kind of way.

What’s the worst bit?

Living in central London means I can’t drive it everyday. It’s comfortable with heated armchair-like seats, is practical and engaging, and makes the daily commute more than just the usual tired haze of necessity.

Any modifications?

It's standard. I've added an oil sender to make more of the dash-mounted oil gauge, new speakers (hidden under the speaker grilles), Bridgestone Turanzas and I’m looking into some Bilstein dampers to firm up the ride slightly.

What’s it like to run?

Swedish Car Clinic services and MoTs it, and were recommended. My aforementioned friend helps with other jobs and there's a good forum (volvo-480-europe.org). Some parts are easy to get, but rear lights and pop-up headlight motors are very difficult and expensive to secure.

Any advice for owners?

These cars aren’t expensive and are quirky. The difference between a £500-£800 project isn’t that far from a loved one for around £2500 and saves a lot of hassle and cost in the long run.