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Volvo 262C Bertone

This 262C is the only of its type in New Zealand.


When the Volvo 262C was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1977, many people regarded it as an anniversary model to celebrate Volvo's 50th anniversary in April of the same year. This was not the case, however. Special versions to celebrate this milestone in Volvo's development came later with the 242GT.

The Volvo 262C is a 2-door coupé with four comfortable seats; this was possible as the car had the same wheelbase as the Volvo 264. While the bottom part of the car is based on a conventional two-door 260 series car (only 3329 standard 2-door Volvo 262 were built) the turret and roofline is radically different. It is some 9 cm lower. The windscreen sloped more sharply and the car has a very wide C-pillar. The first cars were painted silver and had a black vinyl roof. The interior is very exclusive and is upholstered in leather.

The 262C was designed at Volvo in Sweden, but it was produced by Turin coachbuilder Bertone in Italy. In its day it was criticised for its somewhat squashed appearance but there’s no doubt it was something a little bit different from the standard Volvo. However it is still very obviously a Volvo product. During its production run from 1977 to 1981 just 6622 coupes were built and this NZ car is one of the last with the larger 2849cc engine. Until 1980 they were fitted with the 2664cc engine but the last 912 had the bigger and more powerful B28E unit. That production run was one reason why Bertone was given the job of building the coupe. It was so small scale the main Volvo plant was not geared up for it producing some 200,000 of its bread-and-butter 240 and 260 models in the same period. But the 262C was produced and marketed as an exclusive luxury car, a top of the range vehicle with a little bit of sporty appeal to the rugged body shape which was first produced in 1974.

The 262C was a very expensive car, in part due to the small volumes and the meticulous attention it would have received at Bertone. The 262C cost in 1980 twice the price of a 264. It was more expensive than a Jaguar XJS. Most have been sold in the USA. To attract these sorts of buyers the 262C was given full luxury treatment inside, seats and the door panels are all upholstered in black leather. The doors are set off with polished walnut, seats are electrically heated, more electric options are windows, wing mirrors and radio aerial, now a common features in new Volvos. It is fitted with airconditioning and 3-speed auto transmission with power steering.

It is a heavy car to pull around and weighing as much as the 264. While it is not a high performer the Volvo 262C is still a stunner for looks and offers maximum comfort and low noise levels in a pretty exclusive car. 

Technical facts:
Production years: 1975-81
Production volume: 6,622
Body style: 2-door coupé
Engine: 2664cc or 2849cc V6 OHC
114kW (155hp) 229 Nm
Transmission: 3-speed automatic. Borg Warner
Brakes: Hydraulic, disc brakes on all four wheels.
Dimensions: Overall length 4900mm, wheelbase 2640 mm.

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