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.
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.