The Volvo 140 launched in 1966, which superseded the Volvo 120 Amazon series, was the seed design that stayed in production across two distinct series of models for thirty years until 1996. The 140 design was significantly updated in 1973 as a precursor to the 240 series launched in 1974.
This 1973 140 model, a halfway house between the original 140 series and forthcoming 240 series, has many interior features familiar to early 240 owners including much of the entirely padded plastic faced dashboard, round, replacing the previous strip, instrumentation and rocker switch gear.
For 1973 power for the 140 series came from a 1986 cc / 121 cc straight 4 cylinder Over Head Valve B20 motor itself the last iteration of a design born out of the Volvo V8 B36 motor used in Volvo commercial vehicles.
The tail of the 1973 and ’74 140’s is also identical to that on the early 240 series the only thing missing is the much larger energy absorbing bumpers of the latter model.
The 140 series was dropped in 1975 with final production of all 140 variants since 1966 totalling over one million units which were built at plants in Torslanda Sweden, Ghent Belgium, Halifax Nova Scotia Canada, Melbourne Victoria Australia and Shah Alam Malaysia.
Thanks for joining me on this Halfway House edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, I hope you’ll join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
The radiator grill design and tragic Spirit of Ecstasy mascot makes Rolls Royce one of the few instantly recognisable brands no matter what age or model. The mascot on this model instantly retracts if dislodged allegedly preventing injury to pedestrians and making the item much harder to collect by even the most determined fans of the Beasty Boys.
The Silver Spirit was a development of the Silver Shadow with a new body and suspension that brought RR into the 1980’s.
Sufficiently powered by a 6750cc / 411 cui V8 the Silver Spirit and slightly longer Silver Spur no longer featured the Citroen licensed self levelling suspension of the Silver Shadow but one using a Girling automatic hydraulic ride height control system riding on gas charged shock absorbers.
The Registration of this vehicle suggests that this might be a 1984 model but the alloy wheels to my not so well trained eye look to be of a more recent vintage. The Silver Spirit/Spur series is the twin of the Bentley Mulsanne / Eight series.
The Silver Spirit is the only Rolls Royce model that has ever come in to my hands, albeit briefly in my capacity as quality controller at a Volvo Garage, it certainly is an impressive machine to be seen driven around in, the ride quality is superb but the feel of the car with its spindly steering wheel and column shift left me feeling I was driving a very well appointed 1972 Volvo 144.
It should always be remembered that a Rolls Royce never ‘breaks down’, but if not looked after properly it might ‘fail to proceed’.
Erratum: in response to a question about the Citroen SM suspension on October 20th I stated that ‘Rolls Royce / Bentley took out licenses to use similar (Citroen hydropneumatic self levelling) systems on the Silver Shadow/T, Silver Spur/Mulsanne’ in fact as I have written above the Silver Spirit/Spur have a Girling self levelling systems. Apologies for any confusion that arose.