While I was a Salesman and later Quality Controller at a Volvo dealership in South London, I took these photographs of a fully loaded top of the range 1987 760 Turbo Intercooler, complete with colour coded body upgrades, parked on Downnton Avenue in Streatham which served as the dealership car park for the myriad of vehicles we were not able to keep on site for want of space.
I was fascinated to learn that thanks to a bad case of lumbago Product Manager Hans Gustavsson arranged for the barn at his summer cottage to be converted to the 760 projects operational head quarters where Jans Wilsgaard drew many of the lines for the emergent new car while Hans directed the planning of the product from his stretcher.
Development of the 760 started in 1975 when thanks to the oil crises demands on what the new car should look like were changing almost daily.
Unlike the wind cheating designs of it’s many competitors including Rover 3500, Jans Wilsgaards design took it’s queues from various customer surgeries in the new cars intended market the USA. If the original 240 was brick like in it’s styling the 760’s styling is more like that of a breeze block rather like some of it’s contemporary down sized offerings from Cadillac and Chevrolet with a distinctive almost vertical rear window. The design caused outrage in some European automotive design circles because it flew in the face of received European wisdom of what designers were trying to achieve.
When the car was launched three engine’s were available 182 hp turbocharged 4 cylinder as seen here, 170 hp PRV (Peugeot, Renault, Volvo) V6 or 115 hp turbo straight 6 cylinder diesel. The 182hp version seen here was capable of reaching 60 mph from rest in under 8 seconds, not something that I experienced often driving around in London traffic where the average speed is 8 mph, but when ever I had the opportunity on the motorway I used to delight in the kick as the hefty Garret T3 turbocharger boosted performance under full throttle.
The range topping 760 models were in production at plants located in Kalmar Sweden, Halifax Canada and Ghent Belgium from 1982 to 1990 during which time 221,309 examples were built.
Thanks for joining me on this born in a barn edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !