The idea of creating a slightly larger, more exclusive model for the bride is a long time ago. At the end of the 1950s, manufacturers began planning a large, luxury Volvo with a V8 engine and a powerful vertical grille. However, this idea had to be abandoned because the 1960 survey showed that the future belongs to compact cars, especially in the US.
However, after the release of the 140 series in 1966, the idea was to install a six-cylinder engine with one engine in the 140's body. This would allow Volvo to create a combination of prestigious character and compact size, which according to the manufacturer could appeal to people.
The main designer, Jan Vilsgard, retained the 140-series chassis and completed it with the 358th version of the 1950s. Here the prominent iron logo was again placed in a central position on the diagonal, just like the first Volvo in the far 1927 – and like today's models.
The Chassis from the 140 series was also extended 10 cm in front of the windscreen. This was necessary to replace the newly created six-cylinder engine with one engine. It was called the B30, it had a capacity of 3 liters and thanks to two Zenith-Stromberg carburetors, 145 hp.
The press release of August 1968 was proudly announced that the German ZF gearbox from the manufacturer was a "remote control" type, which meant that the lever was placed on the transmission tunnel next to the front seats at a relatively short speed.
The finish was considerably brighter than the 140 series, with thick overlays of wool fabrics, floor mats and a back seat with two passengers and a fold-down armrest.
After the first production year, the Volvo 164 has leather interior finishes in standard equipment, integrated lanterns and headlights of the halogen type. In the US it was of course offered with electric windows, an electrically operated sunroof, air conditioning and tinted windows.
When a Volvo 164 test was published in the American magazine Car and Driver from July 1969, readers were given the following characteristics of potential Volvo buyers:
The new Volvo customers are serious professionals – doctors, lawyers, dentists … people who can afford something else. "
This theme continues in a Volvo 164 American advertisement: "A luxury car that not only shows you a lot of money."
During its lifetime, the Volvo 164 has been constantly updated with new improvements to features such as electronic fuel injection (from 1972 models).
The last model year was 1975 and all cars produced in that year were exported to the United States. At that time, the production of the successor of this car 264 was already under way.
5 less known facts about Volvo 164:
- Only one Volvo 164 was converted into an ambulance. The Volvo car industry had built a prototype that was considerably higher and with an extended wheelbase. Although it was only made in one copy, it became the forerunner of ambulances, which were later manufactured on a Volvo 265 basis.
- In 1974, the production of Volvo 164 was transferred to Kalmar. The working methods used in the new Volvo factory were brilliantly up-to-date for their time. The cars were moved to a battery-operated trolley whose movement was controlled by floor-mounted loops. The assembly of cars was carried out by groups of employees. Employees were able to supervise shift work and it was possible to rotate the work to be performed within the various production tasks.
- The luxury Volvo 262C coupe-prototype, built in Italy, was based on the 164th coach builder Coggiola, converted into a two-door coupe that resembled the production model. An important difference was the preservation of the 164 bow to the prototype.
- The six-cylinder B30 engine of the Volvo 164 was also used in various Volvo military off-road vehicles. Volvo Penta also produced a B30 engine with three carburetors designed for watercraft.
- The Italian bus production company Zagato decorated its stand at the Autosalon 1970 in Geneva with a sports coupe of GTZ 3.000. It was equipped with the B30 engine and mechanically based on the 164 model. Rumors say that the only prototype produced by this car is still in place.