Think of it as the S60/V60 of the 1980s.
What is it?
The 700 series was Volvo’s core model line in the 1980s and early 1990s, and consisted of the luxurious 760, the more affordable 740, and the super expensive and rare Bertone-designed 780 coupe.
When and where was it made?
The 740 series was launched in 1984, some two years following the introduction of the 760. It was assembled in Sweden, Belgium, Canada, and Australia with the last example rolling off the assembly lines on October 2, 1992.
Why is it awesome?
With the 700 series, Volvo demonstrated it’s not only making great cars, but is also very good at marketing. At first, the 760 arrived to show new design language and modern technologies, and two years later the significantly more affordable 740 debuted, offering nearly the same levels of safety and equipment, but at lower price. The 760 remained the flagship entry attracting wealthy customers, while the slightly smaller 740 was a more stylish and more powerful alternative to the entry-level 200 series.
Interestingly, before the 700 series, Volvo used the second digit in its model names to signify the number of cylinders, but that was not the case with the 740, which had both four- and six-cylinder units.
Models from the last three years of production were definitely way more attractive than the early examples. In 1990, the 740 received a major facelift, bringing refreshed design, new fuel injection system, and Mitsubishi-sourced turbochargers for the turbo models, while a year later the interior was vastly upgraded with new dashboard.
Many say the 1990-1992 Volvo 740 cars may very well represent one of the most reliable and safe sedans and wagons from that era, with very solid build quality and relatively few engineering limitations.
What’s so special about this ad?
This video commercial from 1984 perfectly implies the idea that the 740 was a valuable alternative in the large family cars segment – design, engineering, image, and quality close to the range-topping 760 series, but at much lower price. Oh, and there’s a police Porsche 911 in the video, too!