Impression Volvo 340 GL 1.4 automatic (1987). Adult culture guard

ER Classics Desktop 2022

In 1987 the Volvo 300 series was a solid part of the delivery program. In addition, Volvo had long since eliminated the teething problems of the 77 designed as DAF 88/343. Volvo had also made numerous changes and improvements over the years. The series was also extensive in terms of implementation options. Jan's car in Leeuwarden offers an heir to the very first Volvo 343. So with further developed Cleon Fonte motor and Variomatic transmission. This almost virgin 340 Volvo 1.4 GL 1987 shows beautiful credentials. Until recently it was owned by the first owner, who maintained it punctually. He drove only 58.000 kilometers with it.

Of course we want to drive a lot with the Volvo 340. So it is a GL, and that equipment level was in 1987 available in combination with multiple engines. Who ordered the Volvo 340 GL with the 1.4 engine could only do that in combination with the Variomatic transmission. But old Dutch technique or not: this Volvo already shows in advance why it carries the Swedish brand name with verve. Either way, he offers the conditions for a nice ride.

Excellent seating position

The seating position within the immaculate, slightly chic and high-quality interior (beautiful and solid materials!) Is excellent. The excellent seats reinforce that idea. The steering wheel is easy to grip and you will not experience any discomfort from its somewhat lower placement. Because the way in which the Volvo almost organically determines your ideal seating position also makes an essential contribution to the overall overview. That is excellent. A few points: the hand choke and the ignition lock play hide and seek. They are nothing within the perception of absolute comfort.

Determined and solid road holding

We can also leave that title unadulterated on the handling of the Volvo 340 GL. That is solid and comfortable. You will notice that this Volvo 300 series series took advantage of the fairly recent improvements to the chassis (with leaf springs at the back). In addition, the 340 GL has a fine steering system. The unpowered steering offers a lot of feeling and reacts well-balanced and determined to fast steering movements. The rear of the car does the same. The weight of the excellent De Dion construction and the trans axle configuration enhance the rear wheel drive character of the Volvo. When you approach a sharper bend at a pace, the 340 GL indicates the limits of what is permissible in a safe and determined manner. You will also notice how solid the case is. So weight in the shell, and pleasantly sturdy.

Acceleration: adequate

The clean B14.4 S engine (including EGR and Pulse Air) mounted by Volvo, in combination with the Variomatic (called CVT by Volvo for publicity reasons), is running a lot. This makes optimal use of the power of the 1.397 cc measuring engine and this results in adequate acceleration. At 100 kilometers per hour you sit like this and then there is still some stretch to accelerate. Even on accelerations, the Volvo will not let you down, although some anticipation is required. But this is no problem, especially at today's speeds in the Netherlands (during the day).

Smooth and quiet

What is striking is that both the transmission and the power source do their work incredibly smoothly and punctually. The energized (and improved in 1985) braking system also received a lot of praise. It is very easy to dose and you can fully count on it. Across the board, the Volvo is doing its job crackle and resonance free, which is another example of why the combination of historic build quality and excellent maintenance is such a happy one.

Lively and lots of speed in combination with CVT

The high speed character, characteristic for the combination of this advanced engine with Variomatic transmission, is something you get used to. Moreover, it is not bothersome, also thanks to the decent sound insulation in the Volvo. The turning pleasure of the engine initially contrasts with the cozy luxurious atmosphere and the comfortable driving character. But you know it is part of this configuration. You've got that turn and Volvo clean mentioned B14.4S power source regularly the idea that you drive faster than you actually do. This is not to say that the Volvo requires more performance in this configuration. It is possible, but he prefers to be relaxed in particular. And that's what we did most of the time we spent with him.

Opportunity for all purposes

Jan's car (in this case: Volvo's Jan) offers the Volvo 340 GL for 4 mille On. That is small beer for a perfectly preserved and luxuriously equipped 340 GL with a virgin mileage, which also shows how mature the 300 model series had become in 1987. A great opportunity, especially for Variomatic adepts in combination with Dutch-Swedish credentials. For classic use, or for daily use. At least nine months a year, because he is also eligible for the MRB transitional arrangement. In any case, we have developed a predilection for this excellent 340 GL. It is simply a very nice car, a real Volvo of its time. And a very mature culture guard, moreover.

Thanks to Jan de Vries, Jan's Car, Leeuwarden


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  1. Ever and 340DL 1.4 on LPG temporarily / can drive.
    Already put all prejudices overboard on the 1st stage.
    What a wonderful, comfortable car.
    Super good chairs, which you wish you would have such furniture in your home!
    The 4-speed gear shifted smooth and full feeling, brakes perfectly fine!
    Not a sprinter, but a leisurely speedometer.

  2. I've had several because I worked in a Volvo garage myself.
    my best was a 360 glt 1983, black with all options (spoiler front and rear / slightly lowered / of course the 2 liter injection in it / oil pressure and various other meters / very nice black and white striped velvet upholstery.

    REGRET that I no longer have it 🙁

  3. One of the best Volvo cars ever built in Born, I have worked on it myself and had 2 340, one from 1982 and 1987, this from 1987, 10 years without major problems with natural driving with the trusted 1.4 engine from Renault.

  4. It's been twenty years since a motorcycle accident left me temporarily at home - without a lease car. And because I recovered quite quickly, I was looking for a cheap holiday car to pass the time. It became a 340.

    A thousand guilders, he cost and indeed belonged to an older couple, first owner, meticulously maintained by the dealer and therefore in fantastic condition. As a diesel driver it took some getting used to the high speeds, I thought at the beginning that the control valves of the Variomatic refused service, but that was not the case. Once used to it, it was a wonderful car that showed me half of Europe that summer. Until the lease car (at the time a Peugeot 306 GTD) came back and I was able to sell the white Volvo 340 again for 1000 guilders. I missed the Varioamtic!

  5. Still a shame that in the lower part of the articles the photos are overlaid.
    I was able to read the article from my own memory. The model has the same color as the 340 that was bought for 'mother the woman'. The first 'repair' was the replacement of the two uber-thick suspender straps. The second attempt was successful and was up and running again in 2 hours, I thought it was good of myself, actually think the simplicity of the box was the real reason. The road is possible without a manual and along the side. It turned out that a large flap of the tire protruded on the outside of the right tire and that made a hell of a noise at 120km / h. Was € 80 per band.
    Don't know if the 340 hobby club still exists. Is an absolute must.

    • Is that also the older articles? And only on the iPad? And what kind of iPad (series), old new? What kind of browser (standard?) And does that also happen on the computer?

  6. I myself drove a 340 from 1983. Unfortunately unfortunately… .snik…. no variomatic but a normal manual 4 speed gearbox.
    I needed an old car to survive the winter as a motorcyclist. Well, from one winter to several years.
    Exactly as shown in the article. A stable and very nice car to drive. That 1400 engine delivered absolutely enough performance to help the unsurpassed Dutch Swede well ahead. Not complex, a good weight ratio front / rear and with confidence he could be mastered in the four-wheel slip. A frozen road provoked that quality unexpectedly. Decidedly, the car was pulled out of the skid and we continued on our way. I have enjoyed it for years. Secretly I still miss him. Who knows. Ever, ever, then….

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