Volvo 340

Volvo 340 GLO

Once the only used car worth even less than one Citroën BX: the Volvo 340. The car that was actually a DAF. A car that was launched including teething problems that you would expect from British or Italian cars. The car with the further developed stepless drive of the DAF van before that time. These 'as good as Volvos' survived their difficult childhood and became obedient middle class compact cars.

You can still buy a DAF 340 today. Only a large driver's license is now required. DAFs with the 340 designation are currently trucks. But first the people became DAF's Volvo's.

DAF becomes Volvo

In 1974 the Swedish Volvo bought our national pride DAF. With the idea of ​​gaining a foothold in the compact segment as well. It is clear that they wanted the DAF 77, which was then in development and was to become a successor to the 66. The 77 never came on the market as a DAF, but was introduced in 1976 as Volvo 343.

As passenger cars, the DAFs thus evolved into instant Volvos. The 300 series with a 4 in the middle (340, 344, 345) had a Renault engine on board. And whether they have ever given the Real Volvo feeling? Well, they tried their best.

They grew to perfection

The now Volvo 340/360 series matured through constant model care into fine cars for good people. Only the two-liter version caused some tension in the story. The regular fourteen hundred all turned hard without a lot of wild happening. Due to the good sound insulation, they stayed pretty quiet. The cars ended up in the lowest price segment in the occasion categories. They then fell en masse due to lack of maintenance and corrosion. Almost all of the early copies seem to have lost the battle with the rust ghost. But this 343 DL is a rare exception.

A perfect survivor in a detailed story

Erik van Putten records the Volvo 340 history in great detail with the help of a rare, beautiful surviving copy, recently donated by his first owner, who bought the Volvo new on 7 May 1987. And cherished him for 33 years after that. In those 33 years, the machine drove 58.000 documented kilometers.

The story is about the history, the technique, the details. And about the emotion of owning a Volvo 340 Citroen BXsen clearly in the popularity elevator. And where those small hydrauliques score with their unique suspension system, the 340 points with its unique variable transmission.

Unexpected dynamics

For a long time and determined, the Volvo 300 series (especially in the CVT version) was seen as a means of transport for the somewhat older, recognized quiet people. The fact that the Volvo 300 series also had a very dynamic second personality was shown by the fact that many 360s spent their last days on all kinds of circuits. Where they were delicious - and cheap - toys due to their conventional rear-wheel drive with a rigid De Dion axle. For sporty Volvo drivers there was also the R-Style Volvo Competition and Performance Parts program with engine tuning kits, special brakes, lowering sets, sports steering wheels, sports exhausts, spoiler sets, and spotlights and fog lights. We found such an R style Volvo (in the making) at Theo Voskuil. And the rebirth of the DAF - RECOVERY: Volvo - was one out of passion. The client fully realizes that his very rare Volvo will never 'earn its money'.

Also definitely read:
- The Volvo 740 estate car. a real Volvo
- Driving the Volvo 240. Therapeutic primal force.
- Volvo 242 custom restoration
- Volvo looks back on safety innovations and introduces database
- The first three decades of Volvo, ninety years of Swedish car manufacturer


Give a reaction
  1. Yes that 340 for the trucks was the indication of the number of horses on board, and those Renault engines were not that bad in a person Volvo, another story was a truck driver for a long time and the Volvo trucks had the F and the FH in the beginning RENAULT underblocks with Volvo cylinder heads and they could not be broken with normal use, but there were always drivers who broke everything, we always chuckled 1 extra horse on board that does not break, only they kept their own steed whole.

  2. Many police forces drove 'our' Volvo 340/360, because being deployed directly from DAF's drawing board as a Volvo also means that the model was actually 'ours'.
    Wonderful car, not fast but it took you where you needed to be.
    Is not yet as appreciated as the 440 series, but it may be.
    Isn't it 'kewl' to drive an old Daf these days?

    • Yes, those high speeds.

      It was planned not to install the Cleon-Fonte 1400, but the Cleon-Alu from the Renault R16. The Variomatic, sorry, CVT, could handle that. But it would make the car too expensive. And it was already expensive. The Volvo brand name also stands for a lot of research and safety that eventually ends up in the price.

      One of the criticisms of Autovisie was that the first 343 was just as expensive as a Volkswagen Passat. And a Passat was considered a class higher than this noble daf. With the 1600 engine, the car had cost another 1500 guilders more and had become almost unsaleable.

      Ultimately, therefore, the Cléon-Fonte, already from the Renault R8 / R10, was used, named by Volvo B14, which had to get its power of 72 hp from 1400 cc, a register carburettor and a high speed. A matter of getting used to for the owners, but it was often an objection for new customers during the test drive.

      And no, the first 343 was not very quiet. Not the engine and the CVT under the slightly thin rear seat. It was all beautiful.

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