It is rare to find a car that has been owned by the same family all its life. This lovely old Volvo’s owner Mark Yeulett says, “I was aged four when my grandfather bought the 164 new in 1969. It was a retirement present to himself, and he loved it.”
Yeulett junior inherited the Volvo 20 years later, and today he says it frequently provokes the reaction: “‘Wow, what a car!’ although I doubt whether many people recognise the actual model.”
Yet this was the vehicle once described by Motor as “Undoubtedly the best Volvo to date” and by Road & Track as “quite exceptional”.
When the 164 made its bow in October 1968, the sales copy lauded “new in-line six”, “the elegant and comfortable interior” plus “a variety of other properties that place this model securely among the big names in what is for Volvo a new price class”.
In other words, this was the Swedes’ answer to the Mercedes-Benz W114, and it was essentially the 144 of 1966 with a wheelbase extended by four inches, a more comfortable interior and the B30 3.0-litre engine – the company’s first six-cylinder unit in 10 years.