RWD - Restoration project: zero-rust Volvo 740 w/ 370,000 km on odometer

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Restoration project: zero-rust Volvo 740 w/ 370,000 km on odometer 700 1988

Hi guys, I'm new here but I wanted to share my story and solicit some advice from you guys.

I took our family Volvo 740 that we have had in California for 18 years and shipped it to Latvia. I have decided to do an restoration on the Volvo.

The Volvo has 370,000 km on the odometer, no frame damage and zero rust. The car has been a California car it's whole life. The interior and paint has been worn from the sun and general wear and tear.

What motivated shipping the Volvo was that we had bunch of stuff in USA that needed to get to Latvia, but shipping the stuff separately would cost almost as much as shipping the car. So we just threw stuff in the Volvo and shipped it instead.

Here are some pics and the story:

The Volvo in California, I was utilizing it for tow when building a shipping box back in 2014.

The Volvo at the port of Los Angeles, ready for shipment to Latvia (Europe) by sea:

All the cars that are heading for Europe at the Port

Saying good bye (for now)

Now in Europe. The Volvo in Lithuania. Filling up before final trip to Latvia.
I drove to pick it up with the M5 E39.

The BMW has also been shipped to Latvia. It's my favorites car.

It is not the only Volvo in Latvia that is from California. To the left the 940 is my countryside dirt-road and winter beater. The middle is my friend's Dodge RamCharger, a pure summer car with no roof.

So... the Volvo idea is to restore the car, paint and interior. The undercarriage is near perfect. I want to make a pristine retro classic out of it.

I was searching for a shop in Latvia that does old Volvos, but since they are so few, and there is no money in the parts, finding parts and someone who is an expert on Volvos is tough. I was ready to dive across the country just to find someone competent that help me restore the car.

It just so happened that I was biking to my grandma's on the countryside (I spent my summers as a kid there.) and a girl in a Volvo is pulling out in front of me from the side road and it turns out I know her, I pull over and say hello. She's heading to the mechanic, a pure-Volvo guy and the shop is hidden behind the local school and also turns out to be the closest mechanic to my grandma. Total jackpot. I can leave the car on the country side in a familiar place and my other friends already know the mechanic and say he is an honest straight forward guy. He also already knew of the Volvo being shipped to Latvia, before I met him.

On the country side in grandma's town, about to deliver it to the mechanic.

The mechanic is a Volvo fanatic, and has a Volvo 240 with big ass turbo, 300hp and BMW wheels.... so he has wheel/hub converters from Volvo to E39 BMW. I ended up trying the Style 65 BMW M5 E39 wheels on the Volvo. The rear tires are 275/35/r18 and stil out of the wheel arches. I do like the look but I prefer something more classic Volvo for the wheels, at least on this car.

Old parts coming out, new parts going in..

The old ball-joints were original still the original Volvo.

The mechanic also offered the undercarriage support in poly urethane and newly painted. Some guy in Latvia builds these kits.

What is your guys' opinion of going full poly-urethane for the bottom?

I want to re-do the interior, make it feel new(ish). I want to re-paint all color faded parts, re-upholster the seats and paint or replace all the carpet.

The carpet is all sun-faded, stale and worn.

The roof is in bad shape and needs to be re-done. Top rear left plastic piece is missing as well.

I ran into an obstacle. I have a great upholstery guy but I need to source the original carpet that is in the trunk area and the original cloth for the seats.
Does anyone here maybe have suggestion where to find original cloth and original carpet for the upholester guy? Maybe someone has a product # or ID or something?

What would be the best option to make the steering wheel look good? Replace it? But with what? I want to keep as much as possible original.

My questions I am searching for answers (maybe someone here has an answer):

- What color code is the interior plastics, and/or what is the closest paint I can buy to match this beige. I read somewhere that SEM Camel is a close/good option?

- Where can I find the upholstery fabric or fabric code/source?

- Where can I find the carpet fabric or code/source?

- The dash board is cracked. What are my options? The upholster guy and mechanic said it is not an easy fix.

Current action item list:
- Re-upholster seats
- Re-upholster the roof liner
- Clean and paint floor carpet.
- Replace trunk carpet
- Re-paint all interior plastic parts
- Upgrade headlights to be CE certified (US style but new)
- Re-paint bumpers and get new side mouldings
- New front windshield
- Paint entire car
- Find Volvo rims from a classic that fits this car the best
- Clean/detail motor and replace worn visually worn parts (engine is in great mechanical shape)
- Replace steering wheel

What else do you guys think I should do to the Volvo while going at it that would make it cooler?

This would be the dream- to bring it back to this shape.

Anyway, that is the beginning of my project. Let me know what you think.


New 2 Restoration project: zero-rust Volvo 740 w/ 370,000 km on odometer [700][1988]
posted by  Tera  on Tue Aug 14 14:57 CST 2018 >

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