Price: 16.500 euro. Car Cave, Hasselt, Belgium
WE ALL KNOW Henry Ford offered his original Model T in ‘any colour as long as it’s black’. But most of us have forgotten that when Volvo launched its oddball 262C Coupé in 1978, the car was also available in any colour – as long as it was Mystic Silver Metallic. Some say Henry Ford II was partly to blame for the Swedish marque’s uncharacteristic foray into the world of luxury coupés. That’s because, during a visit to Volvo HQ, he turned up with a fleet of Lincoln Continental MkIVs – which may have inspired the Swedish designers to think they could create something equally unattractive.
Whether or not they succeeded is debatable, because there’s something about the 262C that makes it strangely covetable. With its chopped roof sitting 10cm lower than that of the saloon on which it was based, a more steeply raked windscreen, stunted doors and a crowning glory of matt black vinyl, it looks both mean and stately – a sort of poor, safety-conscious man’s alternative to a Rolls-Royce Camargue. At the time, #Volvo
didn’t have the facility to manufacture such a limited-production car in house. Therefore, 262Cs were hand-built by Bertone in Turin, with the majority of the 6622 made being exported to the US.
This 1978, first-series example on offer at Car Cave in Belgium was originally sold in that country, and it remained there until 2006, when it made the short journey across the border to the Netherlands before being re-imported last year. The Low Countries are undoubtedly suited to the sort of sedate performance provided by the 1.3-tonne 262C’s 127hp #V6
which, in the case of this example, is further blunted by the option of a three-speed BorgWarner gearbox.
Car Cave is asking €16,500 for the model. Given the 262C’s rarity, believed-genuine mileage of 65,000 (108,000km), sound, unrestored condition and the fact that it is on the button, this is probably quite reasonable. And, being a Volvo, it will probably serve you well – although there’s not as much room as usual for the dogs.