Junkyard Find: 1994 Volvo 960 Sedan

<img data-attachment-id="1664996" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/00-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, RH front view" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, RH front view – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1664996″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, RH front view – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/00-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>While I live in Denver, my family and work ties in the San Francisco Bay Area make me a regular visitor at the incredibly well-stocked self-service wrecking yards of the region between San Jose and Richmond. These yards don’t have quite the selection of Subarus and IHC Scouts that I see in the yards around Denver, but they make up for that shortage by stocking plenty of BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, and Volvos.

Just last week, I found a half-dozen 240s, a 780 Bertone Coupe, and a pair of 960 sedans… in a single yard. Here’s the better-preserved of the two 960s.

<img data-attachment-id="1665014" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/24-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, decklid badge" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, decklid badge – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1665014″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, decklid badge – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/24-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>I think the 960 is important because it was the very last model in the evolutionary line of sturdy, box-shaped, rear-wheel-drive Göteborg safetymobiles that began with the 140 in 1966 and continued through the 200, 700, and 900 series cars. The final 960 rolled off the assembly line in 1998, so that’s better than three decades of squared-off, sensible Volvos.

<img data-attachment-id="1665006" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/13-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, engine" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, engine – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1665006″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, engine – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/13-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>The 960 sedan came with a 2.9-liter straight-six engine rated at 201 horsepower, which was 39 more than the turbocharged four-banger in the 940 Turbo that year.

<img data-attachment-id="1665004" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/10-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, shifter" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, shifter – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1665004″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, shifter – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/10-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>European 960 buyers could get five-speed manual transmissions in the 960, but North American-market 960s all had Aisin four-speed automatics.

<img data-attachment-id="1664998" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/04-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, interior" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, interior – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1664998″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, interior – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/04-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>The MSRP on this car was $28,950 (about $50,000 in 2019 dollars), which compared favorably to the $38,425 price tag on the 1994 BMW 525i sedan. The BMW had just 189 horses, but could be had with a manual transmission (and I’m guessing maybe 5 percent of American 5 Series buyers went for three pedals that year, so Volvo didn’t lose many sales by ditching the manual 960 over here). Of course, the 1994 Mazda 929 was bigger and swankier and cost only $30,500 in 1994, with nearly as much power as the 960, but few even knew that car existed by 1994.

<img data-attachment-id="1665000" data-permalink="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/03/junkyard-treasure-1994-volvo-960-sedan/06-1994-volvo-960-in-california-wrecking-yard-photo-by-murilee-martin/" data-orig-file="https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg" data-orig-size="1600,900" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, instrument cluster" data-image-description="

1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, instrument cluster – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars

” data-medium-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg” data-large-file=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-1665000″ src=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg” alt=”1994 Volvo 960 in California wrecking yard, instrument cluster – ©2019 Murilee Martin – The Truth About Cars” width=”610″ height=”343″ srcset=”https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-610×343.jpg 610w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-75×42.jpg 75w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-450×253.jpg 450w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-768×432.jpg 768w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin-120×68.jpg 120w, https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/06-1994-Volvo-960-in-California-wrecking-yard-photo-by-Murilee-Martin.jpg 1600w” sizes=”(max-width: 610px) 100vw, 610px”>Bay Area Volvo owners love their cars, and this one was nicely maintained until — most likely — it got traded in and the dealership couldn’t find a buyer that offered more than Schnitzer Steel.

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Ah, the joys of a long road trip in Sweden with a new Volvo. Nice Tony Linfjärd soundtrack.

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Here’s a US-market dealership video, showing the same 960 (or at least the same Sweden-influenced license plate).

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