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In my last post I mentioned the Volvo 262C that I once owned, one of my friends who had seen the post remarked it would be quite a desirable classic if I still owned it, my reply was that I didn’t even have a photograph of it. During the mid to late 1980s I was going through a very lean time with my photography and very few films were put through any of my cameras during that period. I was wrong however, after rummaging around in my negatives archive I find a photo of my 262C does exist and here it is, although you’ll have to excuse the friend’s son who is posing on the bonnet – not quite sure what that was about?

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I first saw the car in the local Volvo showroom in 1987 and went to have a look, more out of curiosity than anything. When they were new they were horrendously expensive being twice the price of even the most expensive four or five door of the 260 range. This one was seven years old and I quite liked it, the sumptuously luxurious leather interior and the “Mafia” looks of the side rear windows attracted me. A few weeks later it was still on the forecourt but now reduced from its previous price so was tempted, no, more than tempted, I bought it. I think that was either in late May or early June 1987.

First registered in July 1980, FTX704V had been on private plates registered as APOll0G and owned by a company director of Apollo Leather Products who had a factory in the Rhondda area. By the time of my purchase the mileage was quite high but I had a unique vehicle which everyone christened my “Gangster Car”. Fitted with a 2.6 litre V6 engine it was supposed to be able to achieve 0-60 in 11.6 seconds but I don’t remember it as being a particularly lively vehicle. It handled well but inevitably it was thirsty and servicing and repair costs were high. Nevertheless I had it for a couple of years before selling it to an enthusiast in Cardiff who I had met the previous summer at a vintage rally where I had discovered him on his hands and knees looking the car over. He mentioned if ever I wanted to sell it to contact him; nine months later I did.

I owned the car for two years selling it in the summer of 1989 and I saw it a few times over the next year or so. Within the last year I noticed it was for sale on e-bay, looking very sorry for itself it was being offered as a job lot with another 262C, suggesting there was an opportunity to make one good car out of the two. I wonder whether they were sold and where they are now?

Although I may not have more than the one photograph of the Volvo 262C I do have a couple of souvenirs. The first is the spare number plate I had to fit on either my trailer or the caravan, indeed I have a number of plates from over the decades which served the same purpose. Here you see the plate for the Volvo, FTX 704 V, laid on top of some of the other plates I have kept.

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I also have a Matchbox Toys version of the 262C somewhere in amongst all my stuff, but it’s not with the rest of my Matchbox and Dinky/Corgi toys so unfortunately can’t show you that today.

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