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Wagon Wednesday: Volvo V70XC Dakar edition

Kamil Kaluski January 4, 2012 Wagon Wednesday 23 Comments

Back when Volvo was still making proper wagons, or at least selling them in the U.S., the off-road-ish Outback-ish version of the V70 was called V70 XC, as opposed to the current XC70. It was the popularity of the raised XC which ironically lead to the demise of the V70, as buyers appreciated its SUVness. One of the people who loved the XC was Swedish inventor Claes Blomquist, who decided to race the V70 XC in the 2003 Dakar Rally.

[Source: ]

While it does not look as so at first sight, this is a space-frame (I think) vehicle with the XC body panels attached to it. It is/was powered by a Volvo turbo-diesel with the required restrictor in place. 2500 man-hours and $90,000 later the car was finished. Note the portal axles, which was how I found this car.

I don’t know if the car ever started in the Dakar Rally or not. The website for this project down and the source website does not look like it has been updated recently. My quick research into it just shows the preparations. If anyone has anymore info on it, please post in comments.

  • PotbellyJoe

    Holy Awesome. Did he keep the booster seats in the rear for the kiddles?

  • smokyburnout

    They started the 2003 and 2004 Dakar, but retired both times with transmission failure. …
    The car was destroyed in a trailer accident before the 2005 race. …

    • dculberson

      I was going to say that the AWD Volvo transmissions are a known failure point but I doubt they used the original Volvo transmission!

  • stickmanonymous

    A question that's somewhat relevant to this post:

    Would you spend $4000 on a Volvo 745 with a (very) recently and apparently properly rebuilt B230FT, in reasonable physical condition for a 22-year-old car, on a very clear and (apparently) honest Craigslist posting?

    Oh, and it's a manual 4-speed/OD.

    And no, I haven't bought it yet.

    But my tired 945 will make a great parts car…

    • Scandinavian Flick

      This is coming from a US (California specifically) perspective, and while I am not sure exactly how it impacts my input, it's something to keep in mind. Locally, used cars, and especially Volvos for some reason, have come up in price quite a bit. Finding one in good condition is becoming increasingly rare and difficult. That particular one looks to be in really good condition and the perfect combination of drivertrain and no rust. (Probably kind of a feat in itself around there…) I feel it would be worth the price. In fact, that particular car would probably go for 1-2k more around here.

      • stickmanonymous

        Thanks, Flick.
        I was hoping that you (or another Volvo person) would give some input.
        And yes, I agree about it being the perfect combination. I'm a little curious as to why it'd be sold so recently after a rebuild, and there seems to be no info about suspension specs, but perhaps that's being a bit too picky.

        • Scandinavian Flick

          I've seen a large number of cars over the years that are sold soon after a rebuild. It confuses me every time. If I'm going to go to that much work, I want to enjoy the fruits of my money and labor.

          • Tearing into a vehicle during a major rebuild will often bring to light other aspects in need of attention. This can lead to a reality check and a decision to cut one's losses via a quick sale while at least something is still fresh.

            Or so I've heard. I've never put much stock in reality checks, personally.

            • Scandinavian Flick

              That makes a lot of sense.

              Great, now I'm going to be paranoid of listings like these… What is it that they found in there…? Am I buying the automotive Ark of the Covenant?

              It wouldn't be the first time a car attempted to melt my face off though.

      • jeepjeff

        No rust in the PNW isn't that surprising. Puget Sound and the southwest corner of BC have basically the same climate as the Bay Area, just 10°F cooler and more cloudy and rainy days. It's an area that is generally very easy on cars. There isn't snow in the winter in the lowlands, and to the best of my knowledge, they don't salt the roads in the mountains.

        • Scandinavian Flick

          I was going to post the typical "The More You Know" image, but decided on this one instead.

          <img src=";

          Because Mariska Hagerty.

      • craigsu

        I lay partial blame on the Cash for Clunkers program. Far too many decent used cars (not just Volvos) were sacrificed under that program and used car prices rose accordingly.

    • FuzzyPlushroom

      Definitely past what I'd previously considered to be the high side for a '90, but given the condition and the work that's recently been done, it's not a totally stupid idea… particularly if you can talk him down a bit.

      740s just plain don't rust from '90ish onward, or 940s at all, aside from surface spots and the front subframe, so that's not a huge selling point in itself. It looks remarkably nice, regardless, and stick-shift cars are increasingly rare, as are those glorious seats…

      • stickmanonymous

        I've got a horrible feeling that I won't be able to talk him down given the bit about 'firm' and all the work that's been done. That, and I suck at negotiating.

        I'm just stoked with the fact that these Volvos don't rust, which is a big for me, considering that I'm north of 55 (degrees, that is). That, and they handle snow astonishingly well, especially with the non-slippy-diff and a set of snow tyres.

        I'm really good at selling cars to myself, obviously.

        • Alcology

          I think that guy is pretty good at selling cars too. That is how to do it on c-list. Plenty of information and pictures. At least go look at it for yourself so you don't kick yourself later! Remember, buying a car is all about what YOU want and what YOU are willing to pay. Seeking advice can only help your decision.

  • FЯeeMan

    And, now I know what a portal axle is. Thank you Redusernab!

    • Shamelessly stolen… <img src=http://i.imgur.com/WA3LS.jpg>

  • Good Lord, how hard would I hit that?! Very hard indeed, if, like, it still exsisted.

    I'd probably trick it up still further with a snorkel and a vertical exhaust stack. Gotta have a vertical exhaust stack.

    • Smells_Homeless

      Mariska Hargitay is just fine, I think. It's her mom that…

      Oh. I see what I've done here.

  • This magnificent machine got wrecked in a trailer accident? That's a crying shame.

  • craigsu

    Advertising yourself as the inventor of Autodesk on your Dakar entry would seem to be a great way to invite terrorists to kidnap you and hold you for ransom. It may be just as well this car didn't fare too well.

    • topdeadcentre

      Errr… hold you for ransom for what? Architects might offer some chardonnay and a really interesting cheese they learned about at a public library lecture about trapezoidal vestibules. Mech engineers might offer a sixpack or two. Sysadmins will insist that you can use Google Sketchup for free up in the cloud that the marketing folks keep insisting is better and free-er, right up until the cloud eats your files…

      I'd actually be surprised if terrorists had ever heard of Autodesk. They're not so much in the precision design space.

      [Apparently, Autodesk Inventor is the name of a software. No, I don't know what advantages it offers, as I'm a sysadmin, and we're not so much in the precision design space, either… 🙂 ]

  • pete

    Kamil, can you explain why you said "…the popularity of the raised XC which ironically lead to the demise of the V70…."? Please clue me in:
    Was the v70xc somehow superior to the xc70? I assumed it was improved in it's off-road ability when it became the xc70.
    Which is easier to put a lift kit on?
    Which was better stock?
    I am eyeballing these as a family safe transporter that can still handle snow storms and mountain trails.


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