Volvo 262C Bertone

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Volvo 262C Bertone

1977 - 1981
2664 cc
104 kW
3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
170 km/h
Number Built:
3 star
Flagship of the Volvo range during the early 1980’s was the 262C Bertone-designed and assembled coupe, based on the mechanicals of the 264 GLE.

The priced at over $30000, the 262C was almost twice as expensive as the sedan from which it is derived, and for the extra coin you got the most distinctive of the Volvo range, Bertone badges, and a luxurious 2 + 2 interior.

Few would have known then however that the 262C Bertone would become an instant classic and is today highly prized and very collectable. Powered by the same Peugeot-Renault-Volvo co-operative fuel-injected V6 engine that was in the lesser 264 and 265 GLE’s, the engine was manufactured in Dourvin, France.

Coupled with the automatic three-speed transmission, it provided good performance as well as modest fuel consumption. The suspension setup was totally conventional, with MacPherson. struts up front and a live axle suspended on coil springs at the rear. Body roll was kept to a minimum with stabiliser bars at the back and front.

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering was standard, and allowed the car always to be placed accurately on the road.

The flagship Volvo offered safe and predictable handling on all surfaces, while the four-wheel disc brakes complemented the on-road security of the vehicle. Ride comfort was good, but some criticism was directed at the performance of the rather dated rear live axle.

The 262C was assembled in Turin, Italy, under the exacting eyes of Nuccio Bertone. High quality Italian leather was used to cover the seats, trim the doors, and even cover the sun-visors.

Genuine elm veneer was also used on door panels. Standard equipment included cruise control, heated bucket seats, a power radio antenna, dual swivel map lights, and a rear seat cigarette lighter. Power windows, power remote-controlled rear-view mirrors, air-conditioning, and electric rear window defroster were also provided. The standard alloy wheels were shod with high performance Michelin or Pirelli tires.

Like all Volvos, the body of the 262C included a utilised central safety passenger cage. Rust-proofing was extensive with the use of galvanised steel in susceptible areas, anti-corrosive coating inside doors, extensive undercoating, and special stone-chip resistant paint, meaning thankfully that many have survived to this day.

At the time, the exclusive Volvo was not for everyone, as its high price was really not justified by the level of sophistication offered. Moreover, many thought Bertone's styling exercise left much to be desired, deeming that the large sedan body mated poorly with the low roofline, while the landau side windows looked very much an afterthought.

Maybe they were right, but they forgot one important thing – the individuality of the design and exclusivity of the price would ensure it remained the most desirable of the Volvo’s.

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Volvo History and Heritage
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