The Official 1975-1993 Volvo 240 Spotters Guide
We get questions all the time from folks wondering what year a particular feature was added, or when, say, the front clip of a 240 had a certain headlight confirmation… well wonder no more, here is the official guide to correctly identify a Volvo 240!
1975 - First year for 240 body style (still B20 motor w/ K-jet) last year for 164 (B-30) 1976 - First year for B21F (US), B27F 1977 - First Lambda-Sond engines (Calif.) 1978 - First year for 242-GT, 260 models. Revised (thicker) front seats 1979 - Body restyled: softer rear tail lights and front grills, trunk lid changed from flat to curved; lock moved from below to trunk lid. Revised shift linkage M45/M46 transmission. Some models get new rotary-type knob AC temperature control. 1980 - Model designation no longer 240 nor uses last number in 240 ("24X")(Official model designation now "DL, GL" etc.) First year B21F, B28F, GL models. First year for D24 DIESEL. Last year for 242-GT. Outside mirrors change from chrome to black plastic. 1981 - All 240s now with quad square head lights w/ black trim under lights, Revised instrument panel, dash, center console area. New wraparound taillights on 245 appear. 1982 - First year for "240-GLT" and 240-Turbo. Reflector trim under headlights appears; Grille re-styled, now chrome on GL Revised 1st gear ratio (4.09:1) on M46 transmission; 1st year AW70/AW71 4-speed auto transmission w/ L-Jetronic injection. Some DL have 3-speed auto and K-Jetronic.) Last year for 260 series V6. 1983 - First year for B23F. Group A "Homologated" (Flathood) Turbo model introduced. 1984 - Last year for 242. Last year for 240 Diesel. Bumpers | streamlined (closer to body, side extensions longer); First year for galvanization; Front air dam now on DL; Black trim pieces under windows on all models. 1984.5- 240-Turbo equipped with intercooler 1985 - First B230F; Last year for 240/245 Turbo (U.S.); Wagon tail lights get rear fogs added (top lens brake lights become fog lights) 1986 - 240 restyled: new lower body plastic guards, fenders, grill. Rear plastic mudflaps now molded into the rear bodywork. Front turnsignals are made smaller. New dish hubcap with fins; "Bustle" trunk lid. New rear lower valance panel (hitch and exhaust area). Solid panel replaces former slotted panel. First rear high-mount stop lamps; Radio moved to upper dash; New black plastic tailgate handle. First year for 240 large "TV screen" composite headlamps. 1987 - 5-speed M47 transmission introduced (avail earlier in Europe) 1989 - Last year for "GL" in 240 model designation. 1990 - 240 equipped with driver's air bag. "SRS" on steering wheel center hub and SRS test panel port on central switch panel between rear defrost and hazard switch (also labeled "SRS"); New full plastic wheelcover; 245 tailgate window molding: heavy bright recessed surround molding replaced, enlarged glass panel. Tailgate glass now flush-mounted with thin black molding. Rear washer nozzle moved to top center of tailgate. Antenna moved from windshield pillar to rear of cars; Roof rack on wagons changed from 1960's "chrome-dream" style to more modern design. 1991 - 240-SE limited edition model introduced. "DL" dropped from 240 model designation. 240 windshield bright heavy outside windshield molding replaced with black flush- mount type. AC controls: rotary type control knob replaced with rocker type switch with illuminated blue "snowflake" symbol. New GM type AC system. Cooling fan in front of radiator for increased AC efficiency can be seen behind grille. Radio now has anti-theft coding, changes in radio controls and appearance. 240 auto transmission now has shift interlock (depress brake to shift from park). Transmission indicator bezel has printed instructions indicating button to defeat interlock; Minor changes in wheel covers. "Volvo" emblem now integral part of wheel cover; not a separate "stick-on" emblem. 1992 - "GL" 240 model resurfaces in 244; grille switched from chrome finish to black finish; door handles, bodyside door moldings now all black finish. GL has heated outside mirror option w/dash switch for same on central console with mirror symbol on switch. Different horns can be seen behind grille; ABS now standard equipment; 244 "GL" model dropped. Radio now has 20W amplifier standard. 1993 - Heated power mirrors now standard on 240; Radio now has 6 speakers, (addition of two small "tweeters" on upper rear doors); New auto trans shift indicator surround/bezel. 240 "Classic" limited edition model introduced. HEADLIGHTS 2-round headlight: 1975-77 244 DL/GL, 245 DL; 1975-80 242 DL/GT 4-round headlight: 1976-77 264 DL/GL, 262 GL, 265 DL/GL; 1978-80 244/245 DL 4-square headlight: 1978 264/265 GL, 262C; 1979-82 260; 1980 240 GL; 1981-85 240 Current composites: 1986-on TAILLIGHTS 1975-78 early narrow square pod tail lights - 240 series (common with 73 164, 73-74 140) 1976-78 early extended square tail lights - 260 series (common with 75 164E) 1975-80 early wagon strip tail lights - 240/260 1979-83 later smooth tail lights - 240 series (DL) 1979-82 later increased area taillights (no rear fog) - 260 series, 1980-84 later increased area taillights GL 1984 later increased area taillights DL 1981- New wagon wraparound tailights (no rear fog) 1985- Later wide tail lights (w/ rear fog in upper lens) 1985- New wagon taillights w/rear fog in upper lens (previously, these upper lenses were the brake lamps. When the fogs were added, the lower lenses became the brake lamps shared with the taillights)