Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Car Of The Day: March 9, 2011
Today's car of the day is Zylmex's 1986 Volvo 760 GLE.
The Volvo 700 and 900 series are two ranges of mid-size car manufactured by Volvo Cars in the 1980s and 1990s. The 700 series was introduced in 1982, followed in 1990 by the 900 series. The 700, designed by Jan Wilsgaard, was originally to have been a replacement for the 200 series, but production of that model continued.
The most visible differences between the 700 and the 900 series were the more rounded corners on the body of the latter, and a somewhat better-appointed interior. The 960 was substantially revised for the 1995 model year, improving the handling. The range was first augmented and finally supplanted by the Volvo 850 in 1993, with the last of the 900s being sold in 1998. Some 900 series were built as chassis for ambulances and hearses after the main production run had been completed. This series, ending with the 940, S90 and V90 were the last of the rear wheel drive cars from Volvo.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Volvo 760 GLE
Volvos didn't get a whole lot of attention in small scale until the 760 GLE debuted. There are more replicas of this model than any other Volvo model. In addition the the Zylmex seen here, models were done by Matchbox, Yat Ming, Maisto, Corgi, Summer, and more.
The 760 was Volvo's attempt to cement a place in the prestige market, after building a reputation for being solid and safe rather than out-and-out luxurious cars. Jan Wilsgaard, head of Volvo's Design and Styling team, proposed over 50 new designs for the new car. It was introduced to the US in 1982 for the 1983 model year as the 760 GLE sedan. This new design was criticized by the media when released: Gordon Murray of Autocar Magazine said, "To me it's obscene! That goes right against the grain of what everybody else is trying to do. To me it looks like a European version of a North American car. It produces the same amount of power as a 2600 or 3500 — in this day and age it disgusts me to see something about like that. It's a definite step backwards." All that changed however when Autocar and Car & Driver got their hands on a turbo intercooled 760; they said it was one of the best handling and fastest accelerating cars they had seen in a while, thundering from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in under 8 seconds.
Turbocharged and intercooled variants were added in 1984, station wagon variants and the 740 – the 760's lower-specification sibling – were introduced for the 1985 model year. In 1985 Electronic Traction Control system was introduced. For the 1988 model year, the 760 received numerous updates. From the outside, the most noticeable of the over 2,000 changes were the revised front sheetmetal, including an aluminium hood, recessed windscreen wipers, and new aerodynamic headlights. Inside, all 760s were equipped with a new electronic climate control (ECC), a revised dashboard, three-position tilt steering, and a new stereo system. Underneath, sedans received the same multi-link independent rear suspension that was used on the 780. Along with the revised dash, the interior saw the addition of a revised dome light and many fabric accent pieces.
The Volvo 760 was also used as a police car in several countries. East German leader Erich Honecker also often used this Volvo in his governmental car pool.
For its final year of production, 1990, 760 sedans received tail lights in the style of the Volvo 780 (see below), and minor interior changes. The 760 was discontinued after the 1990 model year (with production ending on 27 June 1990), and was replaced by the Volvo 960, an evolutionary update of the 760 chassis. The Volvo 740 outlived the 760, remaining for another two years.
All 760s were built in Kalmar, Sweden, or Ghent, Belgium.