Paul Newman’s ’88 Volvo 740 Turbo: GNX Engine, Big Price

Old Actor’s Volvo w/ Engine Swap Sells High

Paul Newman was an American actor, film director, and race car driver who had a penchant for fast cars. He was particularly fond of the Volvo 740 Turbo wagon, which he bought new in 1988. Not content to keep it as it was, Newman swapped out the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and replaced it with the turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 from a Buick Regal GNX. The fact that the turbo was stamped as a ‘Volvo V6 Turbo’ was a nice touch.

Replacing the original drivetrain with a Borg-Warner five-speed manual transmission, Newman also added a Volvo Aero-style kit to the car. 35 years and several hands later, this vehicle was auctioned off recently via Bring A Trailer for a hefty $80,740.

At the time of purchasing, Newman would have been 63 years old. His Volvo no longer served as a tedious and humble 154-horsepower family transport, but rather as a souped-up 300-ish horsepower stealthy car. At the moment, the specifications for the later model Buick Grand Nationals were 276 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque, though it was a very well-known secret among automobile connoisseurs that GM purposefully understated this in order to avoid dampening the excitement of other Chevrolet Corvette owners. More modern Volvos are actually capable of outperforming those stats – the V60 Recharge provides 415 hp along with 494 lb-ft of torque all courtesy of its supercharger, turbo, and hybrid aid.

The evidence providing substantiation of the fact that Paul Newman acquired this Volvo is a copy of the initial Connecticut ownership title registered in his name. The vendor who only recently put the auto up for sale has his residence in Illinois, and incorporated a Centerforce Performance clutch module, hydraulic disengagement bearing, plus a completely new restricted-slip differential.

Dressed in a glossy dark grey coat, boasting 16-inch five-spoke Gemini rims, and presenting an immaculate black leather interior, this sleeper car is ready to be used every day. With its easily collapsible third row seating and spacious trunk space, it presents extraordinary practicality for whomever is lucky enough to possess it.

We venerate antique Volvo wagons, yet won’t spend above $80,000 on one, even if Paul Newman had possessed it. For this reason we can’t prevent feeling envious of its current proprietor. Nevertheless, untransformed and non- renowned owner-operated versions are accessible, with sufficient room in their engine bays to perform modern motor exchanges. That’s something to consider.

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