Beginning with the 140 series, Volvo used a tri-digit nomenclature, indicating series, number of cylinders and number of doors. Thus, the series, which followed the Volvo Amazon and preceded the 200 series, consisted of the Volvo 142 sedan, 144 sedan, and 145 (estate). The 140 was the first Volvo to feature a more rectalinear or boxy styling. Compared to the Volvo Amazon, the 140 was a radical departure with minimal exterior and interior carryover, notably the front split grille.
The car's basic shape would survive into the 1990s as the 200 series. The first 140's used the same 85 hp (63 kW) B18 engine as the Amazon, with both cars later getting the 2 litre B20 engine. Mechanically, the car used many of the same drivetrain components as the Amazon, but also showcased many improvements, including disk brakes on all four wheels.
It was named car of the year in 1966 by Swedish magazine Teknikens. During the run of the 140 series, Volvo introduced the 164, which shared much of the 140 series structure and styling aft of the windshield while incorporating a 6-cylinder engine. Volvo produced a highroofed version of the Volvo 145 estate wagon known as an Express as a replacement for the Volvo Duett. However it found a niche market and several couchbuilder firms made "Express" versions of the 245. It's rear hatch was made in glass-reinforced plastic.
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