By Andy Bannister
Last time this happened, in the fuel crisis of the mid-1970s, some unusual vehicles hit the market. Earlier this week I was in Geneva in Switzerland and came across a well-preserved example of one of the strangest examples from that era, in the shape of the Volvo 66.
Nowadays Volvo has quite a broad range, although sales are falling and Ford is apparently struggling to decide what to do with the brand it acquired a few years ago. Back in the mid-1970s, however, it was effectively a one-model independent Swedish company, selling big and resolutely square saloons and estates which were extremely vulnerable to a change in buyer preferences.
With no prospect of quickly developing its own smaller car, Volvo’s management decided to look at buying in a model from elsewhere, and its eyes settled on DAF, a Dutch producer which since 1959 had been selling small two-door notchbacks with an innovative continuously variable transmission (CVT, more commonly known by the DAF trademark Variomatic) which certanly wasn’t to everyone’s taste. Continue Reading →