780s were fairly similar, with limited technical changes over the years (see technical info for year over year changes). But in 1989, in preparation for the 1990 Detroit International Motor Show, the Volvo team in the US, based in Rockleigh NJ, created a 780 “concept car”. Volvo’s press release described the car:
“The striking looking pearlescent white Volvo 780 has been designed to call attention to Volvo’s Generation 3 Turbo engine. A new small diameter turbocharger, a more efficient exhaust manifold and recalibrated engine management system give all 1990 Volvo Turbos quicker response than ever before. The 2.3 liter turbo engine installed in the 780 includes a “Turbo +” System which boosted the output to 188 hp from 162 hp, making it the most powerful Volvo engine ever put in a production car.”
From 1989 until around 2001, this car sat in a Volvo warehouse in Rockleigh. It was then listed and sold to a woman who lived in California. She was a flight attendant and lived in the San Francisco area. She payed around $18,000 for it and kept this unique 780 as a daily driver until 2003. I had a chance to drive the car when it was in San Francisco, inspecting it as a potential buyer. The car was impressive with it’s body colored molding and custom made front, side and rear spoiler. But, it was a rather ordinary 780 on the inside with a basically fully stock interior.
The car has appeared twice on Craigslist in the last few years. The custom wheels are no longer on the car and it was recently resold for around $4,500 with some 118,000 miles on it.
Update…. The car was found in 2016! It was a few days away from being crushed at an impound yard in California. It was purchased and is now in Idaho awaiting full restoration. The years it spent on the Pacific coast left some rust. The show wheels have also been located and are also being restored. More of the story yet to be written!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you know any updates on the car.