The Bertone-Designed Volvo

I love it when run-of-the-mill cars are transformed by design houses into something a little more special. Case in point, this Bertone-designed Volvo 780

Volvo’s first collaboration with Bertone was in 1977 when the Swedish automaker asked the Italian designer to take a 260 sedan and transform it into a two-door coupe. The 262C was an awkward-looking creation with a drastically lowered roof – vinyl-clad for the US market – but it brought with it a new level of luxury never before seen in a Volvo.

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Fast forward almost 10 years and that collaboration spawned the 262C’s successor, the car you see here.

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The 780 was produced for four years between 1986 and 1990, and aside from that unmistakable front grille, there weren’t many other details that told you this was a Volvo.

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In fact, I think it looks far more like a Maserati Biturbo than anything from Sweden, especially around the windows. I was surprised to see such a rarity on display at Volvo’s Nostalgic 2 Days booth.

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The Bertone badges on the C-pillars tell you all you need to know, just in case you can’t figure out what you are looking at. To sculpt the car’s more sporty profile, the hood, roof and trunk lines were all lowered with the C-pillars sporting substantial width.

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These cars were designed to offer a more luxurious feel with better appointed cabins, leather-clad seats and trim, and wood inserts on the beautifully angular dash.

15-inch rims with appropriately ’80s-sized tyre sidewalls make for the perfect combo, and this particular car seemed to sit surprisingly well with a lowered ride height and some spacers to push the wheels out a tad.

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The 780’s successor was the C70 which went out of production (the second gen of the car, that is) in 2013.

Now under Chinese ownership Volvo is churning out some interesting and captivating designs, but after seeing the 780 we can’t help but wonder if a sporty coupe will also be created in the future.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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30 comments

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1

I wanted to buy one of those a few years ago, but the guydidn't want to sell. Great looking cars indeed.
But now that you've opened people's eyes, prices for these will skyrocket too.
Thanks Dino :D Joking.

Author2
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha I can't be held responsible for that!! ;)

3

looks like an audi

4

It does!

5

Well, here you go:
Volvo Concept Coupe and Volvo/Polestar 1 wil arrive in the near future.
These cars tick the same boxes as the 780 did in it's days.

Author6
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Can't wait to see it

7

Bang tidy.

8

Italian designed Swedish brick, always love this brick... I don't like Bertone's 262C due to chop top & more slanted windshield, but this one is just... to me it's up there as good as a Koenigsegg Regera.

Author9
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Needs a twin turbo V8 swap, maybe camless heads :D

10

Twin Turbo'd Volvo B8444S (4.4L V8) w/ Koenigsegg's Camless heads, because why not?

11

Yeah, but does it have those weird, Volve sliding door handles???

12

i bet it has.. its an old Volvo afterall

Author13
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I have no idea what you are talking about

14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEqI-fTNdJ0

0:06 is a picture of the paddle, but sadly I can't find a video of it in use.

15

My mother drove an early '90s 850 turbo. The doors open from the inside by sliding a paddle on the door like 4inches. Quirkiest thing about that car for sure. A picture would be better than my poor description though, lol.

16

My dad had a 91 940se I forgot about the door handles until now.

17

Never seen anything like it elsewhere lol.

18

looks like a biturbo had a baby with an E30....
I WANT IT

Author19
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Haha that's actually pretty accurate :D

20

cool car..but i like the 262C's swedish led sled vibe more.

Author21
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I didn't feel the roof-chop look of the thing

22

Holy crap I am actually geeking out so hard, you've done a feature on one of my favorite semi-obscure dream cars! No joke, I've been craigslist-hunting these for months. I fell for Volvos as a kid in my aunt's 850 and subsequent V70 wagons but the 780 Bertone is the tops for me. It's a classic brick Volvo morphed with an E30 BMW, what's not to love? I have dreams of putting one on Compomotives with box fenders and Porsche 930-style painted bumpers and million-miling it as a perfect 80's grand tourer. Someday. . .

If any of y'all ever catch an AMC Eagle at a show or parking lot meet, spotlight the shit out of it :P

Author23
Dino Dalle Carbonare

If you ever do get one and build it, mail me ;)

24

I am the happy owner of a 89 760 GLE saloon. It shares a lot with the 780, but at the time the later was 50% more expensive than the already not cheap 760. The 780 was also more expensive than a 911, 300SL or Range Rover were I live. With the Italian 780 rust is more an issue than with the later 760's.

25
Jone Klemo Øverland

I'm pretty sure i visited a garage with three of these hidden under covers here in Norway last year. 2 grey and a blue one.

Author26
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Damn!

27

The new Volvo C90 that has been renamed to "Polestar 1" looks again beautifull. A bit 0f P1800, some 780, some S90/V90… Now only making a proper shooting break of it. (Remember P1800ES?)

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Author28
Dino Dalle Carbonare

Oh damn that's the first time I see this. Looks very nice!

29

Really? Here on the European websites it has gotten already a lot of attention.

30

There is so much E30 in this volvo

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