It won't have escaped your attention that the old and interesting Volvos are now becoming increasingly expensive. It's that familiar triple threat: combine some competition history with dwindling numbers (thanks to advancing years) and values will climb. It's happened to Volvos, it's happened to other cars, and it will surely happen to many more, too.
So while in 2014 we featured not one, but two 850 T5 Sheds (at the old £1,000 budget), similar cars can now be found - far nicer examples, granted, but still Volvo 850s - for anything up to £20k. It seems that the days of cheap and interesting fast Volvos might be done, then, as the 850 plonks itself down comfortably in classic territory.
However, there is another way. While later wild wagons from Volvo may not have the competition provenance, the formula stayed very much the same: big power, big space, big speed. All in a handsome, usable, practical estate body - it's easy to see why they won so many fans.
What you're looking at here is a perfect example. This V70 T6 is more than a decade newer than any 850, but is recognisably cut from the same cloth as its illustrious predecessor. Crucially, too, as a car now more than a decade old as well it brings together modern, 21st century tech with traditional big-engine boost.
Today any Volvo, from a T4 to a T8, is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, with more power introduced higher up the range from a hybrid system. Of course that wasn't always the case; T4 meant turbocharged four-cylinder, T5 meant turbo five and T6 meant the same with six cylinders. Simple. This V70 T6 is one from the traditional naming structure time, meaning 285hp from a 3.0-litre straight-six with twin-scroll turbo.
Very nice. But improved further in this car with the fitment of a Polestar performance pack; yes, back when Polestar tuned Volvos and seemingly had ideas far less ambitious than today, this V70 was treated to some of its fettling. As a result it's now making 315hp which, while a small gain, does take it beyond that crucial 300hp threshold - and therefore the old V70 R flagship as well. Should be enough to make it pleasantly brisk, then, especially with 354lb ft as well.
Furthermore, this T6 is not an ex-police car (as so many must be) and, while the mileage is pretty considerable at 130k, it is supported by a substantial service history and receipts for recent repairs. Old, heavy, powerful cars are never going to be truly cheap to run, so it's nice to see previous owners have been willing to spend where required. Certainly the V70 is looking good on its miles, exterior seemingly unmarked and the inside showing only far less wear than you might expect.
So that makes this V70 rare, fast, subtle, spacious, practical and, it would seem, well cared for as well. The price? £7,500. As so few are around it's hard to know whether this represents good value for a T6 or not; given the niche appeal you would have to hope a reasonable offer might be accepted. For some sort of context, a Passat R36 with similar miles is currently for sale at £10k, an older V70 R approaching 100,000 miles is £7k and a very interesting Forester Turbo with STI bits available for £6.5k. Good luck finding any of the Germans with more than 300hp at this sort of money.
It's an interesting car then, the V70, one of the last exponents of the big engine, big car breed that did so much for the reputation of Volvo in the UK. It's hard to imagine it becoming a classic like the 850, but that doesn't mean to say it can't provide rapid, safe and cavernous family transport for a good while yet. Finally, if it's not quite accommodating enough, the same seller has a seven-seat V70 R available as well...
SPECIFICATION - VOLVO V70 T6
Engine: 2,953cc, straight-six turbo
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 285@5,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295@1,500-4,800rpm
First registered: 2007
Recorded mileage: 133,000
Price new: £35,430
Yours for: £7,500
(Spec for standard car)