Ever since the 120 series had been launched, Volvo had been studiously cultivating its reputation as a maker of reliable and comfortable cars, with the emphasis always on safety.

The Volvo 144 was launched at a specially convened press conference in the company’s head office in Gothenburg.

Volvo had reportedly been planning to bring in a replacement for the long-running Amazon series for some time, reportedly spending around six years in research, development and design before taking the covers off their new model.

With the arrival of the 144, production of the 122 was discontinued in Europe although production of this trendsetter did continue in Volvo’s other plants spread across the globe.

The 144 series were powered by the same 1783 cc four-cylinder engine that had powered its predecessor, matched up to a four-speed manual transmission.

The suspension was also carried over from the Amazon (with a few modifications)

Unlike the 122 in appearance, the 144’s design was based around a more rectangular styling, with the only possible resemblance being in the car’s front split grille.

While the Swedish motor media were impressed with the 144 series’ clean lines, they did express some misgiving on how the local market would adjust to this new the square-cut, angular look.

This was a far cry from the curvy PV-series and 120-series cars, 140-series was a significant departure.

Volvo carried on their policy of introducing as many aspects of car safety that they could in the 144.

Among these features were a collapsible steering column, rear seat belt mountings and stronger locks to prevent the doors flying open in the event of an accident.

Added to the safety features from the 122, the 144 was incredibly safe and durable and soon proved to be a hit.

The Volvo 140 series remained in production until the mid-Seventies, during which time just over a million and a quarter models were sold, with the sedan outselling the estate at a ratio of four to one.

The 144 series was replaced by the 244 in 1974, with Volvo’s policy of “ carrying forward ” as many components as they could once again continuing, with the same chassis being used as the basis for both models.

The 240, would go on to become Volvo’s bestselling vehicle of all time, with most of its design and production formulas taken from its predecessors, as well as its award-winning safety features.

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