SlickDizzy UltraDork
6/27/12 9:29 a.m.

Beginning research for the purchase of my next daily driver - $7k-ish is the target price. Was looking at BMW E46, Saab 9-3SS, etc when I came across a C70 5-speed. I forgot that they made a C70 with a stick. How are these as vehicles? You surely don't see a lot of them. I heard TWR was involved in the suspension design, and IPD has a fair amount of go-fast bits available, so how bad could they be? How would one compare to an E46, in particular?

jonnyd330 Reader
6/27/12 9:48 a.m.

I would go with an E46 over this. But I am biased.

dculberson Dork
6/27/12 9:58 a.m.

The C70 is basically the same platform as the 850/v70/s70. It's FWD and so has disadvantages there for a sporty car but the platform is a pretty dang good FWD one. Handling is good, ride is good, build quality good except it's prone to rattles. Everything that applies to an 850 or v/s70 applies to the c70 except it's got two fewer doors.

I don't know how it compares to an E46 since I've never had an E46. But I imagine that repair costs are lower. Check part prices between the two and see what you think. Would you be doing repairs yourself?

IPD's stuff is good quality and can really wake up a car. But the prices are not low. ("You get what you pay for," as they say.) A set of IPD sways and bilstein shocks, and you have a great handling car, I know that much!

jrw1621 PowerDork
6/27/12 10:54 a.m.

Like how the 780 looks to be a coupe version of the 740, but not... the early C70's look to be a coupe version of the S70. From what I remember reading, the earliest years of C70's were made at a different assembly plant. Drivetrain is the same but many feel that the overall build quality is less than the sedan/wagon. I have no source to cite but you may want to see if you can find a similar opinion elsewhere.

I will say, I find the early C70's to be very attractive.

bludroptop SuperDork
6/27/12 11:42 a.m.

I looked at them for a while but never did pull the trigger on one. It seemed like ragtops outnumbered coupes 4 to 1 and 90% were automatics, so a 5 speed coupe was what I wanted, of course. I ultimately decided I'd be happier with RWD and moved on.

I do like the way they look.

psteav HalfDork
6/27/12 12:40 p.m.

Funny, I've been considering a C70 stick locally myself....I imagine all the 850/S70 nightmare A/C evaporator problems all apply to the C70 as well?

SlickDizzy UltraDork
6/27/12 2:33 p.m.

It does definitely seem like convertibles outnumber coupes by a large margin. My research says that ~600 stick C70's made it into the US, which is about right for how many I'm finding for sale nationwide now (10). I will be doing self-maintenance, but I've owned a slew of BMWs, Saabs, and even the yes-they-are-that-bad Audis. I don't think turning wrenches on a Volvo will be an issue.

The E46 is the "well duh" candidate. The 9-3SS offers a 6-speed and better gas mileage for a similar or lower price than the BMW, and I'm one of those Saab-lovin' types anyways. The C70 is a curiosity because I've seen the 5-speeds come up for sale, I've never had anything against Volvos, and they're not terribly common. I agree that they are a handsome design. I wish 850 turbo 5-speeds were a real thing in the US, otherwise I'd be shopping those too.

11110000 Reader
6/27/12 2:42 p.m.

The C70 is a nice cruiser, and handles well, but it is not in the E46 league. It weighs slightly more than a comparable S70 sedan, but has a slightly wider rear track.

You could get them with the HPT (high pressure turbo) with 5spd or auto, or a LPT (low pressure turbo) auto only version. Like most turbo cars, they take to a bigger turbo, exhaust and ECU tuning quite well. The HPT versions can see close to 300HP before you worry about the rods bending. It a good chunk of car for the prices they command these days.

pinchvalve PowerDork
6/27/12 3:07 p.m.

They also run on salted cod.

Luke UberDork
6/28/12 4:56 a.m.

Forgive the tangent, but, have you seen the "getaway driver's" 7-series in the classifieds?

'88 5-speed 735i, w/ LSD.

CLNSC3 HalfDork
6/28/12 3:40 p.m.

In reply to pinchvalve:

mmmm lutefisk! gross.

CLNSC3 HalfDork
6/28/12 4:00 p.m.

My mother had a C70 convertible and IMO that thing was a POS. The chassis was a wet noodle even for a drop top, the top got stuck halfway open once..that was an interested tow to the dealer, the suspension was wallowy garbage, i could keep going. Long story short I talked her into selling it and buying a miata.

I have zero experience with coupe however!

Shaun HalfDork
6/28/12 5:02 p.m.
SlickDizzy wrote: I wish 850 turbo 5-speeds were a real thing in the US, otherwise I'd be shopping those too.

The MY 1998 S70 T-5 & V70 T-5 came from the factory with a row your own 5 speed. They pop up frequently enough.

Here is one (Swedish rice warning):

Shaun HalfDork
6/28/12 5:03 p.m.
psteav wrote: Funny, I've been considering a C70 stick locally myself....I imagine all the 850/S70 nightmare A/C evaporator problems all apply to the C70 as well?


BAMF Reader
6/28/12 9:23 p.m.

Val Kilmer drove one in The Saint. Look what that did to his career.

car39 HalfDork
6/29/12 7:30 a.m.

The first year were junk junk junk. The first customer that bought one from us had it 28 days before it was bought back as a lemon, and that was the rule, not the exception. TWR had no business building production cars, and it showed. The later ones, especially the coupes were rock solid. We had a black stick coupe stolen off the showroom floor by a person under the influence. It was recovered a couple of miles down the road with a lot of scratches and nicks, since the showroom doors were closed when the car went thru them. Took the car as a demo for a few months, rock solid, smooth, some days wish I still had it.

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