A rare Volvo 262C previously owned by rock legend David Bowie has sold at auction in Switzerland for an incredible 212,800 Swiss Francs (£160,735) including fees – nearly three times its top estimate.
Intended for the American market, the Volvo 262C was built by Italian design house Bertone as a rival to the likes of the Cadillac Eldorado. Like us, Bowie appears to have been a fan of its Italian-Swedish charm, ordering one of the final models before production ended in 1981. It was delivered to his base in Switzerland in June 1981 and registered in Bowie’s real name (David Robert Jones) before ownership was later officially transferred to his record company, the Bewlay Bros.
As a 1981 262C, the Volvo 200-based coupe lacks the desirable (in our opinion) vinyl roof of earlier models but it retains other 262C features: its 2.8-litre V6 engine co-developed by Volvo, Peugeot and Renault (producing 155hp in this guise) as well as, of course, that 2+2 Bertone styling. Standard kit was extensive, including a leather interior, cruise control and alloy wheels, while Bowie opted for a three-speed automatic gearbox and splashed out on a Volvo hi-fi system with Blaupunkt speakers.
With just 53,000km (33,000 miles) on the clock, the ex-Bowie Volvo 262C was described by the auctioneers as being in “very good and well maintained original condition” – slightly underwhelming considering the staggering £160,000 price tag. For an old Volvo.
The car’s rarity – not to mention celebrity owner – will no doubt have helped its value, though. Just 6,620 were ever produced, with most destined for the US.