I photographed the Volvo 740 GL pictured below on the outskirts of Boston, Massachusetts, a couple of weeks ago. It’s not too far gone — it’s certainly much cleaner than many of the cars we typically feature in our rust in peace series — but a closer inspection reveals that it hasn’t moved from this very spot in at least a few months.
What’s interesting is why it ended up there. Coolant and oil bottles in the passenger footwell suggest the 740’s engine was near or at the end of its life, especially since it didn’t seem to be leaking anything. Odds are it was burning oil, coolant, or both before it was parked, which suggests the start of a headgasket failure. Taking automotive archaeology a step further, it looks like the failure happened relatively fast because there’s a brand new corner light on the rear parcel shelf that hasn’t been installed yet.