My Car Quest

December 13, 2018

The Volvo P1800 Is On My List

by Mike –

I have a list and I suspect you all have a list too. The list I am talking about is the list of cars I want to own before it is too late.

Some cars I keep for many years, others stay around only a year or two but at least I know what it was like to have owned and driven that model. One of those was a Ferrari 550 Maranello, which was in my garage for only one year but for that year it was my daily driver. We blasted around California on weekend trips in that silver bullet and logged a little more than 8,000 miles having fun the whole time.

Ferrari 550 Maranello

Ferrari 550 Maranello

We also put about 3,000 miles on an Aston Martin DB7 over about three years and later the same for an Aston Martin Vantage V8. The record ownership time for me belongs to the 1996 Porsche 911 Carerra that I bought new and still have after nearly 20 years.

Aston Martin DB7

Aston Martin DB7

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Porsche 911

1996 Porsche 911

No one needs to explain why they buy a Bizzarrini GT 5300 or an Iso Grifo but some cars may raise questions from friends and family. One of those is the Volvo P1800 sports coupe. It is small and not so fast (88 MPH top speed) and has an unusual shape.

I don’t need speed all the time but style is important and this Volvo has style. It is on my list.

Volvo P1800

Volvo P1800

Let us know what you think in the Comments and let us know what cars are on your list.

Volvo P1800

Volvo P1800

Volvo P1800 advertisement

Volvo P1800

Volvo P1800

Summary
The Volvo P1800 Is On My List
Article Name
The Volvo P1800 Is On My List
Description
The Volvo P1800 has style and I want one.
Author

Comments

  1. Thom Ollinger says:

    Michael, were the P1800’s bodies built elsewhere? Maybe England? It seems there was some interesting history, there. Very interesting their ad compares it to some of the greatest automobile ever built. The nerve!

    • Thom,

      For the first couple of years Jensen built the P1800 in England (about 6,000 cars) with the body shells made by Pressed Steel in Scotland.

      In 1963 they moved production to Volvo in Sweden and the model designation was changed to 1800S. The S stands for Sweden.

  2. It is unusually Pretty for the Swedes and should definitely be owned driven by anyone who appreciates its styling (I do). What’s interesting and is purely on the non-automotive, speculative end, is how every other car in that Volvo ad is now worth anything from 50x to 150x its original list price. The mass produced Volvo costing 20%-30% of those cars when new? an 8x multiplier at best.

  3. My Great-Grandmother Pauline amassed quite a lot of money in her time and bought one of these, and some Cadillacs, a Lincoln, and some other luxury cars. She even drove my Grandfather, a high schooler at the time, all the way to Pittsburgh in it. ( They lived in Montana at the time. )

  4. Update: Apparently she also had a Triumph.

  5. morris glasser says:

    In 1981 I had bought a house and my wife (now ex wife) wanted a pool it was going to be $25K. I wanted a fly yellow 1974 GTS it too was about $25K……….Needless to say the 246GTS is still on my list…

  6. John in Fargo says:

    I like the P1800/1800S, but WANT a P1800ES.

  7. Hi Mike, Just came across your post. Check this 1972 Volvo P1800E Sport Coupe out: http://classicshowcase.com/index.php/inventory/detail/494
    It just finished getting cleaned up and is ready to hit the road.

  8. OK, when it comes to style, it’s “to each his own”. I want to know how the A-M’s, the 550, and the Porsche compared as drivers. I have driven the 550, but have no experience with the others (but might like to). The many varieties of the Porsche are daunting, but I love the look of yours. I have had several Dino 246’s, and love how they drive. I found the 550 more like a Daytona, with a heavy clutch and heavy feel.

    • Ed,

      The Ferrari 550 Maranello is a terrific driving car. With the long hood and short truck lid it is similar to the Daytona or Iso Grifo. The 550 is fast, easy to drive and comfortable. The V12 engine makes a wonderful noise.

      The Aston Martin DB7 is a timeless beauty also with a terrific V12 that is not quite as powerful as the 550. The DB7 is an older design but AM made up for this with handmade elegance. The problem I had with the DB7 is the cabin space – my head constantly touched the headliner and I was always cramped.

      The Aston Martin Vantage V8 was a new design at the time (2006) and also is a beauty. AM figured out that there were people taller than 5’ 10” so they made the cabin large enough for me (I am 6’1″). The problem I had was there was not enough power or torque and so the acceleration off the line was not what I wanted but once it got going it was fast and AM was able to get a great sound from their V8.

      The ’96 Porsche 911 (type 993) is the pinnacle of the Porsche air-cooled engine model line. This Carerra is quick, handles very well, has great brakes and is easy to drive. It is reliable and fun. I am amazed how many looks this 911 gets in parking lots and on the street because they are not rare but are still appreciated and sought after. I am the only owner and it is close to 20 years since I picked it up new.

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