by Mike –
Today it is the Volvo 1800 series.
Sturdy and boring is usually what we think of when the name Volvo comes up. The 1800 series changed that.
The Volvo 1800 project was led by an engineering consultant to Volvo, Helmer Petterson, who was responsible for the Volvo PV444 in the 1940s. The design was done by Helmer’s son Pelle Petterson, who worked at the Italian firm Frua at that time.
The tail fins looked more 1950s than 1960s but were stylish and fit the car nicely. The first few thousand cars were assembled by Jensen in West Bromwich, England.
Quality of the Jensen-built cars was not up to Volvo’s standards and production was moved to Volvo’s Gothenburg plant in Sweden in 1963 and the model name was changed from P1800 to 1800S (‘S’ for Sweden).
In 1969, the original 1.8-liter B18 engine was replaced with the 2.0-liter B20 for an added 18 hp. Both engines came with dual, English-made SU carburetors.
The last major model was the 1800ES, a two-door station wagon (shooting brake) with a glass tailgate.
1,778 cc B18 I4
1,986 cc B20B/E/F I4
4-speed M40 manual
4-speed M41 manual with Laycock overdrive
3-speed Borg-Warner 35 automatic
The Volvo 1800 was featured in the TV series “The Saint” staring Roger Moore as Simon Templar. Like James Bond and the Aston Martin this exposure helped Volvo’s image.
The Volvo 1800 is not fast or dangerous but it is stylish and an attention getter.
Number made: 39,407 coupes and 8,078 station wagons (shooting brake) from 1961–1973.
Hagerty Price Guide value for a condition 2 example: $19,600 to $23,800 for the coupe depending on the model.
Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide median price: $10,000 to $20,900 for the P1800, 1800S and 1800E.
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