Volvo 1800 E
1971 Volvo P1800 E - full restoration, including engine rebuild, completed in April 2019
Fully-restored 1971 Volvo P1800 E with only 56,672 miles on the odometer. 0 miles on the engine after a full rebuild. The car retains its original Volvo 4-cylinder Bosch D-Jetronic fuel-injected 2.0-liter B20F engine making 130hp as well as its original 4-speed manual transmission. Restoration included engine, drivetrain, gearbox, interior, exterior, chassis, electric and much more.
Odometer: 56,672 miles
Engine: 4-cyl. 1986cc/130hp EFI, B20F
Transmission: 4-speed manual
History of the 1961-1973 Volvo P1800/1800S/1800E/1800ES:
Volvo was best known for making sturdy but somewhat stodgy sedans in the mold of the PV544 and the 122 Amazon. In the 1950s, Volvo flirted with a sports car with the fiberglass P1900, but the quality was miserable as were the driving dynamics of the car. Volvo took another stab at a sporty car with the P1800 in 1961.
Design of the car was until very recently attributed to Frua of Italy, but in reality, it was a family affair, done primarily by a then-young Pelle Pettersen the son of 544 designer Helmer Pettersen. The car at least looked Italian, very much a product of the 1950s rather than the 1960s with neat tail fins and a short greenhouse with a tall beltline. Early cars were assembled by Jensen in West Bromwich, England.
Quality of the Jensen-built cars was, however, not up to Volvo’s standards (and the cars were notoriously rust-prone) so production was shifted to Volvo’s Gothenburg plant in Sweden in 1963 and the model name transitioned from P1800 to 1800S. A few years later, 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. In 1970, the 1800E came with a host of changes including a new instrument panel.
The last major variant was the 1800ES, a two-door wagon with a glass tailgate. Nearly as lovely as the coupe, it remains one of the most successful variations on the sports wagon theme.
Today, parts support for Volvo 1800 remains good, and several specialists are available to take good care of owners.