Volvo 1800 ES
1972 Volvo 1800 ES – full restoration completed in January 2019
Fully-restored 1972 Volvo 1800 ES with the original 4-cylinder fuel-injected engine and 4-speed manual transmission with overdrive. Only 106,391 miles on the odometer. Great care was taken to restore the car to factory original, including is originally factory red color and black interior. The restoration include and full cosmetic and mechanical restoration and the car starts, drives and stops like new. The car is coming out of long-term Danish ownership and has Danish title and registration dating back to 1990.
Odometer: 106,391 miles
Chassis Number: 1836353-002622
Data & place of manufacture: May 1972, Gothenburg, Sweden
Engine: B20E with correct Bosch electronic fuel injection, 130 hp
Transmission: Correct M41 four-speed with Laycock de Normanville overdrive
Drive: Left-hand drive
Brakes: Model correct four-wheel disc brakes
Color Code: Volvo code 46 (red)
Upholstery Code: Volvo code 440-815 (black seats and door trim, red carpet)
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 the 1800 remains good, and several specialists are available to take good care of owners.