Volvo P1800 - Jensen
1962 Volvo P1800 - Jensen Model - Full restoration completed in 2020
Fully-restored Jensen built 1962 Volvo P1800 with only 49924 miles on the odometer. The car left the Jensen factory in England on April 23rd, 1962.
We got the car as a true barn find as the car was found in dry Southern Oregon (near Northern California), where it had been hidden in an old barn for the last 26 years. The last owner had it for 26 years. The car has a clear Oregon, USA title.
The Jensen models (first 6000) has some unique features that were discontinued after VIN 6000. It's most famous for its uniquely styled interior, the side Volvo emblems and different cowl and grille surrounds.
VIN/Chassis number: P18395VA 3396
Odometer: 49924 miles
Engine: 2-liter B20
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.