Volvo P1800 - Jensen
1962 Volvo P1800 - Jensen Model
Original early production Jensen build Volvo P1800 with the original 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission. The Jensen models (first 6000) has some unique features that were discontinued after 6000 was produced. The car is most famous for its uniquely styled interior, bullhorn bumpers, egg-crate grille, license plate light, front parking lights, C-pillar badges, fresh air grill, and chrome.
VIN/Chassis number: 2090
Engine: 1.8-liter B18
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Color Codes: Volvo Red (70), White interior (302)
History of the 1961-1973 Volvo P1800/the 1800S/1800E/1800ES:
Volvo was best known for making sturdy but somewhat stodgy sedans in 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 car's driving dynamics. Volvo took another stab at a sporty car with the P1800 in 1961.
The design of the car was until very recently attributed to Frua of Italy. Still, in reality, it was a family affair, done primarily by a then-young Pelle Pettersen, the son of 544 designer Helmer Pettersen. The car 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.
Jensen assembled early cars in West Bromwich, England. The quality of the Jensen-built cars was, however, not up to Volvo’s standards (and the vehicles 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.