Tuesday, September 3, 2013

10k: 1966 Volvo 1800S, Minty Green

From Jan. 1 2013: The Volvo 1800 series of sporty two-doors is one of DT's favorite models to feature, if you haven't noticed by now. We love the classic Italian-ish styling of the coupe and the funky vibe of the ES shooting brake equally in their own different ways. Today we've found a very presentable 1966 coupe, which looks great in its pistachio inspired rare original light green color. Being an 1800S model, build quality was improved from the earlier Jensen-built P1800 cars; by this time production had moved and the 1800 was bolted together by Sven and Stig in Sweden. This one needs a bit of attention but seems like a solid platform to build on and improve. It's advertised here on craigslist in Towson, Maryland for $8400 firm. Fix a few things, put on some comfortable driving shoes and shades, and hit the road!

Update, Sept. 3 2013: This car is back up for sale here on ebay with the same pictures, for $10,900 Buy it Now or Make Offer. Assuming this is the same owner as the previous ad and it did not sell for $8400, we are wondering whether the $2500 bump in asking price is justified by any recent work done to the car, or whether it just reflects the recent up-trend in the 1800 market. This car has been for sale for almost two years by our count; with any luck there's some room for negotiation in that price.

Daily Turismo's own stable of oddball vehicles includes a twin to this car - another '66 1800S that was originally this same rare shade of #91 light green. It has many thick layers of peeling black paint over that original coat though, and we are in the process of rust repair and bodywork. It will eventually be repainted in the original color and we hope it looks as good as this one when it's done. Pistachio power!

We like the setting this seller's photographs were taken in, and wonder if this is a public courtyard or the guy's house. Either way, the bricks, Tudor architecture, fountain & carriage lend a nice setting to the images, especially with the fall leaves. Aesthetically the car looks great with it's earlier Jensen P1800 "cow catcher" front bumper swap, and presentable paint and trim. There are allegedly a few minor rust bubbles appearing under the paint and a rusted-out jack point under the car - so buyer beware as rust always has a way of being worse than it looks on the surface.

The seller states that the car was previously sold on ebay and then the deal fell through due to a flaky buyer. We remember seeing this car when it was listed there back in December 2011, bidding near $10k if memory serves correctly. The seller says that $8400 is currently a "FIRM" price, but we wonder how much room there is for negotiation considering this car has been on the market for over a year.

The interior looks decent in the image provided but has a few needs. The dash is cracked and the door panels are in need of recovering or replacement, but the seat covers have already been replaced. The headrest-less "lowback" seats are correct for a '66 but safety-minded buyers may want to consider adding headrests from a '68 or later car to reduce chances of whiplash and neck injuries. Overall this interior looks like a nice place to spend some time - just ask Irv Gordon, the New Yorker who has personally logged 2.9 million miles and counting on his red over black '66 1800S.

Mechanically there is some sorting required on this car, and the seller mentions the carbs should be rebuilt or replaced. These are twin SU (Skinner's Union) British "carburettors" and have their own unique design and tuning procedure vs. an Italian Weber or the ubiquitous American Holley 4-barrel or simpler Zenith/Stromberg single-barrel carbs. On the plus side for performance, the original 1.8L B18 has been swapped out for a larger more powerful 2.0L B20 engine, which we'd expect could be putting out around 125 hp at the flywheel if tuned up right. The seller seems honest and says that the odometer is not working; therefore no mileage is disclosed. But if this exact same year & model can log 2,900,000 miles with only two engine rebuilds and regular maintenance, we'd be happy to see some service records and forget about fretting over the actual mileage if it drives right.

Near Maryland and need a stylish Italian/Swedish/British coupe? Go check it out and report back!

Find a more unusual color on an 1800? Email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com


  1. Looks familiar...eBay or CL or some such recently.

    The B20 swap is a plus, for sure. And the cow horns saves the purchaser about a grand right there. That being said, beware of the lurking cancer bug in these. Nowhere is safe but the jack points are especially prone. This often leads to extension into the frame rails. Ask me how I know... Maryland has days where they drop salt for freeze prevention. Just saying...

    1. ~ right, the seller says he had a flake winning eBay bidder.
      your previous posts lead me to believe that you understand Volvos. didn't you purchase a Volvo featured on Daily Turismo?

  2. From this site, yes. It has been a learning experience, with the ES, but few cars are more beautiful in my eyes...at least that I can afford. It's having some minor issues addressed before it becomes a full-fledged daily driver for me. So I continue to peruse DT for other interesting cars that 1)will fit my 6'3" frame and 2)I can convince my wife are not a terrible idea. Love your work, BTW, Scot; here and at BaT

  3. ~ thank you and likewise. i'm also in full agreement on the 1800ES design, for many years my favorite. but i remember how heartbroken i was the first time i tried to fit my 6'2" frame into a comfortable driving position in a friend's Sportwagon. it was so disappointing until my older brother pointed out that the seat tracks can be reoriented to fit nearly anyone from 5'1" to 6'7" or 8". i think the form compares well with the Jaguar XJ-6 Coupe or BMW 630 series, two of the nicer recent shapes. guess those aren't so recent anymore, are they?

  4. Wow, that is a very nice color.


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