Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10k: Hot Tip - Buy This Car: 1971 Volvo 1800E

As Daily Turismo's resident Vice President of Volvovaginitis I can say: you need this car. Buy it, now. This is a solid original 1800 coupe in one of the best original Volvo colors and its price near 10,000 dollars will seem like a steal in just a few years' time. Italian looks, street cred, originality, fuel injection, and durable underpinnings - what more could you want in a small, efficient GT car?  Find this 1971 Volvo 1800E for sale in Minot, North Dakota (with Oregon plates) with bidding near $8k (and BIN of $12,995) on ebay.

Volvo's classic sporty coupe won't win any road races in stock form, it can't hold more than two adults comfortably, it only has a 4-cylinder engine and isn't really fast in a straight line either. But just look at it! Nowhere south of an Alfa or P-car (let alone Maser or Prancing Horse) does there exist something that looks this classically awesome at a $10k order of magnitude budget level.

Even though its power and torque numbers won't impress on paper, the little pushrod 2.0 liter B20 engine will delight the next guy with great drivability, ease of service, and ultra long life. These make more power in terms of specific output than most '60s / '70s engines - certainly vs. American behemoths - and are compact too. Figure about 125 hp; divided by 2.0 liters...62.5 hp/L is a lot more bang for the buck than the 28 hp/L farted out by the original Ford 351 Windsor for example. Parts are plentiful for the B20 and the shadetree mechanic can keep one running basically forever. Being a later 1800E this car has Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection, in which fueling is proportional to manifold pressure (D for the German Druck, meaning pressure).

Compared to an earlier '60s P1800 or 1800S this car does have a few unsightly add-ons; the rear trunk vent / fuel filler, side marker lights, and rear reflectors are the ones that stand out. But the 1800 was a long lived platform for the time, being designed in the late '50s and living until the mid '70s in shooting brake (1800ES) form. I'd say it aged well given its roots, and it wore the earth tones like no other finned coupe could.

For an original '71 interior this is about as nice as you're going to find. The driver's seat may need a bit of seam repair and leather conditioner, but just revel in the absence of rat feces, hobo feces, dessicated rat carcasses, mice turds, dimebags and roach clips. It's a small miracle this thing is as clean as it is.

It's really refreshing to see some honest detailed photos of the floorpans with the carpet pulled up - here we are looking at the beginnings of rust where the inner rocker meets the front footwell on the passenger's side. The seller seems to be a straight shooter, and the above surface rust can be treated and killed in a weekend. That bodes well for the overall condition and low likelihood of buyer's remorse. All signs point to "yes" in the black round fortune telling device I'm consulting now.

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  1. "Volvovaginitis" sounds like a STD (seller transmitted drive) I'm pretty sure old volvos will keep the vaginas away.

  2. This Volvo"yellow" is really baby poop and does not show as well as other colors on it but is period correct. I painted mine a more yellow yellow. This looks to be a great car but be sure to do the ice pick test ...the thick coats of stuff Volvo used hide the lack of metal underneath..ask me how I know. The original wheel trim is rare to find let alone not dented badly.

  3. Does anyone know what's up with the outdoor spigot handle connected to some hoses that looks like it goes to the heater core?
    Nice 66/67 maroon Cutlass in the background of the 2nd pic.

  4. Seller doesnt seem to know too much about the car

  5. For posterity's sake, this sold for $11,311. Sounds pretty fair if it was what it was claimed to be.


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