Thursday, January 8, 2015

15k: Bumblebee Restomod: 1973 Volvo 1800ES

Happy Thorsday!! The Volvo 1800ES was a shooting brake version of the popular P1800/1800/1800S/1800E sports coupe.   Prices of Jan Wilsgaard's funky wagon shape have been up in the past few years, but a practically new (and perfect condition) 1800ES sold for a staggering $92,000 at Bonhams (read article on Hagerty here)...but what the future holds for the rest of the market is unknown.  Find this 1973 Volvo 1800ES offered here on craigslist for $15,000, located in Salinas, CA.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

You can read the sellers build thread here on the Turbobricks forum, but the quick version is that the car has been given fresh paint and a new heart.  It's definitely more of a restomod; the engine has been swapped to a later overhead cam B23 (as found in a 1983-1984 240 or 740).

Under the hood, the original 2.0 liter B20 has been replaced with a 2.3L B23 inline-4 with forged internals. Just as durable as the old B20 but with more power and more displacement. Not an easy swap since the B23 is designed to be laid over towards the exhaust side but the 1800 was designed for an upright engine. This guy kept the angle which makes the driveline swap easier but less room for a turbo later on. Should be fun (and roarty!) with the dual sidedraft Webers though.

 A wood rimmed steering wheel with prancing moose horn button classes up the otherwise simple Volvo interior.  The push button over-drive 5th gear is a novelty that is fun (press the button Max!!) until it fails and you need to figure out what went wrong.

 A nice car with a Bumblebee paint scheme, but is the price a stretch?


  1. Love the Prancing Moose. I had not seen that before so I googled it . Hilarious! I guess I need to hang around more Asatru Revival Meetings.

  2. Why am I being directed to some "Blogger" account when I click on the Craigslist link ?


  3. Even after joining this stupid Blogger account, I still cannot access the craigslist for this Volvo. Has you site been hacked ?


  4. well, i don’t think there is any question about it - it can only be attributable to human error - this sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error

    here's the link -

    1. It might be human to error, but is it humane? Link fixed.

    2. I'm sorry, Vince. I'm afraid I can't answer that.

  5. Lower the cone of silence over this monstrousity

  6. If this is a rust-free car or the rust is easily contained, then I'd say it's worth the asking price. I think it's worth noting that this model was only available in this year and the previous, if my memory is correct. Cool car that I'd put a set of wheels on ASAP.

  7. I like the look and the stance.
    For debate... Remove the front bumper ?

    1. Rene,
      Personally, I like the front bumper. It gives you a place to mount your fog lamps.


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