Monday, February 2, 2015

10k: Schneewittchensarg: 1972 Volvo 1800ES

The Volvo 1800ES is the limited edition shooting brake version of the Volvo 1800 that was sold in the 1972 and 1973 models years as a way to extend the life of the long-in-the-tooth 1800 coupe (first offered in 1962 as the P1800).  The goofy looks can be polarizing - the Germans call this model Schneewittchensarg, which translates literally to "Snow White's coffin."  Find this 1972 Volvo 1800ES offered for $8,500 in Santa Rosa, CA via craigslist.


The 1800ES continues to be a favorite for its combination of cheap and being produced in limited quantities.  How many other vintage European built sports machines with production of less than 10,000 (8,077 were built for worldwide use) can be picked up for this cheap?


The seller only includes a few blurry pictures of the inside and nothing underhood - but  power comes from a B20 pushrod 4-cylinder rated at 112 hp (and 115 lb-ft of torque) . The B20 is fed via a Bosch D-Jet electronic fuel injection system and mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox with electronic overdrive. 


See a better shooting brake styled classic for less green?  tips@dailyturismo.com

11 comments:

  1. Hay-Zeus, can the seller provide any less information? Compared to what clean, rust-free examples go for...wait, never mind: these all have some rust somewhere. But cleanER looking 1800es are going for upward of double this amount so I would suspect this one has needs. Rockers, floors, rear glass frames, batt box...these are all rust-prone real estate. Frame rails and jack points, too. This seats are not my preference but maybe they are super comfy. The b20 in the ES was neutered by a low compression top end in order to assuage the EPA-Baal. When I bought my '73 I read about moar powah possible from a top end swap to earlier b20 spec.

    Places to look for wear and near-term replacements would be the front end and ignition. Cool rigs. Not sports cars. At all. But definitely an eye-and-smile magnet.

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    1. Good description, eye and smile magnet....

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    2. Good description, eye and smile magnet....

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    3. @ Doctordel The 1800ES can sure tease us with "what if" even though they were set-up for rough country roads rather than being a sports car.
      Front tires set forward with a long hood line. Sleek Italian styling cues. Rear wheel drive. Disc brakes all around. Panhard rear bar. Two piece driveshaft. Full gauges. Stick Shift. Fuel Injection.

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    4. Absolutely. The spec sheet checks most boxes of a classically styled and sporty runabout. Unfortunately, it also includes a steering box (ick) but the rest of your points are spot-on. Also, this thing can swallow a surprising amount of kid gear. Yesterday, I got both my boys from rock band practice to lacrosse practice with all of their shit in the back, rear seat up and my 9 y/o in it. I've brought sheets of plywood home in it. The ES defined SUV a long-ass time ago.

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    5. Rene & doc: there's a chap on the turbobricks forums, in Canada IIRC, who is marrying the body of an 1800ES (minus floors and substructure) to the skinned rolling "chassis" of an NA Miata. Best of both worlds. I would love to do such a thing and am very curious to see the result. In fact I've been thinking about a Miata shooting brake for years now.

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    6. I remember your (or Vince's??) photoshopped Miata brake from last year and thought it was a fantastic concept; sort of a lighter, nimbler clown shoe. That ES/Miata project looks positively lascivious: Wilsgaard's Italianate shape on our generation's most tossable chassis AND modern conveniences and reliability? Sign me up. I imagine the ES unibody is a bit porkier than the Miata's but a couple extra freed ponies should help mitigate that.

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    7. @ CFlo I have read that forum thread. I was totally wowed! He bit off more than I could chew and took another bite!
      Actually since Swedish Ops will probably never deliver a Mustang II front end assembly to me I started to look at other front end options. As pointed out by Doctordel, it's that darn gearbox that ruins the driving experience.
      I seen on another forum thread where a Chevy rack was adapted to the Volvo front end. That was interesting.
      I was also looking at adapting the Miata front end using a V8 Miata kit.

      My wife has a 1976 Mustang II that I will be improving this summer. I will be adding upper tubular a-arms, different springs, Addco front sway bar, 16" rims/tires, rear V8 sway bar, and a few other things. Then I can see how the driving experience is and determine if I set-up one of the aftermarket Mustang II front ends to the Volvo or not. Swedish Ops actually just uses someone else Mustang II kit with a few plates welded to it. No magic. It just would have been nice to have it ready to bolt in.

      And I even looked at the last generation Corvette complete drivetrain. It will work if you move the rear wheel wells back a bit. That would be way easier than that Miata swap.

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  2. Quick answer to a question nobody asked: why does the rear hatch surround absolutely love to rust so badly? Good question, chap. Let me tell regale you for a moment of you'll allow me: that signature glass hatch is probably the singular characteristic of the ES that makes it instantly recognizable (and desirable) to most car lovers. However, that quirky Seede Wilsgaard forgot his physics (Aquavit-induced? Who knows.) and the channel of the surround is V shaped from the parallel, allowing water to collect and stagnate ad nauseum in said channel. The factory answer to this was the addition of two small holes in the sheet metal near the ends of the channel, to which short metal tubes were attached under the surround, to which short lengths of silicone hoses were subsequently attached, ostensibly draining water that collected in the channel to the areas behind the rear wheel wells. Well...those tunes get pretty clogged
    With crud and much and debris over the years, to the point where the drain holes in the channel become invisible, allowing water to just accumulate there after every storm/shower/drive past an irrigation sprinkler and rust out the sheet metal around the single most alluring (my opinion and Volvo's, if the signature design elemnt of the c30 is to be considered) feature of the (somewhat) speedy design. If you purchase one of these ES may I suggest that you immediately locate these drain holes, find yourself a suitable length of braided steel wire and roto-rooter the crap out of them.

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    1. I just reread this and, wow, a little proofreading would've been nice. Sorry for the plethora of typos.

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  3. Kick in the pants time........I love these. Passed up one in green with tan interior and steel sunroof.........aftermarket but absolutely professionally done. On the buclet list and thanks to doctordel on the drain lines advice on the rear window. BTW I like the C-30's as a modern take. Just looking at prices.....little rich for my blood,,,,,,,but definitely piques my interest

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