Thursday, May 14, 2015

5k: Could Use Some Wax: 1965 Volvo 1800S

It is Thorsday, DT celebration of Scandinavian cars that makes a bigger splash than a torpedoed Russian submarine.  Today we've got a car that you are going to need to channel your inner Edd China and see past the cobwebs...but, like a nickle beer at a strip club, the price generates considerable interest.  Find this 1965 Volvo 1800S offered for $3,500 in San Jose, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The original P1800's sheet metal was designed by Pelle Petterson while he worked at Carrozzeria Pietro Frua - an Italian coach builder from back in the day.  The 1800s mechanical parts were hewn of sturdy Scandinavian stuff, and wiring was provided by the prince of darkness, Lucas. The combination of solid Swedish mechanicals and iffy British electrical components offers a unique blend of high-end appearance with roll-the-dice reliability. The pushrod B18 and B20 engines hardly ever have issues, but the Lucas smoke-based-wiring system might complain if you rally this little steed through any water crossings. 

Under the hood is a slightly disassembled B18 pushrod inline-4  that when reassembled would be good for 115 horsepower (give or take).   No word from the seller if this car has the base 4-speed manual or the upgraded 4-speed with electric overdrive transmission.

The inside looks like a pack of raccoons used it for their spring CrossFit challenge & mating night, and those masked bandits never cleanup.  Luckily, you can source many interior parts for the 1800 without resorting to the junkyard.

See another blue plate special?


  1. Um, sorry but there is not enough wax in all the eardrums in all the seniors residences of the world to bring that finish back from the dead!

    I know, I know, it's not finish, it's Swedish.....

    1. R d r r

      Uck. And I'm about the most sympathetic 1800 lover extant. Not at that price, tho.

    2. Ps: I believe I spy the OD lever behind the right side rim of the steering wheel in the interior shot.

  2. Here's a fun game for readers: try to determine the meaning of the vanity plate.

    "WD6CTS" may at first glance look like a run-of-the mill sequential plate but the format is wrong for a 70s / 80s CA blue plate which would be either 123 ABC or ABC 123 depending on year. So it's a personalized deal.

    "Water Displacement (40): 6 Cans To Spray"

    "WeeD 6 CaTS"

    1. Dubba'd six seats.
      Weedy Sixtus.

    2. WoulD 6 CenTS be too much to ask for this car...

    3. Probably a HAM radio plate - they get to put the call sign on their plates so they can be recognized during emergencies, when HAM radio will replace the internet. Just wait, its time is coming... right?

  3. As a market reference for DTers who may be interested in an 1800S: I sold my wife's car last year for $3750, a 1966 model that looked almost identical to this one on the outside. That is, very "patinated."

    Here's my for sale writeup:

    Versus the car shown on this page, our Duckling:
    -Ran well
    -Was complete
    -Had new seats (not cheap)
    -Had a title and current registration
    -Came with a pile of upgrade / repair parts

    Granted, I think I could have gotten more for the car (maybe $4500) but it did need extensive body and paint work. This San Jose '65 could be a fair deal if rust is only superficial and if the mechanical bits are in good shape despite sitting...dice roll. At the bare minimum you'd need to replace anything made of rubber, and likely go through the whole fuel system on this one.

  4. The rust on these is never superficial. I know, have had 5 and an E now.

  5. Stan ain't gonna like the strip club reference.


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