Journal: The Volvo P1800 Was the Volvo Sports Car that Wasn't

The Volvo P1800 Was the Volvo Sports Car that Wasn’t

Petrolicious Productions By Petrolicious Productions
September 4, 2013
11 comments

Volvo is best known for its tough and boxy sedans, but it’s always had a sporty side to its character. The Volvo P1800 was Volvo’s very first sports coupe (it began its sporty tradition with the PVS44 Sport), but the P1800 was never meant to be a super-fast sports car—it was actually be more of a smooth, grand touring machine. It was durable, practical, sturdy, and comfortable. It didn’t have utilize any single radical ideas, but rather it used elements that were long-established and had been proven worthwhile to create a car that looked like a sports car, with a strikingly individual appearance.

This car was for those who dreamt of owning a sports car but were all right with the idea of a sports car rather than an actual sports car. Volvo played to this in its advertising of the P1800 using headlines as follows.

“This car won’t do 150, it just looks like it will.”

“This is either the most expensive economy car in the world, or the least expensive Gran Turismo car in the world. We’ll sell you either one.”

“What’s it like to own a $10,000 car? Find out for $3,995.”

Some additional ads and brochures are posted below.

Image Sources: ebay.com, flickr.com, ebay.com, blog.64saint.com, ebay.com, mclellansautomotive.com, ebay.com, cartype.com, ebay.com, flickr.com, ebay.com

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11 Comments on "The Volvo P1800 Was the Volvo Sports Car that Wasn’t"

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Juan ADY
Juan ADY

I love those prices, inflation is weird.

Nils Wenzler
Nils Wenzler

Always loved them. My parents had one back in the day, unfortunately all that is left is the Manual that I found in the basement lately…

Jason Watt
Jason Watt
My wife and i recently bought our beautiful Jensen built 1963 P1800. It’s recognized as being the most original example in the UK, (one of only 20 Jensen P1800 Volvo’s on the road in the UK) with a genuine 40k engine. I’m 47 and it’s the second one I’ve ever seen on the road, so we were blown away when it came on the market. Pure serendipity that we had the money and were looking within a week of it being available. As soon as we collected it, we drove into London to see friends…..what a reception. At one point… Read more »
Andreas Lavesson
Andreas Lavesson

Well, it’s not fast. Mostly an Amazon with a nicer body. However, I’d want one. With a factory tuned Volvo Competition Service Stage IV (180hp) engine, it would get decent performance. I much prefer the P1800 to it’s predecessor, the P1900 and I also think that the P1800ES (estate) looks quite cool. It’s a shame they never produced the successor, the 1800 ESC, because it looks quite cool in a corny 70’s way.

Ae Neuman
Ae Neuman

this is still the best looking volvo ever, not the concept car pretender currently doing the media rounds.

Wayne Kile
Wayne Kile

I have always had a soft spot for P1800 coupes and sport wagons. Never owned or driven one, but hope to one day…lol. Such a great looking vehicle, and here in Florida at least, we don’t see many

Alan Mitchell
Alan Mitchell

Town and Country horn? Do want!

Stephen Fitzgerald
Stephen Fitzgerald

What is fascinating to me is how obscenely expensive the other cars in the ads have become and how the Volvo has in fact not done so. I do like the Volvo a lot, but history and snobbery have effectively called BS on their claims of being about as good as the others. You get what you pay for.

Shane Elliott
Shane Elliott

It made for a very attractive wagon as well

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

Definitely, personally find the Estate version much cooler than the standard coupe.

Vintage Son
Vintage Son

I can’t argue with that, it was nice they used that styling feature in the C30. Too bad it wasn’t as attractive as the P1800 otherwise…

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