New project over at our sister web site…or is it brother??
Bro-site?? VintageSwedishCars: 1961 Volvo P1800
Sometimes we look through an old photo album and find a picture of a person or place and we will be waxing nostalgically about that memory. For us car dudes and car dudettes there are other things that may be hiding in old photo albums: Old CARS!!
Pictures of cars or motorcycles we use to own. Of course we always say:
“I wish I kept that one” but you know you would not own any of the other cars that followed if you did, and what fun would that be?
This latest photo album dive started with me finding this car behind a house. This looks to be a 1974 with the Federally MANDATED huge A$$ park benches as a sad excuse for bumpers. Other than that: We dig it. Love the color…or what’s left of it.
This prompted us to take a look back in my brother’s album from 1981. That does not sound too long ago but these are 33 year old pictures. Ronald Regan became president, Muhammad Ali retires, Lady Diana marries some dude named Charles and the 52 Iran hostages was released.
This is a 1972 model. This is the first year for flush door handles. We would probably not opt for the pop-up sunroof today but at the time it was all the rage. We like those super rare optional Volvo wheels. The we sold black but just like the valve cover on this car they got polished. Jan Wilsgaard designed a concept car called P358 and that design would be used for the 164 design.
Did you know that they did not have mobile phones back then??!! How did they survive?
I mean, people were not able to instantly post a picture of their meal on the great big web, how did they manage get thru life?? …and what about the people that did not get the benefit of seeing that meal, how did they cope?? Just saying…those were hard times!
Swedish Butt: The earlier 164 cars had the smaller 140 style tail lights but the big”164″ on the rear facia made sure everyone knew you were traveling in style and comfort.
A stylish car from every angle. Speaking of waxing…my brother is still talking about that super smooth six cylinder with amazing low end torque. This car was equipped with 4 speed overdrive and you could hit second gear very quickly and enjoy the 6 cylinder power.
Photo: Lars Åström
Hella Fog light
Passenger side Recaro Seat adjusters
GT steering wheel is very nice. The center hub has a crack and the GT horn button has a crack. They are now finally being reproduced.
Recent brake pads and Bilstein shocks, new brake hoses and caliper brake line.
Solid parts car
The parts car have a super straight body and floors are perfect.
NOS and like new trim moldings for the gutters and rear lower window moldings.
NOS or like front and rear new lenses, rubber gasket and reflectors.
NOS trunk molding
Rare GT only under hood and trunk lights, actually five of them. Also, rare Canadian GT 4-way flasher included and fog light wiring..
Complete correct factory tool kit.
Super nice speedometer housing. If you have been around vintage Volvo chances are that you have never seen one with the grey wrinkle finish intact. This speedo is!
Code 496860 GT engine
Vin # 133351M-251533
Dent in roof
Rust on driver’s floor board and the transverse beam under this area is weak.
Rust hole in floor behind passenger seat
right side wheel well.
Rust under battery area
Before: With stock springs the car shows a bit too much air between the fenders and tyres.
After: With the new progressive lower spring the car lost about 2 inch in ride height. I like it.
The car definitely looks burlier with the wider wheels. The ride is not much firmer than the stock GT suspension and the Bilsteins do make a difference. The wheels follows the road very well but keeps the car very stable.
I removed the original code 60 GT B18 as I like to save it and also look it over and replaced it with this B20 engine. It offers more bottom end torque than the stock B18. Headers and electronic ignition hidden in the stock distributor doesn’t hurt either.
With the new limited slip rear end it’s a hoot to go around corners.
With the big Hella lights upfront the car looks a bit like a rally warrior. It suits the car well. Now let’s go out and see if we can get in trouble.
This 1967 Volvo 123GT has been sitting unattended for a while I work on other project. It is a long term project that really needs a complete resto but I have enjoyed doing small upgrades to it when time allows. However, one can only ignore such a fine piece of Swedish GT history for so long.
Here is the car at at stock height.
I noticed that the car was sitting at an slight angle and I suspected a broken spring. I had an extra limited slip rear axle and the current rear axle was making a noise anyway. That turned out to be a the rear axle bearings.
Limited slip axle ready to be installed.
This was just going to be a quicky but I had to give the items a coat of paint. Note Bilstein shocks and poly bushings for the stabilizer bar.
The car had an incorrect overdrive unit and I wanted to save the original code 60 GT engine until it can be looked over so this whole package will get installed. This is a great running B20 engine, nice transmission and a working overdrive.
Next: we roll it out and check the new ride height…and new attitude.
Every fall the Vintage Volvo gang get together for a “end of season” meet at the picturesque park by Lake Washington in Juanita. The weather was perfect and a good mix of vintage Volvos showed up.
This 1964 P1800 is a stunner. Can you say Simon Templar?
I like everything except the modern wheels.
Yup, looks good from every angle.
These older style Jensen bumper are about as pretty as it gets. They were replaced with more “modern” bumpers in 1966.
Here is another item that was later replaced with a cheesy aluminum cover. This cast air intake is a thing of beauty!
Funny thing, there were more 444’s and 544’s than any other Volvo at this meet.
See…they are everywhere!
Even some German iron manage to infiltrate the meeting. This very nice original BMW motorcycle is parked next to a Volvo 1800ES but we can live with it.
Another German snuck in! A super straight BMW 2002 did not hurt anyone’s feelings, though. Kind of like the German version of the Volvo 142 model. Great color, stick shift and sunroof. What’s not to like?
We like all vintage and classic cars.
It was a good day for all!
Most folks do not connect the GoodGuys hot rod show with sixties cars but they did open up for later model cars for good and bad. The bad part is that it can be easily saturated with muscle cars but the good part is that it may bring in some of the muscle cars folks in to older hot rods. We are all gearheads in the first place so all things with a combustion engine is fun. Even less expected at a venue like this would be Swedish cars but here we can show a couple that did not have a problem fitting in.
Dan Morley from Gig Harbor brought this very clean 1969 Saab Sonett. Powered by a pretty snappy German designed V4 combined with front wheel drive and a fiberglass body it was a rather sporty car when it was introduced.
Because of the material chosen for the body it was sometimes referred to as the “Swedish Corvette” The small bumpers looks great on this car but the looks were murdered in 1973 when the government demanded huge logs to be installed in each end.
This is a 1967 Volvo 122S wagon that has been customized and converted to a two door.
Alan Susnow built this GM V6 powered Volvo.
Slanted door posts makes the two door conversion look good. I am not a fan of shaved door handles but this is America, land of choices.
Customized from with the classic Volvo “slash”
Alan added A/C to keep this Swedish box cool.
I am sure we will be covering some Swedish cars here again…’til then, get out in the garage and build something!
My neighbor a few houses down had a Volvo Turbo wagon sitting under a carport for a while. I walk my dogs by it every day and I give it a glance every time.
My wife know them a bit heard that they were thinking of donating it as their dream of restoring it will never materialize. I had no idea if it even ran.
We popped over there and it turns out to be one owner car. Never smoked in and completely rust free. With 176K on the odometer it has traveled less than the 2004 Volvo V70 we drove up in.
After a battery jump it fired right up and I went for a spin. The turbo is turboing and the overdrive is overdriving. The transmission is smooth and quiet.
It is loaded with the usual GL equipment as in power windows, power mirrors, A/C etc. Heat works great and even the fan is quiet.
A fair price was suggested and I drove it home.
It had been sitting under the carport so it had a fair amount of dirt and dust covering the silver metallic paint. After some serious scrub-a-dub a rather clean and straight 245GLT emerged:
Even the plastic head light bezels and grille are in great condition. Turbo emblem in the grille makes sure your neighbor knows you got the Swedish power.
The wheels can use some paint or powder coating but I love doing that stuff.
The interior is super clean and just needs a detail.
It does not move in reverse so something is going on there. I have to take a look when I have time. Right now I am finishing another project so this beauty will have to sit for a while.