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30-Year Dream: 1966 Volvo 1800


In 1966, the Volvo 1800 was a very distinctive shape on the road, especially in the United States. This particular example has been stored in Jacksonville, Florida for 30 years awaiting a restoration that never came. Now it’s up for sale here on eBay where bidding is beginning at $1,200 with no reserve.


The aftermarket chintzy fake wire wheels don’t help the looks of this car any, but as a whole the majority of the car’s body appeals solid. The seller has done a good job of taking closeups of the rustiest spots, but an in-person inspection would still be the best thing if you are serious about bidding. If you want patch panels or complete fenders, a quick search found them here, here and here.


While many enthusiasts like the “cow horn” front bumpers of the earliest cars, I prefer this blade type, and the vulnerable grille on this one is pretty straight and would probably respond to some careful tweaking with padded pliers.


One of my favorite features of the 1800 is the interior. You really sit low in this car, with high window sills and really comfortable seats (at least for me). I find the design of the steering wheel a little odd, but if you were willing to deviate from stock, a nice Nardi-type wheel would work for me. I’m wondering if the two knobs on the right of the lower dash are for an air conditioning system, which would mean that if this car also has the electric electrically actuated Laycock overdrive it would be the perfect 1800 specification for me!


If you look at the front, you’ll see that air conditioning system. Obviously it will have to be updated to R134 and may even need a new compressor, but at least the under-dash equipment will be there. Doggone it, I’ve wanted my own 1800 for a long time and this 57,362 mile example would be a great project car. And Jacksonville isn’t that far from where I live, either. But not this time–maybe you want it, though? Let us know in the comments!


  1. MountainMan

    On the opposite corner of the country from where I’m at. One to watch though… I’m curious where the price will be when it’s said and done.

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  2. 67 GT fastback

    Come on at that price what’s the delay !! Go for it !

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      I have to finish our lengthy move process first, and then probably sell some other cars first :-)

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  3. ClassicCarFan

    Seems like a deal at that price. Plenty of work to do, but it looks pretty complete. I’d rather start with a car that’s scruffy but “all there” than one that is incomplete or someone else has partially attempted to restore.

    I’m going to be pedant of the day now…. The Laycock De Normanville overdrive used on this car (and lots of similar era Brits) is not an “electric” overdrive. The switch that the driver uses to activate it is electric and connected to a solenoid – but the solenoid just controls a hydraulic valve. The overdrive mechanism is powered by hydraulic oil pressure, similar to a typical automatic gearbox.

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    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Very true on the overdrive comment, CCF! Having rebuilt several, I’ll go back and clarify that. :-)

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  4. DRV

    I wonder why the later dash? The stamped aluminum one is do much nicer. Maybe be did it to add the later air conditioning unit?
    Of the 5 I have owned, my ’66 was my favorite. Light blue like this one but had the later aluminum wheel cover held on by the hubcap. I also had the later side trim. This trim went better with the horny bumpers…

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  5. DA

    Damn always loved this car. Live right there in Jax but nowhere to put it otherwise would grab this.

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  6. John H. in CT

    I always have thought that this is a really beautiful body design that has held up well over time. But the value of these just has never taken off and I am at a loss to understand why. Unless you are up for a long labor of love, I just don’t see bringing one of these back, since really good examples are to be had at very reasonable prices IMO. But… if you love ’em and enjoy the process, I guess go for it.

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    • Doug M. (West Coast) Member

      John, I have been watching these closely, and I think you are missing their recent assent to “expensive!” Check ebay out and you’ll see that the last several nice ones went for over $30k, and a recent one sold for $40k! I recently bought a fixer upper and was happy to get it, as they are getting really hard to even find! At least that’s what I’m seeing!

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  7. grenade

    Hot —
    hot- hot- hot– hot- hot.
    Love it.

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  8. Bob

    My 63 1800S barn find 10 years ago

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  9. Bob

    My 63 Volvo 1800S barn find ten years ago.

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  10. Simon

    Have to wait for the last moment ill be bidding but expecting it to be high.

    Nice if i can get it for under 6000 as it needs a good 15 to 20 spending on her.

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  11. Ed Willaims

    The P1800. We used to call them ” The Swedish Karman Ghia” .

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  12. Simon

    Im out the bidding as he wont sell outside the US, shame. nice car but boy do they rust.

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  13. Eric Dashman

    Always have loved the P1800s…and of course, there’s that guy, Irv?, whose car has topped 3 million miles. Back in 1970, I was working with learning disabled/neurologically impaired tweens in Flushing, NY. One of my colleagues and her husband had a 1966 and I got to ride in it several times. It was just such a cool interior to me at the time and, while not powerful or fast, it was just such a neat looking car…and remains so to this day. I’d be interested in anyone’s thoughts about the difference between the SUs and the later electronic (assume Bosch) injection in terms of performance and reliability.

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