Arizona Car: 1958 Volvo PV445 Duette

You have to love a vehicle from the late-1950s that still has a split windshield. This 1958 Volvo PV445 Duette can be found here on eBay in Vinemont, Alabama. There is an unmet $6,750 opening bid and no reserve after that.

It’s amazing how one side of a car can differ so greatly from the other side, isn’t it? The first photo showed what looked like a reasonably nice looking Duette and then this flying pic of the car on the lift shows the other side with no hub caps and scrapes along the quarter and blue paint around the LF fender lip. There is also a lot of hidden red on this car and it appears to have been red originally, but then again some photos show blue, too. It should be called a Triette for three colors. Seriously, though, it does look like a pretty solid car and if any of you are both bodywork gurus and classic Volvo vans, this one is for you.

These are really interesting cars. I can see this one in New Hampshire running errands during the summer months at someone’s “summer camp” (12,000 sf mansion in the woods). These are really cool vehicles, in a trendy hipster sort of way. But, they’re really cool because they’re relatively lightweight and are able to keep up with modern traffic and they’re rugged with a separate frame, not being a unibody car. They obviously have a ton of room inside and you can see at least three if not four colors inside this one.

The seller found this car in Arizona and had to have it because finding one this rust-free is rare. There is a bit of rust in front of the right rear wheel and surface rust, but apparently, that’s it. The interior will need as much work as the exterior will. It’s pretty rough as far as fabrics and plastics go, but kits are available. I would go with a red interior with that tan exterior if it were me, but only if it was originally a tan car.

And, now you can see that it was originally a red car, although what’s that light blue doing there? The engine, a 1.6L inline-four which would have had 85 hp, needs to be rebuilt and they’re including a good 1.8L core with the sale, a popular upgrade. Hagerty is at $20,100 for a #2 excellent condition car and it would take a lot of work to turn this one into that, but it would be fun to own and solid examples are hard to find. Have any of you owned a Volvo Duette?


  1. Cncbny

    It’s called a Duette? Looks like the two door s-10 blazer, or explorer was invented by Volvo in 1958! Everything old is new again

    Like 2
    • ken

      not “Duette” till later versions… This Is the last year with the old speedometer, and it has the flat-split windshield. It’s still a 445

  2. kevinpdx

    There is a dark green high roof one of these in SE Portland. I see it a couple of times a year.

    Like 3
    • SMS

      The dark blue and dark green are my favorite colors for ‘50’s and 60’s Volvo’s. Classy

      Like 2
  3. Kenneth Carney

    Had a 544 sedan that was 5 different
    colors back in the fall of ’69. I was a
    Freshman in highschool then and was
    looking for a winter project. I bought
    the car from our local Ford dealer for
    $25 as it was a back row beater the
    used car guys were trying to get rid of.
    Didn’t even have a gas cap on it–just
    a rag in the filler pipe where the cap
    used to be. Since the car ran well,
    all I had to do was fix the rust where
    needed and get it ready to paint. That
    next spring, I painted it myself using
    2 cases of left over ’65 Impala dark
    turquoise spray paint my sister’s
    boyfriend gave me. Man, was that
    car sharp! Added a set of baby moons
    and sold it an upperclassman for $750.
    After that, most of the kids at my school
    bought their cars from me. The money
    I made helped pay off my parent’s house
    a whole lot sooner than the 30 years they
    expected to pay on it. Ah, the good ole’

    Like 8
  4. SMS

    Fell in love with these when a friend of mine gave me a ride in his. We both had ‘50’s Matchless G80’s.

    He could roll the bars down and put the bike in the back of his Duette with plenty of room for us up front.

    Don’t recall his being fast enough for freeways. May have been his driving.

    They rust in the spare wheel cubby. Seats in a 122 are more comfortable. Could be wrong but I remember red only being on service vehicles.

    This will take a bit of work and several parts are specific to the Duette. That said I would love to have this. It is just above a 1800ES on my Volvo list.

  5. Howard A Member

    Yeah, this is pretty cool, but not the 1st time these have shown up here. My 1st car was a 1958 PV444, just like this ( it blew me away to see this)
    paid $50 bucks in the early ’70’s from a junkyard, and all it needed was a coil. Colorado has a lot of this stuff in back yards still, it’s as if there were no salvage yards, and people just let them sit in their yards. Very cool find and if I had a place to work on it, It would be mine. Again, same thing, as unusual a vehicle as this is and with 0 bids, clearly nobody wants it.

    Like 1
    • Eric H

      Howard, I bought the 444 in your link and it now resides near where you were in the Catskills. I replaced the brakes, exhaust, gas tank, seats and headliner and have added 5000 miles. The chrome is all perfect and the body has zero rust, even the battery box and spare tire well have factory paint.

      Like 3
      • Howard A Member

        Hmm, do I know you? I stayed near the Ashokan Reservoir with an ex-friend I no longer talk to. Great to hear about the car. I had a lot of fun with mine. Took all the abuse a 18 year old punk could dish out.

      • Gaspumpchas

        was that the one that sat outside the body shop in New Paltz?? Good luck!!

  6. kiteflier

    Had a PV444 in college in ’68. Spun a rod bearing on my way to my last final but I needed to get home 22 miles. Drove it home with no oil pressure and heat gauge off the scale. Buddy says take the engine to local shop and they will rebuild it. Went to pick it up a week later and I asked where it was, guy pointed to a crate and said we don’t put it together for you. Took me three days but that was my lesson in automotive engineering.
    Six months later, going down two lane highway and guy in Ford LTD in front of me slams on his brakes, I stop right behind him. Salesman behind me in Riviera was looking at house numbers and sandwiched me at 55. Totaled car, not a scratch on me.

    Like 3
  7. Gaspumpchas

    Kenneth cool story about helping pay your Mom and dad’s house off. Good son!! Love this I’d leave it as is and stuff something with a v configuration under the bonnet. Good luck to the new owner!!

  8. Kurt Member

    How hard is it to get engine parts for old Volvos? These are beauties when restored to bone stock in factory colors.

    • SMS

      Engine parts are not to difficult to find. These engines were used in standard passenger cars.

      • Kurt Member

        How are prices?

      • SMS

        On my 220, it was similar to MGB prices.

  9. newfieldscarnut

    An original wood slat roofrack always look great on these . I was lucky to find one for mine . There are threaded holes for them from the factory .

    Like 2
  10. Ken Hillman

    I have had many, many Vintage Volvo’s. First was a 58 444. Had a 62 544 and my favorite was a 67 Duett. Last year imported and lots of great travels in that “van”. That 58 Duett looks like a great project, but I would pay to have one already done. Long live the classic Volvo!

  11. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    My dad bought one new in 1958, blue body with the grey window and roof areas, and the wooden slat roof rack that came in handy many times. Problem was, if someone pushed hard on the inside of the twin rear doors, they would pop open.

    One time we had a bunch of kids in the back of the car, one was leaning against the rear doors as dad pulled out into traffic from a side road. Of course the doors popped open and my friend fell out. Thanks to a fast thinking Bell Telephone repairman who swerved his green truck to protect my friend, he wasn’t hit by an oncoming car.

    Like 2
  12. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Volvo sold with one bid at $6,750!

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