Live Auctions

Estate Sale Find: Three Volvo 544s for $5K!

A seller on Facebook has uncovered a stash of Volvo PV544s that were apparently locked away in a California estate. The three classic Volvos are described as being complete examples still wearing California black plates, all with engines and interiors. For anyone looking to restore one of these fastback coupes, this could represent a treasure trove of spare parts that exceeds the asking price, and even more so if the seller has some flexibility in their $5K ask. Truthfully, two of the three look good enough to justify restoration. Find the trio here on Facebook Marketplace  in San Jose, California.

Because everything in California looks better than what we see for projects in the snow belt, I feel like these 544s are all restorable – but I also like the idea of using one as a parts mule, restoring the other two, and selling one of the two finished cars to cover the investment. Each one has obviously been sitting for some time and was fairly tired when it came into the previous owner’s possession, but it appears from photos that any of these could be mechanically refurb’d and driven as-is. 544s are the one to buy, in my opinion, as Volvo upgraded the transmission to a much more modern four-speed manual.

Bumpers, glass, wheels – all the key attachments are still with the Volvos, and I love this shot of all of them with their hoods successfully raised. Not only is it a great photos, but it reveals they all have working hood hinges and the engines aren’t in pieces or missing their valve covers. The seller doesn’t specify whether there’s any rust in the chassis, only labeling the condition as poor in the listing and not providing any context as to why. Obviously, I get that they’ve likely been sitting for decades, but “poor” could mean the frame rails have rust or simply that they’ve been neglected for a few years.

And really, given the reputation for durability that the PV444 and PV544 had when new, even a prolonged slumber shouldn’t spook potential buyers too much. Whenever I share photos of a 444 or 544 in a junkyard, there’s an impassioned cry from the Volvo enthusiast base about saving such vehicles . The legacy of the lineup features important achievements that include safety innovations (like seat belts) and impressive durability, along with some stints on the rally stages. It’s a very cool car overall, and buying these three for a fire-sale price seems like a wise move if you’re restoring one.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    My 1st car was a ’58 “Old Ford” 444 Volvo. These simply do not exist east of California. They were very popular in the midwest for a spell. Thing was, they ran so well, many were driven to junkyards, with no floors and fenders flapping. There was no reason to save one. I bought mine from a junkyard in the early 70’s for $50 bucks, and all it needed was a coil. 2 more parts cars came and went, my brother had a couple too. Guy across the alley had a nice one, B18 Sport, I believe. There is a lot of interest for these, especially on the east coast, where they disappeared just as fast, and if you’re going to do it, this is the best way. Parts prices for new mechanical stuff, will not be cheap, which is why, I’d restore the best one, and maybe help someone else out with the hard to get parts, like a spare brake drum, if you can get it off, that is. You should only need one parts car, but 2 will help, but one car these days is enough. Great find.

    Like 8
  2. Paolo

    I’ve never paid much attention to these but suddenly for the first time in my life I think I want one. How strange…

    Like 4
    • On and On On and On Member

      I had one, still miss it. Paolo it wouldn’t be the worst decision you ever made, but buy the best you can find. These 3 may or may not qualify.

      Like 2
  3. F Again

    The temptation to do up one of these guys as a 3/5-scale traditional old-bomb-style lowrider is very bucketlisty.

    Like 2
    • Little_Cars

      Lots of examples online of these done up with “fat fendered Ford” style mods. Even some with chopped tops. Do a search.

      Like 1
      • GeneB

        Blasphemy

        Like 1
  4. 8banger dave Member

    Wow! Look at the fluff on that battery in pic#3!

  5. Greg Millard

    The engine side shot shows 2 of them even have the ‘Sport’ twin SU motors.

    Like 2
  6. GeneB

    I’ve had dozens of these cars and fully believe the slogan about them: “If you wait for a better car to be built, you’ll wait FOREVER.”

    I’m about to retire. As soon as the complimentary 10 year warrantee on my 2010 Jetta TDI Sportswagon expires, that car is gone, and my 1965 Volvo 544 will become my grocery getter.

    I subscribe to my following saying; “You cannot own too many Volvo 544’s or 1800ES’s” I still have some of both!

    Common JimMac/Kurt S, lets go up and buy these now!

    Like 2
    • Johnny

      I feel the same way Gene B. I,m almost 70,but still have the feeling of getting in a old vehicle and go. See some new country and experiece life like I used to. If it breaks down.Fix it and be on your way. I remeber January 1973. I bought a 1960 Rambler Deluxe in Red Bud,Ill. It was cold and all I had was $25 to my name. After I got some oil in jugs and a couple of tires fixed. What a journey it was. My passenger was a hamster. My brother was suppose to have brought me back to W.Va for time to hunt deer and I was mad. As soon as I got the car ready to go. I left. I-64 WAS NOT COMPLETED. I took off in the evening and every chance I,d see a gas station I,d stop and fill up and check the oil and add some. Sometimes all I could get in the car was 25 cents worth and away I would go. I was coming down 64 in Indiana and decided I had better stop and check my oil. It was blue cold. After I added some. My car wouldn,t start. So I tried my best to push it and catch it in gear. I couldn,t budge it. We;; upon the hill was some semi,s parked. I walkled up the hill and asked some truckers if they would help me get my car started. They wouldn,t. So back down the hil I went and tried to push it again. Still couldn,t budge it. Then I got mad. I went back up the hill where the truckers where and gathered me up some rocks. Then I told the truckers I was gonna give them two options. Either they helped me push my car and get it started or no one was going no where. I would knock the windows out of all the trucks. They was about 6 of them helped me push my car and I was on my way. Sometimes a person will get desperate . I was . I was mad and would have took them on. I drove all night and was wore out,but as soon as I seen the Welcome to W.Va . sign. I was wide awake. I made it home about 10:00 a.m. Wore out,but made it home. Oh buy the way. If anyone has ever experienced driving a haunted car. It was sometimes the heat switch would turnto air condition and the radio dial would change the channel. I can still see that dial change. hahaha and that little hamster would run and spin that cage. That is a journey I,ll never forget. Oh and my brother pulled in about a hour behind me. He left after I did to make sure I made it safe. He took off wwork from the mines.

    • Johnny

      Sorry such a long reply-but I like these old cars–never owned one of these,but would like to try another journey–in warmer weather.hahaha

  7. Marshall

    My dad bought a green 1960 Volvo 544 new in Ohio. He traded it in for a new 1964 VW bus. Here’s what I remember:
    1…Dad said it had about 70,000 miles at trade-in, which he estimated to be about “1/2 its useful life”.
    2…I remember dad mentioned there was a problem with the intake (or maybe the exhaust) manifold which the Volvo dealer took care of since it was under warranty
    3…I don’t remember dad mentioning any other problems and he traded it in because our family had gotten bigger during the early 60s.

    Like 1
  8. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I have a 62 Sport, 80% restored, don’t know if I’ll get it done or not, maybe time for a Barn Finds auction.

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