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Fuel-Injected Find: 1971 Volvo 1800E

OK, I’ll admit it, I have never been a Volvo fan. I know of their safety and durability attributes but they always left me as odd cars that only appealed to a certain demographic. Granted, the last few years have brought about some inspiring designs, but I’m talking about the Volvo of yore. One exception, however, is the 1800. The first time, many years ago,  that I spied one of those I remember thinking a Volvo? How cool! That being the case, I love to check them out when they surface and this 1971 example is no exception. It is located near Cupertino, California, and is available, here on craigslist for $3,500. Thanks to Rex M. for this tip!

In production between 1961 and 1973, The Volvo 1800 was available in several different varieties. Our subject car is an 1800E, “E” for Einspritzung which is German for fuel injection. It’s German, and not Swedish, I guess, because it’s a Bosch Jetronic system. A total of about 47K copies of the 1800, in all variants, were produced in its thirteen-year run.

This ’71 1800E appears to have been sitting for some length of time. The seller has this to state regarding his car, “It’s mostly complete, does not run, has some rust here and there, see pics. Clean title and is currently registered. 4-speed w OD.” And that’s it, and there ain’t no more. So, the pictures will do the talking and the rust looks like it’s more than here and there. It is evident in the quarters, behind the wheel wells, lower fenders, and the rockers. The inner rockers (underneath) are looking shaky too. There is surface rust, and more, around the trunk opening; it’s uncertain what the primered front end is all about, it could be rust repair, or maybe the result of a panel damage problem.

It’s a safe assumption that the 2.0 liter, 130 HP, in-line four-cylinder, fuel-injected, the engine is probably a non-runner. It appears to be complete, nothing obvious is missing, other than the airbox, but its operational status is unknown. There is no reported mileage either. The seller does mention the four-speed manual transmission with overdrive.

The interior is pretty rough, the seat upholstery is split, the door cards are wrinkled, the carpet appears to be heavily faded and/or missing, the dash pad has numerous splits, the armrests have deteriorated and some switchgear is dislodged from the instrument panel. From what can be spied, the headliner looks OK. The interior is hardly a lost cause but it’s going to take a lot of work to return it to usable and presentable condition. Oh yeah, you’ll need a shifter ball too.

Admittedly, the price is not outsized but this Volvo needs a lot of work, it will be a substantial project. Its visual condition, and paucity of listing details, would make me want to pass and keep looking for another example, but there is something automotive for everyone. What do you think, worth taking a chance on this ’71 Volvo 1800E?


  1. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    I think the smart money on this car would be to wait until the pandemic is over, then put the thing on ebay, and see if you can attract a European buyer.

    I sent 3 of these in similar condition over to Europe. They love them over there.

    Like 1
  2. Pat

    Already gone?

    Like 0
  3. Jon

    Looks like it was bought for a “flip” … that license plate is current – our 2019 has 8M***** and that was Nov last year …

    Like 1
  4. RJ

    Unusual rust around the rear panel area – poorly done repair or heavy salt damage are my first thoughts. I’d wonder what state it came from – or – was it a beach car?

    Like 0
  5. Chuck Foster Chuck Foster

    Gone quick, sold or seller realized it was too cheap.

    Like 0
  6. DRV

    It could never be too cheap. It’s junk, trust me.

    Like 1
  7. Dave Mathers

    I loved the styling of the P1800s when they first came out. They didn’t have enough power to pull the skin off a rice pudding BUT they cornered very well!!

    Like 1

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