Jensen Edition: 1963 Volvo P1800

Disclosure: This site may receive compensation from some link clicks and purchases.

When was the Swedish-built Volvo P1800 sports car not a product of Sweden? When it was built by Jensen in England for the first 6,000 copies. This example is one of them and it was a barn find that’s had a lot of recent work done, though short of a restoration. Located in San Jose, California, this automobile is available here on craigslist and comes with lots of details on the Jensen-built P1800s. $23,500 (OBO) gets to take it home. An interesting tip brought to us by Nevadahalfrack.

Due to an initial shortage of Volvo production capacity in Sweden, the first few thousand P1800s were built on British soil by Jensen. It was known only as the P1800 until the Swedes took things over and it would become the P1800S (and later P1800E and P1800ES). Some sources indicate that Jensen production stopped after 6,000 due to quality control problems while the more common answer seems to be that Volvo was ready to take over.

While this P1800 is registered as a 1963 car, the built date was in either late 1961 or early 1962 according to the body plate, chassis number, and “Assembled in England” found on the chassis plate. Some of the other signs about the Jensen P1800 (that only P1800 experts would likely know) are things like the 5,500 rpm redline tachometer, single bolt front shock retaining plates, styled cowl intake, rear seats and deck, and the Jensen valve cover with center breather.

According to the seller, the body is solid with just a touch of rust here and there. When it was built, this P was white in color with a grey interior. A switch to red paint was likely done in the 1980s or 1990s and the interior looks to contain black upholstery now. The car is said to have been primed for restoration after having lived in a barn in Central Valley, California for most of its life. It was stored since 2012 with the engine started from time to time. The mileage of 61,000+ is believed to be original due to the overall condition of the machine.

Unfortunately, the engine in this auto is not original, having been replaced by the prior owner. We’re told it starts and runs fine, but the manual transmission has developed a leak. The list of work done to get the car back into working condition includes, but is not limited to, the brakes, carburetor rebuild,  suspension upgrades including shocks, new clutch, new pinion seal, hoses, and a flush of the fuel system. The P comes with two sets of wheels, US Magnum 500s and original Volvo rollers with hub caps. If you’re looking for a project that will probably have tongues wagging in Volvo circles, maybe this is it.

Auctions Ending Soon

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhessMember

    Don’t think the replacement engine will affect the value but if it’s going to be brought back to original getting the twin Carbs back on it will help. This could be a really nice driver level car. First time I’ve seen those wheels on one of these and they really fit the overall presence of the car.

    Like 7
  2. HoA Howard A ( since 2014)Member

    Irv Gordon,,RIP,,amassed an amazing, 3.2 million miles on one.
    https://www.autoblog.com/2018/11/16/irv-gordon-dies-volvo-p1800-mileage-record/

    Like 7
  3. Tommy T-Tops

    I used to see one of these, same color, everyday in a guys driveway on my bus ride to high school. I always thought it was a cool looking car and wondered how much fun a big block (like a Cobra) would be in one. When I retire who knows this looks like fun

    Like 1
  4. SSBN629

    Russ..
    Common mistake with the 1800 Volvos
    There is no such thing as a P1800S,
    The 62-63 models were Jensen built P1800
    When Volvo brought production in house in ‘64 the “P” was dropped.
    1800S, 1800E and 1800ES are the correct model designations.

    Like 0
  5. DelBoy

    Apparently the ‘cow horn’ front bumpers were only made for this 1st edition model. It’s biggest tell for the experts. A car I lusted after in the late 70s. Sadly, rust was already eating away at them.

    Like 0
    • SSBN629

      The bullhorn front bumpers and wrap around rear bumpers were standard through ‘64. The thick chrome side trim that swoops up on the door lasted until ‘66.

      Like 0
    • RallyeMember

      No, the cow horn bumpers were also on the early 1800S.

      I think I already criticized all the faults on this car weeks ago here.
      Body seams filled, C pillar emblems missing, slotted wheels and hubcaps are for later 1800s or Amazon, not P1800, seller says early 62 or late 61 but the “chassis #4354” makes me think it has to be made in 1963 (Bout 2k per year 61-62-63 but Volvo didn’t have Jensen finish the full 6k and I prefer 2 x DCOEs on these motors.

      Like 0
  6. SSBN629

    No such thing as a P1800S.
    Common (and irksome) mistake
    When Volvo brought production to Sweden, the P was dropped and the S added.
    1800S, 1800E and 1800ES are the correct model designations.

    Like 4
    • Billkrz

      I am sorry but you are incorrect. When Volvo in Sweden took over the final assembly of the P1800 from Jensen in England, these initial cars WERE called the P1800S. Please see the attached brochure printed in Sweden as evidence.

      Like 0
      • Billkrz

        Here is the cover of the brochure.

        Like 1
      • Billkrz

        Here is the second page of the P1800S brochure.

        Like 0
      • SSBN629

        Mea Culpa.
        You evidence is sound.
        Thanks for the clarification.

        Like 0
    • Billkrz

      As you can see from this Volvo issued brochure from 1963, Volvo mentioned the P1800S designation 7 times throughout the pages. Hopefully, this can put to rest the “there is no such thing as a P1800S” falsehood.

      Like 0
      • Billkrz

        SSBN629: You are welcome! This designation, P1800S, did not last long but for a short time was correct.

        Like 0
      • RallyeMember

        Been messing with Volvos for a long time and this is the first I’ve seen what you presented here. I don’t think parts or service manuals mentioned P1800S.
        Thank you.

        Maybe P1800S is for the remainder of the first 6K that Volvo didn’t let Jensen finish?

        Your brochure mentions the ventilation system that I wasn’t impressed with and was improved on the injected cars.

        Like 0
      • Billkrz

        Rallye: You are welcome. Glad to have been able to share this.

        Like 0
      • SSSBN629

        Mea Culpa Billkrz.
        Your evidence is right there in 4 color!
        I stand corrected and appreciate the clarification.
        Be well

        Like 0
  7. Richard Poling

    Go old USS Daniel Boone…

    I served on SSBN 657(Gold)

    Like 0
  8. MarkO

    The wheels Are the same bolt pattern as a Ford: 5 lugs, 4 1/2 ” , if I remember correctly. I had a set of used Grey spoked/ polished rim ET’s on my ’67 1800S. Slight clearance issues , as the offset was wrong. They certainly looked great: kind of “Cobra like”!
    Minilites also look great on these cars and have the correct width and offset.

    Like 0
  9. JackW

    Cool car – two of my friends each had one of the Jensen built cars back in the 1970’s. One of them had installed a turbocharger off a Corvair on his – he said it would do an honest 130 mph.

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.

Barn Finds