Justified Cult Following: 1966 Volvo PV544 Sport

Some vehicles just develop a cult following.  While some folks tend to gravitate to cars such as Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes for their performance image, other enthusiasts build their love on such virtues as durability, handling, and reliability.  Take for example the curious case of this 1966 Volvo PV544 Sport being sold here on eBay out of Coppell, Texas.  While these cars were an oddity in America when they were sold, they have developed something of a cult following among stateside Volvo enthusiasts.  Long known for being reliable, economical touring cars, these easily modified cars have begun to sell for increasingly surprising numbers.  Is the current bid of $8,100 around the market value for this car, or do you expect a flurry of bidding in the final hour?

Conceived during World War II, the Volvo PV444 did not enter production until 1947.  Demand was strong for these conventionally designed, but somewhat small, sedans.  The design received changes in 1958.  This lead to the PV544 designation.  The model was produced through 1966, with 440,000 of the cars making it to market by the end of production.  The styling was quite dated by that time, but sales numbers remained steady as more and more people became familiar with the outstanding durability of these cars.  Their B-18 inline four cylinder engine became known for racking up incredible amounts of mileage.  A B-18 engine in a Volvo P1800 has racked up an amazing 3,039,122 miles over its life.

The good news for anyone looking to purchase a PV544 like this one is that these cars can be modified into very competent tourers.  The basic engine was produced in some shape or form until 1981.  I have heard of modified engines being paired with later overdrive transmissions and various suspension upgrades to produce hot rod Volvos that punch far outside their weight class.  The classic styling combines well with the Swedish hot rod modifications.  They end up like a 5/8 scale 1948 Ford hot rod that gets great fuel economy and can go around corners with authority.

As you can see from the pictures, this PV544 is in great shape.  The seller is the third owner of the car, and it hasn’t seen regular use since the early 2000s.  Currently, the car is said to drive well.  The engine runs, and the transmission shifts well.  One minor hiccup is that it needs a set of tires to replace the very old set still on the car.  It is described, somewhat humbly, as a very presentable car.

While there is some waviness in the dash pad, the rest of the interior is described as free from any rips or tears.  Other than the sweep type speedometer, it is interesting to see how vintage everything looks.  It really looks like a forties car in comparison to the interiors we have seen from other cars built in 1966.

Other than a little loose vinyl covering part of the seat base, everything else we see backs up the sellers claim that the interior is in very good shape.  The glossy vinyl “Naugahyde” look of the material looks a little out of place.  However, it is still cool in a vintage way.  You also can’t fault the material after all these year of use.  It obviously held up well.

Overall, this would be a great car to add to any collection.  The cost of the hobby is bad enough without having to fork out a lot of cash to feed a gas guzzler.  You could have fun modifying this car, and still afford to buy a lot of fuel to burn tearing up the countryside.  Early Volvos have a cult following for a reason.

Would you like to have this car in your garage?

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Comments

  1. Steve

    That’s a great looking car and looks to have held up really well. I’d like to have a 544 some day. Need to finish up the projects I already have first though.

  2. Frank M

    My first car was a 61 PV544. I learned to drive on Eastern Arizona dirt roads. I would love to have another.

    2
  3. Andy

    The headline says 1968, the article calls this car a 1966, and then goes on to say the model was produced up to 1965. So what’s the truth?
    Otherwise, very nice shape, and I’d much rather have this for half the price of a new Sentra than any new car.

    1
    • Jeff Bennett Staff

      Sorry for the mistakes. Skipped coffee this morning. The dates should be correct now.

      2
  4. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    .
    ……… and prices on these are expected to continue to rise…….

    1
    • Chuck

      I hope so! But not finished Loving mine yet

  5. Jeff Weir

    All I can think of is Robin Williams in The World According to Garp.

    3
    • Chunk

      Me too. I’m gonna call my psychiatrist.

      2
  6. On and On On and On Member

    Bidding ended ? Hit $9100 doesn’t say sold.

    1
    • PatrickM

      It sold just before I opened E-bay. Shucks!! Can;t even see the rest of the pics. $9,100.00. I wouldn’t mind having one of these for a daily driver, but they are just getting so expensive. Hmmm… Must be a reason

      • Dave at OldSchool Restorations

        @PatrickM
        .
        . No, it did not sell.
        .
        Bid to 9100, it did not reach the reserve.

  7. DRV

    It’s a non original but nice interior. The front seats are great and are from a later 1800. The mechanism for the seat was used in many foreign sports cars including Ferrari.
    I have the ’64 version and it is a very practical vintage driver.

    2
  8. Wayne

    I agree with DRV about the interior. My first thought on seeing the seats is that they came out of a 123GT, as they used the same seat adjustment mechanism. Price seems more than fair for what you are getting. Up here in “The Great White North” this car would go for almost double that in Canadian funds.

  9. david R

    think I saw one of these on Wheeler Dealers. Looked pretty cool.

  10. Paul Reilly

    Bought my first car in 1968. I was looking at a ’62 Volvo and a ’62 Chevy 11 300.
    I chose the Chevy 11. It served me well but I’ve always kind of regretted not getting the Volvo.
    Both were around $900. asking price.

    • PatrickM

      I didn’t realize Chevy ever made a “11” I always thought it was a “II” Makes a big difference…Roman numerals as opposed to Arabic. LOL. I get it, just joshing.

      1
      • Paul Reilly

        Right you are. 1O1 !

  11. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    No surprise that the high bid of 9100 did not reach the reserve.
    .
    These 444/544’s continue to increase in value, to the point that buying one to restore has become practical.
    .
    One of these days I put one of the ones we have, as a BF Exclusive or auction.
    .

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