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Low Mileage Original: 1965 Volvo P1800

When you think of Volvo – you mostly think of the boxy wagons popular in the 1980s and 1990s, but before this was the ever-beautiful P1800. Styled by a subsidiary of Ghia, the P1800 has stood the test of time with its classic and sporty design. Our car today is available in Los Angeles, California on eBay here for a current bid of $22,000 with just over 3 days left on the auction. Should you wish to go ahead and buy this, it’s important to remember that Volvo originally designed these as tourers, rather than flat-out sports cars – and with the one we have here today in great condition, it should be able to clock up a lot of miles cruising around.

Talking of high miles – another P1800 was once owned by a chap called Irv Gordon who managed to get 5.23 million km from his car. Staggering numbers and testament to both the quality of the car, Irv’s rigorous maintenance and a firm believer of the mantra that the best way of keeping classics on the road is by driving them, rather than keeping them in air-conditioned storage as a collector’s item. Our P1800 today has done rather less milage, just 31,590km on the clock meaning it had a very easy life. It has received a lot of care and attention in the last few years, with the seller having put the car through a small restoration with new brakes, brake lines, a new starter and a new clutch master cylinder.

The interior of the car has fared very well – all the gauges and leather seating look to be well-loved but in great condition. Some of the chrome brightwork on the interior and the steering wheel could use some love, but now it promises many years of trouble-free (and comfortable) motoring. The engine bay also presents itself well – with the 1.8l B18 engine having received lots of service over its 50-year lifespan.

The exterior also presents well in the photos, with the seller offering more photos and videos should you be interested. Even more remarkable is that most of the exterior is original with no signs of rust or crash damage. These cars always strike me as a bit of a hidden classic – values are still reasonable, but the car offers so much for classic motoring. The question remains though, are you tempted by a Volvo P1800 to be your next classic, and do you think it would turn enough heads at your next cars and coffee?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice to drive, nice to look at, and dependable. Chase down any possible rust areas and treat them and you have a fun car to drive and own.

    Like 9
    • Neil R Norris

      I agree! The P1800 is a beautiful classic.

      Like 0
  2. Rex Kahrs Rex Kahrs Member

    This is not a P1800. It’s an 1800S.

    Like 10
    • Ted

      According to a past post on BF, isn’t this the better one to own?

      Like 2
      • Terrry

        because its body was made in a different factory, this time in Sweden. Before, the P1800 body was made in England by Jensen.

        Like 3
  3. justpaul

    The Ebay listing is not an auction, it’s a classified ad. The price is $22K OBO.

    That’s a good bit of money for a P1800S, but if it really is all metal and not Bondo, it just might be worth stretching for it if this is one of those cars you’ve always wanted.

    My father drove one in 66 or 67, for six months. Said he loved it except for one thing: it had no power. But then he was a Corvette guy back then, and just coming off a 65 convertible a P1800 was a serious step down.

    Like 5
  4. Dan N

    Presented nicely. And Elliot, I remember that record-setting Volvo you mentioned, a red 1972 (I think) featured on Chasing Classic Cars; this one here is barely broken in by comparison! This dealer’s reviews look a little old, so a more thorough inspection of this car will still be needed.

    Like 0
  5. Toypartman

    Nice car but I would rather have the twin SU’s than the Weber retrofit kit that was installed at some point. The retrofit kit was for people who couldn’t properly set up the SU’s. It needs to be put back to stock! It just doesn’t look right when you open the hood.

    Like 1
    • Richard Martin

      I totally agree with that Toypartman. I can’t understand why so many people shy away from SUs. They are dead set simple and the horror stories about trying to tune them simply aren’t true. Either that or the person doing the tuning is totally incompetent.

      Like 1
    • Juan Alvarez

      I totally agree with you.
      I had several of these vehicles, 1965, 1966, & 1971 fuel injection.
      Those two SU carburetors with two the two air filters give the look of a true sports car when you open the hood. I even install SU on my 1971. Took out the fuel injection unit from my 1966 and install the two little SU carburetors. The car ran better and never had any issues.

      Like 0
  6. Alfredo

    Irv Gordon’s record setting Volvo 1800S was (still is) a 1966 model.

    Like 0
  7. Bob from Wisconsin

    I love my ’65 1800S! I’ve owned it since 1966. This car is hiding too much. Wrong bumps (Should have “Cow horns” and shouldn’t have rubber strip in the rear!) The grill should be Egg crate, and what’s with the black spray all over the engine compartment. Is that Zebart? Or has the color been changed? And I agree, S.U.s are easy to tune. Somebody didn’t know how and convinced the owner that Weber was the way to go?

    Like 0

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