Nice Driver: 1962 Volvo 544 Sport

This 1962 Volvo 544 is a desirable Sport model which featured dual carbs on the durable B18 inline-four engine. The seller describes this car as a nice driver rather than a pristine showcar, which is right in the sweet spot for many collectors looking to get their feet wet in the vintage car hobby. These Volvos have a strong following, and decent pedigree considering the affiliation with vintage rally racing. Find the 544 here on eBay listed with no reserve.

The 544 is well-known by those in the know but still somewhat overlooked by the hobby at large, in my opinion. It’s rare to find a classic that combines family-friendly levels of practicality and reliability with a supportive aftermarket should you decide to go racing. From hillclimbs to Goodwood, the 544 has seen track time in all manners of environments, and I have to imagine almost every vintage sportscar racing group would welcome a clean 544 with open arms.

Of course, for a survivor like this, bolting in a cage and fire suppression system almost seems cruel when your interior looks this nice. The seller notes that the cabin features original rubber mats, as well as in the trunk. Door panels and seating surfaces look lovely, and the dash pad is mostly a good news story, aside from a few cracks. It appears an auxiliary temperature gauge has been added, but that appears to be it for modifications.

Bidding is currently below $5K with no reserve. It seems light at the moment, and I wonder if some tweaks could enhance the eyeball appeal. These 544s respond well to decor-related items, like grill badges and period roof racks, or even the gray-painted OEM steel wheels with hubcaps. It depends on what look you’re going for: off-duty rally car or a Swedish 1948 Ford. I feel like the former does well dollar-wise, but there’s a lot to love about a clean survivor like this.

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Comments

  1. ken tilly UK Member

    Fantastic, bullet proof cars. Lucky new owner.

    Like 4
    • kiteflier

      Bulletproof indeed. Had a pv544 in 1977 with 200,000 plus miles on it. I could turn the key in gear and the car would start and off we’d go. That car never let me down no matter what I did to it. I ran out of gas one time and drove the car a block using just the starter motor.
      Was driving from Mountain View to my final final exam at San Jose State when the oil gauge dropped to ZERO. After a few miles the heat gauge started to climb and then pegged at max but I needed to get there and it was still moving. Got there took the exam and drove the car 16 miles back to Mtn View. It had spun a rod bearing so I rebuilt it and drove a few more years before trading for a p1800.

      Like 9
      • DRV

        I still use mine found here on Barn finds in 2010. I’ve just done regular maintenance since purchasing and is still all original.

        Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        Hey DRV, just for fun would you post a picture of your 544 and the price you paid…..in 2010……..

        Like 2
      • michael Beshore

        Kiteflyer
        I’m on the floor laughing at your pv544 story. so far the price ain’t bad on this crate.
        Mb

  2. Rusty

    Drool….

    Like 3
  3. Howard A Member

    I can’t let this one go by without a few words. My 1st car ( I drove on the road) was a 1958 444. In 1972, I paid $50 bucks, so naturally I’m a bit surprised to see one for $5 THOUSAND bucks, but that’s ok, because if there ever was a classic worth $5g’s today, it’s this. They don’t get the best mileage, or the fastest times, but roll they would for years, needing very little, even less likely to rust like most cars. This car got Volvos name out there, even if it was someones 1st $50 car. This is a great find.

    Like 4
  4. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    In the small midwestern blue collar town in which I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, there were next to no “foreign” cars— mostly just Fords and Chevys and Dodges. Even Volkswagens were not common. But there was one of these Volvos. Given the automotive world in which I lived, I thought it was an odd vehicle, and wondered why anyone would want one. I also wondered about servicing it– I assume at the time there was a Volvo dealer in the big city (50 miles away), but I don’t know for sure.

    In hindsight, I wish I knew the story behind who owned it, and why/how.

  5. RJ

    I used to tell people at mixed-marque shows that Volvo bought the dies and design from Ford – that it was a still-born ’48 Falcon. Not everybody believed me, but I was surprised how many did.

    That said, anybody who compares the 444/544 to a ’48 Ford has not driven both.

    • ken tilly Member

      Quite right RJ. I have owned a 1948 Ford and driven a PV544 Volvo extensively and the Volvo is a much better engineered, quality motor car.

      Like 2
      • Car Nut Tacoma

        I’m too young to remember when Volvo made cars like this. But I remember seeing Volvo 544s and 122S, and I tend to wish such cars were still produced today.

  6. Greg Millard

    I have owned two which my sons now enjoy. Best value for a collectible performance car period. Cheers, Retrogreg

  7. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I’ve always found the PV544 quite attractive. I’d buy one if I didn’t already have a car. The thing about these old-school Volvos I like is that while they have good safety features, they also know that safe driving practices also prevent accidents in the first place. The only thing I don’t like about this car is the aftermarket gauge underneath the dash. When it comes to cars like this, I tend to be rather purist.

    Like 1
  8. Bi McClure

    In the early 80’s I bought a 1966 from the original owner for 600 dollars. Loved the car and shoulder belts as I got to test them as I was hit head on. The car was a write off, since then I have not settled down with a car that I have loved as that Volvo

  9. Will Owen Member

    While we’re suggesting add-ons, let me throw in “a set of seat belts”! The one thing that improved the daily commute up and down the road between La Honda and Palo Alto in my 544 was the set of seat belts I installed after my door swung open in mid-U-turn in heavy traffic and I almost fell out. It did not take long for me to notice how much easier it was to hit those hard bends, especially downhill, when I could use the wheel just for steering instead of holding my bod in place.

    This is a very pretty 544, I must say – never seen a brown one before, and it works. Lovely cars to drive, dead easy to work on, tough as nails and remarkably comfortable. Weaknesses are they get blown around in heavy crosswinds, and even if that steep-slanted windshield is clean, driving into late afternoon sun can be blinding. And you really need two good-sized outside mirrors in traffic.

    Like 1
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I agree. While I know that safety belts were standard, by today’s standards, they could be dangerous. I would upgrade to more modern 3 pt. safety belts for all occupants.

      • Will Owen Member

        I agree completely. And it seems to me that there ought to be room between the seat frame and lower bodywork to install an inertia reel. I had to put non-reel belts in both my ’60 Falcon and my ’70s International pickup, and the lack of free motion kinda hurt the driving experience. Still, it beats the heck out of taking the windshield out with your face.

        Like 1

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