Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

Partially Restored: 1973 Volvo 1800ES

Buying a car that is “partially restored” can sometimes lead to a challenging rebuild phase where the next owner is chasing down missing parts or undoing the previous owner’s work. In the case of this 1973 Volvo 1800ES, it appears you’re actually buying a project that has been thoughtfully updated and that represents an ideal jumping off point for the next owner to take over. The Volvo is listed here on craigslist in West Hartford, Connecticut for $13,900. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Mitchell G. for the find.

The 1800ES is one of the most striking designs to come from any manufacturer, let alone one known for making rectangular-shaped sedans that were more focused on safety than style. The rear glass is one of my favorite details, along with the subtle rear fins beneath the side windows. The primrose yellow paint is a terrific shade for a such a funky design, and it may even be original given the light patina is shows. It looks like some rust repair has happened on the doors, and I use the term “repair” lightly.

Here’s where the 1800ES really starts to shine: the underside is in surprisingly nice condition, especially for a car that very well may have lived in the northeast most of its life (an 1800ES is absolutely the kind of car you’d find in West Hartford). I do wonder if the underside has been undercoated or otherwise coated with some sort of inhibitor, but it’s hard to say for sure. Regardless, I don’t see any major holes or other signs of rampant corrosion.

The interior is likewise in decent shape, and seeing a manual transmission is a serious bonus. The seller notes that he’s undertaken several cosmetic repairs, and has also improved the mechanical health of the Volvo with new tie rods, a fresh alignment, new pan gasket, replacement hoses on the fuel injection manifold, and a fresh battery, among other updates. The bucket seats and carpets are in great shape, and overall, this 1800ES looks like a worthwhile project that shouldn’t prove too challenging to pick up and move across the finish line.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Nice car. My favorite Volvo. I think it’s the best looking Volvo ever made and is on my list of the best designed cars.

    Like 11
    • Joe Mec Member

      Thoroughly agree, Bob!

      Like 4
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I agree Bob, classic design. I would be happy with it as is for a summer driver. And overdrive, sweet!

    Like 4
  3. Eric B

    I had no idea how rare these were until fairly recently. One of the coolest wagons ever in my opinion, it’s a shame more weren’t produced.

    Like 4
  4. Joe Mec Member

    Looks like the existing comments are in the same boat. I never really liked the looks of the 1800 coupe and never owned one, but when the wagon came out, I thought it transformed that body style into a good looking stunning, stylish hatchback. I consider it the same treatment as the MGB transforming into the stylish MGB GT hatchback… I guess you can tell I prefer the hatchbacks… the original version of the term SUV ( sport utility vehicle).

    Like 4
  5. Norman McLeod

    A beautiful car. I bought one new in 1973. Paint was #111 blue with light blue interior. 4-speed w electric overdrive. I drove it for 10 years, but with a wife and 3 small children it was too small. Sold it for $2,000 more than I paid new. Wish I still had it. But still driving Volvos afer 50 years. Current is a 2012 S60 T5.
    Norman McLeod

    Like 1
  6. Frank Sumatra

    What parts are “partially un-restored”?

    Like 0
    • Elbert Hubbard

      Oh ye of little faith – it is a striking design and especially for a Volvo – at $13,900 someone will have a nice project they can hopefully complete and enjoy for many years.

      Like 4
      • Frank Sumatra

        Mr.Hubbard- It is a great looking car I would be happy to own. My strange sense of humor made me think “partially restored” is akin to being “partially pregnant. Either you is or you ain”t. And once again, loved “Message to Garcia” and sorry about that other incident. Cheers.

        Like 0
  7. wagonman

    “WagonMan” gives it 2 thumbs up along w/the other voter on MGB GT. BUT…

    most ALL’em look better this way to me.

    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.