Parts Car or Project Car? 1966 Volvo 1800S

I’m not sure how many 1966 Volvo 1800Ss were produced, but I bet not too many made it to Hawaii. This one lives on the island of O’ahu, in Honolulu to be exact. It can be found for sale here on Facebook with an asking price of only $2,900. While you might think this is a great deal, there’s quite a bit of work to be done to make this car great again. Let’s take a look.

The car is in running and driving condition, which is a plus. As you can see in this photo, rust has invaded the car. The seller says “very rusty top to bottom and underneath.” When a seller describes a vehicle as “very rusty” that’s not a good sign. Overall, the rust doesn’t look too bad from a distance, but you can see the paint bubbling around the doors and rockers on both sides of the car. The seller even says this car might be better off as a parts car for another project.

The car has 110,000 miles on it. Other than saying the air conditioning needs re-charged, there isn’t much information regarding the engine or mechanicals. The engine for 1966 was a B18 rated at 115 horsepower. Believe it or not, this brought the top speed of the car to 109 miles per hour.

The interior doesn’t look too bad. Pretty typical for a 54-year-old car. Volvos of this vintage have a great dash/gauge setup which is very attractive. The buyer could probably get away with leaving the interior as-is for a bit while addressing the rust issues.

The rear glass is missing for an unexplained reason. Hopefully, it hasn’t let a lot of moisture into the interior. This car still looks savable to me. What do you think? Is this car destined to be restored or used as a parts car for another project? Let us know what you think.

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  1. Rex Kahrs Member

    Definitely not a ’66. Somehow I think this is a 63 or 64. The cowhorn bumper and the long-wing rear bumper, plus the Volvo logo on the sail panel and the door swoop trim just don’t jive with ’66.

    That said, the photos don’t look bad at all. These puppies can rust like nobody’s business, and in winter/salt states they sure did. But a HI car, well, I’d have to see the underside photos to say for sure. Perhaps the seller finds the fuzzy rust to be extreme, but by 1800 standards this car looks like a screaming bargain at $2900. Scam?

    Like 2
    • Justin Schmidt

      The chassis/VIN you see in the FB post indicates that it is a 1966. The Jensen built P1800 had numbers that accounted for the first 6,000 cars, and this one is #17,434. The other details can be easily backdated from an early car. The radiator looks like one I’d see on an earlier P1800, or a very early 1800S. The seats also look like ones from a 1800S and not a P1800.

      It is also possible that someone swapped the data plate on an early car and mixed up a bunch of parts, so you would need to look for a secondary chassis ID tag inside the engine bay, or compare the VIN tag on the A pillar.

      Here is this car’s info from the 1800 Registry:

      • Rex Kahrs Member

        I obviously should have taken the time to research the VIN, but I waste enough time on the internet looking at cars that I won’t purchase. I was simply relying on the photos when I said it wasn’t a ’66, and clearly the bumpers and C-pillar emblems are from earlier cars.

        Now the rust issue is a good lesson, and I’m well acquainted with the 1800 rust issues. Having purchased several cars off EBAY (mostly successful), I know that the photos always make the car look better than it really is. This is exactly the opposite of what photos do to me.

  2. Classic Steel

    Rear back window is out to carry surf board 🏄‍♀️ dude….

    It can be saved so just book it danno to a body shop and get some metal put beck after cutting and sand blasting the cancer removed.

    I hope an islander puts it back and continues to drive it.. i suggest roof rack for boards and rear window 👀😏

    Like 1
  3. art

    Having lived on Oahu many years, I can attest to rust. Those wonderful trade winds are full of salty, ocean mist that clings to every surface and it invades every crevice with the rains washing the salt mist further into those crevices even deeper and the result is generally terminal. It invades into and behind the headliner, the fabric, under your dash…everywhere.
    This car would be too expensive to restore.

    Like 2
  4. local_sheriff

    Haven’t seen it in person so who am I to judge…? I love it when a seller is honest, however I think he should’ve seen what others have managed to bring back to life…

    Like 1
  5. Chris H

    Very attractive lines on these cars, much better than the boxes Volvo put out in later years. Too bad about the rust, but make sense being an island car. Ever been near a beach? One day and everything is covered in salt. Definitely gonna keep any mainland bidders away.

  6. Beyfon

    Already noted as sold. Chassis number pegged it as a fairly early 1966 model. It has a few things from a very early car, such as the bumpers, the grille and the badges on the C-pillars.
    1800S are difficult to restore well, when they are rusty on the outside they tend to be very rusty once you start cutting metal away. But for sure worse examples than this one have been brought back from the dead.

    Like 1
  7. DRV

    Having had a bunch of these, this one will be a ton of work. The new metal can be had, but under the skin is hugely labor intensive.
    If it isn’t going to break in two, Earl Shieb it and drive it!
    That valve cover is a collector item itself.

    Like 3
  8. Simon T

    Not one reference to the Saint…….

    Like 2

      The name is Templar…Simon Templar.

  9. chrlsful

    nice lookin, drivin cars, durable – like the waggy more.

    Hawaii is tough (salt air) and the later ‘boxes’,
    as said above, solved it with multi-over lay points
    where panels met. My 240 DL wagon was tough
    to re-sheetmetal just due to this…

    • John

      Yes, please! Love the wagons.

  10. nmexmatt

    I saw this posted on a Facebook P1800 page. Someone commented that they had seen it in person. Major rust reported on all areas. I bought one of these for $1200 many, many years ago and had to put about $14k into it. This would require twice as much work as what I did. I don’t concur that it couldn’t be a ’66. It was common that cow horn bumpers were swapped out as they were preferred. Nice examples can be had for around $24-55k. Good news is that a lot of parts are still available including interior panels and such.

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