Ready to Race: Patinaed 1959 Volvo PV544

As a company, Volvo has one of the most well-deserved reputations in the car industry for being absurdly practical, and some of their more famous advertisements leaned into this. In addition to being able to cart your family around, Volvo also holds the record for highest mileage personal car: Irv Gordon’s legendary P1800, and the patent for various safety features we take for granted today like the three-point safety belt. If you want safe, fast, and reliable, you’re either getting this or a Honda. This 1959 PV544 features the revolutionary (for the time) three-point safety belt, rebuilt mechanicals, and can be found here on eBay.

Looks can be deceiving, as any fan of Icon’s Derelict series can attest. It seems that this Volvo was redone in that vein, and while there is notable patina on the body (culminating in some holes rusted through a few panels), underneath is spotless, hinted at from the outside only by the high-quality modern tires and like-new wheels. There is zero rust under the car, and according to the seller, everything that is structurally important to the car or is required for the car to move has been completely redone. While you’re getting the vintage looks of genuine patina, you’re essentially getting a brand new car.

Similarly, the powertrain is excellent. There isn’t a spot of dirt or grime under the hood, and the rebuilt B18 inline four-cylinder sends power to the rebuilt rear end through a–again–rebuilt four-speed manual gearbox. That powertrain is tried and true, and Volvos of all types from all eras can be found with an FR layout powered by an inline-four. Honestly, if one teacher in Long Island managed to put three and a half million miles on his car, and Volvos compete and win in famously grueling rally races, this essentially brand new 544 will be with you for decades to come.

And why wouldn’t it? What’s not to love about this? It’s fun to drive, it’s easy to maintain, it’s big enough to fit your whole family and their luggage in it, and it comes pre-prepared with a big number one graphic and fog lights to make all of your, and your family’s, vintage rally racing dreams come true. Complete with a radio and heater for comfort, modern safety features, and a rebuilt everything, this Volvo is ready for its new life.


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  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    I wonder which carburetor won the duel?

    Like 8
    • Alan Brase

      Perhaps they spell each other? Industrial air compressors have control to do that, actually. But my aim was a little lower.
      BTW, I love this car. Has to be a rocket with the B18?

      Like 5
  2. Eric B


    Like 2
  3. Derek

    Nice, but isnae ready to race. Cage/seat/harness/extinguisher and so on.

    Like 3
    • Steve R

      Painting the fake numbers on the door is a good tactic, it costs virtually nothing and is likely to up the sale price by thousands on what would otherwise be a tired looking car in need of paint and body work.

      Steve R

      Like 7
  4. Frank M

    My first car was a PV544. Paid 200 for it. Arizona car, no rust.

    Like 2
  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

    Back in 63 my friend Ralph got one of these. It didn’t take him long to blow the engine. So his dad bought him a 58 Ford Fairlane 500 2 dr hdtp. As kids we always said these looked like cars from the 40’s.
    God bless America

    Like 3
    • mark miller

      Having had 4 of these 544s in the ’60s, with 2 as daily drivers, I can say the 544 was a much better car and much more fun to drive than the “58 Ford (possibly the worst year for Fords).
      I can say that as I was raised on a gaggle of Fords during the ’50s and while they were good cars (until that ’58) the Volvo was much better all the way around. Yes, they looked like a Ford from the the ’40s, but that was part of their charm.

  6. Bill McClure

    I had a 66 544 in the early 80s. I am here today because of the 3 point harness. A 65 Mustang came around the corner and hit me head on. Knocked my steering box up and the big pedals stopped the floor. I loved the car, it was going to be my keeper.

  7. Andrew S Mace Member

    Two words: Earl Scheib! :)

    Like 2
  8. Dave Diauto

    man what memories i have of being with a high school friend in his ,,,summer of 65 girls and beaches … a blast for sure would love to have it

    Like 2
  9. t-bone BOB

    Price:US $12,900.00 Buy It Now

    Located in:
    Springtown, Texas

    Like 1
  10. George Richardson

    A friend had one of these back in the 1960’s. The B18 engine would, on occasion, break valve springs. So he carried a valve spring tool and spare springs. He changed many on the road.

    Like 1
    • Dave at OldSchool Restorations Dave at OldSchool Restorations North Alabama Member

      12,900 will buy a prettty nice, well maintained 544

  11. Greg Millard

    Looks to have good bones – a great driver – twin carb B18 – if high compression this will scoot – my sons each have one – one added OD to his. the other AC – it would be nice to have both added!

    Like 1

    I am not going to run this car down but I do have questions about several the way several things were done?????????????

    Like 1
  13. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. This has always been my favourite Volvo, along with early (up to 1964) Volvo 122S.

  14. jwaltb

    Wow Ben, your write- up has more hyperbole than the seller’s ad! This is by no means “essentially a brand new car”, though I’m sure it’s fun. Mine was, even with a B16.
    My favorite line in the eBay listing is “ sounds
    like a sowing machine”. A pretty agricultural reference, don’t you think?

  15. tony t

    Clamp-on battery cable …

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