Snowy Swede: 1962 Volvo 544

This, dear readers, is 1962 Volvo 544 that has been off the road since 1973 and doesn’t run, but it is available for $1,500 here on craigslist in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Yes, that Carlisle, where all the big shows are at the Fairgrounds every year. Interested? Read on…

The 544 first came onto the scene in America in 1958, and by the time this one was born (most likely from the factory in Sweden, since the Halifax, Nova Scotia plant hadn’t opened yet) you could get the new B18 1.8-liter engine with either a single- or dual-carb setup, and choice of 3 or 4-speed transmission.

1962 was the first year for 12-volt electrical systems in the 544, which the seller notes in the advert.

The seller also tells us that it is a “…serious project but is a restorable car. I either have – or have access to – all parts necessary for restoration.” and that there are many new parts available from various other sources. All that in mind, would this be something you would like to have, either as a project or a finished restoration?

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  1. Howard A Member

    Can’t let this one go by without a comment. My 1st car ( that I drove legally) was a ’58 PV444. Matter of fact, I had a parts car exactly like this, which, sorry to say, is all that this is good for. Pretty hard to find nice ones like this, and I doubt they have much of a following today. Mine sure was a great car. It looked just like this. This must have been posted before I knew about BF’s, because I surely would have commented on it.

  2. Kenneth Carney

    Had one about like this one about ’69 or so. I bought it from the local Ford dealer
    for the princely sum of $25. It was painted 5 different colors and all beat to
    hell but it ran like a Swiss watch. After
    sorting the mechanicals, I tackled the
    bodywork and painted it myself with
    a case and a half of touchup paint
    from a future BIL. Man, did it look sharp
    in 2 coats of ’65 Chevy dark turquoise
    paint. Threw some seat covers on the
    seats and dressed up the floors with
    some surplus carpet I got from a carpet
    store. Wound up selling it to another
    kid at my highschool for $950! Not a
    bad price when you consider what I
    started with. After that, all the kids
    came to me to buy a car! Dad and I
    had a nice business going back then.
    It paid for the house my parents bought in ’71 and taught me that hard work
    meant something–even if the guy doing
    the work was disabled. Sure had a good
    time with that one!

  3. Alan Jackson

    These PV544s are great cars, fun to drive and were rally favorites in the early 1960s. While in the US Air Force in England in 1962 I bought from my roommate for $125 his 1959 PV544 in which he had just blown the engine. From another Airman on base I bought his 544 that he had just wrecked, shortly after having had the engine and transmission rebuilt. I paid $125 for it as well. So for $250 I had a complete car with a rebuilt drive train. I drove the car for my 3-year tour in England and brought it back to the States with me when I was reassigned. My wife and I then drove it for another four years before selling it for $450! As the years passed we longed for another 1959 PV544. We found one at a classic car auction in Branson, MO five or so years ago and bought ti — but this time it cost me about $13,000! It is fully restored and runs and drives great, just as I remembered my old ’59. This one has a replacement B18 engine but otherwise is all original. Buy one and drive it. I am pretty sure you will love it!

  4. Rich Nepon

    During the first gas shortage me and two friends bought these all over, usually not running. We got them running, rebuilt brakes and hydraulics, new shocks, retread tires and sold them on weekends from a phone booth at a service station that was closed on weekends. What a life!

  5. Kenneth Carney

    Oh yeah, I’ve heard of that! Nomad
    Motors LOL!! We used to buy old cars
    from newspaper ads, radio swap shop
    programs, fixed what needed to be fixed,
    and and sold ’em on to kids I went to
    school with. That’s how I made some
    extra cash back then. I had no complaints and their parents loved me.
    I even took my toolbox to church on
    Sundays just in case someone had a
    breakdown after services let out!
    Seriously though, I had a great time
    and would do it all again if my health
    would permit it. Great times indeed!

  6. Frank M

    My first car and the one I learned to drive with, was a 61 PV544. I bought it when I turned 15 for $200. Then I had to sell it 8 months later because I didn’t have a license yet to drive and we were moving to Missouri from Arizona. I made $50 on the sale. I would still love to have another one.

  7. John White

    My first new car was a 1962 544 with a B-18D engine. I drove the wheels off that car, driving at least 140 miles on my daily commute. Got tired of it and sold it for $200 in the early 1970’s. Went on a nostalgic kick and began looking for my old car to buy back, which I never found. I did find a 1961 544 in really decent shape with a B20 engine, 6 volt to 12 volt modification, and made the fatal mistake of telling the seller that “I’d think about it overnight.” Wrong thing to do – it was sold to someone else – I tracked down the buyer and bought it from him – although it cost me about twice the money. I’ve had it now for about 25 years, had the interior professionally done, suspension and brakes restored. After letting it sit for several years, just got it back from the shop for a carb overhaul and now having fun getting reacquainted again.

  8. Dick Libby

    I currently own a 64 544 which I love immensely; parts are available
    but are expensive (decent body parts are harder to source than
    mechanical/engine parts)…..These classic Volvos are so much fun
    to drive, and often clubs are available for feedback and support,
    such as the Volvo Club of America (see website)

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