This 1970 Volvo 1800E Has Been Asleep For 25 Years

We’ve all been there, buying a car as a project, storing it in the garage and then…life gets in the way. That’s the case with this 1970 Volvo 1800E here on Craigslist in Boulder County, Colorado. The owner bought it more than 25 years ago, and there it still sits in as-found condition. The asking price is $13,900.

The owner is honest about his warts-and-all car. “It is time to let it go. Mostly complete, no major dents, some rust on rocker panels and rear wheel arches. It is far from perfect, but to the right buyer/restorer is a great start on a rare and classic car. No guarantees made on the status of any of it, but it did run and drive before it was put into the garage for storage.”

Ah, it “ran when parked.” In the photos, this project Volvo looks better than most. Being in high-and-dry Colorado certainly helps. The rockers and rear quarters do look crusty, and (especially with these 1800s, which have a complex structure) what can’t be seen is often worse than what can. Undercarriage shots would show if the critical frame pieces are rotted. The driver’s door is either not fully closed or (common in these cars) doesn’t fully line up. We can’t see the right side (against the wall), but it’s probably similar to the left.

The car is parked in tight, so the nose isn’t visible but what can be seen looks halfway decent. There’s no indication of collision damage. The whole car is filthy, but maybe the paint would shine up. The interior is similarly dirty but not horrible. The seats are split, as is the dash, and the carpets are quite worn. A few wires are dangling. The odometer shows 85,000 miles, but it’s also broken. Nothing appears to be missing.

What we have here is the first year of the fuel-injected B20E 1800E. The car was given a facelift that year, with fake wood in the upgraded interior, new gauges, different grille and wheels, and a few other niceties—including four-wheel disc brakes. The 1800E used Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection, with a revised camshaft. It produced a healthy 130 horsepower and could reach 118 mph. Zero to 60 took 9.5 seconds.

The picture above shows what this car is supposed to look like. The 1970 1800E is a serious collector car, with many changing hands around $30,000. Hagerty lists a Concours example at $48,400. The 1800ES wagon is an alternative, but those didn’t hit the market until 1972. You will be taking a gamble with this car, but the B20 is tough as old boots, and I’m guessing with a careful revival procedure it will start right up.


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  1. sir_mike

    So sad….Going to need a lot of work,time and money to make her a driver.

    Like 5
  2. Captain RD

    Drove a 1967 1800S daily for years — top notch touring car – very comfortable to drive for hours on the road — plenty of storage — Timeless Styling!!
    Asking price seems too high for the condition IMO. Very susceptible to rust.

    Like 15
    • Mike

      Hey Captain, how was it using the radio? It looks like they placed it way, way over towards the passenger side. Seems awkward to change stations.

      Like 4
  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Boy that sure is a strong ask for this car. Surely 14K could buy a better example than this.

    Like 9
  4. Kurt

    VW had problems with that same injection system.

    Like 2
  5. Frank

    Years ago this car was a big deal with College Professor or teachers now not so much. I felt they were under powered and the rear qtrs. fin design was from the aviation era didn’t make them any faster.

    Like 1
  6. Kurt

    Isn’t this the same model that some guy in New Jersey got a million miles on?

    Like 2
  7. chrlsful

    really nice cars. Simon Templar connections asside. I like the ES better, some of the 21st century lill wolwos more (and of course the same era Italian) but these are great, all ways a thought & smile producer !

  8. bobhess bobhess Member

    Kurt… He actually broke the 3 million mile mark. He died the first part of this year. If you think about it, just making the million miles is quite an accomplishment. Got close friends who are early Volvo lovers who used to race an ES with SCCA very successfully and now have a very early sedan and an 1800 in their stable. Fun and durable.

    Like 1

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