Volvoville Convertible: 1965 Volvo 1800S

1965 Volvo 1800S Volvoville Convertible

If you have any interest in old Volvos, the photo of this 1800 probably threw you off. Look ma, no roof! Volvo never built a convertible version of their pseudo sports car, but that didn’t stop Stanley Lazarus. Stanley and his son ran a prominent Volvo dealership in New York which they fittingly named Volvoville. They had just lost their line of British sports cars to a competitor, so they decided they needed a drop-top to compete. They only sold Volvos though and as I mentioned, the Swedes had no use for open air motoring (too cold). So, Stanley took matters into his own hands and started cutting the tops off of 1800s. They were able to sell about 30 before Volvo shut things down and this particular rust bucket is claimed to be one of them! The seller seems optimistic about the car’s value, but they have listed it here on eBay with a $100 starting bid and an unknown reserve. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. Paul B

    I clearly recall Volvoville newspaper ads for these drop-tops from when I was growing up in downstate New York! The ads showed the car from the rear with the top down. Volvoville was a mega-Volvo dealer on Long Island during Volvo’s early heyday, when the 122 was the hot thing in foreign cars above the economy class. I was just thinking the other day about these cars and wondering whether any still existed. I had no idea that only about 30 were sold or that Volvo itself put a stop to it. Foolish of the Swedes, I think, as the idea for an 1800 convertible was a good one. At the time it would have been a great, if expensive, alternative for some people who might have bought a Healey 3000 but wanted Volvo solidity and reliability. Someone buy and save this! It’s not within my budget.

    • rapple

      Paul, don’t you think Volvo may have been concerned that their “solidity and reliability” (to say nothing of safety) may have been seriously compromised by the Volvoville/Lazarus chop job? It’s not like the 1800 was best built car the company made to start with and validating by tolerating these under-engineered modifications could have (and may well have) created serious legal problems for the company. It’s not for nothing that this dealer was known in Volvo’s U.S. headquarters as “The Amityville Horror”.

      Red flag quote from the ad for this remnant of a car: “…so that is what I am going with for the VIN.”

  2. Karl

    It was not just cutting off the roof that enraged Volvo. Apparently Lazarus also did unauthorized engine mods as well. Just look at that aftermarket timing device mounted on the cowling!

  3. Dolphin Member

    “Hagerty shows a 1967 1800S Coupe in concours condition, bringing $77,000 on 1/15/2015.”
    —————————————————————-
    Dream on…..

    Back to reality……
    The car is bid to $2K now, so some people like PaulB must also remember the Volvoville ads, and I do too. I’m just not sure about this project. I hope someone is successful with it but that will take lots of parts searching, work, and of course, cubic money.

    Yes a boat shop can fabricate a bimini-like top frame like the seller says, but those are engineered for boats that travel between 0 and maybe 25 knots. If / when finished, this baby will be going faster than that just to keep up with traffic, and I think there’s going to be a problem. Better at least look at, or buy an original top frame from one of the other 29 cars that were made and hope they were done well.

    There’s a lot to do on this car and I hope it goes to someone who’s up to it.

  4. Horse Radish

    You look at the bids and you wonder,
    who IN HIS RIGHT MIND would bid $1999 on E-bay 4 and a half day before auction end and expect to win the auction ?
    There are several reasons to start an auction at a low price, namely, the selling amount is limited per month by E-bay.
    Doesn’t make sense, but they do.

  5. Alan (Michigan)

    Ended by seller, due to “Error in the listing”. Read: “Found a buyer for the $ I want for the car, screw fleabay”. Cancelled all bids.

  6. RickyM
    • Jesse Staff

      Nice find Ricky!

  7. Walter Kowsh

    Hello: Just saw your posts while searching for Volvoville on Duck Duck Go. I’m aware of the cars’ history & background. I see this was for sale 4 years ago. Do you know what happened to it? Always wanted an 1800, however have lived with 245s for past 30 years.

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