Among all the avid Volvo P1800 fans in the world, the Swedish are the luckiest. The Scandinavian country is one of the places where the iconic car was first manufactured. “The Volvo P1800 sports coupe seemed to come out of nowhere. It took everyone by surprise when it arrived in 1961 because Volvo was considered a sober Swedish automaker known to most Americans for plain-looking, rugged family cars.”
“Volvo actually had made a few fiberglass-body sports cars called the Sport in the 1950s, but they came and went so fast you missed them if you blinked.” (Dan Jedlicka)
The Volvo P1800 is unofficially the first sports car of the Volvo franchise. The brand’s first sports automobile, the P1900, was a failure because it sold only 68 units. The P1800 was Volvo’s way of redeeming itself. The car sold 47,492 units from 1961 to 1973, proof of the car’s high quality and solid following. Most car companies seem to have a sort of deference with making sports cars and Volvo is one of these companies, which is why it came as a pleasant surprise when it launched the Volvo P1800 in the 60s. It was not Volvo’s first time to manufacture sports cars and convertibles as it had done so before during the 50s. What made the production of the Volvo P1800 a different one was the fact that it was a serious and conscious effort from the car company.
The Volvo P1800 is far from extraordinary to be quite honest. Its running gear was patterned after the car company’s Amazon line which has a 1.8L overhead valve four. All the other aspects were ordinary too, like the front suspension and overdrive. Aesthetically, it was a blend of Ghia and Frua ideas. It sported curvy lines and the nose jutted out to an egg crate grille. The Volvo P1800′s roof was a bit low compared to the earlier lines of sports cars, so it was not surprising that the seats were also quite low giving passengers and the driver feel of being in a bath tub. The P1800 was initially marketed as a 2-seater sports car but it did have a little space for a back seat that wasn’t able to accommodate people. It was meant to hold things and not passengers.
These units are now scattered all throughout different parts of the world. Fans of the car now only get the chance to get all of them together through photos or a special website. They have even gone as far as having a RingCentral virtual office dedicated to fans of the car. Country by country, there are clubs that were established for the sole purpose of discussing, praising and just adoring the Volvo P1800. At least 47,000 units were made, and we do not know how many are still left from that number.
So, what is the easiest and fastest way to get Volvo lovers together? In this age of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms, communication is the last thing you will have a problem with. Right now, there is the Volvo P1800 International Owners Club but it only has a few likes. You can ask for help from famous people who own such a car.
The Volvo P1800 is one of the most beautiful vintage cars today. It would be perfect to learn how many of them are left and how many people are lucky enough to have one in their garage. Famous people who have owned and used the Volvo P1800 are Dario Campeotto, French star Sophie Marceau, American stars Racquel Welch, Lill Lindfors, Swedish Crown Prince Carl Gustaf, and other Swedish Royals.