This car has caught the attention of everyone before it was produced, its classic form and sportsmanship, proving that the design of this car is timeless. Gunnar Engellau, Helmer Petterson, and Pelle Petterson are great people behind the all-time Volvo P1800 history.
The Volvo P1800 is not a mass-produced car, but it still doesn’t look glamorous like an exotic car. But amazingly, this car still has a thick Volvo identity: minimal maintenance, economical, and reliable at all times.
Another man who was able to feel the sensation of a Volvo 1800 S to its maximum point was Irv Gordon. This man from New York, America has traveled a distance of 4.5 million kilometers with 1800 S which he bought since new in 1966. Irv Gordon along with his favorite car was recorded in the Guinness World Record. His Volvo 1800 S still uses the same engine since he first bought it from the showroom. With certainty, Irv Gordon is determined to reach 4.8 million kilometers in the next few years.
The cast of Simon Templar, Roger Moore, is one of the lucky figures who can feel the joy of a long time behind the wheel of the Volvo P1800, in the television series “The Saint” in the 1960s. This is a successful step to become a Volvo marketing strategy at that time, imaging an attractive sports car for an established man. Until this moment, many still call the Volvo P1800 the The Saints car.
Many Volvo fans are hunting 1800, because it is reliable, economical and affordable. But with time, the price of Volvo 1800 began to increase. Because many parts, especially the body that is already rare, so it will require a lot of costs for restoration.
In 1971, there was a new body variant offered, the 1800 ES with a rear door with a large glass hatchback model. Volvo 1800 ES is a combination of a Grand Tourer (GT) car with a station wagon. 1800 ES is a pure design from Volvo that can attract many consumers and has the same status as the coupe version.
Along with the transfer of the production line, Volvo also plans to change the name of the P1800. Initially it was P1800 S, which later in late 1963 became 1800 S. The letter S signifies the Swedish meaning or assembled by Sweden.
As long as it is produced, this coupe car does not experience significant changes in its beautiful body shape. Only details such as grille, rim, body cover, and color choices. Improvements in the technical section also revolve around the use of disc brakes on all four wheels, improved engine performance and electronic fuel injection systems.
Not wanting his reputation to get worse, Volvo stopped its cooperation with Jensen. After 6,000 P1800 units were successfully made by Jensen, Volvo moved P1800 production at its old factory in Lundby in 1963, because Volvo already had a new factory location.
Many buyers are disappointed that they waited a long time for their sports car orders. In 1961, finally a beautiful coupe with a 1.8-liter B18 engine was present in the Volvo showroom. But, the problem isn’t over, because Jensen has rather poor quality assembly and painting, so some Volvo staff are stationed there.
In December 1958, Volvo’s contract with Jensen and Pressed Steel was successfully made, with the approval of the assembly of 10,000 units. Furthermore, in 1959 several Volvo P1800 photos were released to the press and several prototype units appeared at the Brussels and New York auto shows in 1960. However, without detailed explanation, the Volvo P1800 production must be delayed 2 years after the signing of the cooperation contract.
So Volvo contacted several other bodybuilding companies, namely NSU, Drautz, and Hanomag. But the three companies do not have the standard manufacturing capabilities desired by manufacturers from Gothenburg, Sweden. Not discouraged, Volvo approached Jensen, the company supplying the Austin-Healey body.
But to reach the production line, the P1800 must overcome various obstacles. Karmann was the first body company to be invited to cooperate with Volvo, December 1957. Karmann received it with open arms. Karmann’s main client at the time, Volkswagen, then opposed the idea of collaboration. Because it is considered potentially disrupting the sale of the German brand (VW).
The designer is Pelle Petterson. He has made several design sketches that will be discussed at a meeting of Volvo executives in 1957. Volvo for years said that the P1800 was the work of Frua, but finally in 2009 it was revealed that the Volvo P1800 designer was Pelle Petterson.
Gunnar Engellau, a Volvo official, realized that this company needed a prestigious model and the dealers were looking forward to it. The design proposal was immediately ordered from Italy, where Helmer Petterson, an engineering consultant at Volvo, had a son who worked at Pietro Frua’s design house.
P1800 seemed to be able to hypnotize people who entered the Volvo showroom at that time. In the 1950s, Volvo failed to sell its flagship P1900 sports car, which sold only 67 units.
According to the sales perspective, the P1800 is a product that provides huge revenue for Volvo. But, judging from the company’s history, this model is one of Volvo’s main keys compared to other products.
His life journey is quite unique, because the idea of this car was sparked in Sweden, designed in Italy, made in England, debuted first in Brussels, and achieved success in the United States. Volvo P1800 entered the production line in 1961, after careful planning and development for 4 years. Therefore, the Volvo P1800 was successfully produced for 12 years.
Gallery of 1966 Volvo P1800 by Pelle Petterson
Tags: #1966 volvo