It’s probably safe to say that Volvo broke the mould when they created the P1800. After all, they have always had a hard won reputation for safety, and arguably even a little dullness when compared to other great European marques. As you would come to expect from Volvo, the car was very reliable, a quality we take for granted these days. In fact, the P1800 holds the world record for the most miles ever driven – 3,000,000 no less and counting! Thanks in no small part to the rugged 2-litre 4-cyinder Volvo engine and equally tough transmission.
But the P1800 is a whole lot more. That oversized grille at the front, the long bonnet, smooth, sculpted wings, and low slung, aerodynamic body shape all come together to give the car a wonderful sporty demeanour. What a beauty!
It’s easy to mistake it as a late post-war design, but this was a car that was conceived as a prototype in 1957 and first released for sale into the motor trade in 1961. This was Volvo’s response to the booming European and American markets that were celebrating the end of post WWII austerity and sporty 2-seaters and their larger 4-seater Grand Tourers were at the vanguard of this automotive revolution.