Volvo cars have always been known for being reliable, sturdy and well-built. In the 1950’s, the distinctly American-looking PV444/544 series was the car that cemented Volvo’s reputation for tough, sensible cars with just a bit of a sporting edge. American enthusiasts had discovered the B-series engine could be highly tuned and Volvos were giving Porsches, MGs and Healeys some unlikely competition on the race track. The bosses at Volvo were very aware of their reputation and wanted to capitalize on it with a proper sports car. They envisioned a “halo” model that would attract attention to show rooms and help sell regular sedans. Their first attempt, the P1900, was designed by Glasspar of California and rode on a PV444 chassis. Performance was good, and it was attractive, but it proved to be a serious failure. The car did not live up to typical Volvo quality standards, market demand was weak and only 68 examples were built.
But Volvo did not give up and commissioned a new car, based on a shortened Amazon chassis with an all new steel body. Several Italian design firms were courted to style the car, while Volvo’s in-house team also worked up a proposal. The resulting car was largely a
left-hand-drive 1961 volvo p1800 coupe black restored swedish 1800 p
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