The Volvo name has long been known for its sensible, understated cars of exceptional durability and quality. In the 1960s, the firm was still trying to make a name for itself, particularly in the all-important North American market, and a sporty stylish GT car was the ideal way to drive traffic to their showrooms. The beautiful P1800 coupe hit the streets in the early 60s with bulletproof underpinnings shared with the more pedestrian Amazon, and a striking steel body designed by the young Swede Pelle Petterson, under the guidance of the great Pietro Frua. Lacking production capacity, Volvo contracted with Jensen of West Bromwich, England, to produce the initial run of 10,000 bodies, but after 6,000, Volvo assumed production for the remainder of the P1800’s run.
This stunning 1962 P1800 is one of the rare and desirable early Jensen-built examples, with a production date of August 31, 1962, however it is titled as a 1963. As a largely hand-assembled British Jensen-built car, it is filled with details that were quickly lost as the P1800 was standardized and its production streamlined in Sweden. Most notable of these features is the "bullhorn" front bumper, the elaborate egg-crate grille and cowl vent, white front indicator lenses, full wheel-covers and beautiful C-pillar Volvo script. These early Jensen cars also used heavily chrome-plated brass for their bright trim, inside and out.
The differences on the Jensen cars are not just confined to the exterior of the car. The strips on the interior door panels are plated solid brass, held on with little clips that had to be installed by hand -continuing all the way around the interior in a complete circle. When production was moved to Sweden, the door strips were replaced with pre-formed plastic that was glued onto the panel, and the rear compartment trim disappeared. The rear of the interior features a cubbyhole with individual jump seats that would later be replaced by a simple rear bench seat in subsequent Swedish-built S model cars. All of these unique features illustrate the time that Jensen employees took to hand-assemble each individual P1800.
In 2020, this Volvo was subject of a comprehensive, correct and documented restoration. It is restored to a very high standard that is rarely lavished on a P1800, making this car one of the very best examples to be found anywhere. The high quality and attention to detail of the restoration efforts can be seen throughout. From the gleaming finish of the bare-metal, original-color metallic repaint and sparkling brightwork, to the rare and highly desirable factory accessory Robergel wire wheels - the exterior is simply beautiful. Robergel wheels were used on the 1961 Paris Motor Show car, and offered for only the 1962 model year. Inside, the contrasting stylish and colorful red interior with black and gray trim is accented with an attractive dash design featuring three-dimensional, turquoise-accented Smiths gauges, all finished to a high standard and authentically detailed. Wonderful details abound, like the period accessory Volvo lap blanket stowed behind the rear seats, demonstrating the thoughtfulness paid to every aspect of the restoration.
Under the hood is Volvo's sturdy B18, five-main-bearing, twin SU-carbureted, 100-hp 1,778-cc four-cylinder engine that is superbly detailed with correct battery, paint finishes, Volvo logo air cleaners, hoses and hose clamps and other details that showcase the time and patience it took to make this P1800 one of the finest there is. According to published production records supplied by the Volvo 1800 Register, this car retains its original engine. The undercarriage and trunk area with correct tool roll and spare tire are beautiful as well. The restored standard steel wheels and rare early-type full covers accompany the car, complete with tires.
The exceptional quality and authenticity of the restoration was recognized in 2022 when the judges of the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance bestowed the Excellence In Class award to this very special Volvo. With the unique qualities of rarity, period correct wire wheels and award-winning restoration excellence, this seldom-seen early Jensen-built P1800 presents an extraordinary opportunity to obtain one of the finest specimens of this model to be found anywhere.
Please note this car is titled as a 1963, with a production date of August 31, 1962.
Offers welcome and trades considered
Stock number 7530
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