VOLVO 1800
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1961 - 1973

VOLVO 1800 Parts and Information
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The VOLVO 1800 is probably the most valuable classic VOLVO, with its small sexy sport car look. It is one of the rare Volvo model that also appeals to the non-Volvo classic car crowd. It is a rear wheel drive 2 seater coupe, with a 4 cylinder engine and integral frame/body structure. Contrary to the small British sports car of the era, the volvo 1800 was known and maketed as a reliable and tough sports coupe. Because of its heavy steel construction and small 4 cylinder engine, it is not the most performant car of its category. Like other small sports car, it is not very roomy and comfortable, few had air conditioning for example. Its popularity with the general public came in part because of its appearance in the popular "The Saint" TV series in the 1960's.

The 1800 coupe was produced from 1961 to 1973 and a total of 39385 were built. Production peaked in 1966 and 1967 with 4500 units sold each year. The production peaked again in 1971 with 4750 units sold. Check the production tables below for yearly production.

The B18B 4 cylinders 1.8 liter engine was used from 1961 to 1968. The1800S have a dual carburetor set-up with 2 SU HS6 carburetors. The same engine was used in all other Volvo models of the 1960's, including the 544, 120 and 140 series. The 2.0 liter B20B engine was introduced in 1969, which is the same as the previous B18 but bored to 2.0 liter. The carburetors were also changed for 2 Strombergs In 1970 the 1800E became the first Volvo production car with a fuel injection system. The B20E fuel injected engine, with Bosch D jet system, outputs 130hp @ 6000rpm. The compression ratio of 10.5 to 1 dictates use of highest octane fuel available to avoid pinging.

Early models had a 4 speed standard transmission. Most have a 5 speed standard transmission, the 5th ratio is provided by an electrically operated overdrive. An automatic transmission was available from 1971 on.

The 1800ES is the hatchback version produced in 1972 and 1973. Aside from the doors and the rear of the body, it is the same car as a 1800E coupe. The 1800ES is a more functional car because of its cargo space. In 1973 only the 1800ES model was available. The 1800E coupe's last year is 1972. A total of only 8077 1800ES were produced, so it is even more collectable than the 1800 coupe.

The VOLVO 1800 shares a lot of mechanical components with the 120 model, including engine, transmission, suspension and brakes. The B18 and B20 engines used on the 1800 series were also used on all other Volvo models of the 1960's and 1970's. The B20F engine was even used on the first 240 in 1975.

The main thing to check when looking at buying a 1800 is rusting of the floor structure, inner rocker panels, floor cross members, and on the front fenders around the headlight area. If the car is not too rusty in those areas, it is probably worth restoring. Most mechanical and body parts are still available from this web site and other sources.

You will find below our take on the history of the 1800 series. Books and publications from other sources are available. This pages is written with the perspective of a parts supplier, so the emphasis is put on the technical characteristics and variations from year to year, rather than on historical, economical and marketing issues.

 

VOLVO P1800

1961 to 1963

1961 to 1963

The 1800 was first revealed to the public at the Belgium Auto Show in January 1960. The car shown was not a final production model but a prototype named P958-X2. The car was also shown at the New York Auto Show the same year and it was well received by the visitors and the press.

The label P1800 identifies the first batch of 6000 cars produced in England by the Jensen company. The first production P1800 was sent from Jensen to Volvo Sweden in September 1960, in time for the 1961 model/year.

The Jensen P1800 were sold from 1961 to 1963. They can be recognized by their "bull horn" bumpers, curling upward toward the center of the car.

The B18B 4 cylinder 1.8 liter engine was used from 1961 to 1968. The1800S have a dual carburetor set-up with 2 SU HS6 carburetors. The same engine was used in all other Volvo models of the 1960's, including the 544, 120 and 140 series. The B18B is the most performant variation with a compression ratio of 9.5 to 1, giving 100hp@6000rpm for 1961 to 1963.


VOLVO P1800 built by Jensen with "bull horn" style front bumper. More VOLVO P1800 pictures

VOLVO 1800S

1964 to 1969

Quality problems fueled a dispute between Jensen and Volvo. Starting with chassis number 6001 the production was transferred to Sweden in 1963. The name was changed to 1800S and stayed until 1969.

1964

  • New 1800S emblem on the rear of the car
  • New interior panels and upholstery
  • New seats
  • Headliner changed
  • Cardboard in trunk now black, was grey
  • Rear brake shoes and cylinders changed
  • Windshield seal, vent window seals changed
  • Compression ratio was raised to 10:1 on the B18B engine, now giving 108hp@5800rpm.
  • Front suspension lower A arms and bushing changed
  • Fuel tank changed

1965

  • The bumpers on the 1800S are now straight.
  • New front grille insert, used for 1965 and 1966.
  • Firewall insulation inside the car, now black
  • New steel wheels, silver paint with oval venting holes
  • New hubcaps
  • Overdrive switch changed, now a lever on steering column. Previously was a dash mounted switch.

1966

  • Rear suspension support arms, bushings and springs changed
  • Floor pan dimensions changed
  • Front suspension upper A arms and ball joints changed
  • Steering idler arm now have a bushing.
  • Front seat reclining mechanism changed. Now chrome hinges.
  • Dual exhaust manifold and header pipe, intake and exhaust manifolds are combined in one unit.

1967

  • Side chrome trims on doors and front fenders changed, now narrower and straight.
  • New exterior door handles
  • New front grille insert, used from 1967 to 1969
  • Bigger air filter, now 3 mounting bolts
  • Radiator with separate overflow tank, new hoses and thermostat housing.
  • Better cooling lead to a power increase to 115hp @ 6000rpm.
  • Drive shaft and center bearing changed
  • Clutch slave cylinder changed
  • Bell housing changed, now with reinforcing bracket
  • Center console between front seats added
  • V O L V O letters added to the rear of the car

1968

  • New dual circuit braking system, dual master cylinder, junction box with warning light switch detects a circuit failure.
  • Same brake warning switch on dash used to warn when parking brake is applied.
  • New crash safety regulations leads to: new knobs on dash switches, front seat headrests, new seat belts.
  • Window crank handle knob and spacer ring changed for flat design.
  • Vent window handle now black plastic.
  • Collapsible steering column
  • Reflectors added to the side of front and rear fenders.
  • Side view mirror on driver door now standard
  • Hazard flasher switch added, flasher relay changed
  • Front turn signal assembly changed
  • New torque rod and axle support arm bushings on rear suspension, now butterfly shaped

1969

  • The 2.0 liter B20B engine was introduced, which is the same as the previous B18 but bored to 2.0 liter. The carburetors were also changed for 2 Strombergs The intake and exhaust manifolds are combined with a pre-heating chamber. 1969 is the only year with this set-up on the 1800 series. However the B20B was used on the 120 series and 140 series until 1974.
  • New coolant expansion tank and cap
  • Alternator replaces the generator. Better charging at low RPM.
  • B20 emblem added to front grille
  • New overdrive, now J type, was D type
  • New clutch link, now cable instead of hydraulic, bell housing changed
  • New front brake pads, front calipers, new brake booster, new front disc backing plates
  • New rear wheel brake cylinders, still drum brakes.
  • Interior door lock handle now with black knob
  • New trunk mat
  • New wiper motor and wiper transmission, now cable driven. New wiper blades.

VOLVO 1800S 1969 FRONT
VOLVO 1800S 1969
This style of front grille was used from 1967 to 1969.

VOLVO 1800S 1969 REAR

VOLVO 1800S 1968 REAR SEAT
VOLVO 1800S 1968 Rear Seat. It can fold down to carry cargo, however there is no access to the trunk like on a modern car.

More VOLVO 1800S pictures

VOLVO 1800E

1970 to 1972

In 1970 many changes were done to the 1800 series. The main change was the introduction of a new technology for Volvo: fuel injection: The E in the new name 1800E identifies cars with the fuel injected engine.

1970

  • New B20E fuel injected engine, with Bosch D jet system, output of 130hp @ 6000rpm. The compression ratio of 10.5 to 1 dictates use of highest octane fuel available to avoid pinging.
  • The Bosch D jet system uses an analog computer (not a digital computer) which uses transistors and resistors That kind of computer system is sensible to input voltage variations. Any problem with alternator, battery and charging system will cause fuel injection side effects.
  • New air filter, intake and exhaust manifolds, throttle cable.
  • Exhaust system now 2" diameter
  • Still the same B20 engine block with 2.0 liter, 8 valves. Intake valves size increase to 44mm
  • New fuel tank, fuel level sender, tank filler tube. The fuel filler door/cap now located on driver side rear fender.
  • New front grill insert, now plastic, used on 1971 and 1972.
  • New dash and instruments now black surround instead of chrome
  • Rear view mirror moved from dash to ceiling
  • Fake wood trims on dash. New ashtray handle.
  • New sun visors and separate holding clips
  • New steering wheel with 3 spokes
  • New steering lock, ignition switch and key
  • Buzzer for ignition key and headlights, buzzes when driver door is opened and the key is in the ignition or headlights are ON.
  • New cowl side panels with pockets
  • New flow thru ventilation, grilles on C pillar and rear fenders allow air to flow thru the car.
  • New carpets, new cardboard panels in trunk
  • New bigger fuse box
  • Rear disc brakes replace the drums. New emergency brake set up.
  • New front brake discs
  • New wheel bolt pattern, same pattern used up to the Volvo 940 series. Mags from 240, 740, 940 can be used on the 1800E and ES models.
  • Mag wheels are factory standard. Wider wheels take 185/15R15 tires. Previously tires were 165R15.
  • New front windshield seal
  • New shifter boot
  • New M410 standard transmission, 4 speed + overdrive. The M410 is a tougher version of the M41. The M410 was also used on the 164 series. 1970 is the only year the M410 was used on the 1800 series, and it is not really tougher in practice. Most people convert to the regular M41 when they can't fix the M410.
  • Bigger 2" drive shaft, used in 1970 only.
  • New transmission mount, round
  • New 1800E emblem on rear of the car.
  • Rear window glass gains demist/defrost
  • Side reflectors on front and rear fenders become side marker lights.
  • New thicker and flat faced taillight lenses, can interchange with holder ones
  • New headlight relay, for flashing the headlights
  • New wiper arms

1971

  • New emblem on nose of the car, used on 1971 only
  • Automatic transmission now available. Same BW35 transmission used on the 120 and 140 series

1972

  • New B20F engine is all the same as the B20E engine, but stricter pollution regulation forced compression ratio reduction to 8.7 to 1 on the B20F. The power went down to 107HP. All cars sold in North America have the B20F low compression engine.
  • New fuel filter, fuel pump
  • New injector rail and fuel pressure regulator
  • New temperature sensor switch for cold start injector
  • Side view mirror now screwed for the outside, from 1968 to 1971 was held from the inside and door panel had to be removed to replace mirror
  • Back to steel wheels with small center cap and chrome trim rings. Mags now optional.
  • New door panels, armrests, opening handle
  • New front seats with integral headrests. Seat webbing now a metal grill, reclining and lumbar support improved.
  • New front seat belts now have winding mechanism.
  • New split rear seats with seat belts
  • New side upholstery panels
  • New front grille insert used on 1972 and 1973.
  • New rear brake shoes for emergency brakes
  • New shifter knob, now round ball
  • New brake warning light on dash
  • New overdrive light on dash
  • New hazard switch and rear demist switch. Round buttons used on 1972 only.
  • New turn signal switch
  • New dome light
  • New flasher relay
  • New emblem on nose of the car
  • New VOLVO emblem on rear of the car

VOLVO 1800E 1970 FRONT

VOLVO B20E ENGINE, LEFT SIDE
The B20E and B20F fuel injected engines with Bosch D jet system. Shown here with an optional alloy valve cover with Volvo name.

More VOLVO 1800E pictures

 

VOLVO 1800ES

1972 to 1973

The 1800ES label identifies cars with the station wagon body style produced from 1972 to 1973. Aside from body differences, the 1800ES is mechanically the same as the 1800E coupe. See the 1972 1800E information above for the list of changes done in 1972 on the coupe.

1972

  • From and including the dash,all the way to the front of the car, the 1800ES and 1800E coupe are exactly the same.
  • Doors, door seals, door glass different from 1800 coupe.
  • Front and rear seats are the same as the 1800E 1972
  • All bumpers and side trims are the same as the 1800e coupe. More trims on the 1800ES around the side glass and the rear tailgate glass.
  • Rear bumper gains 2 small bumperettes, below the bumper.
  • 1800ES emblem on rear of the car
  • Mud flaps different from the coupe.
  • Taillights and license plate lights different from the coupe.

1973

  • New front and rear bumper brackets and boots
  • New square switches on dash
  • New wiper arms
  • New license plate light assembly

VOLVO 1800ES 1972 with ATS wheels
VOLVO 1800ES 1972 with original Volvo accessory wheels made by ATS, and fog lights

VOLVO 1800ES 1973 Rear

More VOLVO 1800ES pictures


Chassis available
Name Style Description From To Total Production
VOLVO 1800 2 door coupe 1800 2 door coupe 1970 1972 39385
VOLVO 1800ES 2 door hatchback 1800 2 door hatchback 1972 1973 8077

VOLVO 1800 Coupe Production
VOLVO 1800 2 door coupe Production by Year
CHASSIS_NAME MODEL_YEAR MODEL_FULL_NAME PRODUCTION_ID FROM_CHASSIS NUMBER_BUILT ENGINES TRANSMISSIONS
VOLVO 1800 1961 VOLVO P1800 A 1 6000 B18B M40,M41
VOLVO 1800 1962 VOLVO P1800 A B18B M40,M41
VOLVO 1800 1963 VOLVO P1800 A B18B M40,M41
VOLVO 1800 1963 VOLVO 1800S B 6001 2000 B18B M40,M41
VOLVO 1800 1964 VOLVO 1800S D 8001 4500 B18B M41
VOLVO 1800 1965 VOLVO 1800S E 12500 4000 B18B M41
VOLVO 1800 1966 VOLVO 1800S F 16500 4500 B18B M41
VOLVO 1800 1967 VOLVO 1800S M 21000 4500 B18B M41
VOLVO 1800 1968 VOLVO 1800S P 25500 2800 B18B M41
VOLVO 1800 1969 VOLVO 1800S S 28300 1693 B20B M41
VOLVO 1800 1970 VOLVO 1800E T 30001 2799 B20E M41,M410
VOLVO 1800 1971 VOLVO 1800E U 32800 4750 B20E M41,BW35
VOLVO 1800 1972 VOLVO 1800E W 37550 1865 B20E,B20F M41,BW35

VOLVO 1800ES Production
VOLVO 1800ES 2 door hatchback Production
CHASSIS_NAME MODEL_YEAR

MODEL_FULL_NAME

PRODUCTION_ID FROM_CHASSIS NUMBER_BUILT ENGINES TRANSMISSIONS
VOLVO 1800ES 1972 VOLVO 1800ES W 1 3070 B20E,B20F M41,BW35
VOLVO 1800ES 1973 VOLVO 1800ES Y 3070 5007 B20E,B20F M41,BW35

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