| VOLVO 1800
1961 - 1973
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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||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||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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