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Feb 22, 2000 (7:18 pm)
Another one for Mr. Shiftright: I generally don't
like VOLVOs, except for the late P1800 (wagon).
That was a car with a different look-even today, it
stands out! What are my chances of finding one in
good condition, and do they stand to appreciate?
Also, belive that they came with the B21 engine,
which is a pretty good powerplant. The rear window
really intrigued me-the glass was hinged directly
to the frame-does anybody do that today? Did a lot
of owners wind up smashing their rear windows?
Feb 22, 2000 (8:09 pm)
Oh, there's no scarcity of P1800 wagons. They are enjoyed by a small number of enthusiasts, and as such the supply and demand remain constant, so the prices kind of creep along with inflation. I wouldn't expect any big increases in value, no, but if you bought a nice one at a fair price and took care of it you probably wouldn't lose any money.
They are sturdy cars but not sportscars in any sense of the word. A bit slow and heavy, very reliable, rather noisy, but a decent attractive and distinctive older car that you could easily use every day and stay warm and dry in.
Mechanical parts are generally available, but any kind of body, trim and glass part will cost you through the nose.
I believe the last P1800s used the B20E engine, not the OHC B21.
Mar 24, 2000 (7:02 am)
Volvo is apparently coming out with a Volvo S60.
The S60 is suppose to replace to S70.
Get all the latest information at:
Mar 24, 2000 (4:21 pm)
I'm hiding the above post not out of ingratitude but because it is off-topic and when you go to the site they throw pop up advertisements at you. So beware.
I think Volvo styling i getting better, but to the P1800s credit, it was just about the only Volvo in the last 50 years that can some real dinstinction and humor to it...well, I take that back...the old 444 and 544 turtlebacks were pretty cute. But the 120s 140s 240s 700s etc. were pretty dull stuff.
Now Volvo has finally seemed to have hired a styling department. I wish them good fortune and hope they'll try even harder.
#5 of 91 Awsome cars!!!
Apr 11, 2000 (5:35 pm)
The P1800 is a great car. Nice styling, affordable, easy to work on. In stock shape, theyt weren't too quick, but this can easily be taken care of. Re-jet the carbs, get a better head, and install a slightly bigger cam, and you'll have a great performer.
Apr 12, 2000 (1:55 am)
Well, you'd have to do something about the handling, too, but places like IPD make all kinds of modifications...I myself would throw the Stromberg carbs over a fence and use the SU-type...the B20E head is a great idea, and the better cams (Volvo stock cams of that era were really quite junk metallurgically speaking)...then sway bars, good shocks, throw away the silly oil cooler (leaks all the day long), get stronger u-joints (they are too small) and figure out a way to hang the exhaust system so it doesn't fall off (I mean, rubber bands? Geez Louise). Oh, got to do something about that fiber timing gear, too.
So if you can work on all those weak points you can make a pretty decent car out of the P1800...I rode in one that had about $10,000 in mods and cosmetics and it was a great ride. But the guy really went through it and got rid of the inherent problems, which are undeniably annoying.
#7 of 91 Mr. Shiftright
Apr 12, 2000 (12:34 pm)
You're right about the handling. It's not bad for a 60's car, but obviously won't compare with todays cars. The U-joints are good for up to 150hp, and i think that the fiber timing gear is fine as long as you don't use a bigger cam than the K- cam (from a late B20E). I'va never had a problem with the exhaust system falling off, have you?
Apr 12, 2000 (4:03 pm)
I just remember some friends experiences in their shop that specialized in Volvos...they had barrelfuls of bad camshafts, buckets of bad u-joints and lots of twisted exhaust piping (those big rubber doughnuts either broke or stretched so much that the exhaust clanked and clattered whenever you hit a bump....I think the exhaust system problems were worse in the sedans, but he u-joints were pretty lame...I mean, look at them, they are TINY....of course, lubricating them once in a while would have helped!
The fiber gears got sloppy and messed up the timing...this is why so many old Volvos are always pinging...I always thought the later P1800E was a much improved car...better styling, better engine (head), better fuel delivery, better electrics, etc...
Also the overdrive transmission in the P1800 is something you want to be careful with...many people tear out the planetary gears backing up in reverse while in overdrive...and I've taken just two apart---they are very tricky little devils to rebuild.
Apr 27, 2000 (1:09 am)
Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but I was under the impression tha 1968 is the last year for the 122. So a 1970 would be a 140 series which is supposed to have a B20 engine.
If it's a misregistered 122 sedan updated to a B20 engine from a B18, this is a common conversion. Best would be a B20 with the B20E (injected) head, with bigger valves, and SU rather than stromberg carburetors.
As for value, usually any restoration would result in a loss, but the 122 is a very useful, sturdy car so I could see paying $3,500-4,500 for a really, really sharp one all tricked out.
If you like older Volvos, you might find the 544 very entertaining, as it is lighter and perhaps more nimble than the 122 model, and IMHO, prettier.
Apr 27, 2000 (10:34 pm)
No 1970 model 122 in the USA, or 1969s, so say all the big books on the subject.
But WHATEVER...it could very well be a Euro car...it doesn't really matter, it won't affect value one way or the other. The only 122s worth a fair sum in the US are very clean wagons and the 123GT, otherwise, nobody much seems to care about these cars....at least not the collector car market as we see it today.
Nonetheless, I like these cars and think they are terrific automobiles. What I'm saying is don't pay too much for one, because you won't get that money back, except in enjoyment.