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Vintage Volvo's

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  • Vintage Volvo's

    Hey JEng, what Volvo's do you like? I've had a few but I always liked the old 544 (humpback) and finally got a '66 with all the options a few years back, ....yes just the AM radio, that was the only option the last year they made that model! Still does 90+ on the freeway....

    My son took it his Prom....
    sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!

  • #2
    Re: Vintage Volvo's

    I can?t say that I have a favourite Volvo. The car I own is the second car I ever bought. The first was a basket case 1928/9 Ford model A. Dad & I did a partial restoration and when dad retired he went full guns blazing and did a total restoration. It is a drive me car rather than a show me car as it does not have the ?correct? interior we use mo-hair rather than what was stock and mom always wanted a rumble seat so the trunk got converted. Rumble seats were stock but this particular vehicle did not have it. Dad has made other slight mods such as putting in a real electrical break as pulling the fuse on the car does not break the connection to the battery. His club found this out the hard-way when another members car had a short and the fuse was pulled but the electrical fire continued on its way. he also updated the brakes (not disk) as the originals used pot metal for the drums and had a habit of breaking away from the rims. Yes he had this happen. The new ones are forged stock but in my opinion the brakes still suck. Sorry for the tangent but hey this is the chit-chat section!

    I was living in Denver at the time -mid early 80?s and coming home from college I would watch re-runs of ?The Saint? came on about 11:30 at night followed by FM TV before they were bought out by that other company that shows music videos and such. Mom was in San Gabriel right next to Pasadena taking car of her mother and my dad?s mother pulling double time. Dad was off on some field trip and so I was paying the house note and mom & dad?s credit card bills and eating top ramen when the $$ ran out. Later I found out that dad said I could have transferred $$ from the savings account. I told him that he had instilled the mantra that the savings account is for a rainy day - there was still some canned food in the house. Nonna?s next door neighbour was a retired gentleman who served in WWI. He had been gassed during the war and I remember him as having a very gravely voice. His place was a DUMP. Typical pack-rat, never got a piece of mail or a magazine that he could throw out. He stopped driving when he was in his early 90?s when he did a typical senior citizen manoeuvre. Scraped the rear passenger door on a pole and hit same pole again with rear bumper. he decided at that time to stop driving. The car then sat in garage for the next 4 years. His car was an old Volvo 1962, the year is now 1984 the mileage on it was 56,000 miles. Yes that is right he put on about 2,500 miles per year, oh wait it sat for 4 years so he actually put on a snit more - 3,000 miles per year. When I got the car it still had the protective plastic wrap on all 4 doors in the interior, but wait I get ahead of myself.

    So late one night I get a call from mom. ?how would you like to buy an old Volvo? I ask how old, she say 1962. What does he want for it? $1000 ok buy it I will pull the money out of my account. yes I am starving at home but have $$ to buy a car - right the $$ for food comes out of mom & dad?s account - you don?t expect me to pay for my own food do you? yes that is right folks I am of legal drinking age living at home. Dad said he would rather I live at home rather than having to put me up in a dorm at college. It gets better, I could drink before I could drive - that?s right I didn?t get my drivers license until way past the legal drinking age - why not I had to pay for my own car insurance. You know we get raped for being male, single, & under 25! Besides that bus system in Denver was great dropped me off 2 blocks from home and 2 blocks from school and ran until 2 am. School by the way was all night classes and the average age was 30. These folks were serious and that made the classes a challenge. Back on track.

    So yes I say buy it at $1,000. She says that I can?t. huh? ?Well, I feel sorry for him his wife passed 20 years ago and he is living here all alone, I don?t think he has much $$ and I have been bringing dinner over to him so I countered offered with $1,500.?

    I about fell out of the chair - ?and what did he say? ?he said I was supposed to offer less?
    Me almost yelling but holding my tongue (this is about 5 years after they almost got a divorce) ?Uh, yeah so he was probably willing to let it go for $850.?

    So I make my deal. ?sure buy it, as I have visions of a P-1800 2 seat roadster dancing in my head. Only you have to pay to get it road worthy.? That most likely means 4 new tires (there?s $120 for sure) and maybe a new radiator and hoses, oh at least another $150. Well the car also needed a new fuel tank and it had quite a few pins holes in it that were discovered once mom had the fuel drained and put in fresh stuff oh and a $50 battery. Plus dad had a business trip to LA so he and mom drove the car back to Colorado. Me, I still didn?t have a drivers license. Big woop I wasn?t planning on driving it in the snow and put it up on blocks once it arrived.

    I was told the car was white, good choice with a powder blue inside. Would have preferred black at the time for the ?cool? factor but the blue is actually a better choice, ah the wisdom of age. Well this owner was a real scrimper and saver. The AM radio was optional equipment. He didn?t get it. The seat belts were optional equipment. He didn?t get it. The windshield washer system was optional equipment, you get where I am going? it has all the plumbing installed just needs a fluid reservoir, the pump and a switch. Ditto for the overdrive, It is the same OD as on MG?s and many other Volvo?s sure wish I had that. I have seat belts that are of the proper vintage but I have not been able to punch holes into the panelling to attach them (the nuts to hold the belts were installed at the factory)

    That day finally comes when mom and dad drive up with this white boat. Mom says how do I like my new car. ?This is not the car I bought sight unseen. The 1962 Volvo is a 2 seater sportster, this thing is a boat!? Dad says yes, it has great lines unlike the Volvo?s of today, boxes. So after about 1 month or two it does grow on me and yes it does fit me. Kinda slow, but once it gets rolling Volvo, so I was told by an old time priest the Volvo in Latin means ?I roll?. In fact I have a sign that says, ?Kristine, she goes 0-60 in 28.3 seconds? yes I tested this 3 separate times on a flat section of I-5 in California. dad & I had her up to 100 mph in Colorado shortly after we got her. Sounded like the whole thing was going to explode. She ticks along nicely at 60 mph and will go over the Grapevine (the hill between LA and Bakersfield max altitude 4,400 feet at 60mph providing I don?t get behind someone slow. If I drop below 50 on the hill section then I won?t be able to get her back up over 50. I drove her until the wife bought me a POST (Piece Of $hit Truck).

    What about the old man? When he died he willed his multi-million estate to a local hospital, I think it was close to 4 mil in 1986.

    Before I met the future wife I was getting things gathered to tear her down to the frame for a full on restoration (she basically needs some aforementioned body work and a paint job). Since then wife, house and child have conspired to thwart the endeavour. For the past 3 years she has forlornly sat in the garage, her engine tickled every month or so and driven a grand total of 1 mile per year. I was once offered $5000 cash for her and have told the wife I would sell both the car and the Harley to pay off some bills, make room in the garage. She says that if I ever sold them that I would regret the decision and won?t let me. Gotta love a woman that knows your true soul even if she pisses you off at times.

    The car looks like this only it is white. So what Vintage Volvo do I like. Well other than wanting the P-1800 for purely egotistical reasons I think I really would have rather gotten the 122 in a wagon instead of the sedan. I have only seen one or two on the road and the lines are really great!

    patrick aka joe engineer


    • #3
      Re: Vintage Volvo's

      Nice story Patrick.....The original receipt for our '66 was in the glove compartment of the 544....$2200. Seat belts were standard! It still has less than 60,000 miles on it!
      sigpicTiempo para guzarlos..... ...enjoy every sandwich!


      • #4
        Re: Vintage Volvo's

        Oh I envy the low mileage. My odometer broke 2x and after getting it "fixed" the second time I said never mind. For a while I was running a 1st generation GPS in it (no maps just lat & lon). For a while there it was getting rather high mileage and the engine was rebuilt around 175,000 miles. I was really bummed when the mechanic had a heart attack and passed about a year later. There was a lot of inside knowledge that went with him. The timing gear on the B18 & B20 engine is a fiber grear and I totally trashed one about 2 years afterthe engine was rebuilt. Luckily this is a non interference engine, for you youngung that means that if the valves are open and the cylinder it top dead centre they don't hit. Most engines today are interference so if your timing belt, chain,gears head south you now have to rebuild the top end and if a valve punches a hole in your cyliunder head then you replace cylinders too. I know for a fact that for a VW passat not chaning a $250 part (shop labor can be as high as $700) wiol cost you almost $5000 for a rebuilt engine. Anyway, my "new" mechanic - I went to him about 20 years ago but was not impressed necause he had gease marks all over the car - he is sloppy but his wrench skills are great, suggested I go with Volvo Marine gears. these are stell and aluminimum gear set. The car is a bit noisier but he timing is really tight, something I never really got with the fiber gears.


        • #5
          Re: Vintage Volvo's

          Originally posted by jengineer View Post
          and if a valve punches a hole in your cyliunder head then you replace cylinders too. I know for a fact that for a VW passat not chaning a $250 part (shop labor can be as high as $700) wiol cost you almost $5000 for a rebuilt engine..
          Hey, jengineer, I know for a fact etc - when I rebuilt my 1971 Kombi engine for the second time in Australia (I'd done some 6000 lousy miles to Cairns and back with a huge trailer in tow and wife and four kids aboard) I scrimped on the parts and bought 'reconditioned' valves from a national retailer (Repco). (I had the block tunnel-bored and put in all the right new bearings, but...)

          I then raced this beast back home from the nearest little skating rink with a neighbour, and 10 miles from home there was this dull thudd, and clonking noises and I cut the engine. My neighbour pulled us home, and when I dismantled the engine, I found a valve top had flown straight through the piston head!

          Thought about another repair for a while - the Kombi was only 13 years old by that time - but eventually desisted and bought a shitty little Mazda E2200 diesel van. The two now rust together in peace near my oven site, after I crashed the Mazda into a cow one night near home. (The good neighbour again pulled us home after that...)

          When I bought my new VW T4 2.5 L turbo diesel van, I ordered a repair manual from Germany for it. I've been looking at it whistfully since, but I don't think I'll do another engine recon on THAT baby!


          Last edited by carioca; 02-23-2007, 12:12 AM. Reason: grammar
          "I started out with nothing, and I've still got most of it"


          • #6
            Re: Vintage Volvo's


            Is it true that all old Volvos eventually go to Berkeley before they die?
            Pizza Ovens
            Outdoor Fireplaces


            • #7
              Re: Vintage Volvo's

              I have heard that rumour. The few times Kristine & I ran around San Francisco and Beserkley we did see a bunch of late model Volvo's. I was told that all the engineering professors had to own one before they were granted tenure.


              • #8
                Re: Vintage Volvo's

                Patrick, XJ,

                Here's a NYT link for you humpback lovers: Vintage Volvos Earn Their Stripes (Ask the General Who Owns One) - New York Times.

                "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


                • #9
                  Re: Vintage Volvo's

                  My favorite Volve 142s the fuel injected model.

                  Peppy and totally a sleeper.....

                  My daily driver until I sold it to my best friend who turned it into an SCCA racer....
                  My oven progress -