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Featured Car

1972 Volvo 1800E


Owner: Tom Carlisle

Car: 1972 Volvo 1800E

Engine: 2.0 b20 Fuel injected 160HP

Color: Ocean Mist Green (Volvo #109)

Upholstery: Original


The word “sturdy” not “sporty” comes to mind when we think of old Volvos so the svelte P1800 was a huge departure for the usually clever Swedes. After the goofy-looking fiberglass P1900 proved a resounding flop, Volvo doubled down on a more serious sports car project. The result was the P1800 (‘P’ for ‘Personvagn’ Swedish for carriage) —arguably the most gorgeous car to ever come out of Viking country. From the beginning, the P1800 (which evolved into the 1800S, 1800E and 1800ES) impressed not just with its looks, but also for punching above its weight. One period advertisement called it “sort of a souped-down Ferrari.” Another lined up the P1800 below an Aston Martin, a Mercedes 300SL Roadster, a Maserati, and other exotics while asking, “What’s it like to own a $10,000 car? … Find out for $3995.”


Although more high-speed cruiser than all-out sports car, the P1800 was well received by the press. Volvo received an extra injection of publicity when a white P1800 was chosen as Roger Moore’s ride for British TV show The Saint. This was after the folks at Jaguar refused to give the producers an E-type on short notice, their loss. ( by Andrew Newton)


Tom has restored this 1972 Volvo 1800E after finding it in a garage in San Diego. He, along with Jay Rankin of Rankins Volvo, laboriously worked to rebuild this blast from the past. From front to back all original parts were used. Even the color respray, although very unique, was an original Volvo color (#109 Ocean Mist Green). Such a genuine renovation has not gone unnoticed as it came 1st in its class at the Slo Rollin’ National Volvo Meet Oct 2019 in San Luis Obispo.

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