If a car's been sitting at a dealership for 34 years, you'd expect it to develop a certain amount of vehicular arthritis, in the form of brittle rubber, aged braking components and rodent havens. In the case of this Volvo 1800ES, originally owned by Gordon Turner, proprietor of Turner Volvo, it's recieved regular attention during the 10,000 miles it's accrued during its time as a demo car.
For the uninitiated, 1800s are the "exotic" vintage Volvo and nice examples can trade for several thousand dollars. This one's got a starting bid of $20,000 and the reserve has yet to be met.
More after the jump.
This has got to be the most concours-ready 1800 we've laid eyes on. Every picture reeks of showroom freshness. It must have been some trick to grow metallic blue cows for the leather, but hey, it was the '70s. With only 8,800 miles on the clock, there's virtually no seat wear, heck, there's not even pitted chrome on this baby. Even the undercoating is still brandy-new shiny. It's good to see that there has been regular maintenance, too. We can detect a nice, new oil filter poking out in one of the pictures -- Volvo brand, no less. You'd expect that being owned by a dealer, this car would have undergone rigorous maintenance with blue-box parts, we're just not sure where they found a tech with the patience and understanding to keep this older beast going. We can't get over how clean and brand-new this car looks, right down to an absolutely perfect set of alloy wheels. You never see perfect alloys.
1973 was the end of the road for the Volvo 1800, and the ES was the last model standing. The 2-liter B20 four cylinder was given Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection, not the very first EFI system, but the first one to take hold. D-Jet works quite well when everything's up to snuff, but can be problematic when components go wonky. The car pictured has a 4-speed manual with a Laycock overdrive. The Volvo red-block with manual transmission is a wondrous combo. The rest of the car isn't so bad, either. Based initially on the Amazon running gear and later incorporating bits of 140-series mechanicals, there isn't a whole lot you can easily break. The engine is adequate to cope with the 2,700 or so pounds of Swedish steel, but you won't be winning drag races. The chassis, likewise is quite comfortable, but is by now a vintage driving experience. Remedies to powerplant adequacy and chassis heaving do exist, however. Aftermarket companies like iPd have many years making Volvos zoom. There's a large base of support on the internet and through the Volvo Club of America, and these cars always draw a crowd. Most just want to know what the heck it is. If we were sitting on a pile of money and looking to buy a vintage European coupe, this ES would be hard to beat. The wagony shape makes it relatively useful, and probably aids in reducing aerodynamic drag. The mechanicals are stout, there's tons of resources out there for keeping it going and hey, it's purty! We'd love to slide our backsides into those disco-lookin' seats, twist the key and motor on down the road with this fine Roller.
Thanks to tipster Casey.