VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973)

Repainted last year in Sea Green Metallic with contrasting soft tan leather interior and deep turquoise blue carpets. This is an excellent example of the rare Volvo 1800 ES.

In 1972 Volvo introduced the final version of the longstanding P1800, the 1800ES, a two-door estate. Along with the Reliant Scimitar GTE and the Jensen GT, the Volvo was one of the earliest “lifestyle” estate cars. It was differentiated from those two by being from a major manufacturer using its own existing engines. Despite having used outside stylists for the original P1800 sports coupe, the 1800ES variant was an in-house design. One of its key style indicators was a frameless, glass tailgate which has reappeared on later Volvo models. Volvo continues to be proud of this heritage:

Although it was made by a mainstream manufacturer, the 1800ES remained a niche product in its range. When impending US safety and emissions standards threatened a significant re-design, the 1800ES was killed off after only a couple of years in production with barely over 8,000 having been made. It was the last of the line of P1800 cars, of which a total of a little over 47,000 were made. This makes it remarkably rare, even out of the total P1800 production.

First registered 1 August 1973 (which means, incidentally, that it was registered a couple of months after production had ceased) and still on its original registration number, this particular example has been a UK car all its life. It has been well cared for over the past 43 years, with the last but one keeper owning it from 1987 to 2016. The file includes paperwork for a significant amount of restoration work over the years at various enterprises including a Volvo main dealer and the well-regarded Classic Restorations company, both based in Perthshire. The car received much bodywork attention in 1997 and, again, in 2003 when new wings and floor were fitted. In 2007 a partial restoration was carried out. The brakes were overhauled in 2015 and then, in 2016, a full professional respray was undertaken, also at a Volvo franchised dealer belonging to the last registered keeper. The chrome is in excellent condition with a new grill surround, wheel nuts and wing mirrors having been fitted by us. We have also replaced the air filter.

This is a handsome practical and very usable classic which copes easily with modern day traffic. Although the version of the already well-established 2-litre (1986 cc) fuel injected engine used in the 1800ES was slightly down on power from that used in the P1800 coupe, when mated with the Borg-Warner three-speed automatic gearbox as here, it suited the car’s different character and likely use. Despite the Simon Templar/Saint associations of the coupe, the P1800 range was not a full-blooded sportscar anyway, although it looked much faster and had superior performance over most mainstream cars of the period. A “trouble free sports car” as Volvo said in its promotional literature. The gearbox in this car performs well with kickdown available when required. With its folding rear seat backrest extending the available storage space, its comfortable seats, fitted seatbelts and working stereo, this is a very usable, modern classic, yet benefits from being a historic class car for road taxation. Original handbook, spare keys.

This lovely car will be supplied with a fresh MoT on purchase.


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VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973) VOLVO P1800 ES Sports Estate Auto (1973)