1973 Volvo P1800ES

Listen Up: This Green Volvo Is the Perfect Entry-Level Classic Car


October 13, 2018 Cars By
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You: you’re an automotive enthusiast with a taste for the classic, but a flair for the unusual. You want a vintage car, but you don’t want to take out a second (third?) mortgage on your home. A classic 911 or E-Type is out of the question. You want something old but won’t spend its entire life on a lift or on the side of the road or on fire. The task to find the right car seems impossible but, friend, you are in luck because I have found the solution: this Volvo P180ES.

If you’re old and nostalgic enough, you probably recognize the Volvo P1800-series was Roger Moore’s chariot of choice in The Saint. This is not that car. This car is better. Moore’s car was a white coupe. This? This is a dark green shooting brake, arguably the most underrated and underutilized body style in the automotive universe, which combines svelte two-door proportions with the convenience of a wagon. Look at that cargo compartment! Put some ski gear back there. Or your dog. Or maybe just go to Ikea. The possibilities are endless! Better yet, that interior is tan, and in conjunction with that dark green exterior, you have one of the classiest colorways in motoring. I’d tell you to try and prove me wrong, but the exercise is futile. You can’t do it.

The P1800 series has proven to be pretty damn dependable, too. The naturally-aspirated inline-four inside is known as one of the most durable engines ever made, especially at a time when racking up 100,000 miles was considered a lot. More notably, P1800 owner Irv Gordon set a world record racking up more than three million miles in his car. This example has just over 126,000 on the clock and has just undergone a recent rebuild, so consider it is just getting broken in.

Admittedly this car isn’t perfect — it’s a little rough around the edges with some minor rust here and there, and an interior which has visibly worn with use but ultimately the car seems to be an excellent running example. And since it’s no time capsule it probably will go relatively affordably, too — as of writing the car sits at under $5,000 with three days of bidding left to go with no reserve. Not bad for a beautiful, unique and reliable classic.

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