Volvo 1800 ES Sports wagon, incredible 64k mile beauty, low reserve

Sale price: $27500,00 make an offer

Technical specifications

Fuel Type:Gasoline
Color:Blue Green
Transmission:4 Speed Manual with overdrive
Interior Color:Cognac, brown
Engine:1.8 liter fuel injected
Number of Cylinders:4
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Current customer rating: current rating for this car (2)
based on 6 votes


Volvo 1800 ES Sports wagon, 1973. 64,671 miles, one-owner car for 38 years. Car is gorgeous factory Sea Green (code 115) which is ‘Teal’ in anyone’s book, more blue than green. Interior is new Cognac leather, with new tan carpet.
Equipped with factory 4 speed, electronic overdrive, cold air conditioning, heated rear glass, metallic paint, leather seating, 15” steel wheels, dual-tone horns, ‘double-undercoat’, variable speed wiping, lockable console.
Purchased new at Volvo dealer in Charlottesville, Virginia, serviced there, and repurchased by them from original owners to use as a showroom display from 2011-2015. Just before my purchase, it was treated to a 'Volvo worthy' recommissioning for roadworthiness including:
· Removed and cleaned gas tank
· Replaced fuel pump
· Fuel pressure regulator
· Fuel lines
· Air conditioning service
· Complete brake service
· Water pump
· New alternator
· New battery
· 4 wheel alignment
The Volvo dealership kept the car on the showroom as testament to longevity and style for nearly 4 years, taking it to local shows and cruise-ins.
I purchased car from them with 63,311 miles, signed off as correct, with stacks of records in a 3-ring binder supporting the miles.
While visiting my sister in Charlottesville, I chose to turn the trip into a mild adventure by buying this car to drive home to central Alabama. The Volvo dealer thoroughly checked the car, and replaced the tires with new Michelins (the previous Michelins had only 4,000 miles on them but were 8 years old.)
Having read much about their durability, my ‘adventure’ was reduced to stops for fuel only, averaging 24 mpg over 632 miles, intermittent rain, at easy 60-70 mph cruising speed, in comfort, with the car behaving flawlessly. There are not many classic cars you can do this in.
Once at my garage, another round of compulsive improvement began, spending $7,340 to enhance the car.
(See individual components in comments below.)
Engine, transmission. Car starts first twist of the key, idles high when cold, then to ‘normal’ once temp is reached just like it should. Oil pressure is excellent. Car pulls through all the gears great, smooth all the way up, idles evenly, sounds great. On a super cold morning, it took me 3 tries for it to catch, yet after that no issue and it ran fine.
Just had a service done including:
· Injector O-rings· Injector clean· Cooling hoses, system check· Rear end flush and fill· Shifter bushings· Full tune up including plugs, wires, cap, filters, fluids· Pertronix electronic ignition
Transmission is excellent, shifting smoothly through all gears, including the very nice overdrive. (Green indicator light works also.) Overdrive drops you into easy cruising speeds – or out - with the flick of the switch if you need to pass. Pretty advanced for the day, works well. Clutch feels great, no weird noises or chatter.
Exterior: Car is the original color and repainted once in 2008. No accident disclosed to me, and all body panels appear straight. Shine quality as in the pictures is good. The paint is nice overall, yet for an OCD car owner (guilty) it is lacking in some details, primarily the trough between the rear side glass and ‘fins’ which has a lower quality shine. There is an area in the driver’s door (see photo) of weak surface preparation. After pulling the interior door panel to inspect, no corrosion was found, though I had it treated as a precaution.
Underneath. The car appears solid under the doors, fenders, quarter panels – both inside and out – floor area and rocker region. The painters apparently filled the ‘seam’ that would separate the rocker panel, yet no corrosion is evident. The often crunchy frame rails appear solid, though some evidence of sloppy jack placement has depressed areas.
The ‘double undercoat’ and low miles seem to have done their job. I removed the front passenger splash panels to inspect and found only the most minor evidence of trapped moisture and lacy metal at the bottom. (Treated.)
Amazingly, the battery box and drain appear solid and intact. It looks as if this area had been treated with cosmoline (?) or another protectant since the finish is different than the rest of the engine compartment. There is evidence of cosmoline throughout the lower portions and crevices of the engine compartment as well. See photos.
Chrome and trim. I had all the chrome, stainless, and aluminum moldings, bumpers, lights, trim removed and professionally polished. It all came out nicely, yet you can see flaws in the bumpers and not all the side molding dings came out. For some reason the left rear bumper has some sort of rash; it is shiny but upon inspection there are ‘dots’ of flecked chrome, very hard to see in pics.
Rear exhaust tips are new polished stainless steel. Window trim chrome/stainless is excellent, as is grill surround.
Also installed new weathersripping for doors, side glass, hatch glass. Glass all appears to be original and in good condition, with only minor fogging at very bottom of windshield corners. Exterior mirrors are the originals and shine like new.
Interior, cargo, trunk. When I got the car, the front seats were a putrid vinyl (the owners were unable to locate proper leather kit), so those were refreshed with complete new leather, foam, backing and support. ( did the work and sold me a ton of parts. Recommended.) The seat slides were bent, so those were straightened and reinforced.
While seats were out, I had all the carpet, trim, rear seats, door panels, console, seat belts removed. New Dyna mat type foil-backed heat and sound insulation was added throughout the interior.
Complete new carpet installed. Also new door panels (which were left uncut for speakers, though I saved original ‘Volvo’ stamped speakers from original door panels. Speakers in rear left as is.) Threshold plates polished.
Rear seats were excellent and only cleaned. The hinge and supports were also cleaned and work excellently.
New dash top, plus lower portion was paintakingly replaced.
Rear cargo panels removed, cleaned, and recarpeted. (There is a lot of carpet in this car!) There are also small cubbies underneath these panels for oddment storage; very useful.
Spare tire stowage trunk panels removed, cleaned, insulated as needed. New tire mounted to cleaned and repainted spare wheel. (See ‘obsessive’ comment.)
Original jack, lifting wrench, Volvo plug wrench included. New trunk mat. The ‘lift and hold’ trunk hinge works fine. The trunk floor appears rust-free and very sound. (There was super-light corrosion under the rear glass gasket that was ground and treated before new rubber installed.) The lifting struts for the glass were replaced.
New leather luggage retainers were made and installed. The chrome retainers are excellent. The headliner is in good shape, visors are puffy, but work fine.
Brakes, Suspension. Brakes were serviced by Volvo and feel great. Emergency brake cable renewed, works fine, including indicator light. When I had new Michelins installed, they did a full alignment and brake inspection.
Just had new KYB gas shocks installed. Technician said he felt sure he removed the original shocks from the car. Also, new steering and suspension bushings for sway bars, links, control arms installed as needed. (I just bought the whole kits and asked them to replace whatever needed.) New axle limiting straps also installed.
The car rides great. Shocks helped tremendously. Very steady and true.
Electrical, gauges. When I took the car in for service, I wanted a complete assessment and repair, including making all lights, fans, horns, operable. All bulbs were checked and replaced as needed.
Air conditioning works fine, actually blows cold on each speed. (Serviced by Volvo.) Heater works, fans work, though the ‘high’ speed was noisy, it has gotten less so since being used. Wipers, blinkers, hazards, two-tone horn all work. Low and high beams work. Clock and door light doesn’t work.
Gauges work, including tach, speedo, oil pressure, water temp. The oil temp gauge sensor is new, but the gauge isn’t working and I didn’t investigate. All gauge lights work though dash-mounted ‘Panel’ switch.
New ‘Volvo’ radio installed appearing period-correct, but fully digital including Ipod capability. New antenna installed as original was bent. Radio plays through modern Sanyo speakers in original rear locations.
Overall. The car is flat out amazing for not only its age, but incredible build quality for the period. The doors ‘thunk’ with authority, the car is tight and tidy, free of rattles. It starts, shifts, steers, brakes nicely Stuff works. The whole car works.
It is also comfortable and fuel efficient, and never fails to get ‘thumbs up’ and positive comments. I once emerged from the gym to find 2 ladies and 2 maintenance men hovering around the car, all intrigued and complimentary on the looks and condition. Yesterday when filling up, a man and his son both mouthed “Wow” and came over to get pictures, the dad saying he’d always wanted one but their prices were now outpacing his budget.
Several have sold over $50k, one famously at $92k (a 13,100 mile original), and $30k is becoming commonplace. This car is priced for someone decisive who knows what they want. If you've thought about getting one, a delay can only cost you more later.
This is also a car you can buy, drive, play with, and enjoy for trips or just fun, while watching it appreciate. Not many cars pay you to own them.
This one-year only color, with such low miles and clean ownership history and lots of recent cosmetic and service work is a rare opportunity indeed.

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