Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hemmings about the P1800 book

As Kenneth stated
Nice review yesterday by Hemmings of our (first...) book about the living icon, the Volvo P1800. Worth telling the rest of this fascinating story isn't it...
Pointblank: If you own a Volvo P1800 or are a longstanding admirer of this fascinating sports car, then you must own this book. Without question, this is the definitive P1800 book — no other books on the P1800 can compare.
Laid out in a landscape format of 9 x 11¾ inches in size, this hardcover book, which totals 280 pages of a quality coated stock, was published in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2011. Written by two serious Volvo P1800 enthusiasts, Kenneth Collander and Mats Eriksson, their goal was a simple one: “This book is dedicated to all those people who in one way or the other were engaged in the creation and development of the Volvo P1800 and all the enthusiasts around the world who take good care of these cars, their heritage and history.”
With the foreword written by the man who penned the P1800’s shape, Pelle Petterson, the book is divided into 11 distinct chapters, each focusing on one particular aspect of the P1800’s design and development. There are numerous photographs, mostly black-and-white images, showing the creation of the Volvo Sport prototype, as well as many fascinating photos taken at Carrozzeria Frua of the construction of the first P1800 prototype.

Throughout the book there are endless details about the P1800’s construction, insight as to how and why it was designed and built the way it was, and all sorts of noteworthy information and minute details about the parts and trim pieces used in its construction. And the many side stories about specific P1800s and their owners, as well as the many world markets where the P1800 was sold, adds greatly to the P1800s’ — and this book’s — appeal. It’s a captivating and highly enjoyable read, but be prepared for a tough search in finding a copy as they are very hard to come by, although the effort is certainly worth it.

Read more Recommended Reading: Volvo P1800 – From idea to prototype and production

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tribute to the saint gentleman P1800 driver

Thank you again for the Passion of the P1800 you have set in all of us Sir Roger

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Saturday, July 30, 2016

P1800 : a stylish midlife crisis

Eye Candy: My stylish midlife crisis — a 1973 Volvo P1800

Few other classics are better able to conjure up the illusion of recovered youth and freedom, writes this connoisseur.

o you’re planning a midlife crisis. Don’t be ashamed: It’s perfectly natural. Marriage, kids, job is a tough row to hoe. You can’t help but see how the row narrows ominously into a rut, and how the rut arcs straight down into the final subterranean stopping place.
There may be no escape, but there’s no shame in trying. Take my advice: It’s essential!
The only problem is how you do it. A midlife crisis should be enacted with style. It should also be carefully planned to minimize the inevitable damage it will cause to one’s finances and personal relationships. For that reason alone, sexual escapades are not recommended.

On the one hand woodgrain seems  unexpected in a Volvo. Then again Scandinavia is also famous for slim-lined woody Scandinavian-modern furniture.
On the one hand woodgrain seems unexpected in a Volvo. Then again Scandinavia is also famous for slim-lined woody Scandinavian-modern furniture.

But sexy cars are a time-proven substitute. And no classic car still rolling is better able to conjure up that wonderful illusion of recovered youth and freedom — in a thoroughly responsible and affordable manner — than the Volvo P1800.
Friends and colleagues were sceptical when they first saw me swanning around town with this Sea Green popsie — a ’73 1800ES — as my marriage and career crumbled in concert, as if on cue, at the apex of my mid life.
“What’s up with that, anyway?” one asked, genuinely puzzled and a little concerned.
“I don’t know,” I replied, taken aback, because I hadn’t exactly “thought” much when I emptied the account to buy a 40-year-old car I didn’t need. “All I know is that whenever I shimmy in behind the wheel and turn the key, I feel a wave of pure pleasure.”
He understood.
Another scoffed. “Money pit,” he said. But he was wrong.

Back seat offers a good reference point for anyone who might want to restore the front buckets.
Back seat offers a good reference point for anyone who might want to restore the front buckets.

Despite appearances, this car is no mere sexpot. It’s a Volvo – originally built to lure the North American masses into showrooms full of sensible sedans, but still a Volvo. The legendary Irv Gordon of no fixed address has driven his ’66 P1800 more than three million miles, earning it a spot in Guinness as the world’s most durable car.
Derided in its day as a “souped-down Ferrari,” the P1800 has outlived all the brittle glitter girls with whom it once tried to compete. It’s hot, loud and cranky in urban stop-and-go – just like any respectable classic with power nothing, a heavy clutch and an engine in your lap — but it sings and swoops addictively on the open road. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive mine across the country tomorrow.

The car is protected by bumpers that can actually take a bump -- the energy-absorbing ones that for a time were mandated in the U.S., first for 1973 models.
The car is protected by bumpers that can actually take a bump -- the energy-absorbing ones that for a time were mandated in the U.S., first for 1973 models.

The greatest drama of my ownership occurred when Phil Bishop of Pickering Euro Service told me I needed a new windshield. The money pit yawned: Where on earth would I find a funky little windshield for a European sports car that’s been out of production for more than 40 years?
“Let’s try Volvo,” Phil suggested. Ten days later, a sparkling new windshield arrived in Pickering. Cost to me (installed): $400.
That, too, was pure pleasure.

Perhaps nobody, before or since, has pulled off the "sporty hatchback" idea better.
Perhaps nobody, before or since, has pulled off the "sporty hatchback" idea better.

So take my advice: If what you really need is a substitute mistress, nothing beats the P1800 — a spirited but undemanding workhorse with the body of Brigitte Bardot. It’s the ultimate sexist fantasy. Slightly shameful, perhaps, but no one gets hurt.
And when things change, when the crisis passes, and you have no further need of the illusions that sustained you so well in your time of need? Time to sell!
So welcome to Kijiji, darling. It was a great ride. There are younger men who need you more now.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why the P1800 is Everybody’s Favorite Volvo

Modern cars are safer, better built, more reliable, and faster than they ever have been before, and unless something major happens, next year’s crop is likely to be even better. So at a time when we have Toyota Camrys putting up horsepower numbers that Ferraris posted 30 years ago, sport sedans that transform from luxury cars to world-class corner carvers with the flick of a switch (while returning gas mileage in the 30s, no less), and an electric sedan with as much horsepower as a Lamborghini, why do we still pine for cars from half a century ago?
Because paradoxically, midcentury cars didn’t have any of the things we take for granted today. They feel “analog” because they are; they’re purely mechanical creations, and at their best, they offer a driving experience that no production car can compete with today. And for proof of how much people are missing “the good old days” lately, take a look at collector car auction prices over the past five years.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

P1800 makes a cameo in spy drama

The swoopy Volvo P1800 shares the screen with Tom Hanks in “Bridge of Spies.”
Among the relatively small number of collectible Volvos, one stands out above the rest: the swoopy P1800 coupe from the 1960s. And now Volvo's classic -- built to compete with early '60s British, Italian and German sports cars -- is making a big-screen appearance in Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. In the movie, Tom Hanks plays a lawyer working to free captured U.S. U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, who was shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960. In one scene, Hanks is a passenger in a pearly white P1800 that zips through East Berlin in early 1962, driven by an East German lawyer played by Sebastian Koch. For reasons necessary to the plot, Koch intentionally exceeds the speed limit so the police will stop the car and detain Hanks for not having the right papers. That is slightly out of character for the P1800 because, looks aside, it never was known as a speed burner. The P1800's Facebook fans are thrilled to see the car on screen, but several have pointed out the movie car is apparently a later model.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That Moment When One Become P1800 Enthusiast

 When did our P1800 or car Enthusiast Passion start?  what special event made it become our long lasting center of interest?  this beautiful short film captures one of this kind of "ignition".

I think many of us can remember that moment when the spark plug in our mind hits that perfect mixture of oxygen and gasoline and our brain suddenly fills with visions of all the cars we want and never leaves. The short film 'Ignition,' which won the Volvo Cars-sponsored short film contest, captures that moment beautifully.

Read more on Jalopnik

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Finnish P1800 Passion & Suomen Volvo 1800 Kerho ry

When it comes to P1800 Passion, we are speaking about how much someone can be dedicated, no question this includes the long time runners and members of P1800 clubs worldwide.
I had the unique chance to travel recently in Finland for business, during the coldest day of the year in early January. While not being able to catch any 1800 on the streets of Helsinki at night I was able to find a daily runner amazon and shared with local clubs if it would be possible to find any 1800 around. Obviously the low temperature -19°C ( -2°F) is not encouraging anyone to put a precious classic much in the street during winter.
Back in April with sunny warm weather and no snow on the road I was happy to discover that local drivers are not driving like lunatics here in France! this applying also during sunny warm weather and no snow on the road! The scenery of countryside is wonderful whatever the season, and most important the people are wonderful, I had the unique chance to engage with local 1800 club  "Suomen Volvo 1800 -kerho ry"
I'd like to pay tribute to the club and especially to Jaakko Saransalmi owner of a beautiful P1800S, for keeping the P1800 passion, sharing about the 1800 and dedicating an entire article about your humble servitor P1800 passion. I received also, with the greatest interest, info and pictures about the unique 1800 police car part of Helsinki Police forces in 1967 now restored by a club member, see more pics here

The very unique 1800S police car assigned to Helsinki police in 1967 (c) Suomen Volvo 1800 -kerho ry
the very same car now fully restored by Finnish club member

I can testify having seen during a classic passion span of more than 30 years that the club's magazine "Pyhimys"  (aka The Saint) is done in a upper quality professional way, surpassing in quality and content all the one I have seen.

Do not miss the club website :
( English automated translation here)
And if you have the opportunity, join, meet, engage with the club!

Thank you Jaakko and club members for your P1800 Passion and keeping the flame of the 1800 high!

Pyhimys 1/2014 (c) Suomen Volvo 1800 -kerho ry
Jaakko's beautiful P1800S (c) J Saransalmi