History of the Volvo Car
Volvo cars have served society for 80 years
It was a sign of confidence and trust when the Royal Swedish Telegraph Administration – which was responsible for the telephone communications in Sweden at the time – ordered 70 pickups plus 24 separate chassis of the new ÖV4 model from a company that had only been on the market for a year. The chassis were intended for other special types of bodywork. The pickup looked very nice indeed, with its open two seater body protected by a funny little canvas hood and a loading platform inside the rear part of the body. Unfortunately none of these vehicles have remained in show condition but at least one of them has survived in Sweden and is currently being rebuilt to its original specification.
Already in 1928, the first Volvos started serving society. 70 ÖV4 pickups were ordered by Telegrafverket which was responsible for the Swedish telephone communications.
It was apparent to Volvo that quality cars stood a good chance to be chosen by fleet buyers and the first bid for the taxi market with the specially-designed TR models was made already in 1930. In parallel, Volvo cars were chosen by the Swedish police, ambulance operators, several of the state-owned companies that handled communications, and many more. In addition to the many body alternatives that were available for the Volvo car chassis, several service vehicles could also be had on the various truck and bus chassis. Volvo has not only supplied vehicles to the Swedish government but also faithful workhorses of all types, shapes and sizes have been seen on the road in many countries – as taxi cabs, ambulances, police cars, fire fighters or as service vehicles for different departments and companies. Collectors of scale model Volvos will know that there are Volvo cars in police livery from many different countries and all sorts of special versions that makes collecting miniature Volvos a challenging hobby. The most common and well-known special Volvo version over the years, beside the taxi, is no doubt the Volvos of the law. Volvo police cars have been used by police forces above the arctic circle as well as below the tropic of the Capricorn.
A wonderful line-up of Volvo taxis outside the Jönköping railway station eagerly waiting for customers
Some odd vehicles have also seen the light of day like the PV651 with barred windows used for transporting prisoners between court and prison in Göthenburg; the PV831 railcar that led its life on the railways of mid-Sweden for several decades; the white Duett that transported UN supply in Cyprus for many years and the many state limousines (also in landaulette versions) that have transported crowned heads and dignitaries of many countries on various occasions. The common denominator for all these Volvos is their purpose of serving society in different ways, which they still do, in 2008. 80 years of heritage and tradition.
Volvo has delivered police cars since the early 1930s. Here is a nice formation of shiny black PV36s waiting to be delivered to the Swedish state police.
Specially designed to carry prisoners in its rear compartment, this PV651 served the law in Göthenburg for many years.