Volvo Owners Club and Volvo Heritage at the 2008 NEC International Classic Motor Show
The annual International Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, is the scene of one of the most exciting classic Motor shows. Once again the Volvo Owners Club teamed up with Volvo Heritage to put on a stunning display.
This year Claes Rydholm from Volvo Heritage thought that all red Volvo cars would make a stunning display. He was correct. The theme was named 'Passion And Performance'.
These were the cars on display:
1964 PV544 Sport
The Volvo PV544 was launched in 1958 as a development of the PV444. Both these round-backed and visually old-fashioned cars were surprisingly sporty and agile. They had a 50/50 weight distribution and were offered in Sport versions with twin SU carburettors. The PV544 Sport was in production from 1958 until the end of the PV544 production in 1965.
The car on show has chassis number 440,000, the last chassis number, and was rebuilt by its owner in 1985.
The Volvo 123GT was introduced in 1967 as the top of the line Amazon. A 115 bhp SAE power output, overdrive, three-spoke sporty steering wheel, rev counter, auxiliary lights and polished rim embellishers differentiated the GT from the more usual versions. Only about 5000 were built between 1967 and 1968. The car on show was rebuilt in 2000.
The 144 broke completely from traditional Volvo design in 1966. With simple and plain surfaces, large glass areas and wide shoulders. This basic shape was retained until 1993 when its successor, the 240, ended production.
The 1800 was designed in Italy by a Swede and launched at the Bruxelles Motor Show in 1960. It was built in the UK between 1961 and 1963. This Swedish-built example arrived in the UK in November 1963 complete with the early cow horn front bumpers and chrome strips on the doors.
The 1800E was the Mk III in terms of development of the sporty Italian-influenced P1800 that was shown for the first time in 1960. Production started in 1961 and initially assembled by Jensen Motors, but in 1963 production was transferred to Sweden and the letter ‘S’ was added to the model name. Shortly after the letter ‘P’ was dropped and the car was called the 1800S until 1969.
In order to use the latest fuel injection technology the 2-litre was fitted with Bosch electronic fuel injection in 1969 and the 1800E was born.
The controversial but very practical rear body design rendered the ES the nickname "Fish Van" in Sweden and "Snow Whites’ Coffin" in Germany. Only 8077 ES models were made and its glass tailgate design inspired the 480ES and more recently the C30. The car on display has had thorough body and chassis restoration but the interior is original.
It is a well known fact that Volvo has turned to Italy and its design and coach-building traditions several times when toying with the idea of adding a coupe to the model range. By the end of the 1970’s Volvo turned to Bertone in Turin in order to have them design a two-door coupe of the 264. The result was the 262C, designed and finally built by the Italians producing 6622 cars over 4 years.
The car on display has an unusual paint colour commissioned by Volvo’s President and CEO at the time, P.G. Gyllenhammer. It also has a 4-cylinder turbo engine with manual gearbox, instead of the standard V6 2.7 engine with automatic transmission.
The 240 succeeded the 140 in the autumn of 1974 and was more or less the same car from the A-pillar back, but the front was completely new. In many ways the 240 was the production version of the Volvo Experimental Car from 1972. The car on display is totally original and has covered 55,000 miles and in the hands of its original owner.
1998 940 Estate
The original owner of this car bought it in March 18 and used it for only a few month covering about 2000 miles, then put it away, and eventually sold it after a year. Its current and second owner only drives it occasionally adding another 2000 miles to the clock. The car has never spent a night out in the open.
Photographs of all these cars can be found on our gallery at www.volvogallery.org.uk