Depending on what generation you are a part of, and how deep your automotive memory runs, you may only remember Volvo as the orthopedic shoe of the automotive industry. Recent interactions with Swedish tuner Polestar aside, there once was a time roughly half a century ago when Volvo tried to shake its pedestrian outlook. First came the fiberglass bodied P1900 roadster whose sales barely scraped their way to 68 units. Not one to give up easily, within the year Volvo sculpted the magnificent P1800 coupe with Swedish designer Pelle Petterson under the guidance of Frua.
As with all things Volvo at the time, the build process was arduous. Volvo spent a significant amount of time shopping the production around before settling on a contract with Jensen to build the first 10,000 units. Sadly they had difficulty meeting Volvo's standards, and by the time the first 6,000 cars were shipped, the decision was made to move production back to Sweden.
Although the P1800 finally gave Volvo that sporting look it was after, these cars were never big on performance. Their trusty 1.8 liter engines were based on one of Volvo's V-8 truck powerplants, and good for roughly 115 bhp. Handling was comfortable, if not a bit soft, making the P1800 more of a highway cruiser than a back woods canyon carver.
This P1800 has received what some may describe as a little SoCal love, benefiting from shaved front and rear bumpers, an exquisite custom wood dashboard, and fresh red paint. Collector values of the P1800s have been creeping up as of late, however they still easily fall into the affordable collectible category. This certainly isn't an "all original" example, but with tasteful upgrades like this I wouldn't be surprised to see many interested parties during the .