1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 24.5


Yup, I call this up-date number 24.5 as it is a small one. Starting a new business and other petrolhead distractions is keeping me away from the 1961 P1800 resto but here is a small update.

This is not from my car but I got a cut out filler piece from a friend.

The cavity that holds the fuel filler on these cars probably did not win any design awards. As soon as the small drain tube clogs up it will start to hold water and eventually rust out.

They are not reproduced and mine is weak from rust just like the one in the picture.

I took it to my expert metal guru and he made a copy. He also made the 90 degree edge so I can install it. These are not just rectangular shape, they are skewed so difficult to reproduce. Once installed, I can then install the tube so I can make sure it has the right angle towards the tank.

Like I said, small news but a step in the right direction.


Blaupunkt Frankfurt Radio


One of the things that bugs me (among other things) is a vintage car with a modern looking radio or stereo. I am all for tunes in your old ride but a black and plastic cassette player in your vintage Volvo ain’t makin’ it!

Speaking of throwing rocks in a glass house! I myself have this ugly cassette deck in my 1967 Volvo 122S wagon since I bought it over ten years ago.

From a Blaupunkt brochure: A Blaupunkt radio installed in an overdrive equipped Volvo 122. Must be an early car as I also spy the ring to operate the radiator curtain for those frozen Swedish winters! I am guessing the matching knob to the right of the radio is speaker balance maybe? Whatever it is, it is damn cool.

Luckily i have friends that are willing to help in my quest for staying era correct!

Special thanks to Gary Ramstad from the Puget Sound Chapter Volvo Sports America also known as PSVSA. He gifted me this super cool Blaupunkt Frankfurt for my Volvo P1800 project.

However, it will be a while before I will install a radio in that car and with that super cool pinstripe cover plate, I need to enjoy this radio NOW!


So I offered the Frankfurt on “loan” to my 122S wagon for now. I have a Blaupunkt AM radio for it when this unit moves to the P1800. Until then, I will be hanging out by the sea shore listening to the tug boats on the Marine Band!

Fact: Not only will a proper and era correct radio in your vintage ride increase your cool factor and acceptance by your peers, it also adds 30% more moose power to your anemic B18!

Whidbey Island Cruise and Garage Crawls


I do enjoy a good car show once in a while but they have one thing in common: they are static. Most vintage car enthusiasts will probably agree, it is way more fun to drive them.
Your’s truly and several members of the local Volvo club, PSVSA were invited to Whidbey Island by locals Rich and Larry to attend the sports car meet, and a garage crawl at Rich’s shop to check out some brass cars.
Whidbey Island is a picturesque island north of Seattle, Washington. Great views and two lane black tops greets you as you roll of the half hour ferry from the main land…or “America” as the islanders calls it.
We started the day with an all American breakfast at Neil’s Clover Patch Cafe.
The Whidbey Island Sports Car Club have a cars & coffee meet on the first Saturday of each month.
We crashed the meet and we think the locals enjoyed our company.
Amazing engine in one of the locals 122S.
Several islanders brought their Swedish iron such as this cool Volvo Duett, or P210 in Ameri-speak.
Another Whidbey Volvo: A fully restored 1966 Volvo PV 544. Super nice.

The Volvo PV engine compartment. B18-porn as they say.

The car meet at the Wifi Cafe in Freeland is very casual. All fun cars and motorcycles are welcome. The Whidbey Island Sports Car Club takes great pride in not having any rules. As a matter of fact, they don’t have official meetings with minutes, no elected members or treasurer. They just get together to celebrate vintage motoring whenever they feel like it. The best kind of club.
Logan brought his super nice 242GL Turbo
Being a petrol head, gear head or motor head is all the same. We like all kinds of vintage cars, even English ones!
My absolute favorite of this morning was actually not a Volvo.  This completely original and un-restored 1967 Shelby GT350. While standing with the owner there were a parade of onlookers asking him when he was going to RESTORE it. They don’t get it! He paid $1500.00 for it 20 years ago, now it is worth $150.000 as is!
As we were getting ready to hit the road when we were invited to visit Steve Trafton’s garage full of goodies. Well…twist my arm!
Duett Larry being accosted by a local. I bet he was trying to buy Larry’s cool Volvo.
Traffic was really bad! Old cars everywhere!
Here we are pulling in to Steve’s estate.
Steve is the epitome of a car nut. He collects Ferarris and other amazing cars and he built an incredible huge speedster for the 2016 Peking to Paris race. See more at Blackhorseracing.com 
What greeted us was nothing short of amazing. The number 25 car is a copy of the world famous P4 car. Ferarri won the 24 hr race at Daytona in 1967 with not just one, two of these cars in front of the nose of a Ford GT.
This is a speedster built on a 1915 LaFrance Fire engine chassis. It was built for the Peking to Paris race in 2016.
The race was cut short because of a small mishap. One of the rods decided it wanted some fresh air and made it self out of the block. They will be back!
Lola race car.
Getting ready to leave Steve’s place. Walt Tartar’s Volvo PV in the front.
On the road again…it’s a rough life!
Rich Anderson’s 1967 Volvo 1800S by the sea.
Next stop: Rich Anderson’s lawn…and home to check out some brass cars.

Pope, Maxwell and even Anderson brass cars at the Anderson shop. Rich Anderson gave us the grand tour of his incredible collection.
Once educated on brass era cars we did the next best thing: Hit the road again. We stopped for a late lunch and then we headed home to wash bugs off the Swedish chrome.
One helluva day. Let’s do that again.
Photo: Rolf, Walt, Mike, Dick

Quiet at Vintage Swedish Cars


Happy Fall, Swedish car enthusiasts!

I have not posted much Volvo stuff lately as I have been feverishly been working on my 1931 Ford model A Tudor, also known as the swedishbangertudor.

There is still a Swedish element to the hot rod as it is getting a Volvo B18 engine with 4 speed overdrive.  Also, it will enjoy a Volvo steering wheel, speedometer and pedal assembly.

You can check out the fifth installment of the Volvo powered hot rod here.





Bosch Rally Knick lights


When I was growing up in Sweden (a very long time ago) the Volvo 122 cars were in their heyday and extremely popular.  Rally racing was the sport of the day and when you modified your Volvo it was the rally look that was popular

“Extraljus” as in auxiliary lights was all the rage to achieve the rally look and brand and style was very important as well.  The Hella or Marchall lights were good choices but if you really wanted to be cool you added the big Bosch Rally Knick.

I found these on that auction site and they are in very good condition.

Short of building a rally car around these lights I decided to replace my small Hella lights on my 122S Wagon.

Turns out that these lights had 100 Watts Halogen bulbs in them. This should ne enough to melt the paint off the car in front of you.

They look right at home.


Peter Leoni’s amazing 1963 Volvo 1800S Restoration


The most rewarding part of being a motor head is the people you meet along the way.

Peter checked in as he is doing a full bottom up restoration on a 1963 Volvo P1800, chassis number 6023

Looks like a pretty decent solid car to start with. Some people would drive this car as is.

Peter went to work and fixed any questionable sheet metal.

This is the track that holds the weather stripping on the doors. Since you can not go to Volvo1800doortracks.com and buy these with your Visa card, Peter made a wooden buck to duplicate this track and then made a tool so he can shape the inside exactly like the factory part. Impressive!

Peter actually built a bath for the car to run rust removing solution through it. According to Peter, the key is fluid movement. He used a pump and as the fluid is moving about, it keeps destroying rust. This he used a spy camera to look inside the cavities to make sure he did a good job.

All open seams got sealed to keep out moisture.

Protective coat of paint.


Peter is returning the car to it’s original color, 79 pearl white. You know, like the Saint!

Peter even built his own paint booth.

THIS! is when it really get to be FUN. Installing all the trim and chrome on a freshly painted car.

All hardware was re-plated to factory specs. Note the black bolts as some bolts were not shiny and some bolts that were painted like the trunk bolts for example were also black.


I met a lot of car guys that tells me “they” restored the car. A lot of times that means that they wrote checks! Peter not only do all the paint and body work…get this…he does his own chrome!

Front cross member painted in the correct blue gray color.


This is the frame that holds the headliner. The advantage is that you can work on a bench with it to make sure all wrinkles are gone before it goes back in the car.

Like this…


I look forward to updates from Peter and of course the finished product. There will be some serious awards handed out to Peter for the incredible work on this car.

The Swedish Puzzle


Since your’s truly does not have a thing to show for in the Volvo resto department I can at least show someone else’s work:

Gary Ramstad’s incredible 1967 1800S is now finished and on the road where it belongs.

Gary had the coming out party at the April 9, 2017 at the PSVSA Car Club Spring Show and Shine Swap meet for members at Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland.

Looks great from any angle.

Completely rebuilt engine and stock appearance under the hood except a little extra chrome. Chrome is known for making cars go faster. Gary did 95% of the resto including bench pressing overdrive transmissions up in to the tunnel.

All of the interior was redone as well. The interior was probably the largest reason for the “Swedish Puzzle” name. Gary bought the car partially disassembled and you know how that goes. Not only is it hard to know where everything goes, it increases the chance of missing parts. Regardless, Gary powered through and the evidence speaks for it self.

Gary owns a perfect 122S and a 544 so this 1800S rounds out his collection nicely.

Like the man sez: Now for the first time ever, I get to drive a Volvo 1800S Sports Car this 2017 Summer.

Nice job, Gary!…Now drive the wheels off it!