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

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.

Distractions…and excuses!


So…I went to a Volvo meet this weekend and got yelled at…for not working hard enough on the Volvo P1800 project. So what should I do? Make excuses, of course!

Here is excuse number one:

1949 Ford DeLuxe Convertible

This car needs brakes, some front end overhaul to be ready for summer.

Excuse number 2:

1977 BMW R100 Cafe Racer Project

This bike started as a ugly loaded up touring bike with about 100 lbs worth of unnecessary farkels. It should be completed within a few weeks.

I WILL get back on the Volvo…soon!

All Swedish Meet at XXX in Issaquah


This was the 11th annual All Swedish Meatball…ahem, All Swedish MEET.
Easy mistake!

XXX stands for many things but in this case we are talking about XXX Root Beer drive-in restaurant, not for porn as your dirty mind was thinking…well, unless you were thinking Swedish Car Porn, we got some of that!

It was a bit chilly in the morning but no rain and the sun came out later and all was good.

Ingvar Karlson is hosting this event and for a measly ten bucks you get to park your Swedish car next to other like minded certified Swedish car nuts.

Most entry fees collected at car meets and shows are destined for the treasure of the hosting club. Nothing wrong with that as it pays for some expenses but Ingvar is giving it away to charity instead. My hat’s off to Ingvar.

Let’s start with Sheila Caillier’s beautiful 1967 Volvo 1800S.

Looks great from any angle.


1967 Volvo 142S. Included is a bearded, hat wearing, coffee drinking Seattlelite. Of course we don’t stereotype here!


Let’s just say that this 1966 Volvo 1800S is not ugly! The red color is brighter than the original 46 red Volvo color but the owner is making no apologies for this mild custom.

Mint black interior.

I wish the guy would clean up his engine before bringing it to a car show…really!

I am not big on hot rod parts on vintage Volvos but this makes sense. I can’t see myself drilling holes on those beautiful fenders but you need review mirrors, right?


The favorite 142 at the show. There seems to be less of these cars than the older 122 cars. I think they all rusted away or something. With B20 power and all wheel disk brakes it makes for a great Swedish competitor to the Datsun 510.


At this point, all the Saab dudes and dudettes are getting pretty pissed off. Where are the SAABs?? OK fine, let’s feature some of these fine FWD wonders:

Very high want factor from your editor on this one. One owner, 16 valve, five speed 1990 Saab 900 convertible. These cars usually got trashed pretty early and nice clean convertibles are getting hard to find.

Even the interior looks like new.

Chris Nelson’s 1990 Saab SPG 3 door. SPG stand for Special Performance Group.

If three doors are good…well then, five doors is betta!

Saab 900 convertible.

Being a fan of the older Volvos, I must admit I don’t really get this but it brings in the younger crowd.

OK, check this out… A rather clean but unassuming Volvo 240DL wagon…or??


4.6 Liter GM LS power plant backed by a 4L60-E automatic transmission. All taken out of a Chevrolet Tahoe. Nice install.

Svensky Ute! …or something like that. It should have 2 door doors and slanted B-pillars if you ask me but nevertheless, interesting and fun.

Mike brought his very nice 1800S. He has been working on improving the car since he bought it from Canada. mike just installed a new chrome grille and insert.


The price is right. Rare Saab steering wheel. I did not ask!

IPD brought out their show car.

Parking buddies, two peas in a pod or whatever you say. These two twins were of the V70R kind. All US models of the V70R were all wheel drive. In other markets you could get FDW only R cars. That would amount to some serious traction problems with 300 hp.

Great day, good people! Let’s do this again. Next upcoming Volvo event is April 9th, 2017 Juanita Beach Park in WA. See our Events Page for more info.

If you know of any Swedish Car event, don’t hesitate to ping your Humble Editor.