From the WWVW = World Wide Volvo Web
Connor Kleck from Colorado checks in with his red 1962 Volvo P1800, chassis number 1576. Connors have plans for a full resto just like your Humble Editor.
Looks like a great start. We hope to get updates.
A lonely Volvo P1800 in a sea of Camaros, Mustangs and trucks. The body was dropped off in a “mall” of hot rod shops.
A quick peek in the hot rod shop revealed what is hot: MUSCLE CARS!! Pro Touring muscle cars is BIG. Let’s just say that Art Morrison is doing JUST fine!
OK, enough of that!
Since this is a unibody car I have elected to have the car dipped in order to remove all paint and rust. This treatment will remove all rust inside channels as well that you can’t get inside.
I have heard the anecdotal stories how the acid stays in seams and cause problems later. I discussed this in great length with the owner and he had not experienced any problems. This company has over 40 years experience with this. The last step of cleaning and neutralizing of the acid is the key.
Good eye there, skipper! That is not a Volvo. For informational purposes only, get it?
It is a rather elaborate process:
Regardless, I plan to open up all critical seams, like rocker panels, front fenders, door skins, rear panel and rear quarter panel so all those seams will be exposed and I can clean all mating surfaces.
Once opened up, I can even touch up with sandblasting if needed. More on this later.
“Hinge Kit” These are all the hinges and fastener needed to hang the hood, doors and the trunk. The body man will need this to line up all the panels etc.
This is why parts cars exists! This 1964 coupe with chassis no 10764 is resting behind the shop and it is slowly returning to iron oxide but before that process is completed I am saving many parts for our project. I did not have the rear bumper bar, bumper bracket and the chrome piece in between the bumper sides. Now I do!
Of course I could not leave the chrome alone, I had to run some 0000 steel wool over the chrome. It still needs re-chroming but I feel better now! Don’t you?
The bumper bracket looks like they will clean up good but it is what’s between them that worries me. Probably rust. They are conveniently rivited together!
Yup, rust.They will spend a day or two in the vinegar bath.
The rear bumper brackets are riveted as well. Note the rivet head is flush on the rear bracket as they are flush with the channel they go in to. I have to make sure I duplicate this when it goes together.
Goop removing session number 543!!
The goop on the rear axle is so thick that I can slice layers off…like a gyro !! Except it’s Swedish…Swyro! Glorious work!
It is pretty amazing how nice most of the chassis components are like this backing plate.It is still proudly displaying the factory semi gloss black. Not bad for a 56 year old car. It is still going to get blasted and powder coated.
Come on!! How can you brake a motor mount in a 90 hp Volvo. It was repaired by adding massive amount of brazing material. The parts car will once again step up and provide a replacement.
The early cars used a different idler arm and based on the profile on the arm, this is indeed the original part. I have chassis number 423 and the Volvo parts book tells me that the needle bearing still available are from chassic no 500 something and forward. Yet the specs on the bearings matches my early arm exactly so maybe I will be OK.
Today was a productive day. My friend Tam came over and helped out with the heavy stuff. The goal was to get all of the drivetrain out…and we did.
I was not able to turn the engine over at the crank so I could not wait to get it out to see what was going on.
Whether you have a latex fetish or work on gooey engines like this, it does make you appreciate this material.
Bazinga! Archimedes was right, leverage is awesome! It did not take much to make the engine turn. This is the documented original engine so…me happy!
Also, here you can see the oil cooler that was only on the early cars.
Next out was the transmission and as you can see, it does not have an overdrive. Some of the early cars did not come with this option. This transmission is kaputt gewesen and that is probably why the car was parked for so long. It spins freely in any gear so I venture to think it experienced a small internal explosion.
I will upgrade the car with an overdrive unit.
Drive shaft and the rear axle came out next. I will just move it aside as the first goal is to strip the body so it can go to stripping and the metal shop.
Speaking of goop. About a pound worth was nested inside the transmission cross member!
After removing the spring pad and the rubber dampener below it I can get a good look at the original color of the suspension. It’s a semi flat black.
Anyway, a good day.
Since I am restoring a 1961 Volvo P1800 it is always great to connect with other owners of the same model. Chances are that they have some words of wisdom for us or maybe even a spare of that strange-looking bolt that is missing on mine. You get the idea…
Tom Lamb in California owns this beauty.
This is a 1962 model with chassis number 4937 and as you can see Volvo still used the full wheel covers. In 1963 Volvo changed things up by equipping the P1800 with the corporate rolling stock consisting of a solid body colored steel wheel with the large chrome hub cap.
How can you not want to pilot a vintage car with gauges as cool as these? They look even better at night as they emit a warm turquoise glow.
6500 RPM redline tells the driver when it is time to shift! Even though the five main bearing engine is very strong that is all the push rod assembly need to be exposed to.
The cool part with these early wheel covers is that they scream EARLY CAR! …as in “I am special”
Take this in: You are ready to enter a Swedish Grand Tourer right here by sitting down in this flawless red interior.
You will spend many hours here enjoying the short distinct shifter operating the smooth synchromesh transmission and comfortable highway cruising courtesy of the Laycock de Normanville overdrive.
All this while enjoying the glorious music presented by the twin SU carburetors when approaching the aforementioned 6500 RPM redline.
The car was used for Volvo’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Tom restored the car about twelve years ago but it looks like it was done yesterday. It was restored to stock specifications with some small exceptions. For example, the distributor is now hosting a no maintenance electronic ignition system replacing the old points. Besides the obvious benefit Tom may even have picked up another horsepower or two.
Thanks Tom, for sharing your car with us. You set the bar high and that is now my challenge to reach the same level.
Photo: Tom Lamb
I am on the mailing list of the San Diego Volvo Sports Club. From time to time I get an email from an event with pictures. This time it was from Christmas party with beautiful vintage Volvos nestled in with blue skies and palm trees.
One of the pictures contained Tom Lamb’s stunning Volvo 1962 Volvo P1800. If you are paying attention at all, and you should, you would know that we are in the beginning stages of a restoration of a similar car.
I have sent Tom a note to learn more about the car, in the mean time these pictures just had to be shared.
Photos: Jim Macindoe