All Swedish Meet at XXX in Issaquah

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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.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 24

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Door stopper! I added this crude adjuster in the door opening to hold out the door so I can line up the body panels as I am test fitting everything.

Like this. This is still just approximate as the door will get a new skin and I am sure that things will change again but at least we are close for now. These parts will be removed and test fitted a thousand times! Nothing will get welded until e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is perfect. Puh!

The front fender is welded to the body and not only have to line up with the door and nose, it is also part of the hood opening cavity. If I move any part in any direction there will be a problem elsewhere. You know, that cause and effect thing you heard so much about! I installed to hood so I can line up the fender for good fit.

I made these shims quickly to be used between the body and the hood hinges so I can get the hood just right. I will use some nicer ones in the end.
I hope there is an end!

Where the front fender (wing is you reside in the UK) meets the A-pillar.

It looks like Volvo used part of the fender in the window channel. Sine my channel is very clean and solid I don’t need to disturb it. I will cut at the dotted line, that way the edge is still intact. The edge is where the strength is so as long as I keep that, I should be OK. I did run this by my Swedish experts and got approval.

Looks like Volvo gave me some extra material in the cowl area. I get suspicious when a manufacturer gives you extra material. The mind in my cynical and conspiratorial Swedish brain starts going….Why?? Am I missing something??

Once I mellowed out it looks like an extra 14 to 9 millimeters. Maybe Volvo was just feeling generous when they made the P1800 fender mold.

Now it starts to look like something.

I have ways to go but the weekend is over and I have to go to work tomorrow.

To Be Continued…

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 23

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This is a short update as work is interfering with my ability to play with cars!

 

As stated before when doing rust repairs: Make template, make replacement part, install…you know…rinse and repeat.

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This is the bottom of the A-pillar. It is attached to the inside rocker panel support and hides under the front fender.

 

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Since I can not go to “Bottom-Of-P1800-A-Pillar-metal-part.com” and order this part I have to make one.

 

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Looks OK.

 

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I am realizing that I will test fit the rear quarter panel and front fender about a 1000 times. They fit in to a recessed area on the rocker so the rocker has to be…you know…just bloody perfect.

 

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Speaking of perfect…Let’s get screwed!

In order to test fit everything before I start to tack and weld it in place, I use sheet metal screws in order to “suck in” the sheet metal when it belongs. One push or pull here and there will change the fit in another corner. Puh!

 

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This sure is an interesting corner. This is where the front fender meet the body. This is NOT an Amazon, where one would just bolt on the fender and call it a day. Then you go and have ginger snaps with Gevalia coffee.

I guess this is why they call this coachwork…as in lots of work!

 

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Another interesting area. This is the top of the front fender by the windshield. It looks like the fender was actually a part of the windshield frame. Since this area is very healthy on the car I think I will just cut the fender on the dotted line and weld to body. Then I can smooth out the windshield channel with lead.

Also, I ran this by the experts in Sweden and got approval 😉 You don’t mess with Swedish experts!

Well, that all I have to say about that.
I hope to get some quality time in the shop in the upcoming weekend.

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 22

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I was looking for a smooth way to rotate and hold the body as I need to move it quite often. This is the expandable load bar I use in the truck. The rubber ends offer traction and it works like one of those domestic ratchet car jacks.

 

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This is very premature but I just had to do a test fit. With the rocker sheet metal temporary held in place I can now see how the rear quarter panel and the front fender. Both connects to the rocker panel via an overlay. It is important that I achieve a smooth transition between the panel for the correct look.

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Looks like the quarter panel fits well. Repairing rust is not exactly glorious work so these “test fit parties” are good for motivation.

 

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The rear inner wheel wells are in excellent condition except the bottom. The fender obviously attaches to this so it has to be solid.

 

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So…

1. Template.

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2. Make metal part look like what was there before.

 

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3. Test fit.

 

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4. Weld in place.

Looks good. Since this will never be seen I don’t need to grind the welds completely. Besides, the weld is stronger if not ground down.

 

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This is the front lower part of the wheel well. Based on the weld “lump” it appears that the factory just filled this corner with weld.

 

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There…solid corner and a lip to attach the quarter panel to.

 

 

Adam Featherston’s most excellent 1961 Volvo P1800

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Collecting, restoring and enjoying vintage Volvo cars is a world wide hobby.  Another virtual visitor drove by Vintage Swedish Cars with his newly restored 1961 Volvo P1800.  As I am knee deep in to a full restoration of the same car, I am always looking for inspiration and motivation.

Adam Featherston resides in Marple Bridge, a town near Manchester in the UK.  Adam imported this car from San Diego and it turns out that the So Cal weather had been very gentle on the sheet metal.

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The car was described as “scruffy and a little sad” and in need of cosmetic and mechanical rebuild. That’s what  you would you expect after 56 years or so.

 

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Adam commissioned Keith and Simon at the to bring the Volvo back to it’s former glory.

 

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After blasting: Check out how solid this car is.

 

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Photo: P1800 Specialists

Adam had some thoughts about the color. These cars looks absolutely stunning in a gun metal grey metallic and if you step up for red leather you will have a Swedish car that rivals a similar era Aston Martin.

However, after seeing the Saint’s car in the original off white color the decision was made to keep the car all stock. After all, if Roger Moore was happy with it, we should be too!

 

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The paint came out excellent and the body is perfectly straight.

 

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“Installing the chrome”

This is probably the most satisfying period of any car restoration: Installing new chrome on a freshly painted car.  Doesn’t get any better than this.

 

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Engine compartment.

Like the car was built yesterday.

 

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Ivory car with red interior is about as about a sexy as it gets. Yeah, I’m running out of adjectives here…Note how the early P1800 doors are very different compared to the later ones.

 

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Since I have run out of adjectives I will just say: Nice, huh!?

 

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Thank you Adam for sharing your car with us…and the world. This twin of your truly’s project car is excellent inspiration and motivation. The car is on it’s way to great fame as well. It was used for an arts project: The Spy Who Loved Himself

If you want to see more of this car make sure to visit Adam’s blog Saintly Wheels. Adam did warn his reader that the blog will now shift focus: Less restoration and more driving. We sure hope so.

Photos:  Adam Featherston

 

 

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 21

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Rotisserie Apparatus: $1300.00
Used Spitzenagel Pneumatic spot weld drill: $149.00
Standing up straight while drilling out rocker spot welds: Priceless!

Repairing a rusty car is really simple:

You remove all the rusty parts and replace them with not rusty parts! Done! Right?? Right???!!

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Oh my, what have I done now?? A huge hole. Remember the movie Wrist Cutters?? If not, watch it and you will understand.

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Since this is a unibody car, I need to make sure it stays straight and square while I remove any supporting panels. I added these support beams just to make sure the body does not move while I remove this part.

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Nice and shiny, eh? The jack supports were a bit weak as so I decided to replace the whole beam. It is often easier and even faster to replace the whole component rather then try to patch areas. Besides, it looks like a factory job.

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Milestone?? I guess so. This is a card board template of the first piece of metal that is actually added/welded to the car. It is just the lower A-pillar support that attaches to the lower rocker panel.

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Cleco. A metal worker’s best friend. You drill a small hole and then use these Cleco fasteners to hold the panel in place during fitting and welding.

1, 2 and 3!

The rocker assembly on a Volvo P1800 consists of no less than three components.

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1. Bottensvällare: The first piece is the inside panel. The Swedes calls it bottensvällare and that directly translates to “bottom sweller” as it rises from the floor.

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2. Subrocker

Connects the lower part of the A and B pillar.

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3. Rocker panel. Hey, we finally arrived at the outer layer. The ironic part is that the rear quarter panel and front fender covers most of it but I am sure all this add a lot of strength to the P1800 body.

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Just held in place with the aforementioned Clecos but hey, that looks like a genuine Swedish rocker! I need to tack it in place and then test fit the rear quarter panel and front fender before I dare button it up. Nobody said this was speedy work.

Mo later…

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 20

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Now I have done it!! There is no way back now.

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In order to get to the rocker assembly the fender have to be removed. This right side fender will be replaced with a new fender. The driver’s side fender appears to be in much better condition, I am not sure if I need to replace it.

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This is the edge left from quarter panel. After cleaning up the spot weld remnants I have a nice surface to attach the new panel.

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This is why it is usually not enough to replace just the outer rocker panel. If the rocker panel is weak chances are that the sub rocker below have issues as well. …and it does!

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And…if the sub rocker have issues there is a good chance the sub rocker support panel also have issues…and it DOES! This panel goes all the way back to the rear wheel well.

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Bottom line, once I am in this far, there is no excuse for not replacing all components. Fun fact: the original rocker assembly from Volvo came as one unit. The aftermarket parts come in three sections. This makes it easier to bang them around to fit the body.

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I HEART my plasma cutter. I obviously need to drill out all the sport welds that holds the rockers in place but it is easier if I remove most of the rocker first. By doing this it is easier the see how it is attached, what metal overlaps what etc…Instead of using a cut off wheel and filling the shop with metal dust I fired up the ‘ol plasma cutter. It is fast and much less messy compared to the cut off wheel.

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With the rocker and sub rocker gone we can now see the inner rocker support structure.

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This is part of the crud I found inside the rocker panel. I did not have a banana handy so…glove for scale.

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Since the front fender is being replaced, I cut the fender off about an inch from the edge so I can see what was going on below.

The Spitzernagel Special is an amazing tool for removing the spot welds.  Also, because of the clamp that holds it in place, there is no effort. It only removes the spot weld but stops short of digging in to the bottom layer.

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This is what the fender support looks like under the fender. It even has little indentation to ensure dirt and moisture will lay around and eating your Swedish sports car from the day you leave the show room! Brilliant!

I guess these cars were supposed to last ten years at the most so these “engineering blunders” were probably not an issue at the time. I bet they did not expect car guys restoring these cars 56 years later. Luckily, this part of the car is very solid.

Mo later…

X-Ray Auto in Ballard, Washington

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I was in need of a part…Wait, I needed a part for a Volvo?? I was told these things lasts for EVAR! Well, they don’t.

Even sturdy Volvos need service and repairs sometimes and X-Ray Auto in Ballard, Washington would be a good place to go. Matt is the owner and operator of X-Ray Auto and he works on 1975 and older Volvos…period! Not only does he service the cars, he also have a sizable collection of parts, new and used.

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Visiting the shop is equivalent to time travel. I worked at a gas station in Sweden in the seventies and there would be pretty much nothing but Saabs and Volvos around you.

 

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This is what greets you when you arrive. You know it will be a good day.

 

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I could not help myself…A little black and white action. Sweden 1970? Ballard 1970?? Or Ballard Wa 2016?

Volvo Duett

 

Matt’s corporate company car. Volvo P210 Duett, the only way to go.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 tank filler lid

Here is the reason for today’s visit. As you can see, the original tank lid was reverting back to carbon. This is the fun part when restoring a vintage car. The thrill of the chase, the high you get when you find the right part coupled with the social aspect make it all worth while.

 

1969 Volvo 1800S

This car was for sale. A very solid 1969 1800S. Minor rust in the lower front fenders but that was all I could see. The customer just spent $6000.00 on tune ups, brake parts and more.

1969 Volvo 1800S interior

A really decent interior that can use some detailing but it is all there. I am NOT affiliated with X-Ray Auto but Matt helped me with some parts so I thought I should help getting the word out. . He is asking $15,000.00 and can be reached at 206-789-5455. Tell him Rolf sent you.

Next year Matt and X-Ray Auto plans to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sweden moving to right hand drive. He plans to have a party and to re-create the event having Volvos switching sides just like they did that night in 1967. Maybe we will crash in to each other??!! Stay tuned for more info on the events page.

 

1961 Volvo P1800 project, part 16

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 paint and rust stripping

A lonely Volvo P1800 in a sea of Camaros, Mustangs and trucks. The body was dropped off in a “mall” of hot rod shops.

 

Hot rod shop

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.

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Good eye there, skipper! That is not a Volvo. For informational purposes only, get it?

It is a rather elaborate process:

  • First it is submerged in a hot tank at 200 degrees
  • Then the car is cleaned with high pressure spray.
  • Bath that treats the rust and neutralize the paint removal chemicals.
  • High pressure rinse and clean.
  • Rust prevention coating.
  • Air dry.

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.

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 hinge kit

“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.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper parts car

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!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear bumper bracket

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?

 

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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!

 

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Yup, rust.They will spend a day or two in the vinegar bath.

 

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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.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle goop removal

Goop removing session number 543!!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear axle goop cutting

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!

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 rear brake backing plate

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.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 motor mount broken

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.

 

1961 Volvo Jensen P1800 idler arm

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.

More later..

 

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