Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Volvo P1800, S, E and ES (1961 - 1973)

Last updated 11 December 2018


Buying Guide


  • Front outer and inner wings rust.
  • As do front headlamp and sidelight surrounds.
  • Front wheelarches corrode and so do the leading edge of the sills.
  • Get underneath the car and inspect the front crossmember.
  • Pay special attention to the area under the radiator.
  • Inspect the steering box mountings and front outriggers.
  • Rear outriggers also need to be checked for rust, as do the sills.
  • Next, check the bootlid, floorpans, door bottoms.
  • If the windscreen is leaking or the bulkhead is rotten, it will be very expensive to fix.


  • Regularly serviced B18 (1.8-litre) and B20 (2.0-litres) enigne are good for 200,000 miles.
  • Make sure it uses a proper Volvo oil filter – these have a non-return valve make sure the bearings are starved of oil when the engine is cold.
  • Keep the gearbox topped up with oil and it will last the lifetime of the car.
  • If the overdrive fails to engage, check the wiring and the solenoid.
  • Suspension bushes can wear – rubber and polyeurethene replacements are avaiable.
  • Brakes servos are almost impossible to rebuild – and aftermarket units don’t fit.

Electrics and trim

  • The fusebox can be a pain, so that’s the first place to check if the electrics are dodgy.
  • Replacement (non-Bosch) voltage regulators on dyno cars don’t seem to last.
  • Lights units rust but replacements are available and easy to fit… as long as the fixings aren’t seized.
  • Interiors are quite hard wearing but replacements are impossible to source.
  • Dashboards crack and replacements are hard to find.
  • Chromework can be hard to find and expensive.
Back: IntroductionNext: Specifications

Compare classic car insurance quotes and buy online. A friendly service offering access to a range of policies and benefits.

Get a quote