1972 Volvo P1800ES


  • Recently recommissioned after nearly 40 years in storage
  • Long MOT to May 2024 with no advisories
  • Solid and well presented P1800ES that looks very usable 
  • Tasteful upgrades including SwedeSpeed handling kit
  • Recently serviced with few miles since 

The Appeal 

The world of sports cars designed to carry passengers and dogs is a vanishingly small one. And yet, glancing at this beautiful P1800ES, like us you might wonder why. Delicately styled by a designer under tutelage from the Italian Frua carozzeria, the short lived P1800ES is surely one of the most beautiful cars to ever emerge from those paragons of solidity and style, Sweden.

The original P1800 coupe was designed to find buyers in America. Towards the end of its life a one-off design proposal led to the ‘ES’ shooting brake, which cleverly aligned the sports car with Volvo’s more traditional turf of estate cars. Available for just two short years, it has become a bonafide design icon and one that Volvo has periodically returned to for its new sporting models. 

Just 8,000 P1800ES shooting brakes were built. This is one of the last to feature the classic ‘pull handle’ switchgear. Carefully dry stored for nearly 40 years it has recently been sympathetically recommissioned to blend usability with originality. Equipped with many new parts, including a SwedeSpeed handling kit, it comes with the reassurance of a long MOT. Very rare and very usable, this is a grea opportunity to buy a distinctive daily or show talking point.

The History and Paperwork

  • First UK registered 11th April 1972
  • MOT expires 4th May 2024 with no advisories
  • Odometer indicates just 750 miles since MOT test but bear in mind the speedo cable needs replaced
  • Dry stored since 1984 and recently recommissioned prior to the seller buying the car
  • Current owner since 28th August 2023

Recommissioning work included:

  • New windscreen
  • SwedeSpeed handling kit including GAZ adjustable shock absorbers, 40mm lowering kit and adjustable Panhard rod
  • Brake pads and hoses
  • Brake master cylinder
  • Alternator
  • Voltage regulator
  • Water pump 
  • Thermostat
  • Fuel tank 
  • Fuel level sensor
  • Water temperature sensor 
  • Fuel hoses
  • Fuel filter
  • Injector cleaning
  • New exhaust system 
  • New engine, gearbox and differential oils

The Interior

  • Original interior that shows some signs of wear typical of age and mileage
  • There is scope to improve or simply enjoy this car’s originality 
  • Factory correct caramel leather high backed rally-style front seats with small rear seats
  • Seats piped with contrasting light beige piping 
  • Driver’s seat show wear and discolouration to the seat base but is not cracked
  • Rear seats and passenger seat in original and very presentable condition 
  • Later P1800 model with wood-effect dashboard and black dials with white decals
  • Original brown carpets are presentable but show some fading and deterioration 
  • Rear load area similarly presentable but with wear to carpet above the spare wheel hatch 
  • Door cards appear to be original and presentable, only a small tear to driver’s side detracting 
  • Door hardware is complete and presentable
  • Front seats equipped with lumbar support 
  • Passenger side window winder poorly fitted
  • Driver’s seatbelt chrome buckle tarnished
  • Headlining appears to be original and shows light marks and sagging 
  • Original stylish factory three spoke steering with slim rim 
  • Light marks on right hand steering column stalk 
  • Pull switch model with original switchgear showing light wear 
  • Smiths dials are clear and presentable, only light tarnishing to edges visible 
  • Sharp radio/cassette fitted which we are told has recently stopped working 
  • Vendor advises that the speedometer has stopped working and requires a new cable
  • Heater matrix has been bypassed and a new one will be supplied with the car
  • Oil temperature gauge we are told is intermittent but a new switch is included 

The Exterior

  • Dark green paintwork is very presentable likely reflecting the lack of use since 1984
  • Vendor believes that this is the only green P1800ES in the UK but we were unable to verify this 
  • Seller states that there is no rust on the car and inspection of the photos supports this
  • Chromework appears to be original, remains presentable with light tarnishing 
  • Front and rear bumpers are complete and in good condition but lightly tarnished
  • Fitted with 40mm lowering kit and 240GLT alloy wheels in fair condition 
  • Alloys remain presentable but show light kerbing to edges
  • Some small chips around the car but not unsightly
  • Chips to offside front arch and inside edge of driver’s door
  • Non matching steel spare
  • Some wear visible on fuel flap 
  • Crack in rear numberplate
  • Glasswork appears original and presentable, including the vulnerable single piece glass tailgate
  • Lights similarly original, with light discolouration of headlights

The Mechanics 

  • 2litre four cylinder fuel injected Volvo engine developing 135bhp 
  • 4spd manual gearbox with overdrive uses the stronger M410 box from the 164 saloon
  • Extensive and recent mechanical recommissioning with few miles since
  • Breakdown of mechanical refurbishment listed above 
  • SwedeSpeed handling kit 
  • The seller states that he believes the odometer has not gone around the clock 


The P1800ES is that most Volvo of sports cars: one that appeals equally to the head and the heart thanks to providing space for family and luggage too. Available only briefly, its influence far exceeds its sales and the rare examples that come up for sale are keenly fought over. 

This 1972 example shows why these beautiful cars are so revered. There are a few small jobs left to do, but with the major recommissioning freshly done it looks ready to really enjoy after its near 40-year hibernation. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1972
  • Make Volvo
  • Model P1800
  • Colour Green
  • Odometer 63,179 Miles
  • Engine size 1986
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Canvey Island
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
3 bids from 2 bidders
  • Je•••• £20,000 20/09/23
  • Je•••• £15,000 20/09/23
  • j-•••• £10,000 20/09/23

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