0.5k: 1973 Volvo 1800 ES – Some Assembly Required

We’ve featured Volvo 1800 ESsses on the Daily Turismo before and had a surprising amount of interest, support and success from our readers. Perhaps it is because the 1800 ES is a good looking, rare classic that doesn’t cost an arm or leg to buy.  Further demonstrating this point is this 1973 Volvo 1800 ES for sale in Cape Code, MA for $500 via SilverstoneMotorcars.com  (big thanks to tip from DT reader Ignatius Reilly – we hope his valve isn’t acting up too much these days!).

Ignatius was keen to spot this Volvo from behind comforting and sensible warm flaps of his green hunting cap, and while the builders of this car may indeed have been “communis“- it certainly is being sold for a pure red blooded capitalist price!  The chrome trim and glass is probably worth the $500 asking price from the  dealer in Cape Cod.  It probably makes his showroom look cheap and he just wants to get rid of it before it pisses coolant onto the Ferraris, Porsches and Citroen. 

This is the kind of engine bay that Myrna Minkoff would have considered some kind of art needing preservation- but we think it just needs a good cleaning and some elbow grease to get back into shape.  The 2.0 liter B20F inline 4 puts out 125 horsepower and is mated to a 4 speed manual transmission with laycock overdrive (yes the minx would surely have some sharp comments about the name of this overdrive unit, but as Freud once said “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.)

The inside of this 1800ES looks much like Ignatius’ bedroom in his mother’s house – the only thing missing are “Big Chief” tablets, but perhaps there are some under the mess of paperwork in the passenger seat.  This Volvo will need considerable time and some money to rebuild the interior – but a few shifts working a Paradise Vending hot dog cart and you should be able to save plenty of cash for junkyard or aftermarket parts.

Some of the photographs show the 1800ES sitting on a driveway with flat tires -but this looks to have been its resting position for some time and we expect that it will need lots of underbody repairs along with replacement of every rubber bushing and dried out seal.  However, when you’ve finished restoration of this medieval hulk – you will have a car that is not an offense against ‘taste and decency’ and doesn’t demonstrate a lack of ‘theology and geometry’.  Just pray that once running this ES doesn’t, ‘like a bitch in heat, attract a coterie of policemen and sanitation officials.’

If you haven’t read the late John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces recently- please do yourself a favor and pickup a copy.