Shooting Brake Bargain: 1972 Volvo 1800ES

The Volvo 1800ES is the quintessential Daily Turismo classic. We’ve featured at least 40 of them in the past 3.5 years; on average about 1 per month. There are myriad reasons for this: a) we like Volvos (well, at least I do, and I know Hunsbloger does) – they are ultra durable and easy to turn into fun drivers, 2) the 1800ES is a freakin’ sexy shooting brake, and D) these aren’t quite into overpriced rich-boy investment car territory yet, but they are on the rise. And when you come across a running daily driver ES for less than $6k these days, you jump on it. Find this 1972 Volvo 1800ES for sale in Oakland, CA for $5,500 via craigslist.

Red isn’t the most flattering color for the Schneewittensarg; I happen to like the more era-appropriate shades of yellow, blue, and orange. But for the price there is nothing to complain about here. I cannot spot any rust in the small craigslist photos, but with these cars you have to plan for crunchiness in the rockers, outriggers, and rear lower fenders – at the least. Even on a long-time California car, Bay Area fog condensation and road spray from the occasional rainstorm will rust these 1800s out. Ok, maybe that is some corrosion at the bottom right corner of the hatch.

This is my favorite condition of project car; it can be a rolling restoration, a fix-as-things-break driver, or a very solid candidate for a full nut & bolt resto. I’m more inclined towards the former these days. It’s fun to restore a car but even more fun to drive it and work on making it better in manageable chunks.

The interior looks well above average for the price but the seller mentions a few minor issues that should be addressed. At least it’s not green or brown in here. You can’t go wrong with a red exterior / black interior on a classic car (or vice-versa).

Although no engine photos are given, the seller claims the B20 pushrod engine was replaced “a few years ago” with one that now has only 72,000 miles on it. These things are reasonably torquey, fuel efficient, and sewing machine smooth when they are tuned up. Not to mention they can last for literally millions of miles with normal maintenance.

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CFlo is Daily Turismo’s co-founder and Technical Editor. When he’s not driving an “emissions spewing” TDI he’s underneath a Volvo, on top of a Land Cruiser, cursing at a broken BMW, or driving the piss out of a crapcan race car. And that’s all before 10AM.