A Sexy Volvo...
Page 1 of 41

Author:  ccrunner [ April 10, 2014, 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  A Sexy Volvo...

So, a sexy Volvo huh?

In the end, it is my hope to turn this into a thread about a fun, slinky little Volvo 1800 (1961-1966-ish) with a wicked split personality..

I love the shape/design of the early 1800s, but the very reliable EOM powerplant is a little tame for my taste (great motor/tranny- just not for me), so here's my vision :twisted: bwoohoohoohoohahaha!:

I plan to source an inline 4 cylinder GM LNF Ecotec (direct injected turbo) from a Cobalt, and mate it to a Pontiac Soltice RWD 5 speed.. this will give about 265hp stock; and quite a bit more with a tune (maybe 350-ish is my on-paper goal- might alter that later depending on how the car feels..). All research shows that this motor/tranny will physically fit, and that my HP/Torque goals are realistic with this power plant..

In stock form, the Volvo is about 2400#.. I'd like to see that closer to 2200# when I'm done, but I'm not going to freak out about the weight.. ..this is to be a fun 'aggressive cruiser' when it's done..

From the beginning this car is to first and foremost be my daily driver- reliability/fun/decent mpg/grins-per-mile are key.. I have until October 2016 (2+ years) to do this; that is when my oldest starts to drive and we'll have a need for a 'new' car at my house (I've been driving a 2012 appliance/commuter for the last few years and I'm ready pass that off to my wife and get back into an old car with personality)..

This build will get off to a slow start as I haven't found my 1800 yet, but below is an idea of the base car before I alter it...

Updates as they come, and as always, other tidbits and lifestuff along the way..

red 1800 dr side.jpg
red 1800 dr side.jpg [ 42.54 KiB | Viewed 35764 times ]

Author:  ccrunner [ April 10, 2014, 6:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

Like needing a house for a doorknob..

As my N600 project winds down (http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtop ... 36&t=14452), it's becoming obvious that it is not to be considered a daily driver..

So, for the last year or so I've been researching my next project. During my research on cars and power plants, I've become enamored with GM's Ecotec engine- in my case specifically, the LNF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_Family_II_engine). This little firecracker puts down reliable V8 power in a light 4-banger package.. I haven't seen many swaps yet, as they've only recently been made to easily stand alone (or so I'll learn!)..

Anyway, for most of the last year I thought I'd be building an early series (I-III) Sunbeam Alpine (the one with fins). I actually went so far as to drag a trailer to L.A. for a 1963 SIII that turned out to be a rust bucket.. I wasn't a total waste of time though... I got a chance to step away from the model a bit and really look into what it would take to stuff the LNF in there.. I'm convinced it can be done (as you know anything can be done), but it would take a huge (read time-consuming) rework of the front suspension.. I've learned on the Honda project that anything over 3 years without payoff is too long for me..

At that point I started looking around for a different platform, and only then did I discover that the Volvo 1800 that I had earlier dismissed as a 2-seater (I still technically need a 4-seat occasionally) was in fact a 4-seater (albeit just barely)!.. Since then, I've had my eye on finding a clean 1800 and moving forward with stuffing a 4 cylinder with V8 torque into a smallish, unique car.

For grins, here's a very clean Alpine for reference...

alpine green.jpg
alpine green.jpg [ 138.37 KiB | Viewed 35736 times ]

Author:  cheapracer [ April 10, 2014, 9:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

ccrunner wrote:

I love the shape/design of the early 1800s,

They didn't make cars then silly.....

Author:  Driven5 [ April 11, 2014, 1:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

The proportions on the regular 1800's always seemed a just a little 'off' to me...A characteristic remedied by the ES. Either way, it should be quite a ride with 250-350hp. :cheers:



Author:  BBlue [ April 11, 2014, 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

Sad to see your not doing the Alpine. Was looking forward to seeing a quality Alpine swap that used something other than a Ford small block. But the 1800 is a worthy substitute and should be an order of magnitude easier.

I'm glad you saw the difficulties involved when swapping the Alpine. Way too many guys do not until they reach their end point, a car with an engine setting in it with no hope of ever steering it or attaching an exhaust. The best part - It is often advertised as "The hard part is done. Just needs some finishing."

I know you could have pulled it off, but sometimes the price of admission is just too high.


Author:  robbovius [ April 11, 2014, 7:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

As a longtime fan of the TV show "The Saint" I approve of this build ;-)

Author:  GonzoRacer [ April 11, 2014, 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

Cool idea! I always liked the P1800, but I agree with Driven, I like the ES better than the coupe. It was the first car I ever saw with an entirely glass tailgate. Seemed high-tech at the time. I also remember Holman Moody building one with a 289 Ford... :twisted:

Author:  Wump [ April 11, 2014, 9:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

I read your post, then tabbed over to bringatrailer.com and what do I find but this-
http://bringatrailer.com/2014/04/11/v8- ... vo-1800es/

The link gives away most of the story, but it is a 73 1800ES with a corvette 327 and 4 spd. It won't have the same dynamic as a light weight r cylinder, but it will probably be quick and interesting if not fun.

Author:  ccrunner [ April 11, 2014, 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

I appreciate your thoughts and feedback guys...

I too think the 1800 coupe proportions are somehow a bit 'off'... To me, the greenhouse is a bit too small for the car, and the fins are a bit too pronounced.. Having said that, I still like it very much.. this is one of those cars (both the coupe and the wagon) that somehow looks better in person than in photos..

I keep vacillating on that ES though.. I really want to like it, and some days I love it (the orange one above is very well executed).. I've always been drawn to 2 door wagons/shooting brakes, but with this model I just can't get over the view from the rear- yuk :ack:

In the one picture below I colored in a higher rear panel under the rear hatch, and it almost works for me ... I wonder if it might work visually if I was to fab/place some vertical chrome strips in this area (like a tri-5 Nomad's rear door) to break the panel up?...

Keep your thoughts coming guys- I still don't have 'the next thing' in the driveway, so send a link on if you spot a good one (with this build I plan to buy the nicest car I can afford to start off with)

1955-1957-Chevrolet-Nomad-rear-right-view resized.jpg
1955-1957-Chevrolet-Nomad-rear-right-view resized.jpg [ 178.81 KiB | Viewed 35557 times ]
modded rear hatch 1973_Volvo_P1800ES_Rear_resize.jpg
modded rear hatch 1973_Volvo_P1800ES_Rear_resize.jpg [ 120.18 KiB | Viewed 35557 times ]
1800es rear white L.jpg
1800es rear white L.jpg [ 93.18 KiB | Viewed 35557 times ]

Author:  oldejack [ April 12, 2014, 12:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

73' P1800ES, $800 in California back due fees, asking $2k OBO. .. Looks like it needs some panel repairs done among other things.
It supposed even runs and has a functioning overdrive. Didn't those have Laycock type J's?

Author:  horizenjob [ April 12, 2014, 11:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

functioning overdrive. Didn't those have Laycock type J's?

With a cute purple indicator light on the dash. I suppose the light would still go on even if you remove the over driveā€¦

Author:  berg [ April 12, 2014, 3:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...


Author:  ccrunner [ April 29, 2014, 4:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

It so often begins with the collection of parts..

Always a tough sell to my wife that I need to buy an engine or transmission (or whatever) for a car that I don't even yet own :mrgreen:

You know the deal though.. you have a build idea in your mind, and you keep you eye on CL or Ebay should the needed bits come up at a great deal.. Just that thing happened with this tranny.. A bunch of research lead to me either seeking out a T5 with a Kennedy adapter plate (about 600.00 for the plate alone), or get an OEM Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky 5 speed.. I found the one below on Ebay through LKQ with 29K on it at a great price- shifter included.. Like all used bits, I'm hopeful and optimistic about it's condition/functionality..

BTW- should you go the RWD LNF Ecotec route, research shows to find a 2007-2009 tranny WITH Interim Design Change.. this will give you a more desirable 1st gear (earlier models had a less user friendly 1st)


solstice coupe 1.jpg
solstice coupe 1.jpg [ 55.56 KiB | Viewed 35256 times ]
solstice tranny.jpg
solstice tranny.jpg [ 75.72 KiB | Viewed 35256 times ]

Author:  iadr [ May 4, 2014, 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

ccrunner wrote:
, research shows to find a 2007-2009 tranny WITH Interim Design Change.. this will give you a more desirable 1st gear (earlier models had a less user friendly 1st)


Not so fast... (no pun intended).
The 3rd to 4th gap on the latter is *huge* which to me automatically makes the earlier version better

Author:  ccrunner [ May 5, 2014, 1:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A Sexy Volvo...

Oh, I'm glad you chimed in! In my research I didn't find that they had changed the 3/4 split :(

For what it's worth then, should you select the earlier version (06/07 pre-interim change), you'll likely save a few bucks.. they tended to go for less when I picked my later model up..


Page 1 of 41 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group