1973 Volvo 1800ES
Two Years Only
1973 Volvo 1800ES 2-Door Sport Wagon
- Two Owners, Local Doctors
- 74k Original Miles
- Factory Cypress Green
- Volvo Collector Car
- Only Produced in 1972 and 1973
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“This one checks a lot of boxes.” – Brian Silvestro, Road & Track, 12/6/17
Garage Kept Motors is pleased to present this rare and sought after 1973 Volvo 1800ES, the final year of only two production years. This sport wagon has had just two previous owners, both local West Michigan MD's who have cared for the car like their own patient. It remains highly original and ready for a new garage to call home. Derived from the successful Volvo P1800 sports coupe originally launched in the U.S. in 1962, the 1800ES kept much of that model's design ethic and mechanicals while extending the roofline, adding more useable rear fold-down seats and a remarkably spacious cargo hold beneath a frameless glass rear hatch. The English refer to this arrangement as a “shooting brake,” a sporting car designed to also carry shotguns and accompanying clothing and hunting gear needed for a day in the field, as capably as it handles the twisting roads and country lanes en route.
Car & Driver was clearly taken with this “sporting” sports-car design. In its December 1971 issue the car magazine gushed: “What the car enthusiast will need for those long weekends is a machine that comes as close as possible to sports car handling and response–a car that won't bore him to sleep or scare him wide-eyed–but still has enough cargo area for the equipment. There is enough space for a 30hp outboard plus a can or two of gas; enough picks, pitons and rope to climb Mount McKinley; a couple of those small trail Hondas with the folding handlebars; or a tent and enough beer to rough it painlessly at Watkins Glen. Whatever it is, the Sportwagon won't put a lid on your lifestyle.” Volvo simply proclaimed: “Darwin was right” to advertise this evolutionary design advancement.
Mechanically, the 1800ES, according to Hemmings Sports and Exotic Cars, “…absorbed all of the latest-and-greatest 1800 coupe's driveline: two-liter fuel-injected four, four-wheel disc brakes, Laycock de Normanville overdrive unit–although a compression drop from 10.5:1 to 8.7:1 saw power drop to 112 net horsepower, compared to 130hp gross in '72; this stateside-only unit was dubbed engine variant B20F. The suspension remained the same as the coupe's, partly because the ES weighed just 65 pounds more than a comparable coupe (and the extra two inches of length were all thanks to the rear bumper, a husky piece of business meant to protect that glass opening).”
The 1800ES would only be produced in 1973 and 1974, about 4,000 cars each year. The low volume made the expense and engineering challenges necessary to conform to U.S. emissions and safety mandates cost-prohibitive. Owning a well-kept, nicely preserved Volvo 1800ES these days is a joy allowed only to a few classic car aficionados.
The 1800ES offered here is an extremely well cared-for example in classic Cypress green over tan leather (with matched color vinyl on the rear seats). The condition of the car's interior is excellent, from leather surfaces to Smiths gauges, original steering wheel, and Volvo carpet floor mats. The contrasting black dashboard is not cracked or faded. The exterior finishes are nearly flawless: chrome, lenses, glass, and paint. The engine compartment is complete and largely original. The car has only had two owners, both doctors, and they apparently lavished hospital-like care on this 1800ES through the years. The car's mileage averages to approximately 1,600 per-year over its life.
As Hemmings writer, Jeff Koch, put it, the 1800ES isn't for everyone. “But if you want something that swallows huge distances in comfort, something that assiduously avoids cookie-cutter styling, something that will happily fit two grown-ups and all of their stuff, and something that's legendarily reliable, the 1800ES may well be worth a look.” Feel free to get in touch with us online or by phone to see this wonderful and very rare Volvo.