Year by year

Prototypes to Production Cars
1961/1963 P1800 (The Jensen cars)
1963 P1800S
1964 1800S
1965 1800S
1966 1800S
1967 1800S
1968 1800S
1969 1800S
1970 1800E
1971 1800E
1972 1800E
1972 1800ES
1973 1800ES

From Prototypes to Production Cars

The first Volvo 1800 production cars assembled by the Jensen Factory in West Bromwich differed quite a lot from the prototypes . 
Features not carried over to the finished concept:

The “V-emblem” in the grille

The wooden steering wheel was replaced by a cheaper model made of bakelite

The hubcaps were changed into a pressed version that looked rather similar

The rear cowhorn bumpers were replaced with one straight bumper that ran from corner to corner. The rear valance exits for the exhaust pipes were removed and the pipes exited in a conventional way below the body on the right side.

The c-pillar badge was made simpler; the three crowns were removed and the Swedish flag was replaced by two stripes in blue and yellow

No middle part on the front bumper

Rear swivelling ventilation window

1961/1963 P1800 (The Jensen cars)
Chassis # 1-6000 Production time: 1961-05  – 1963-02  (England)
A selection of specific characteristics:

White lenses on the front directional indicators

Red lenses on the rear lights

Cap in metal covering wheel side

The so called “Egg crate pattern” grille made of thick light metal

V-badge with crown and strips in blue and yellow on the rear pillar

Fresh air intake with chromed grille

3 horns, two of them extra loud (manoeuvred with a lever on the steering wheel column)

-Master brake cylinder of aluminium on chassis # 1-35 and cast iron from chassis # 36.
-Rectangular air filters on chassis # 1-1109
-Right angle speedometer gear from chassis # 1300
-The cable harness gets a cable for reverse light and reverse light switch on the gearbox from # 4200
-Cover over parking brake lever from chassis # 1460
-Seat belt anchorage moved from B-pillar to C-pillar

1963 P1800S
Chassis # 6001-8000
Model:  VB/HB
Production time:  1963-04 – 1963-07

Message to Volvo dealer around the world from the Volvo management in Sweden

New rims with holes for ventilation and caps with a red coloured circle in the middle

The so called “Egg crate pattern” grille made of thick light metal

The V-badge on the rear pillar disappeared for good from chassis # 6178

White/Orange lenses on front indicators/parking lights (Orange pointing up)

Fresh air intake grille now painted in the same colour as the rest of the car


New S badge on the rear panel to the right of the number plate

The tachometer scale was changed to read 6500 instead of 6000 and the red field for overrunning was changed accordingly

The petrol gauge gets an area to indicate spare

-New design of the inner door panels
-The designation is changed to Volvo P1800S. (S for Sweden as the production of the cars had moved from the Jensen factory in England to the Lundby plant in Sweden. The P in the designation will remain for this model year and and removed for the next, from ch#8001.
-Engine output increased to 108 h.p. SAE at 5800 rpm  as a result of changed
camshaft, stiffer valve springs and a higher compression (10, 0:1)
-New front brake calipers, pads, discs and pipes from chassis # 7000
-New rear brake wheel unit cylinders
-Improved illumination on the smaller gauges
-Synthetic paint
-New battery, earlier 57Ah now 60 Ah,
-Upholstery now available in vinyl or leather. (leather on front seat faces only)

1964 1800S
Chassis # 8001-12499
Model:  VD/HD
Production time:  1963-08 – 1964-07

From Chassis # 8001:
Fresh Air intake. New design, flat and chromed

New valve casing with the oil filler cap in the front

Stone damage deflectors on rear wings in front of the rear wheels introduced

The luggage compartment behind the back seat disappears. The back rest can be dropped down for load area and cushion can also be removed. Leather straps to secure luggage

The sun visors are moved to the A-pillar

-Adjustable sway support in the front seats (can be adjusted with a screwdriver)
-New front axle design

From chassis # 8453
-Introduction of closed crank-case ventilation
From Chassis # 9382
-Rear  window trim moulding in aluminium and new seal moulding to fit
From Chassis # 10000
-New doors, new window elevators, windows and window frame
-New propeller shaft with round companion flanges
From Chassis # 12275
Ashtray. New design

1965 1800S
Chassis # 12500 – 16499
Model VE/HE
Production time:  1964-09 – 1965-07

Thin shiny light metal grille

Straight front bumpers with rubber moulding  replace the “Bull horns”

Shorter rear bumpers around the corners towards the rear wheels.

Support handle for the front seat passenger

-The rims were of a new type with oval holes and were no longer painted in the colour of the car but in a silver grey colour. Like the Amazon, the wheels were fitted with chromed stainless steel hubcaps.
-Plastic stone chip guards were mounted in front of the rear wheel arches.
-The front seats got adjustable lumbar support. The hardness of the backrest was adjusted with a screwdriver.
-2 horns instead of 3, now operated from a regular button in the steering wheel
-OD switch moved from the dashboard to the steering wheel column
-New design and slightly realigned inside rear view mirror.
-Improved rust protection. Most of the underside of the body was treated with undercarriage compound and anti-rust oil was sprayed on other parts as well as sills most exposed to attack by stones thrown up by the wheels.
-New petrol pump
-From Chassis 14600 -New mechanism for the windscreen wipers. (Electrolux replaced Auto-Lite)
-From Chassis 14826 -New type of jack from Domkraft AB Nike in Eskilstuna.
-From Chassis 15174 -New Fan motor
-Four different standard colours were available: pearl white (79) and dark grey(80) with red upholstery and cherry red(46) and the new light blue colour(89) with black upholstery. Ch. No. 12510 was completed on 13 October 1964 and delivered on 16 October and was the first car with colour code 89 (light blue).

1966 1800S
Chassis # 16500 – 20999
Model VF/HF
Production time:  1965-08 – 1966-07

-The engine output increased to 115 Hp SAE at 6000 rpm
-New manifold and exhaust pipe with two separate pipes from the flange at the manifold
-Non-grease treatment maintenance. No need for manual lubrication of ball joints, steering idle arm and propeller shaft joints.
-New wishbones to fit the new ball joints
-New stronger M30 rear axle.
-Stronger suspension and support arms
-New rear wheel pressure relief valve to assure maximum stability during emergency stops
-The rear brakes get glued linings
-Changed dimension, from 3/4″ to 7/8”, of rear wheel cylinders
-Sealed type cooling system from chassis #19175

1967 1800S
Chassis # 21000 – 25499
Model M
Production time:  1966-08 – 1967-07

Grille: Still shiny light metal but a more solid pattern with vertical bars

The curved side chrome mouldings along the doors are replaced with a thinner straight model

A storage box between the front seats

New design of exterior door handles

Light reflecting Volvo decals on the ‘closing’ side of the doors

-Asymmetric dipped headlights
-New suspension for the supporting bearing on the propeller shaft.
-Ventilation window lock improved
-Improved seat belt anchoring and locking device
-New clutch, type “Fan shaped”

1968 1800S
Chassis # 25500 – 28299
Model P
Production time:  1967-08 – 1968-07

Three spoke, plastic padded steering wheel, shock absorbing

New handle grip on the ash tray

New interior door handles

-Plastic cap on the upper seat belt anchoring close to the headlining
-Emergency warning (hazard) light and side marker lights for USA and Canada from ch # 24.125
-New Heater and Ventilation controls
-Improved anchoring of the front seats
-Re-designed sun visors
-The choke lever moved to the dashboard
-Non-shining metal treatment on the wind screen wipers

1969 1800S
Chassis # 28300 – 29979
Model S
Production time:  1968-08 – 1969-07

Brake circuit failure/Parking brake alarm lamp on the dashboard to the left of the tachometer

B20 badge in the radiator grille

-New engine B20B
-Twin carburettors
-Lower compression, 9.5:1
-118 Hp SAE at 5800 rpm
-SU-carburettors on right-hand drive cars, Zenith-Stromberg on left-hand drive
-New exhaust emission control
-New alternator for 35A with mechanical regulator
-Radiator fan with friction clutch
-Dual circuit brake system
-Modified clutch
-New “High-impact” type windscreen
-Changed rear axle ratio 4,3:1
-New Overdrive (type J) ratio 0,797:1

1970 1800E
Chassis # 30001- 32799
Model T
Production time:  1969-08 – 1970-07

Wheels known as the “clover rim”, glossy wheel ring standard on the 1800E. Steel rim with an alloy metal centre

Grille with the same shape and pattern as 1967 – 1969 but painted matt black

The lockable petrol filler cap moved to the rear wing

Rear 1800E Emblem

Completely new dashboard, wood imitation.

Gauges with white digits on black background.

Locking centre console on the transmission tunnel

Electrically heated rear window
New engine B20 E -130 Hp SAE with electronic fuel injection from Bosh (Jetronic)
New camshaft with D-profile -Larger intake valves
Compression enhanced to 10.5:1
Manual gearbox M410 from Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen AG (ZF), Germany or Manual gearbox M410 from ZF(Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen AG, Germany)
Emergency warning (hazard) light now standard
Improved ventilation in the coupe by flow-through ventilation grille on the inside C- pillars and outlets on the rear wings
Steering wheel lock
Disc brakes on all four wheels

1971 1800E
Chassis # 32800 – 37549
Model U
Production time:  1970-08 – 1971-07

Same grill as 1970 (Late cars for the US market had the same plastic ABS grille as the 1972 model)

The ’69S and the ’70E had a badge on the drivers side of the grille that said “B20” to advertise the newer bigger engine. A big stylized “B” with the “20” underneath it. It was deleted for the 1971 year so only the 1969 S (with the shiny grille) and the 1970 E (with the black grille) models had it. 1971 retained the black grille from the ’70 but without the B20 badge.

-The manual M410 is replaced by M41 with strengthen lower gears (Rear axle 4,3:1)
– A 3 gear automatic Borg-Wagner BW35 is offered as option (Rear axle 4,1:1)
– B20F engines with stricter emission control in cars for the US market
– Tinted windows offered as an option
– New Front badge
– The B20 badge in the front grille disappeared from chassis # 33529

1972 1800E
Chassis # 37550 – 39414
Model W
Production time:  1971-08 – 1972-07

Steel rims with square ventilation holes and glossy wheel ring

Black ABS plastic grille

New back seat with backrest that can be folded down

New front seats with fixed neck rest

Door panels in one piece with pockets and handles in a new design

Seatbelt reminder

Inertia seat belts

Rectangular front badge

On 1972 models of the 1800E, on the rear of the car the word V O L V O is not spelled out across the back like in previous years. The word is small and attached to the left side of the license plate light on the rear of the car. The 1800E badge is positioned below it on the left side. This is a change from the previous years where the 1800E badge was attached on the right side of the rear

– Cars with automatic gearbox rear axle ratio changed to 3,9:1
– USA imported cars fitted with lower compression, reduced output (112 HP SAE) B20F engine and get 1100-size propeller shaft
– Non USA cars with B20E engines get an oil cooler and output increased to 136 HP SAE
– Changed brake valve pressure
– New type of brake pads
– New style plastic radiator grille insert
– Tinted glass in all windows
– Warning buzzer if the headlight is switched on when the ignition key is out added Engine
– Petrol pump, control unit and other details changed to make the entire fuel-injection system similar on the Volvo 140 series
– Alternator output increased to 55A
– Mid year 1972E production (post Ch # 38807) front and rear seatbelts changed to non-illuminated 72/73ES style

1972 1800ES
Chassis # 0001 – 3069
Model W
Production time:  1971-12 – 1972-07

Large rear window/tailgate with hinges and handle fitted directly to the glass

Apart from the significant changed tail end, the car is similar to 1972 1800E

1973 1800ES
Chassis # 3070 – 8077
Model Y
Production time:  1972-08 – 1973-03

New illuminated switches to the left of the steering wheel for windscreen wiper, windscreen washer, rear window defroster and fan.

– Protective steel tubes in the doors
– Filter unit for emission control inside the radiator grille
– Flame retardant upholstery
– Improved wipers covered 10% more of the windscreen
– On cars for the US market the bumpers were extended to comply with new regulations about shock absorbes at a speed of 5mph.
-B20F engines in the US cars were modified for 91 octane and the output was decreased to 112 hp SAE
-Radiator moved forwards

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