Classic Iron: 1952 Volvo Philip Concept

In the early post-war years, wealthy Swedish car buyers were drawn to big, audaciously-styled, V8-powered American cars. In an effort to capitalize on car buyers’ infatuation, Volvo developed the car you see here. Meet the 1952 Volvo Philip.

The Philip was the very first car designed by Volvo’s own styling department, which was founded in 1950 and headed by 20-year-old novice, Jan Wilsgaard, who was hired by Volvo fresh out of the Gothenburg School of Applied Arts. The car, itself, was influenced by the 1951 Kaiser Deluxe, and took its name from the car’s “birthday” after the Swedish custom of naming calendar days (Philip is May 2nd). Meant to replace the PV60, the Philip represented another first for Volvo- it was powered by an utterly unique, Volvo-designed, 3.5 liter, pushrod V8 engine.

As interesting as the Volvo Philip was, however, it never saw series production, having been deemed far too big and expensive for Volvo to produce. The Philip did, however, stay in service for several years as an executive limousine at Volvo BM (Volvo Tractors) before being brought back to the Volvo Museum, where it can be seen today. As for the engine, that pushrod V8 did go into production in a series of light trucks produced between 1956 and 1966, when it was out-darwined by diesel engine trucks.

You can watch a video about Volvo’s first V8 powered concept car, below- but the narration is all in Swedish, so I don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. If you do, let me know using the comment section at the bottom of the page!


1952 Volvo Philip V8 Concept Car

Source | More Photos: Hemmings.


I've been in and around the car industry for over twenty years. Sometimes racing, sometimes selling, sometimes fixing- sometimes, even just washing!- but Cars and Trucks and Things That Go are what I'm all about.