Classic Iron: 1956 Volvo P1900 Sport

A lot of Volvo fans know about the P1800– the classic, Italian-styled Volvo coupe that starred along with Roger Moore in the iconic British spy series, the Saint- but that car wasn’t Volvo’s first sports car. Meet the P1900 Sport. A Lightweight, open-top sporting Volvo that pre-deated the P1800 by a decade. (!)

Built around the 1.4 liter 4 cylinder and a number of other mechanical parts found on the Volvo PV444 sedan, the Volvo P1900 Sport was built primarily for export markets. Once it arrived in those markets, however, it met competition from cars like the Porsche 550 Spyder and classic, ’57 Corvette.

As you can imagine, the Swedish sports car with the exotic price tag wasn’t a huge success. Just 67 (sixty-seven) Volvo P1800 Sport models were sold.

So, yeah- the Volvo P1900 is pretty rare, and you’ll probably never see one outside of a museum. Still cool cars, though, and Volvo has a bit more history (and a few more historic photos) that I’ve included, below. Check them out, then let us know what you think of that very first Volvo sports car in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

 

    Volvo P1900 Sport; 1956-1957

    When Volvo presented an open 2-seater sports car with a body made of fibrglass-reinforced polyester in 1954, it was something of a sensation. However, the car did not go into production until 1956 and, after a great many problems, production was wound up in 1957. By this time, 67 cars had been built.

    The original idea was that this car would only be for export. A convertible was not regarded as wholly suitable for the Swedish climate. However, in spite of this, most of the cars were sold on the domestic Swedish market.

    The car was based on standard components, mainly from the Volvo PV444, but it was built on a separate tubular frame. The engine was a developed version of the 4-cylinder, 1.4 liter engine from the PV444. Using twin carburetors, a different camshaft, larger intake valves and higher compression, the engine of the Sport developed 70 bhp. This 70 bhp engine was also used in the 1957 Volvo PV444 destined for the US market. It gave the PV444 good performance and the model was sold as “The family sports car” but was far too expensive in relation to the competition.

 

Source | Images: Volvo Cars.

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.