Pages Navigation Menu

Not your average Volvo

P1800ES

In 1972 came the last model, the 1800ES, a coupé station wagon with an all-glass tailgate, sometimes described as a shooting-brake. The final design was chosen after two prototypes had been built by Sergio Coggiola and Pietro Frua. Frua’s very unusual looking prototype, Raketen (“the Rocket”, on the right), currently resides in the Volvo Museum. Both Italian prototypes were considered too futuristic, and instead in-house designer Jan Wilsgaard’s proposal was accepted. The ES engine was downgraded to 125 bhp (92 kW) by reducing the compression ratio with a thicker head gasket (engine variant B20F); although maximum power was slightly down the engine was less “peaky” and the car’s on-the-road performance was actually improved.

Volvo 1800ES

front
rear

The ES’s rear backrest folded down to create a long flat loading area. As an alternative to the usual four-speed plus overdrive manual transmission, a Borg-Warner three-speed automatic was available in the 1800ES. With stricter American safety and emissions standards looming for 1974, Volvo did not see fit to spend the considerable amount that would be necessary to redesign the small-volume 1800 ES. Only 8,077 examples of the ES were built in its two model years.

Sponsored By