Friday, 06 August 2021

Ninety years of Volvos go on show

Ninety years of Volvos go on show

VOLVO recently celebrated its 90th anniversary with a display of modern and historic models at the world’s biggest show for classic vehicles, Techno Classica, held in Essen, Germany.

It was on April 14, 1927, that the first Volvo Car drove out of the factory gate in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The six classic Volvo models exhibited at Techno Classica were as follows.

1934 PV654

The Volvo PV600 series came in 1929, only two years after the little Swedish car company had started its operations.

It had a distinct American-inspired design and a powerful 3.0-litre straight-six-cylinder engine.

A seven-seater version was also made, mainly for taxi purposes.

Approximately 4,400 examples of the Volvo PV600 series were made during the model’s eight-year lifespan.

1957 PV444

The PV444 was called “the little Volvo” when it was first shown in Stockholm in 1944.

However, due to material shortages after the Second World War, production didn’t start until 1947.

For the first time, Volvo could offer a model that was within reach for customers with an ordinary income — and the demand was much bigger than the supply.

The PV444 was the first Volvo model to be exported to the United States. The first car came to the port in Long Beach, California, in 1955 — and only two years later, Volvo was the Sunshine State’s second-biggest import brand.


The Volvo P1800 is probably the most iconic Volvo model of all time. It became known worldwide as “The Saint’s car” after its role in the Sixties TV show starring the late Roger Moore as Simon Templar. Manufactured from 1961 until 1973, the P1800 is a highly sought-after classic among collectors today.

1968 145 estate

At the end of November 1967, Volvo presented the third variant in what was now developing into a complete car family known as the 140 series — the Volvo 145.

The Volvo 145 was a five-door estate with a rear section that had a virtually vertical tailgate.

Everybody agreed that this was a safe, comfortable and extremely practical and spacious car.

The cargo volume was more than two cubic metres and the floor of the cargo area was completely flat.

The Volvo 145 quickly became an extremely popular estate car, and went on to play an increasingly important role within the 140 series.


The Volvo 262C was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1977, as a part of Volvo’s 50th anniversary. It was the result of co-operation between Volvo and Bertone — being designed in Sweden but assembled in Turin, Italy.

This four-seater coupe — with the radical roofline that became the 262C’s trademark — was based on the two-door, six-cylinder 262 saloon.

Custom stampings were done by Bertone — and the Italian firm also provided the custom interiors in pleated leather, elm veneer and deep-pile carpeting.

The 262C was powered by the PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo) fuel-injected B27F overhead-cam V6, producing 140 bhp.

A total of 6,622 cars were built between 1977 and 1981.

850 R

The 850 R was the high-performance version of the successful Volvo 850.

It was launched in 1996 and was the successor to the 850 T5-R.

The transversely mounted, 2.3-litre, inline five-cylinder engine produced 250 hp, powering the car to 100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds.

The intense red colour was unique to the 850 R, but the car could also be ordered in five other colours, depending on the market.

The 850 R was produced both as a saloon and an estate, and is now a much sought-after “youngtimer” classic.

For more information on future Techno Classica events, visit


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