Discover One Of These Amazing 1971 Volvo 1800E Supercharged Finds That You Never Expected

Launched in 1961, the P1800 is one of Volvo’s most iconic nameplates. It was rated short-lived with only 12 years on the market, but its sporty design and, more importantly, its appearance alongside Roger Moore in the TV series “The Saint” turned it into one of the most recognizable cars out there.

But while it was marketed as a sports car, the P1800 was more of a stylish and underpowered grand tourer. The two-door debuted with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder good for 100 horsepower, while the fuel-injected 2.0-liter mill introduced in 1969 delivered up to 130 horses. It was no slouch, but the P1800 was nowhere near as powerful as high-profile GTs like the Jaguar E-Type and Aston Martin DB5 and DB6.

But some owners found a way around Volvo’s naturally aspirated, B-series four-banger. While some restomod-style P1800s now feature turbocharged mills or larger, six-cylinder engines, some enthusiasts opted to supercharge the tiny four-cylinder. And a few of these blown P1800s, like this 1971 1800E, have survived to this day.

The beat-up coupe you see here was recently taken out of storage. It reportedly spent at least 16 years off the road before it was taken out of a barn and moved outside, in a carport. It spent another year doing nothing before it was purchased by Bradley of Poor Boys Garage, who wanted to get it back on the road.

While a supercharged 1800E is as rare as they get, there’s more about this Swedish GT. On top of the blower, it also got a five-speed Tremec T-5 transmission, a significant update over the four-speed manual and three-speed auto that Volvo was offering at the time. Not only that but this 1800 also features a limited-slip differential.

These upgrades tell us a couple of important things. First, the car was upgraded no earlier than 1982, because that’s when the Tremec T-5 made its debut in a production car. Second, the limited-slip diff is a sign that whoever commissioned the transplant was looking to turn the Volvo into a hot rod. Bradley also mentions that it comes with MSD ignition and boost control.

But will this 1800E still run after so many years? The engine obviously needs a lot of work and the supercharger is no longer connected to the four-banger. But it eventually fires up and even though the blower isn’t working, the four-cylinder still has what it takes to move the 1800E at a decent speed.

Bradley actually manages to put the coupe through its paces around the neighborhood and ends his trip with a donut in front of the shop. He says the Volvo feels “peppy,” which is good news given that it’s not yet using its supercharger.

While not as valuable as an American muscle car from the era, this 1800E is definitely one of the more interesting European finds. These cars are pretty rare in the U.S. and worth saving whenever still possible. This coupe is a bit rusty and will need more than just a little TLC to become road-worthy, but it seems like it’s in good hands.

If you’re into European rat rods, you should definitely check this Volvo out. 

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