Volvo P1800S brochure - March 1963
published: Fri, 11-Jul-2008 | updated: Fri, 5-Aug-2016
I may have mentioned it before, but my most favorite car ever was the Volvo 1800S, and I used to own one in England before I came to the States. Since I don't have one now, although I'm quietly looking, I do the next best thing: I collect the old car dealer brochures for it. Not only for pictures of the car, but for the most fabulous 60s fashion and hair dos. Absolutely amazing, very trendy.
I picked one up the other day from a certain well-known auction site. This is the second copy I have of this particular brochure, the first one has a dealer stamp on it, whereas this one is a little faded.
It's a 4 pager, full color, Letter-sized, center fold.
Here's the front page (click on it for the full version).
It's a very early version, actually a Jensen-built car. The main clues are the red inserts in the wheel hubcaps, and the flash on the C pillar. Nevertheless, the brochure is for a P1800S, which were built in Göteborg, Sweden. Jensen did a pretty crappy job on them for two years, and Volvo moved the production to Sweden after two years, and appended the S to the name. They also made other changes as well.
The photo is taken right outside the Embassy of the United States of America. To be honest I've no idea which one, but it's certainly very, very pre-9/11. (The Embassy in Grosvenor Square in London is now pretty much a fortress, for example.) A great 60s haircut for the lady (I remember my Mum used to have one like that), and a what looks to be a Dior outfit to go with it. The guys, one with cigarette in hand, the other wearing a Homberg, wearing very snappy black suits, straight leg (a little off the shoe in that 60s way), pocket-kerchiefs. We are seeing some very trendy people to go with this very trendy car.
Page 2 next.
Some nice shots showing the various colors available for the car, red, black, and white. Only one with a real number plate, but I don't recognize the format. The bottom one shows a couple of reflectors above the rear bumper; I don't remember the year they were phased out. (By the way the guy leaning on the car in that picture has some red- lensed sunglasses on, nice). The headline looks to be a thin Helvetica, or very similar classy gothic font (Folio/Caravelle?).
The interior featuring "three point Volvo safety belts" that "can be put on and taken off with one hand". And featuring a dog on the back seat. Mind you I guess 60s luggage was smaller than it is these days: there's no way I could fit most of my current luggage into that luggage compartment (there's a full-sized wheel in there too, you know). The dashboard still to my eyes is beautifully designed and appointed with light blue inserts and brushed aluminum.
Funny that the picture of the dash doesn't show the rear-view mirror. It's mounted on the dash itself, above it.
The specs and the print dater: 2/1963.
There are some great quotes in here that reflect the changes in car manufacturing and safety between then, 45 years ago, and now. Some of my faves: "Turn indicators front and rear", "The interior lighting is switched on automatically when either of the doors is opened", "Clock" (and it's notorious for not working), "Two-speed electric windshield wipers".
I'll scan the other brochures I have as and when I have time.